“This must be your twin!” I hear this often when I am with my mother. She is my mother— not my sister—and she is in her 70s and I am in my 40s. In some ways, this comment makes me wonder, “How old do I look,” but it is a compliment…she has great skin, hair, and style!  She has passed down genetic traits and characteristics, so, as her daughter, I do in fact resemble her likeness. But more than genetics, years of time spent with her has formed my facial expressions, mannerisms, and word choices in such a way that more and more I often hear, “You look just like your mother,” or “I know whose daughter you are!”

Created as Image Bearers

As much as I bear the image and likeness of my mother, there is One, the Lord our God and the Creator of all things whose image and likeness we all bear. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that from the very beginning, the pinnacle of creation is in fact us, people, male and female made in the image and likeness of our Triune God. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Out of all God’s creation, it was mankind he declared was very good indeed (Gen. 1:31).

God made us and gave us a purpose to fill the earth and subdue it, to have dominion over all creation. In the very beginning, we see the beautiful, purposeful design with which God created us to bear His image— His likeness in His kingdom. Fearfully and wonderfully made, each of us are knit together and formed, after the likeness of our Creator God. We were made to be fully known by Him, and in turn for us to know, love, and enjoy Him. More, we were made to be known as belonging to Him and to be recognized as His people in His kingdom.

A Lost People

Yet the story quickly progresses to Genesis 2 and 3, and we sadly know all too well the long-lasting effects of this part of the story—the Fall.  Because our first parents sinned against God, we are all born with a sin nature. We now see ourselves and others through a lens marred by the brokenness of sin. We devalue our fellow image bearers by forgetting the beautiful intentionality of the infinitely, creative Triune God in His creation of us of all. We feel the tension, the struggle between who we are created to be—wholehearted worshippers enjoying the fellowship of our Heavenly Father walking in the good works He has prepared for us—and our sinful nature.

Our sinful nature wages war within us. Its presence tempts us to trust more in ourselves, in our jobs, in our families, in what is seen and temporary than the giver all good gifts, the maker of heaven and earth, the King of all Kings who lovingly rules overall forever.  We become self-seeking, blinded by our own desire to make our name great. How many times have we told a little white lie to make ourselves look and feel better? We grow prideful, unable to extend grace to others. Rather than overlooking a minor annoyance, we snap back with a harsh comment or correction. Do we not remember the grace and mercy poured out for us on the cross?  We become selfish, perhaps even greedy, unable to open our hands with a generous spirit. We forget our Heavenly Father meets all our needs and all we have is His.

Redeemed for a Purpose

We were made for eternal purposes. We were made to know, enjoy, love, and glorify God forever! After our first parents failed to walk in obedience and live as they were made, they heard the gracious promise proclaimed that One would come to crush the power of sin and make all things new. Jesus Christ did come! Through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension, He crushed the power of sin and death in our lives so we can enjoy the presence of our God. By trusting, resting, and abiding in the truth of the Gospel we can faithfully walk in obedience knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Titus 3:3-5; Rom. 8:37-39).

Do we see it? Do we treasure it? Do we dwell on it and abide in it? The beauty of being brought from death to life, from enemy to friend. The joy of knowing that the One who knew no sin, became sin for us, so that we may have His righteousness. We have this sure and secured hope; we have this seal of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee; we are new creations in Christ! We no live no longer as slaves to sin, but live freely in the gift of knowing, enjoying, and delighting in our God forever! We walk in the newness of true life—held in the hand of our King! (Gal. 4:4-7; Rom. 6:4-11; John 10).

Daughters of the King

“I know whose daughter you are!”  We are made to be recognized as daughters of our King. And we are recognized as daughters of our King, because in Christ we are new creations dressed in His righteousness. As we spend time with Him in His Word, pray to Him, and worship Him, He transforms us from one degree of glory to another. Our words, character, and actions become more and more like His. The hard edges lacking compassion give way to grace and mercy. Quick responses in anger are replaced with gentle life-giving words. The self-seeking pride of building our own tiny kingdoms crumble in the joy of serving in His. As image bearers, made in His likeness, He is the one continuing the good work He began in us by conforming us day by day into the likeness of Jesus our elder brother, the author and perfector of our faith, the very imprint of His radiant nature.

Hearing, “You look just like your mother,” does bring me joy, but greater joy and deeper delight would come from hearing, “You look just like your elder brother, Jesus.” After years spent in His presence by His grace through His Spirit, He is making me, (and us!) more and more like Him. He has made us for more, He has made us to be a people unto Himself. He is growing in us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, so we as His image bearers, His treasured people, His royal priesthood may reflect His character and proclaim His excellencies throughout His kingdom.

Fellow daughters of the King, we are made for this, we are made to hear, “I know whose daughter you are!”

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Laura Tucker

Laura Tucker is the Children’s Ministry Director at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL. Laura grew up in the church and spent many summers there and at camp. God was preparing her for a life in children’s ministry full of fun activities and time in God’s Word. Laura served as the nursery director before her role over preschool and elementary students. She is married and has three children who keep her busy and involved in volunteer ministry to the youth as well. She enjoys time at the lake, playing tennis and cheering on the Dawgs.