What do you see? What do you do?
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
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,
5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Our past is not an impediment to our present, nor will it be to our future
By God’s loving grace we are created in the image of Christ. Though our lives remain on the canvas, God has seen the finished portrait. His eternal eyes know exactly where we need His greatest attention. Every frustration, every disappointment, and every joy have a purpose (Romans 8:28) (Stanley).
The apostle Paul tells us that we are the Father’s workmanship, work of art, and ultimately His eternal showpiece. The Father has made us what we are and what we will become (UBS).
The term workmanship is a translation of the Greek word poieme. The English word poem comes from this word. It refers to a work of art. Each child of the King is the Father’s work of art. But none of us is finished. The Father is continually shaping our lives to produce exactly what He intends. His omniscient mind has an eternal blueprint of exactly what we are to become.
Often the process is not pleasant, but the ultimate result will be beautiful and worthy of praise and bring honor to Him. He chips away with the precise portrait of the completed work in view. All praise will belong to the Father alone. He is the divine potter; we are the clay. Rather than complain, or ask why, or how long; a simple “ouch” will suffice. Including an acknowledgment our loving Father knows exactly what He is doing.
REFLECT & PRAY
As we seek to know our purpose, the question becomes what has the Father created us to be and do?
Father sometimes when You handle me it hurts. Help me to realize You are working from an eternal blueprint and be grateful.
Ultimately the Father is in the redemption business! He takes the raw materials of our lives and crafts and remodels them to produce a superb masterpiece. By His grace we are transformed from the inside out.
Many find this a rather remarkable idea, a hard concept to grasp. Our lives are certainly ragged and incomplete as we are. But the Father has a totally different perspective. He sees the end result from the beginning
When our Father sees our lives, He sees His beloved adopted children of great worth and promise. He is patiently molding and shaping our lives. What is His end game? In a word, Christ! He is making us like Christ.
Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.
But there is more. There is a great paradox that lies at the heart of being saved by grace through faith and not by works. Yet once saved, children of the King perform tremendous works for Him.
“God is love; sin is therefore a crime, not against law, but against love. Now, it is possible to make atonement for a broken law, but it is impossible to make atonement for a broken heart; and sin is not so much breaking God’s law as it is breaking God’s heart.”
“Let us take a crude and imperfect analogy. Suppose a motorist by careless driving kills a child. The driver is arrested, tried, found guilty and sentenced to a term of imprisonment and/or to a fine. After the fine has been paid and/or the term of imprisonment served, as far as the law is concerned, the whole matter is over. But it is very different in relation to the mother whose child was killed. The driver can never put things right with her by serving a term of imprisonment and paying a fine. The only thing which can restore that relationship with her is an act of free forgiveness on her part.”
“That is the way we are to God. It is not against God’s laws that we have sinned, it is against his heart. And therefore only an act of free forgiveness of the grace of God can put us back into the right relationship with him.”
“Paul goes on to say that we are re-created by God for good actions. Here is the Pauline paradox. All the good works in the world cannot put us right with God; but there is something radically wrong with the Christianity that does not result in good deeds.”
“There is nothing mysterious about this. It is simply an inevitable law of love. If some fine person loves us, we know that we do not and cannot deserve that love. At the same time, we know with utter conviction that we must spend our lives trying to be worthy of it.”
“That is our relationship to God. We know what God wants us to do; God has prepared long beforehand the kind of life he wants us to live, and has told us about it in his book and through his Son. We cannot earn God’s love; but we can and must show how grateful we are for it, by seeking with our whole hearts to live the kind of life that will bring joy to God’s heart” (Barclay).