Tuesday, December 4, 2012

An Angel in the Stone

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, 
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." 
Ephesians 2:10

I love that verse! The Greek word for workmanship (poema) literally translated means, a "poem." As God's child, I am His specially written poem, unique, skillfully crafted, carefully chosen words to define my special purpose in God's kingdom. That purpose is to glorify God through a life completely surrendered to good works as expressed by my individual gifts, talents, and heart for service. This was God's plan from eternity past. I am a part of that plan, and you are too, if you belong to Him.

Yes, we are each fine works of art. It all began with creation when we were designed in God's image with intellect, emotion, and free will. We have worth and value by virtue of creation! When we step in front of the mirror in the morning, instead of groaning, we should step back, take a deep breath, and shout, "WOW, I'm a one-of-a-kind, awesome creation of God, made in His image, bearing His stamp!" As believers, we can take it a step further, "Wow, I'm a child of the King, chosen, beloved, redeemed, forgiven, an heir to the Kingdom!"

With that in mind, what do you see when you look at other people? Your kids? Your husband? Your coworkers? People you pass on the street? Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you merely see an annoying collection of folks who stand in the way of your success and happiness? Or do you see skillfully crafted works of art, made in God's image and purchased by Jesus' own precious blood?

I like to collect angels. Every Christmas, at least one family member adds another angel to my growing collection. Once, I even had the privilege of watching a fine sculptor chip and carve away at a stately lump of granite. I asked him what he was sculpting, and he replied, "an angel." I was anxious to see the finished product, since I treasure angels so. Asking him how he knew just where to chip, he replied, "I see the angel before I ever begin carving; I just chip and smooth away what isn't an angel!"

Thus it is in our own lives as we view others around us. We see what we are prepared to see. Do we see the "angel" in that next-door neighbor? In our children? Our husbands? Remember, each one is made in God's image and valuable in His sight. Each is a fragile, delicate, treasured work of art, skillfully wrought from the foundation of the earth, with a unique plan designed by the Father. He paid a high price to bring each person back to Himself.

Are we treating folks as if they have worth and value? Yes, we are each sinners in need of a Saviour. None of our own goodness can bring us home to God. All our righteousness is as filthy rags before a holy God. But the way we value people around us just might make the difference in whether or not they accept God's gift of salvation. Are we encouraging their individual expression of talent? Are we responding to them with thoughtfulness and kindness? Are we looking for the good, the right, and the lovely?

Are you looking for the angel in the stone? That sensitive heart that hungers for God and knows it is nothing without His divine sculpting?

Pray and then watch.

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