My last post was about the BUT GOD moment that grace took over in our lives. Once we experience that moment – once we enter into a relationship with God by faith in Christ – we have to realize that this is not the end. IT IS JUST THE BEGINNING. Yes, we are forgiven. Yes, our eternal destination is secure. But now we are ALIVE in Christ instead of dead in our sins – so now the REAL living can begin. That BUT GOD moment is the beginning of something new and transforming.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul writes, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION. Old things have passed away and all things have become new.”
You see, now the work begins in our heart of God making us what He wants us to be. What we were really created for. His ultimate purpose for us is to make us more like Christ!
Paul again writes in Romans 8:29 “For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.”
This is good news. He makes us alive like Jesus and then He makes us look like Jesus. Now this doesn’t happen overnight and it is something that will be happening in us for the rest of our lives here on earth.
Philippians 1:6 “He, Who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
This is a daily process. The churchy word for it is “sanctification.” The more we look like Christ, the more we make an impact for God in every area of our lives. Every part of our lives begin to take shape for Christ. I love what Paul says as he continues writing in Ephesians 2.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
I love how the NLT starts this verse. “For we are His MASTERPIECE…”
In other words, God begins working in us – working on us – molding and shaping and creating in us as His masterpiece – His work of art.
So how does He do it? There are many ways, but let me give you three things to make you more available to being molded and shaped by Him.
- HIS WORD
Psalm 119:9-11 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping Your Word. I have sought You with all my heart; don’t let me wander from Your commands. I have treasured Your Word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.
Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us…”
1 Peter 4:12-13 “Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”
As we read God’s Word – understand it – meditate on it – memorize it – it goes to work in our lives to nourish us. As we pray, God’s Spirit works in us to release power. As we suffer, the Spirit of God ministers to us. Suffering drives us back to the Word and prayer and this cycle will grow us in the grace of the Lord Jesus.
You see, God has to do a work IN US before he can do a work THROUGH US. According to Ephesians 2:10, God is creating us into a masterpiece to look like Christ, so that we can do the good things that He has already planned for us to do. He makes you alive for a purpose. We are created to DO GOOD. Our works before Christ were wicked – done in darkness. Now that we know Christ, we have the opportunity to live in the light – to let His light shine through us. The good things are not because of us or about us but they are because of Christ in us. As God works on you, creates a masterpiece in you, He is making something bigger in you than your life. Your life is becoming a testimony to those around you.
1 Peter 2:12 “Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will observe your good works, and glorify God.”
Ultimately, God is making us into a masterpiece so that we can point to Him. Matthew wrote the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light so shine before men, that they will see you good works and glorify your father in Heaven.”
The Mona Lisa is estimated to be worth $810 MILLION Dollars. We might even use the word “priceless.” The reality of the value this paining, this masterpiece, is not because of the painting itself, or the lady in it, or the canvas it is painted on. The reason that this painting is a masterpiece and has so much value is because of the artist who painted it. Leonardo Da Vinci makes this painting a masterpiece.
So you see, once you come to Christ, you become a masterpiece-in-the-making of the Master Creator and He is making you into something of infinite worth and value. That value comes not because of who you are but because of who HE is!
So will God get the glory in you life? Will you do the good that He is making you to do? Will you live your purpose out as a follower of Jesus?