His masterpiece

His masterpiece

For we are God’s masterpiece. – Ephesians 2:10

Isaiah 64:8 O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.

Isaiah 29:16 How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?

Many people struggle with what they think of themselves, their self-image. “Self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment” (Maxwell Maltz). “Your self-image is the result of all you have given your subconscious mind as a database, so regardless of your background, what you are willing to become is the only reality that counts” (Paul J. Meyer). “A poor self-image is a magnifying glass that can transform a trivial mistake or an imperfection into an overwhelming symbol of personal defeat” (David D. Burns).

How is it possible to overcome such a self-imposed deficit?

Ethel Waters, the magnificent vocalist, showed the way. Ethel was conceived because of the rape of her 13-year-old mother. Ethel survived an unbelievable childhood filled with extreme poverty, daily hunger, and scorn. She was shuffled between aunts, uncles, a grandmother, and neighbors. She never lived in the same place for more than 15 months and had a very difficult childhood. She wrote in her autobiography, “I never was a child. I never was cuddled, or liked, or understood by my family.” She married at the age of 13 but was soon divorced. While at a costume party in Philadelphia she was persuaded to sing two songs. She so impressed the listeners that she was soon hired to sing at the Lincoln Theatre in Baltimore.

Despite everything, she had great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. She became part of the Billie Graham Crusades. She had a magnificent stage presence. She exuded a kind-heartedness and folksy charm. She made even irreligious people feel at ease. Her signature song was His Eye Is On The Sparrow.

The first stanza is:

Why should I feel discouraged and why should the shadows come?

Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home?

When Jesus is my portion, a constant Friend is He,

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

Ethel Waters is responsible for the well-known saying, “I am somebody cause God don’t make no junk!” With that attitude and opinion of herself, she overcame the tremendous troubles and adversities of her difficult life.

“The ‘self-image’ is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self-image and you change the personality and the behavior” Maxwell Maltz.

If you think you are junk, and you act like junk. But if you believe that the Father doesn’t make junk, then you cannot possibly be junk. It can be a life-changing turning point for anyone, particularly children of the King. Knowing that He does not make junk provides exceptional comfort, hope, and gratitude in the hearts of those who realize it. David came to this understanding.

Psalms 139:13-17

 13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.

 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid Out before a single day had passed.

 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

REFLECT & PRAY

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are” (John Wooden).

Father the thought that You delight in me and took great joy and pleasure in making me just the way I am is almost beyond comprehension. Encourage me to walk in the truth that I am your masterpiece in the making.

INSIGHT

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,

We are the Father’s “workmanship,” that is, His “poem,” His “work of art.” When Paul speaks of us as masterpieces, the Father’s works in progress, he is speaking of us as a new creation in the Lord Jesus Christ, children of the King.

In the Greek language of the New Testament, how are things emphasized? Rather than using underlining, highlighting, or exclamation points, the placement of words in a sentence is employed. Word order is all-important. In Greek, the word His is positioned at the beginning and could be translated, “His work are we” (UBS). We are the product of His meticulous and thoughtful handiwork. Each child of the King is the Father’s spiritual recreation. It began in this life when we became children of the King. It will continue into all eternity. We are a work in progress.

The word translated masterpiece, handiwork, workmanship, work of art is poiema. “Poiema is used in classical times for the work of a craftsman, such as the making of a crown” (Hoehner). The English word poem comes from this Greek word. The noun poiemacomes from the Greek verb poieo to do or make. The point is that He made us. He is responsible.

He is the potter and we are His clay. It makes no sense to believe that we are junk when we consider Who the Potter is, Who is responsible for us. “I am somebody cause God don’t make no junk!”

Isaiah 45:9-12

 9 What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, “Stop, you’re doing it wrong!” Does the pot exclaim, “How clumsy can you be?”

 10 How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father, “Why was I born?” or if it said to its mother, “Why did you make me this way?”

 11 This is what the LORD says – the Holy One of Israel and your Creator: “Do you question what I do for my children? Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?

 12 I am the one who made the earth and created people to live on it. With my hands I stretched out the heavens. All the stars are at my command.

The Father designed us and formed us before birth. When we were born again, our spiritual transformation commenced. It will not be completed in this life. We are being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

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