I once read an old tale about a village where everyone slowly developed amnesia. In an attempt to battle their amnesia, the villagers labeled everything in their lives. If you were to walk through the village, you find notes everywhere. The notes read ‘door’ ‘chicken’ ‘ax’ or ‘bucket’. It was their own unique way to battle their own forgetfulness.
Sometimes we forget. We don’t remember the truth of who we are as children of God and followers of Jesus. We forget because we are more tuned into the message the world around us is communicating, and this message washes away who we are.
Don’t Forget: You are a Masterpiece.
Here is one of the messages we’ve forgotten. The truth is also one of my favorite verses in the Bible.
“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 NLT
In this single verse, Paul communicated three important truths to the church of Ephesus (and us) over 2000 years ago. Thankfully, like the notes the villagers made for themselves, it was written down. God made sure it was recorded, so we won’t forget these three truths. Here are those three truths:
1. God created you to be a masterpiece.
This is how God sees you — a masterpiece. To make sure we are on the same page, here is Oxford’s definition for masterpiece
a work of art such as a painting, film, book, etc. that is an excellent, or the best, example of the artist’s workOxford learner’s dictionary
Merriam-Webster adds to this definition:
a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement.Merriam-webster dictionary
You are the work of God, and God sees you as outstanding, an achievement. This is how God sees you. Have you forgotten?
It’s easy to forget because you can easily see what others look like, where they have travelled, the things they’ve accomplished through social media. When you compare those highlights with the current state of your life, you can begin to wonder how wonderful you really are.
Don’t forget who you are. Don’t forget you are a masterpiece.
2. God, through Jesus, is restoring you to your original design.
I used to watch the PBS show Antique Roadshow. Perhaps you’ve seen it too. It’s the show where people bring their “junk” to expert curators to evaluate if there is actually hidden value in the painting, furniture, or jewelry that has been laying around their homes.
Typically, these items have been allowed to decay in some way, hiding any value they may have. When the evaluator looks over the item she attempts to see through the grit and grime to determine what they have in front of her.
This is a great picture of our lives before we encounter Jesus. We are works of art in need of restoration. But let me warn you, our restoration is not typically a snap-of-the-finger action.
Perhaps you remember the restoration work done in the Sistine Chapel. One of the great works of art in the world by some amazing Italian painters, including Michelangelo. The frescoes covering the chapel were restored in 1994. But the process was slow. It was finished in 1994, but it began in 1980 taking almost 15 years.
Restoration is a process.
What I’ve observed over years of ministry is a person will initially experience a big change after finding Jesus, but the fine details happen over years and years of following Jesus.
This is hard to remember. We live in an instant society. I get upset if I wait in a drive thru longer than a few minutes. We need to remember that God is restoring us, and it takes time.
Don’t forget God is restoring you, but it takes time to get you to the place he designed. But it’s worth it because God has a purpose for you.
3. God designed you for a purpose.
Masters create masterpiece for a purpose. They design art for beauty. We build businesses to make money and solve problems. You start a family to provide joy and meaning. So God created you for a purpose as well.
The purpose of God creating you is to do good things. God skillfully formed you in a way that only you can accomplish certain (good) things.
Only you can parent your child.
Only you can lead your team.
Only you can love and serve your neighbor.
Only you can speak truth in love to the person placed in your life.
Don’t forget God made you perfectly, so you can fulfill the task he has designed for you.
After the attack on the twin towers on 9/11, a common refrain was, “Never forget.” In fact, if you travel throughout the United States, you will still see signs, bumper stickers and t-shirts to remind us of this thought. Most of those signs and shirts have been replaced by monuments and even beams of light. Those terrorist attacks took place over 20 years ago, and people still work to remember the feelings of that day.
There is a tendency of us to forget over the course of time. We know all of this is true, but we forget.
Here are a handful of ways I remember:
- I leave notes on the refrigerator/mirror.
- I put sticky notes on my office computer.
- I write thoughts on my office whiteboard.
- I design a message for my lock screen.
- I’m not a tattoo person, but if I were, I would remind myself of big things with a tattoo.
- I meditate on this and other scriptures.
After 9/11 Americans took a note of that ancient village, so we left notes all over the country to remember what had happened. You should do the same thing in your life.
Make a note of who you are – a masterpiece.
Create a reminder about what God is doing in you – restoring you to your original design.
Design a message for yourself about why God created you – for a purpose.