You're The Mona Lisa
This morning I had a conversation about Ephesians 2:10 with some guys I know. If you're not familiar with that passage, here’s what it says: “For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” This is one of my favorite Bible verses, because it describes how God created us, and how He thinks of us. We are His masterpiece. And I love that title because it describes something that has been made with great love and thought. It’s a description that conveys the idea of “craftsmanship” - meaning we’re not just thrown together, but instead we have been crafted with a specific plan in mind, and with great attention paid to every detail. Each of us is one of God's Mona Lisas.
But Paul doesn’t just leave it there, because he knows that everything is created for a purpose. So he finished up this verse by describing the purpose for which we were created: “to do the good things God has planned for us”. This is another encouraging reality for us because it means we aren’t saved BY “works”, but instead, are saved FOR “works”. In other words, our "good works" need to flow out of who we are created to be - they are a result of salvation, not a cause for salvation. It’s so critical that we understand this distinction so that we are motivated to do “good works” because of who we are as Children of God and not out of some legalistic attempt at trying to work our way into heaven. God created us as His Masterpiece, and He saved us from a life of sin so that we can do the good things He has planned for us to do.
Paul finished up this passage by essentially telling us, “Hey, you know all those good works you need to do? Don’t worry, God has them planned out already”. Again, I really appreciate what Paul is saying here, because it helps us understand that we don’t have to rely on our own strength or ability to come up with “good works”. God has them all prepared - He has the opportunities all laid out in front of us. We just have to stay obedient so that we can step out and do what He has planned when He brings those things across our path.
So today let's ask God to help us see ourselves as He does - as His masterpiece, created uniquely and purposefully to do His will. Let’s ask Him to help us stay focused on Him so that we can see when He brings opportunities into our lives to serve Him. And then let's follow Him in faith - and take those opportunities so that His love will shine through us.