Made in God’s Image

God has made us in his image. It is not something we possess and thus can lose; rather it is the very essence of what we are. To be human is to be in the image of God.

All human beings are made in his image (Genesis 1:27). Whether male or female, whatever ethnicity, no matter the social, economic, political or religious views or status.

Why is this truth so important in our understanding of mission? It is because it forms the framework of our approach to everyone and everything.

1) Being made in God’s image means all human beings have the capacity to be addressed by God. This means that every person has an awareness of God and has the capacity to be open to God – to engage in dialogue with God.
a. God communicates and longs to reveal himself to everyone more and more
b. God communicates across language, cultural and worldview differences
c. It is our sin and rebellion that supresses and perverts this innate awareness
d. The Gospel has power and life giving potential for all to hear God. Its truth and revelation of God’s love resonates with us because we are all capable of hearing God’s voice because we are all made in his image.

This is a vitally important truth as we often underestimate the simple power of the Gospel. We worry that we will come across too simply. We are concerned that we will offend – but the reality is that we will connect with each person’s inner capacity to hear God’s voice to them. We are often silenced by the lie that they cannot respond.

2) Being made in God’s image means all human beings are accountable to God. All people share a common sense of ethical and moral obligation. In the Book of Amos we see God call many nations to account for their actions, not just the Israelites. There is a sense that we all know the fundamentals of ethical responsibility to God and to one another. Psalm 33: 13-15 shows us that God knows every individual human being, considers their actions and holds them to account.

We may wonder what drives many (Christian or non-Christian) to do good works or engage in social action. It is the essence of God’s image in us all which draws us to commend and to desire this type of response.

The reason God is so angry against the idols of greed and selfishness (Ezekiel 16:49-50), is that it suppresses this characteristic of God in us and as we become more selfish we become proud and arrogant caring for ourselves and not for others.

3) Being made in God’s image means that all human beings have dignity and equality – this is our common bond and should form a radical commitment to equality, respect and dignity to all people, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, religion, status, role or age. The command to love our neighbour as yourself captures this profoundly. It is also informs and guides us on how we are to communicate with one another – 1 Peter 3:15-16 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for this hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

Of course, it goes without saying that they will only ask if they see the evidence of this hope lived out in lives and actions.

4) Being made in the image of God means that the Gospel is Good News for all. It also means that we share a commonality in that we are all sinners and we have all rebelled, thus we all need the Gospel.

Sin and rebellion does not remove God’s image, rather it distorts and spoils it. Jesus’ death and resurrection breaks the power of this distortion and suppression of the truth and so liberates us and restores us to live life in all its fullness – which was God’s original intention.

Jesus models this life to and for us.

Created and Given a Task

We were given the task to fill the earth and subdue it:

To fill the earth: implies the permission to utilise our environment to sustain life. It does not convey exploitative approaches but rather one of benevolence and stewardship.

To Subdue: we are given authority to care for and make decisions about our world. The image of a royal priesthood comes to mind indicating the style of leadership we are to have.
In so doing we are to reflect the characteristics of God, that of justice, mercy and humility. (Micah 6:8)

Created in and for Relationship
All that God created was stated as good, except for one thing – Genesis 2:18 says it was not good for the man to be alone. This was not simply because of a psychological need to not feel lonely, but it was linked to the given task and the term helper is used. To fill the earth and subdue it was not a task to be done on one’s own. Rather God sees the importance of having a helper (one who works alongside side in equality – a shared task)

We are created in humanity to and for relationship so we can fulfil the God given task in our world.


As you reflect on each point above consider how this impacts the way you live and work with all those around you?

Ask God to reveal to you people whom you have wrongly classified as less than others.

Bring each to God in repentance and ask him to restore in your mind the truth that we are all made in God’s image.

(Drawn from The Mission of God by Chris Wright – Chapter 13)

Theme Focus: Equality

The state of being essential equal; the same in value, status, quality. The opposite would be:
• Inequality
• Discrimination
• Prejudice
• Bias
• Disparity
• Unfairness
• Injustice

One of the values of Micah Network is equity. Jesus treated every person equally, without regard for the social or economic status (Mark 12:14).

We aspire the same godly “disinterest” in status in our personal and organisational relationships. We will endeavour to resist those attitudes and practices that link influence and authority to economic power, gender, geography or history. Lord hear our prayer.

