All Posts Tagged: masterpiece

Easter Impact – Detour

Paul said to the Philippians: “It doesn’t bother me to write the same things to you that I have written before. In fact, it is for your own good.” Accordingly I shall take a small detour to review what we have discovered.

 

The impact of EASTER is Energy.

The impact of EASTER is Attitude.

The impact of EASTER is Success!

Previously I’ve employed fish, flowers and birds. You may think my elevator doesn’t go to the top floor (perhaps it doesn’t). However, please consider these words: “Consider the ant, you lazy bum. Watch its ways, and become wise(Proverbs). Examining ants can produce wisdom according to Solomon, said to be the wisest person that ever lived. 

Today, I’m focusing on a creepy (pardon the pun) creature: the caterpillar. STOP! Don’t turn away before carefully examining the incredible coloration and intricate design of these exhibits in the  Creator’s dazzling theatre. One thing that interest me is that at  74 I don’t have the motor coordination with two legs that I once had. Yet, most caterpillars navigate with 16 legs! Go figure!

>    I ASK TWO SIMPLE BUT PROFOUND QUESTIONS!    <

Do caterpillars bear the “image of God” (Genesis 1:27-28)?

Are they “God-like“?

Do they possess “personhood“?

Preposterous questions” you say. I assure you, they are not. Consider New Age pantheism. It’s a worldview that believes all things are divine, or a part of god: people, rocks, trees, stars, etc. Walt Whitman, the poet, was a pantheist.

Paul captures the Biblical perspective: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus...” (Ephesians 2:10)  Note the word ‘workmanship‘! The Greek possesses the ‘flavor’ of a “work of art“, thus, “a masterpiece.

Hence, Michelangelo’s fresco, the creation of Adam, in the Sistine Chapel! With fingertips touching (the densest area of nerve receptors in the whole body is the fingertips) the personal Creator releases Adam into human personhood.


So, here’s my conclusion (in questions which I also address to myself).”

1) Do you consider yourself a masterpiece of the Creator Father?

2) Do you believe that you are a work of art, unique as the Mona Lisa?

3) Did Father create you at least as beautiful as a caterpillar?

4) Caterpillars crawl. You are meant to fly! (Isaiah). Are you crawling or flying?

5) Are you as much a demonstration of the Father’s glory as caterpillars? (I don’t mean to be demeaning; but I know how many feel / believe about ourselves).

I end with a poem by Steven Curtis Chapman that I’m gradually embracing. What about YOU?.

Never has there been and never again
Will there be another you
Fashioned by God’s hand
And perfectly planned
To be just who you are
And what He’s been creating
Since the first beat of your heart
Is a living breathing priceless work of art

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it’s true
You’re a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you’re covered with the fingerprints of God

Just look at you
You’re a wonder in the making
And God’s not through, no
In fact, He’s just getting started…

I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it’s true
You’re a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you’re covered with the fingerprints of God

Easter Impact – Part 4

But thanks be to God, who keeps giving us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ!

1 Corinthians 15:57


The impact of EASTER is Energy.

The impact of EASTER is Attitude.

The impact of EASTER is Success!


SUCCESS
! Millions of books have been sold on this subject. For example, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill has sold over 70 million copies since 1928. Peter Kreeft once made a humorous comment about the plethora of books on sex. “
The fact that there are thousands of ‘how to do it’ books on the subject does not mean that we know how; in fact, it means the opposite. It’s when everybody’s pipes are leaking that people buy books on plumbing!” This, I believe, is the reality about topic of success.

Everybody wants to know how to do success‘. However, success is not primarily about DOING! According to Jesus it’s about BEING!” “Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way to your true self. What good would it DO to get everything you want and lose YOU, the real you?” (Mark 8:34-37) In other words, in the process of doing the secrets of success one can lose one’s real self. Elvis Presley, Whitney Houstin, Prince, Robin Williams, Cobain, Eastman, Van Gogh, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Virginia Woolf, and my friend – the list is endless …  creatively successful people who “cashed it in”! I shall attempt no commentary except to say this: in all their DOING they didn’t find peace with their BEING. If that seems simplistic to you, take it from one who knows.

John Calvin described this world as a theatrum gloriae, a “dazzling theater” displaying God’s glorious works. Viewing the following exhibits in the Creator’s theater, ask yourself: how are these successful? If this is below your “pay grade”, you have my sympathy.


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Of course, I know they are JUST fish! That’s the point. Though they are subhuman, each in their extravagant BEING-NESS is a display of God’s handiwork. As such, each is victorious. Each is a SUCCESS! They ARE what the Creator intended them TO BE in his theater. 

Research has shown exactly what Jesus said. You can gain the whole world and lose YOUR-SELF! Merely DOING is a DEAD-end! Success (victory) is only found in uncovering who you ARE according to the Creator’s design. There is no greater expression of this than in Michelangelo’s graphic representation of the creation of Adam.

