A guest post featuring Jamie from OneWordFaith.com
I can remember it clearly, sitting in the audience at Target Center, singing God’s praises along with thousands of others. I was very excited about the opportunity to hear Danny Gokey perform as an opening act to Casting Crowns, as I’d been a fan of his work for many years. But my surprise of the night occurred when Danny performed his new song – not yet released as a single – called “Masterpiece” (listen here: https://youtu.be/yJMQdJeqXrs ).
The Holy Spirit nudged me, “Listen up, dear child, this song is for you!”
Although I had never heard the song before, the words stuck with me. They still do.
Guess I’m your canvas
Beautiful black and blue
Painted in mercy’s hue
I don’t see past this
You see me now
Who I’ll be then
There at the end
Standing there as
You’re shaping the soul in me
You’re moving where I can’t see
And all I am is in your hands
You’re taking me all apart
Like it was your plan from the start
To finish your work of art for all to see
You’re making a masterpiece
This song is now permanently stored on my phone’s “most special” playlist. Listening to it provides encouragement, no matter my mood. And the more I listen, the more I believe and rely on the words from Ephesians 2:10 (NLT):
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.
What exactly is a “Masterpiece”? Some definitions
Much like the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, a “masterpiece” is likely also a subjective concept. How proudly parents and grandparents display their young ones’ artwork on the fridge or desks! They see a masterpiece where perhaps others see scribbles. They see the hands and the heart behind the creation.
As I think of my own life experience, I can honestly say that I’ve seen masterpieces…
…sitting across my dinner table, standing in line at a checkout counter, and lying in a hospital bed.
…walking the shores of Florida, hiking the hills of Montana, and biking the trails of Minnesota.
…hanging on my fridge, hanging on the wall of an art gallery, and hanging on a Cross.
But the hardest masterpiece to recognize? The one in the mirror.
God is the Master Artist, the Master Creator, the Master Craftsman. His work is magnificent, beautiful, and worthy of praise. To acknowledge the masterpiece within me, I cling to these scriptures:
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 NIV
Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 NIV
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 NIV
Many years ago, I participated in an “Alpha” course at my church. Even though I was already a Christ follower at that time, the Holy Spirit used this 12-week class to transform me. To open my mind to His teaching. To soften my heart to more fully embrace His love for me. To more closely align His will with mine. During one lesson, the small group leader handed out a piece of paper for us to keep (and I still have it today!). The title at the top: “A Father’s Love Letter”. Here is an excerpt:
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27
I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
Your Almighty Father
(read the entire letter here: https://www.fathersloveletter.com/)
God sees a Masterpiece in each of us! We were created in His own image, we were knit together by a Master Artist. We are the work of His skillful hands, His treasured possessions, His masterpieces.
Our human experience of “masterpiece” might be quite different than God’s. To identify a masterpiece, we tend to look for uniqueness, color, texture, and all senses being engaged. We tend to think of “masterpiece” as achieving a perfect state, a work of our hands that at the point it is “finished”, it becomes our masterpiece.
But my guess is that to God, His children are Masterpieces from birth, through human life, and even in death. At each stage of the process, we are His Masterpiece.
At birth, God sees a Masterpiece in our chubby cheeks, flailing movements, and helpless cries. As we grow into adults and mature in our Faith, God recognizes His handiwork within us.
Through the intimacy of our relationship with Christ, we continue to be transformed – from the inside out. As we keep our focus on Him, He forms us into the ones He desires us to be. Our part is to yield to His creative work in us, neither resisting it nor trying to hurry it.
While we diligently put our spiritual gifts to use in building His Kingdom on earth, His workmanship is boldly on display.
When we claim His Son as our Savior, repent, and allow our sins to be washed away – to become whiter than snow – we shine as His Masterpiece unblemished by sin, in union with Christ.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7 NIV
If “masterpiece” is the most outstanding work of an artist, then Christ must be God’s first Masterpiece. And when we proclaim Jesus as our Lord, abide in Him and He in us, we become a part of the Eternal Masterpiece.
Jamie Boettcher is a married Midwesterner and mother of two teenage boys. As the founder and creator of One Word Faith, she uses her passion for writing to encourage her readers to dig deeper into God’s Word and carry the light of Christ into the world.