“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works; which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” - Ephesians 2:8,9
For most of my life I read this verse as just one more burdensome command designed to make me feel hopelessly guilty. God to me was, more or less, a tyrant. Oh, I would never admit that to anyone - not even to God. But because of my legalistic and ridged image of Him every verse served to beat me down and cause me to forever be ashamed of who I was.
From this beaten position it was quite easy to allow hidden feelings of shame and worthlessness to be wrongly confirmed by the harsh words and/or actions of [perhaps] well meaning individuals. They all too often would offer what they deemed to be “tough love” when I needed His love.
In recent years I have come to understand this verse quite differently. Please allow me to digress just a bit to make a point that I trust will touch your heart today.
I love the arts. I love all the various forms of art. The very creative process of ideation becoming reality touches my heart. I love sculpture, theater, opera, ballet, symphony painting and poetry.
Poetry. Come to think of it, every form of art has it’s own poetic rhythm and rhyme. Whether by brush, or by dramatic reading; by instrument or by voice, there is beauty in creative processes and finished pieces. Of course, one might at times be critical of certain works of art. Clearly there are those who might prefer one form of art over another. But no one can deny the mark of genius when an artist transfers power and purpose from a mere idea into a tangible reality that touches the hearts of those who hear, see and experience their finished work.
And so I return to the passage of Scripture that opened today’s BLOG.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works; which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” - Ephesians 2:8,9
The word interpreted “workmanship” is actually the word, “POEM”. Read the verse again but personalize it with me:
“For I AM HIS POEM, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works; which GOD HIMSELF, THE ARTIST, THE CREATOR, THE POET hath before ordained that I SHOULD BE AND SHOULD FULLY ENJOY BEING BECAUSE I BRING HAPPINESS AND GLORY TO HIM.”
Dear friend, by the very power of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection we become something we never were before. We become a new creation, HIS NEW POEM; A ONE OF A KIND WORK OF ART! By His loving power and grace He wipes the canvas clean and creates the perfect poetic expression of His desire. He molds the clay to the image He wishes to enjoy. He writes the song that expresses His love. He writes a poem of such depth and value that it brings about the will of God exactly as He designed it to be.
His work is not open for the review of the critic. His work is complete and perfect. King David realized this when he said:
“I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well!” - Psalm 139: 14
And so this moment, this day, begin to realize and enjoy the poem God has written in you. You have value far beyond the work of the masters stored in the worlds finest museums. You have the value of the Master who is preparing a place for His finished work throughout eternity!