Easter means that the Creator is severely intent on resurrecting a new you built upon His original design. Short of that everything is but “smoke and fire” or, as Solomon said, “Emptiness!”

Look at the fish again. I’m absolutely serious! Have you discovered that YOU, not what you DO, are a masterpiece in the Creator’s theater? Easter success (victory) is to be discovered by uncovering the YOU that is available by virtue of Jesus’ resurrection.

Have you experienced the touch of the Creator’s finger on your life? It’s nothing less than the power of the resurrection? “The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make a brand-new creation.” (Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God )

OK, a point of transparency! This is THE struggle of my 74 year old life! 

Maker of Life – The Father Of Jesus

 

Let us bow down in worship. Let us kneel before our Maker. Psalm 95:6

The Manual of Life begins by identifying The Manufacturer! “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

The Maker’s fingerprints are on everything! However, His crowning masterpiece is humankind: “God created human beings godlike, reflecting His own nature.(Genesis 1:27)

 So, you are NOT the result of a cosmic crapshoot! Neither are you a mere ape-upgrade! “People of God, is He not your Father, your Creator, Who formed you?” (Deuterononmy 32:6) 

 YOU are a child of the Creator Father!

The Corvette is the first American sports car. It originated in the mind of Harley Earl in 1951. Shortly thereafter his mental blue print took shape in an actual-size clay model. To one of His kids the Maker said: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

You were intricately and meticulously designed. “A fertilized egg is about the size of a pin head. Yet, it contains information equivalent to about six billion DNA ‘chemical letters.’ This is enough information to fill 1000 books, 500 pages thick with print so small you would need a microscope to read it!.” (The Origin of the Universe, p 1)


You are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) … nothing less than a work of art! You may neither think nor feel that way about yourself; but remember, the Maker does not make junk!

Comedian Billy Crystal coined the line: “Darling, you look absolutely marvelous!” In reflecting about His Father’s creativity David said this about himself: “You formed me in my mother’s womb. Body and soul, I am marvelously made!” (Psalm 139:14)

The Maker designed you for fulfillment.
“You will feel the greatest pleasure when
who God made you to be is fully developed and expressed!

(About You, p 29)

Let God define you

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)

All of creation is content to be what it was made to be, except man. Fish flourish in water. Ants are not depressed about their size; they are productive, building massive colonies. We waste time aiming at the bull’s-eye on someone else’s board, pursuing a race we were never equipped to run.

masterpieceLet God, not you or the culture, define you and your distinction. You are His masterpiece. There are more than 7 billion people in the world, but no one exactly like you. Nothing about you is a mistake because God doesn’t make mistakes. He took extreme care in sculpting you with everything you need for accomplishing His purpose. When God created you, it was with a predetermined course in mind, an assignment just for you. “Everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him” (Colossians 1:17). Because you are His creation, it’s important that God defines you and no one else. You will be tempted to forget this from time to time because so many competing forces want that opportunity: you, your family, friends, coworkers, enemies, and the media. You must resist them all. If you don’t, you will never become all God intended you to be. I admit it’s easier to adapt to someone else’s concept of you, accept that label (even if it’s negative), or mimic a friend than to spend quality time developing an intimate relationship with the only One who knows why you are here in the first place. Quality relationships always take work.

Before you were born, God selected your parents, your intellect, your looks, your race, your gifts, and your talents. Your mother may have told you that you were a mistake. Maybe for her, but not for God because He doesn’t make mistakes. It doesn’t matter the circumstances of your birth, planned or unplanned. God was not caught sleeping that day. You were in His mind before you were born. God told Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). Notice that Jeremiah did not stop God mid-sentence to tell Him about his dreams or visions for his life. He didn’t ask God to orchestrate his long-held desires. Jeremiah recognized that the sovereign God of the universe, Who created everything, and Who knows everything about everything, was speaking. Jeremiah’s Creator told him, “I knew you before the sexual act occurred that created you. I set you apart because I have a distinct assignment, an appointment for you.”

Those words don’t only apply to Jeremiah. Yes, the assignment was specific, to be a prophet at a particular time to a particular people, but the God of Jeremiah is living today and does not change. He has a specific role for you. It may be in your home, on your job, in your neighborhood, or on the world’s grand stage. It is uniquely crafted for you. He ordained that you would be alive now to accomplish it. What I love about letting God define us is that what He has in mind is usually more massive and exciting than we could ever imagine. Our race, gender, looks, pedigree, intelligence, natural abilities, and age cannot hold us back when we are in sync with His purpose. There is no greater joy than knowing that you are right where God wants you to be, doing exactly what He had in mind for you. —Cheryl Martin, Distinctly You