In today’s climate of turmoil and uncertainty, threatening and incapacitating feelings run rampant. Yet the God who created your emotions has also given you everything you need to navigate them. The Bible paints relatable and resonant portraits of women and men struggling with grief, anger, guilt, and despair—and provides divine wisdom for transforming your emotional trials into spiritual triumphs.
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Scriptures: Ephesians 2:1-10, Leviticus 19:1, Malachi 6:8, John 13:35, Psalm 139, James 2:19
Before following Christ, we were all dead, spiritually. There was no spiritual life in us. And God, in his mercy, revived us. According to Ephesians 2, He has “raised us up” Paul said. Paul says not only has God loved us, but he has lifted us up to sit with Jesus in heavenly places. He has restored us, revived us, brought us back from the dead. And lifted us up. And then the Paul gives us the point. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
The word “workmanship” in the English is literally the Greek word “Poiema” from which we get the English word “poem.” In the first century when this book was written, the word was used to refer to any piece of art: not only a poem, but a sculpture, a song, or a painting. We might translate the word “masterpiece.” We are God’s workmanship, his handiwork, his concerto, his sonata, his symphony. We are God’s masterpiece. In this message, Jonathan Merritt unpacks Paul's words to reveal encouraging truths about our value and purpose as God's own handiwork.
"Without Michelangelo, there would be no Sistine Chapel. Similarly without God, without Jesus, without the cross of Christ, we would be stuck in our ugliness. But God the artist has set out to make us beautiful and righteous. When we decide to follow Jesus, God takes us and makes us beautiful. All of that grimy sin caked on us gets washed off an we become beautiful people, capable of giving people a glimmer of God. God’s attributes should be the brushstrokes of our lives. That’s why we should constantly try to think like Christ, to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to do the things he wants. It is like a long restoration process. That is how we display all the grandeur of his handiwork." --Jonathan Merritt
Keywords: Rome, Italy, masterpiece, painting, Biagio Biagetti, Michelangelo, frescoes, Sistine Chapel, artist, holy, merciful, just, Alexander MacLaren, distortion, Paul, Luke, John, Matthew, New Testament, Alamo, mirror, encouragement, inspiration
Pastors Edge provides Bible preachers and teachers with ready-to-use resources and materials based on the preaching of Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor at Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, GA and host of the international broadcast ministry Touching Lives.