Poetry of grace
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
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 united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.
9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
10 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.
Dr. Tom Brunner, Psychologist, Counselor & Consultant, offers ten character flaws that can derail even good people.
Good people can become great, but usually, they don’t. Behavioral science experts are learning which personality encumbrances are particularly likely to thwart someone. The following are ten derailers that seem not just to irritate others but stifle the maturity process.
You are not truly happy for others’ success.
Defensiveness toward being corrected or criticized. Generally, hypersensitive people don’t mature; they just grow old.
You will not be trusted or influential if you come off as cold/distant.
Overly emotional people are attention hogs and focus on themselves, not the reality around them.
Eccentrics are funny in the moment but may lack the ability to tone down their eccentricity to build rapport. Deeper relationships are absent.
You believe you deserve everything you want.
You are unpredictable and not trusted or confided in.
Eagerness to Please
You are more of a pleaser than an honest communicator. But your displeasure with things builds up and explodes at times.
You find fault with even minor misbehavior.
Making Destructive Comments
Needless sarcasm and cutting remarks erode any rapport you may have built up. Your relationships never “run deeper.”
Have you ever reflected upon how the Father views your life? How does He react to your personal character flaws? Are you concerned that He sees your flaws and mistakes and loves you less? It is time to reject such unbiblical concerns. The Father is omniscient and knows you thoroughly. He not only loves you fully all the time, but He has also chosen to craft you into one of His eternal masterpieces. You are His workmanship of grace and love. You are His poetry of grace and work of art.
Our lives are like an artist’s canvas. He is at work painting the colors of your life into His intelligently designed dream for us. His goal is to engender the wonder of all creation because of His creative work within us. We are a work in progress. He paints what He already has seen from eternity past as our finished portrait. He knows where our most significant shortcomings and imperfections are. He is aware of what requires the most attention.
His paintbrush is adversity. Every trial, frustration, disappointment, roadblock, and failure has a purpose (Romans 8:28).
Many children of the King struggle with the concept of the Father using trials to mature and complete the canvas of our lives. Yet that is precisely what the Scriptures teach.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
“God rejoices over you, though He knows you are not yet what you will be when you step into the eternal presence of God (1 Corinthians 13:12). Until that time, God is patiently molding and shaping your life into the image of His Son” (Stanley).
REFLECT & PRAY
Romans 8:29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son.
Father open the eyes of my heart that I may see myself as you see me: a redeemed, forgiven work of art in progress. You are preparing me to accomplish Your dream purpose for my life.
Ephesians 2:10 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.
The Greek term translated as workmanship or masterpiece is poieme. Poieme refers to a work of art, a masterpiece. The Jerusalem Bible translates it as “work of art.” The word poieme was used in classical times for the work of a craftsman, such as making a crown. It refers to a person’s skillful work or art (Ecclesiastes 4:4; Isaiah 29:16). The word poem is derived from this Greek term.
In the New Testament, poieme is used only in Ephesians 2:10 and Romans 1:20. Romans 1:20 refers to the Creation, all He made. In Ephesians 2:10 it refers to the Father’s creative work within us. “The first reference speaks of the physical handiwork of God, and the second refers to the spiritual recreation of God in the individual believer’s life. Both of these passages speak of the crafted work of God” (Hoehner).
Children of the King are the Father’s masterwork. We are not a work unto ourselves. The Father skillfully develops His works of art, His spiritual poems, to perform His good pleasure and achieve His will on Planet Earth.
Ephesians 1:4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
From the Father’s eternal perspective, His work in us and our work for Him are already completed.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ coming through the door grab