Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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18 Mess or Masterpiece? – Part 6

Ephesians 2:7-10

7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. 8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 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.

Not only are we timeless and priceless, part of a greater picture, an original and lovable but the last declaration states that:

  1. I am fixable

As amazing as the truth that we are timeless, priceless, part of a greater picture, original, and lovable are this last truth, that we are works in progress is probably the most significant declaration. When a great artist is painting a picture and makes a mistake they either have to discard their art and start over or work with the error. But the Almighty Artist God is not bound by our mistakes. When He looks at the canvas of your life, He clearly sees the sin and the mess of our mistakes, but rather than discard and toss you in the trash or try to gloss over the problem, God goes to work on us. He does something with our mistakes that a regular artist could never do, He erases our mistakes. There are many passages that point to this truth but one of my personal favorites is Psalm 103:8-14: “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. 9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. 10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. 11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. 12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. 13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. 14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” He removes our sin from us, as far as the east is from the west, in other words we are fixable and forgivable. We have a God who can blot out our blemishes and bind up what is broken. Yet right now there is a voice in your mind that wants to argue with this truth, a voice that wants to tell you that you have gone too far, that your sin is bigger than the Savior, that your messes are bigger than His mercy. But no matter how much you have failed God’s grace says that you are fixable. If you don’t believe me then take a look at some of the “canvases” that God had to correct and fix:

Noah was a drunk that God used.

Abraham was a chronic liar and God used him.

Sarah was a liar who laughed at God’s promise, and God used her.

Jacob was a manipulator and liar and God used him.

Moses was a murderer who had a major problem with anger, and God used him.

Rahab was a prostitute and a liar, and God used her.

Samson was in essence, a selfish sex-addict and God still used him.

David was an adulterer, a murderer, and a failure as a father, and God used him.

Jonah was an angry servant who disobeyed God, threw temper tantrums and acted like a pouting preacher but God still used him.

The Apostle Peter Denied Jesus three times, he also received divine revelation that Jesus Christ was the son of God (Matthew 16:16-17), but turned around and became an adversary, speaking for the devil, and trying to prevent Jesus from fulfilling His mission to the point that Jesus had to rebuke him (Matthew 16:22-23). Yet God still used him mightily to encourage, teach, heal, minister to, lead and grow the early church. He wrote books in the New Testament, and His writings continue to help us grow as Christians to this today.

We could go on and on about corrupt canvases that God cleaned and corrected. So what about you, what in your life needs fixing today? What have you done that you doubt God could fix? Is it something so terrible, so embarrassing, so shameful that you question whether God could forgive and ever use you again? Look if God only ever used perfect people, there would be no great stories of faith. The truth is that the canvas of your life is not yet finished. Christ is not finished with your canvas, He still has more work He wants to do in you and through you. The question is will you let Him, are you going to work with Him and let Him make you into a great piece of art? Or are you going to refuse to give Christ control and stubbornly hold onto the brush of your life, and paint things your way? Are you going to stand in the truth that you are timeless, priceless, part of a greater picture, original, lovable, and fixable or will you try to walk in your own power?