Friday, February 23, 2024

The Master’s Chisel

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

History tells us that the artist and sculptor Michelangelo, commenting on one of his works, said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

In the same way, God sees what we can become. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (NLT). Or, as the New King James Version translates this verse, “For we are His workmanship . . .”

This word, translated as “masterpiece” or “workmanship,” comes from the Greek word poiema, which is the basis for our English term poem or work of art. It’s a word that speaks of something that is perfect. It carries the idea of rhythm, orderliness, and beauty.

Now, when I look at my life, I don’t necessarily see rhythm, orderliness, and beauty. And I guarantee that I don’t see perfection. Maybe you feel the same way.

However, God is saying, “You are My work of art. You’re My masterwork.” Understand, God isn’t a doting father who cannot see his child’s faults. No, He is our all-knowing yet all-powerful Father in Heaven who can envision what we will be. We are wonderfully complex. And we’ve been made in His image. 

Before I started preaching, I used to do graphic arts. I often sat at my drawing board just thinking, and then I began to sketch. Sometimes, people walked up and asked what I was drawing, and typically, I said that I wasn’t sure. I was still envisioning it. It’s simply the way artists work.

In the same way, we might look at ourselves and see a blank canvas, but God sees the finished work of art. God can look at us and see what we will become, even before we actually become it. We tend to see our flaws and our imperfections, but God sees us for what we will be.

For example, Jesus gave Simon a new name, Peter, which means “rock.” Now, all those who knew Simon probably thought it was kind of funny that Jesus named him that. A rock, after all, speaks of solidity. It speaks of something stable, strong, and dependable. And Simon wasn’t those things.

But essentially Jesus was saying, “It’s all right. You’re going to grow into that name. It will take some time.” And later, when Peter was a leader in the church, no one questioned whether he was a rock.

We may look at ourselves right now and say, “I don’t get it. This doesn’t look like a work of beauty.”

But God is saying, “Hang on. I can see what I can make you into. You need to be patient because you’re a work in progress.”

It doesn’t happen overnight. It will take your entire life on this earth. In fact, it won’t be finished until you get to Heaven. But then you will see that you indeed are a perfect work of art, that you are God’s masterpiece.

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