Celebrating and Savoring God’s Creative Work
“We are God’s masterpiece/workmanship. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10)
We have been looking at spiritual gifts, not as an end to themselves, but as a celebration of the incredible grace of God in our lives. But those gifts were always purposeful. He saved us with His grace and gave to us these wonderful gifts so we could be equipped to do things that honored Him and helped people. When we read the word “masterpiece,” it makes many of us uncomfortable because we are well aware of our own flaws. But the language is very specific: it’s not “we are his masterpieces;” it says we (together) are His masterpiece or workmanship. I have often said, “Discipleship is a team sport!” This verse really brings that into sharp focus.
No believer has every gift, but the Spirit has created and invests every gift–and the way we experience and observe those gifts is as they are distributed through the whole “body” or church. We only see them all as we look at the entire fellowship. We are His masterpiece. I alone don’t feel like a masterpiece because I am just one stroke of the paintbrush, one feature on the sculpture, one note or instrument in his symphony. Think of it this way: I love music, but what allows an instrument or a voice to be experienced fully is how it interacts with the other instruments or voices. Very few people listen to a purely acapella soloist. In fact, it’s downright boring! They delight us because they are present with others.
Carrie Underwood’s voice is a powerhouse instrument, but none of us would be listening to her regularly if all her recordings were devoid of instruments, backup singers, and the balancing touch of a great sound engineer.
And one believer, doing only his/her gifted work alone will always feel a bit insignificant in isolation. When we pool our giftedness and our time and our affection for God and for people all together in humble appreciation of the grace we have received, we tend to do good things that God planned for us to do, and we experience JOY in it! When each of us embraces that together, it produces something beautiful for people in need and gives testimony to God’s grace and creativity. He gets the glory and gets to enjoy that!
So join me in celebrating that, in finding the joy of being part of a massive team of Jesus’ followers as we all bring glory to Him with our faithful service and giftedness. When that happens, we don’t focus on who gets credit; we enjoy the results together!