Prejudices – often the root of inequality

Prejudices are pre conceived opinions about others, usually negative and harmful. Prejudices tend to generalise and judge others in such away as to undermine and distort the image of God. We wrongly feed off prejudices by viewing ourselves as better than those we compare ourselves to and criticise.

We all have prejudices about others. These may be opinions about the opposite gender, other ethnic groups, other religions and other practices. In John 1:46 we see Nathanael voicing a prejudice against anyone coming from Nazareth.

Lord, reveal our hearts as we prayerfully reflect on what prejudices we may have and where these have come from:

Family: consider conversations we have had in our family. Have we ever spoke negatively about others because of family feuds, beliefs, traditions?

Ethnic Groups: are there people groups that you know you have dislike or disdain for? Maybe you make disrespectful jokes of one group?

Religions: do you find yourself responding negatively to people of other faiths or other denominations?

Historic events: do you remember actions committed by other countries, people groups, individuals that have negatively impacted society or your own people and now you find it hard to see the next generations without the history clouding your opinion?

Equality & Reconciliation

We long to see equality and reconciliation in our society. However – prejudices create serious barriers and are usually the root cause of conflict. How will people know how much God loves them if we are unable to demonstrate that love because of our prejudices.

Lord we pray that you will come and shine your light on our prejudices and heal our hurts and restore us so that we can love from a heart rooted in you.

Member Focus: The Philippines

The Republic of the Philippines is made of 7,250 islands – 11 of which contain the bulk of the population. Though the country has many beautiful beaches, it also has a significant area covered with mountains, included 20 active volcanoes. There is a constant high risk of natural disasters with frequent earthquakes, typhoons and cyclones buffeting the islands.

The Philippines was a Spanish colony for over three centuries, gaining its name from a former 16th century Spanish king. The USA took over rule in 1898 until independence in 1946. The first elected president was Manuel Quezon. The cold war impacted the Philippines negatively with martial law being imposed in defence of the threat of communism. The 1980 to 90s sees allegations of fraud and attempted coups take place. The 1990’s are impacted by conflict with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front).Fragile ceasefires and conflict outbreaks dominate the early 2000’s. October 2012 sees a peace agreement signed drawing to a close the 40 year conflict, though some extremist groups are still a risk.

Lord we thank you for the peace agreement signed and for the relatively stability this has brought. We pray for your hand to continue to bring about a deepening peace within the country.

Let Your Light Shine

Leadership: The Philippines is governed through a democratic process which has been dogged by corruption and vote fixing.

President: Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino was elected in 2010, beating former president Joseph Estrada. He comes from a family who has been involved in politics, and has studied economics. In his first few years of leadership Mr Aquino has under taken interesting actions:
• Addressed issues of deforestation which was increasing risks of mud slides and flooding.
• Proposed contraceptive support for the poor (an action that challenged the historic stance of the Catholic Church in the Philippines)
• His campaign slogan was “When no one’s corrupt, no one will be poor” – showing a direct link to poverty with corruption.
• The peace agreement in 2012

Lord, thank you for the recognition of the damage of corruption on this country. We pray that the EXPOSED: Shining a light on corruption campaign would support this government’s commitment to deal with corruption. Thank you for the signs if change we have seen over the last few years and we pray for your presence to guide the leadership.

Economy:  The economy has continued to grow over the last few years drawing on a mixed agricultural and industrial focus. A significant income if the vast Filipino population working outside the country sending resources back to it. The many natural disaster shave plagued growth and recovery is still in progress post the civil war.

Lord we thank you for the growth seen in the economy and pray for improving governance systems, development of good infrastructure to help businesses develop. We particular pray for the construction industry who need to build with integrity so that people are protected against the adverse weather systems.

Social: The Philippines is one of the fast growing populations in Asia with around 105 million people at the latest estimate. Over 50% of this population live in cities. The main people group are Malayo-Indonesian Filipinos, which comprise of around 11 major people groups. There are a further 132 smaller tribal groups.

The Philippines has a high literacy rate (93% of its population.

Lord we pray for peace in Mindanao where the Muslim population feel marginalised and resentful. We pray for your people to reflect God’s love and care for the people in the region.

Faith: There us freedom of religion in the Philippines, with the Catholic Church comprising just over 80% of the population. The Muslim population make up 5% of the population and evangelicals around 3%. There has been significant mobilisation of missions with over 3000 cross cultural workers being sent out. The PCEC (Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches) has made great impact for developing a common platform for missions, churches and Christian organisations to meet together.

