Summary: Discover your value and potential as a human being

We’ve spent four Sundays looking at what God is like and what difference knowing the true picture of God makes in our lives. Every time you hear someone say that they don’t want anything to do with God, you can be sure that if they told you what kind of God they don’t want anything to do with, you wouldn’t want anything to do with that God either. But the true picture of God attracts the human heart like magnet to iron.

For the next three Sundays, not counting Father’s Day, we’ll be looking at what we believe about mankind, the human race. Our church has the following statement of belief about mankind: "We believe that mankind was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin mankind inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and that mankind is totally unable to restore himself to God. For this reason, God sent Jesus Christ to bring mankind back to God."

This week, when I was putting the finishing touch on my garage office, I found a little booklet titled, "Life’s Cameos." In the booklet was Ed Kane’s poem, God’s Design:

"Philosophers may reason why

But I won’t take the time,

I only know I’m here on earth

Because of God’s design.

So I will just continue on

And do the best I can,

And know that God will do the rest

Because He made the Plan."

I don’t know the poet, and he may be a Christian, but if doing the best we can were God’s intention, we wouldn’t need the Bible. But God gave us the Bible that we might know His intention for mankind. And that’s what we’ll look at this morning. The text is from Genesis 1:26-28.

Someone tells about a man who was looking for work without any luck for many weeks. So he decided to take a break and visit the zoo. While he was at the zoo, he asked the zookeeper if they had any openings.

The zookeeper motioned the man over to a tree and whispered, "Our gorilla just died last night, and we’re expecting a group of children to come this afternoon. They will be very disappointed if they don’t get to see a gorilla. If you’re willing to get into a gorilla outfit and just swing around in the cage, I’ll pay you $10 an hour."

The man thought about the children, and he thought about the money, and then he said, "yes." So he got into the gorilla suit and entered the gorilla cage. Just then, the children began to file by. The man decided he was going to give the children a show by swinging on a tire. He swung so high, that he landed into the next cage, the lion’s cage.

Immediately the man in the gorilla suit began to scream and rattle the cage. The children also began to scream as the lion slowly approached the gorilla. When the man in the gorilla suit thought all was hopeless, the lion said, "Mister, you better shut up before we both lose our jobs."

Only mankind dresses up as something other than what God intended. We never see a dog wanting to be a cat, or a cow wanting to be a horse. But mankind has struggled with confusion about who we are, what we ought to be doing and what we are capable of.

The Mormons and certain Eastern religions believe that mankind can evolve into gods. The naturalists believe that nothing evolved into something, which evolved into mankind, and when we die, we return to nothing. And there are those who are not concerned about God and are simply doing the best they can, making a living, even if it means being or doing what God never intended. They don’t know any better.

This morning, we’re going to look at the value of mankind and the potential of mankind. As we look at these two aspects of mankind, we’ll touch on the origin, the purpose, and responsibility of mankind. Let’s look together.

First, we’ll look at the value of mankind. The value of an object is tied closely to the purpose of the object. When an object is serving its purpose, it has value. When the object can no longer serve its purpose, it loses value.

The biologist says you’re valuable because you play an important role in the food chain. The psychologist says you’re valuable because you need to feel that way. The economist says you’re valuable because you balance supply and demand. The communist says only the state is valuable. The capitalist says only if you produce are you valuable. And Hollywood says you are valuable when you act or look a certain way.

Who’s right and who’s wrong? Who cares? Let me make a buck and have a good time, for soon we die.

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