Title: GOD’S ARTWORK ON DISPLAY
Text: Ephesians 2:10
Imagine you are an artist of the very best in your field. You paint, sculpt, or craft with your very best skill, and the result is a masterpiece. Then imagine your efforts are destroyed in a fire – that one-of-a-kind masterpiece will never be seen by others. Imagine the heartache.
The artist labors long hours and at great sacrifice so that their work can be shared. Excellent workmanship needs to be seen in order to be appreciated. Handel’s Messiah belongs in the concert hall. Michelangelo’s The Creation belongs on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. And likewise, God’s masterpiece was completed for the purpose of sharing with others. Read Text.
You are that masterpiece of God’s workmanship! But unlike statues or paintings that simply hang on the walls of museums, we are designed for action. There is a lot packed into this one verse. Let’s see if we can unravel it.
1. Pause for a moment and look at the brush stokes of God in your life. How are you different because of His handiwork? Are you a finished product, or is God still at work in you? Phil. 2:13; 1:6; Heb. 13:20-21
Insight: You may look at only part of the brush strokes of God and think, “I don’t bring Him much glory.” But there is a lot of empty canvas yet…He is not finished with you. He will continue His work in you until the day you see Christ Jesus…and then…yes then you will be a masterpiece of great glory. 1 Thess. 5:23-24
2. According to our text, how long has God had the vision of His artwork in you?
Insight: Before were born God foresaw us resting in His presence. Before even one of our days existed He saw us taking a stand against evil, reaching out to others with compassion, and sharing the gospel with those who were without hope. This sovereign God has had every brush stroke in mind, and every day He is anxious for you to awaken from your bed so He can paint one more stroke. His excitement can hardly contain Himself for you to see His finished work He sees completed in His mind…but He is a patient artisan.
3. Notice the end of our verse states that His workmanship that He planned beforehand has an intention. What is it? What do you think that means?
Insight: God intends for you to be a walking canvas…showing others His brush strokes. Put another way…He intends for our faith in Him to be put into action to His glory.
4. What actions and good works do you think Paul means? Matt. 25:34-40
Let’s take a look at the role of good works in our lives.
- They ______________ God, especially when Jesus is the source of our actions.
Jn. 15:4-5, 8; 2 Cor. 9:13-15; 1 Pet. 2:12
- They ___________________________ of Christ’s claims, proving the authenticity of the Gospel’s power.
Phil. 2:14-16; 1 Thess. 2:1-12
- They bring God’s ______________________ to people.
Jn. 13:34-35; 1 Jn. 3:17-19
- They promote ______________ in our churches and our neighborhoods.
Jer. 29:7; 1 Tim. 2:3-4; 1 Pet. 2:15
- They prove the ___________________ of our faith.
5. What will all our good works produce if we do them on our own power? What can we do to insure we don’t operate under our own power?
Insight: It is impossible to squeeze out good works from hearts that are spiritually parched. The right kind of good works are the fruit of a heart that is filled and nourished by Christ. God wants us to keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open to see, hear, and empathize with others so that He can respond to those needs through us.
Since this is God’s handiwork, He should get the credit, right? Unfortunately, we don’t always give it to Him. Sometimes our tendency is to thank others for the praise and give no credit to God. We crave it because it feeds the hunger for recognition. If you find yourself desiring praise, remember this: Without God’s brush stroke in us, the canvas of our life is a muddled mess. We are GOD’S workmanship…we are GOD’S masterpiece. As the beauty of the artwork testifies to the skill of the artist, so does God’s work in us to give Him glory. Remember the song? “To God be the glory, great things He has done.”
If you want your canvas to reflect the artful brush strokes of God, you need to submit your life completely and unreservedly to Him.
Do you think others see the brush stroke of God in your life?
Is there something you need in your heart so that others can see Christ more clearly and seek new life in Him?