For we are God’s masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
This verse of scripture has become my favorite and my life verse. As I counsel and speak to women. I love to create the imagery that this verse brings to mind. What do you think of when you hear the word “masterpiece?”? Does it conjure up visions of a beautiful sculpture or painting? Perhaps you think of a piece of literature, a poem or a story. Or you may begin to hum the notes from an opera or other piece of inspired music. Wherever your mind goes, the truth for all masterpieces is that they are unique creations of art. Not one is like another. Each is special and has its own beauty.
The message that God is relaying to us is that each of are a masterpiece of his own hands. We are wonderfully unique, beautiful and God was inspired when he created each one of us. He took great care in his creation of us and because of Christ he has great plans for us. Now that inspires me! When we see ourselves as masterpieces, we can start to comprehend our value to God and to others.
This verse is in direct contradiction to what we have been taught. Our world tells us that we are not good enough if we do not fit in with a group or look like others. Women are especially vulnerable to the pressure of fashion, body image, skin color and other cultural norms. If you read the gossip or fashion magazines or watch any television at all you cannot miss the message that you are a loser if you do not look like, act like or dress like the celebrities and models of our day. Women today go to the extremes of unhealthy diets, exercise regimes, surgeries, and the like in order to fit in with what the culture says is appropriate. Christ brings us freedom from the stress and pressures of our culture. In fact we are not to be like anyone else. Romans 12:2 (NLT) reads: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” A masterpiece stands alone on its own merit!
However we must be sure to understand the second part of the verse. We are created anew, but it is because of Christ Jesus that this is possible. I recently heard this explained by our pastor, Jeff Mullen in a new way. He said that when we ask Christ to lead our lives then we are no longer a part of our old bloodline. We now belong in the bloodline of Christ. We are a child of God. We no longer have to cling to our old, unhealthy patterns taught to us by our family, friends, teachers and the like. So if you come from a family or situation that was not healthy or where you were not loved and treated as valuable; you do not have to be part of that bloodline any longer! Because of this you can carry out God?s purpose in your life. We’ll read more about this tomorrow.