Lord we thank you for the growing church in the Philippines and seek you for increasing unity so that a more integrated response to mission can be supported. We pray for great dialogue and impact with the work undertaken through the Philippines.

Micah Network in the Philippines

There are 16 members in the Philippines (13 organisations and 3 individuals.

The organisations are:
• Ahon Sa Kalye Ministries Inc
• Al-Hayat Foundation
• Alliance of Christian Development Services – ACDA
• Centre for Community Transformation – CCT
• Ethnos International Development Centre
• Institute for Studies in Asian Church & Culture – ISACC
• Mission Ministries Philippines – MMP
• Penuel School of Theology
• Philippine Network of Urban and Street Ministries Inc
• Philrads (Disaster Response – PCEC)
• Samaritana Transformation Ministries
• Servants to Asia's Urban Poor (Manila)
• Share An Opportunity – SAO

The President of Micah Network is Dr Melba Maggay, who is the director of ISACC

Micah Challenge have a national coordinator hosted by PCEC: Joy Eva Famador

Solidarity in Disaster Management Consultation: from the 16th to 20th September 2013. PCEC in cooperation with Micah Network, Wheaton College HDI, Integral Alliance and WEA are facilitating a Regional Consultation. This will look at how we can strengthen our disaster risk reduction and church engagement in disasters around Asia.

Lord we pray for each of our members the Philippines that they may be encouraged and inspired as they seek to respond to the needs of all in the Philippines. We pray for their impact and unity.

We particular pray for our President, Dr Melba Maggay, that she may have the wisdom and insight to support the promotion of integral mission globally and especially in the Philippines. Thank you for her on-going commitment and support of Micah Network.

We pray for our up and coming Consultation that you would cover this time together with your presence and guidance. We pray for participants to attend that will be able to multiply their learning in their respective countries and areas of work. We ask for your provision for this meeting and thank you for the cooperation of different organisations to help bring this consultation together. We especially pray for PCEC as they host us during this meeting.

Integral Mission
Thank God for the increasing number of committed Christians in the Philippines that have leadership roles within the government who are influencing for good governance.

Pray that the Micah Challenge campaign in the Philippines would impact many churches as they seek to hold their government to account for their promises made in the Millennium Development Goals.

Prayer Points in Brief

Al-Hayat Foundation: Member of Micah Network in the Philippines have sent in the following prayer requests:
a. Wisdom and strength for staff and board to implement the fund raising plans  to cover all their plans for 2013 to 2014
b. Peace and safety in Cotabato City where they are based at work. Tensions have been high over the last month with bombings in the city killing 8 people
c. Wisdom and insight for all involved in negotiations for peace in this region where tensions remain high.

Fighting in Eastern DRC: Albert Baliesima has requested us to stand with all those who are affected by the fighting that has erupted in Kamango Region. Thousands of refugees have fled into neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda.
a. Pray for all who are seeking to negotiate with the warring factions
b. Pray for Albert as he seeks to help his people affected by this conflict – pray that he and his family will be protected,
c. Pray for those who have fled their homes – that support will reach them and that they will know God’s hand over their lives.
Lord, we seek you earnestly for mercy and intervention in this area.

Cambodia: Chandara Ket, our national Micah Network coordinator has sent the following prayer requests:
a. Cambodian's King: Norodom Sihamoni have comfort heart from the recent loss of his father. Pray that he will keep moving forward to guide and care of the Cambodian people.
b. Cambodian king’s mother Norodom Monineath: that she has enough strength and good health to encourage the Cambodian people to greater unity.
c. Pray for all parties involved in the recent elections (end July 2013) – pray that God will have his hand on the leader. The results are being contested
d. Pray for greater Christian unity and an increasing service of love to people around them
e. Pray for the Micah Network Integral Mission Conversation on Domestic Violence which will be held on the 24th and 25th October 2013/

Micah Network Events: please pray with us for the up and coming meetings planned:
a. Solidarity in Disaster Management Consultation: 16th to 20th September 2013
b. Integral Mission Conversation: 4th to 8th November 2013: Mumbai, India
c. Integral Mission Conversation: 11th to 13th November 2013: Lahore, Pakistan

Thank God for the amazing and inspiring meetings we have just facilitated in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Myanmar. Pray for the impact of the shared meeting in Honduras.