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Summary: A sermon about seeing ourselves and others in the way God sees us.

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GENESIS 1:26-27

Matthew 9:35-36

“You are of Infinite Worth”

By: Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN eastridgeumc.org

Sitting in her car--on a dark road just outside of town a young high school girl looks at her life.

This is what she sees:

“I am overweight.”

“I have no friends.”

“My future holds no promise.”

She thinks: “It’s no use-there is no hope.”

A middle aged executive sits alone in a motel room--a day of meetings just completed.

“The kids are all gone.”

“My wife doesn’t seem to care for me or love me anymore.”

“My job is a dead-end.”

A housewife sits at home, alone.

As she sits there, she looks at her life:

“My husband has his job.”

“The kids are all in school.”

“I am so alone.”

Then she pours herself another drink.

...And so it goes.

Everyday, we hear about it--people are checking out on life.

Children are running away from home.

Someone is committing suicide.

There is alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression.

And while all this is going on, we need to ask ourselves; “Why?”

“Why are people checking out on life?”

The answer to that question is as varied as the people themselves....

However, if we were to analyze the answers, there would be one thing that all these people would have in

common.

Most of these people have found that their lives, or at least an important aspect of their lives appears to them as

meaningless--empty--unfulfilling.

It’s as if there is a dark hole that they are living in, and they can’t get out.

And this is a feeling that many of us can probably relate to.

In fact, there may be somebody here this evening who feels this way right now.

Many, if not most of us understand the idea of emptiness, meaninglessness, and being unfulfilled.

Now, it may not be our entire life, it could just be a very important area of our life.

The Word of God gives us hope.

Your life does have meaning.

Your life can be fulfilling....

The Reason?: you were created in the image of God!!!

Every year the United Methodist Church, and locally, the Holston Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church has a Conference.

Jackie and Megan Watson, Clair and myself—we were there back in June.

Lots of decisions concerning the future of God’s Church were prayerfully considered...

Lots of decisions that concern you and me.

And we find in our Old Testament Lesson that long, long ago God held a very special conference, a divine counsel which majorly concerns you and me.

Notice in verse 26: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness....”

This is plural.

God doesn’t say: “Let Me create man in my image.”

God says, “Our image.”

And why is this?

To show the great dignity and honor that we all possess.

We have been given the great privilege of being created by the full Godhead.

Our creation was so special--we are the very crown and glory of creation--that God called a very special conference to discuss the matter, a divine counsel that involved...

God the Father.

God the Son.

And God the Holy Spirit.

All three Persons of the Trinity consulted and became personally involved in our creation.

And if we meditate on this glorious truth, our hearts should throb with excitement!

But do they?

Human life is so very precious, and yet when we turn on the news, open the newspaper, or look at the internet it becomes immediately apparent that many of us do not understand this or believe this.

In verse 27 we read: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and

female he created them.”

So what does it mean to be made in the image and likeness of God?

And how does this relate to our value as persons?

There are painful realities in this world...

In this Fallen world there are painful realities aimed at crushing the ultimate truth about our unique value.

After suffering rejection from her peers at school and from her parents at home a young girl once wrote:

“This experience of rejection made me think that there was no God, because in moments of rejection I feel I am no

good. And if I am no good, how can there be any God?

Am I not made in the image and likeness of God?”

Rejection by others can greatly affect our faith and our self-worth.

Think of the freshman kid at Rutgers University, with his whole life ahead of him, who jumped from a bridge to his death due to the bullying of his roommate.

Or the young high school girl found hanging dead in her home following months of torturous bullying.

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