Being Stamped by God's Image
I look just like my mom. Everyone constantly tells me this. "Theresa, I met your mom today! You look just like her!" We have the same face shape and the same eyes. We share many of the same facial expressions. I bear her mark. In Luke chapter 20, the teachers of the law and the chief priests try to back Jesus into a corner by asking Him a tricky question. At the time, Israel was ruled by the Roman Empire with Caesar as it's emperor. The leaders asked Jesus, "Should we pay taxes to Caesar or not?" Jesus answers brilliantly, "Give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
I once heard it said that just like the coin bore the image of Caesar, we bear the image of God. When you look at it in that light, Jesus' mandate to give to God what is God's takes on an entirely different meaning. We are to give Him everything we are. We are to give Him ourselves, totally and completely.
Out of everything that God created, He designed humans with the ability to think and to reason. We feel emotion and we have free will, just like Him! We bear the traits of our Father. We were created in His likeness (Gen. 1:27). When we discover more of who He is, we better understand who we were created to be as well.
Jesus taught us what it was to be fully human. He lived His life intimately connected to the Father. When He was born, He laid aside His divinity to embrace the human condition fully. Yet He still performed miracles, signs and wonders. How did He do this? He did this as a result of His complete 100% reliance on the Father. He modeled for us what that kind connection with the Father looks like and what it produces. When He went to the cross and died on our behalf, that kind of connection with the Father became available to us as well. For this reason, Jesus could say "Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things" (John 14:12).
When Jesus died, was resurrected and ascended to the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to us. The Holy Spirit dwells inside of us, enabling us to live our lives in a way that honors God. Here is the amazing part. When you accept what Jesus did for you by taking the punishment for your sins and open up your heart to Him, you become the connecting point between Heaven and Earth. You become a carrier of God's presence. You become the vessel through which God chooses to show His love to the world. And from that point on, your life becomes a story of adventure, in which He writes a new page everyday.
Give back to God what is God's. You won't regret it.