Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “Wow! They’re in great shape.” Well, I may not be in great shape, but I’m really well built. And today I’ll explain the difference.
I’m not well built because I spent huge amounts of time in the gym pumping iron. Nor because of spending hours each week running the highways and byways of my home town. Because I don’t.
No, I’m more like a good cabinet, or a fine watch. The only reason I’m “well-built” is because a truly masterful craftsman has decided to take something that was nothing and turn it into something else. He is the reason, not me.
If you ever visit my home, one of the first things you’ll see as you enter is a small half-wall separating the entryway from the living room. If you continue farther into the house into the dining room, five large bookcases will come into view. If we share a meal, we’ll be seated around a delightfully-large table with a custom inlay of tile. Upon the table sits a napkin holder. I mention these because I’ve built all of them.
Some of them are simpler projects than others. But they all share certain characteristics. They required thought, design and consideration. They are each a custom design. All of them were created for a specific purpose, and created to be used in a specific manner and place. I had some level of help with every project, both in the design and the building.
YOU ARE LIKE THAT, TOO.
Today’s verse tell us WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD WORKS WHICH GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND, THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.
The designer and creator of the entire universe also designed and created you. And your value is tied very closely to your creator. What you’re TRULY worth can only be properly valued when one considers WHO made you, and why.
I was born in 1958. It is the same year someone sold a painting for sixty dollars. Big deal, right. Unnamed people, both buyer and seller. In fact, unnamed painting. Then something amazing happened. In 2011 someone found out that THIS SPECIFIC painting was actually one of the original works of Leonardo da Vinci. In November of 2017 “Salvator Mundi” (yes, NOW the painting had a NAME!!) sold for $450 million, the highest price ever paid for any painting in history.
Obviously, nothing in the painting changed. In 2017 it looked precisely as it did in 1958. The value appreciated only because it was the work of a master’s hand.
So are you!
CREATED FOR GOOD WORKS
Like the table and the bookcase I built, God created you for a specific purpose. You’ve been designed with a specific use in mind. You are gifted for that purpose. I know this to be true because God is a master craftsman, so you are well-designed and well-built. When you come into a relationship with Him and allow Him to fill you with His Spirit, you will also receive certain specific spiritual gifts that will complete you.
The bookcases I made sat in my dining room for several months unfinished. Literally. They were sitting in exactly the same places they sit today. Every shelf was in place. All of the decorative trim work, too. But they were “unfinished” – which is to say they had no stain, no polyurethane and no wax. Until you allow the Holy Spirit to “finish” His work in you, you may have some level of functionality, but once He puts His finishing touches upon you – WOW!!!! What a difference!!!!
The works you’ve been created for are NOT some afterthought. You have been created for a specific purpose, as have I. My sister frequently tells me “I love your life!” Well, I love my life, too. But I didn’t always love it. I didn’t really love it until I let God have control in my life and add His “finishing touches.”
His work in me is CERTAINLY not finished! Like Paul, I can say, “It’s not that I am perfect, or have even arrived at my goal. But I am determined to press on and take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. One thing I do: I forget what is behind me and strain toward what is ahead. I’m determined to press on toward the goal. I want to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
That’s me. “Pressing On!” Whenever someone asks me, “How are you?” my most common reply is, “I’m pressing on.” Its a reminder to myself that I’m not finished yet. The Master still has more to do in me. I’m not there yet. But I haven’t quit.
WALK IN THEM
Whatever you have been made to be is going to give you great joy. All you have to do is yield to the Master’s hand and let Him add His handiwork … to YOU. Let Him shape you and make you. Cooperate with Him as He makes you into the person He created you to be, and teaches you to do the things He created you to do in the very places He intended for you to do them.
You are going to LOVE YOUR LIFE when you do.