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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"What the Human Being Can Become"

April 1, 2005

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[Give] thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:12

What is the Human Being?

Shakespeare's Hamlet, in a moment of good feeling about the human being, exclaims in Act II, scene 2: "What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god -- the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!" At first blush this seems ludicrous -- like an All Fool's Day delusion.

Here someone will surely ask for equal time to say that the human being is not like an angel in thoughts, words, and actions. Attention will be called to sins and crimes reported in newspapers; robbery, killing, oppression, adultery, drunkenness. A paragon of animals? Sometimes it is the other way around: Animals show more sense. Male and female birds, like the cardinals, stay together permanently. Do human couples?

It is hard to place human beings. Surely they are neither animals nor angels. What are they? The Bible says: "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27).

Adam and Eve were like God in holiness and righteousness, but when they sinned they lost this image or likeness. Sin had a way of growing, like cancer. Wickedness abounds in our world, in our present age as in all past ages. No uplifting measures designed by man can pull himself out of the mire. Only God could do it, and God did. He sent His own Son, whom we adore as our Lord Jesus Christ, to redeem us from sin. By faith in the Redeemer the human being becomes a new creation, a reconstructed being. He becomes the new person whom Jesus desires -- and empowers -- him to be: the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Christianity holds that sinful humanity can be renewed in the image of God. We are neither angels nor animals. We are reborn persons, children of God, reborn when the Holy Spirit has done His work.

PRAYER: Lord God, give me a rich measure of faith in Christ, so that I may grow more and more into His likeness. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: Deuteronomy 23-25    Luke 6:27-49

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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