Wednesday, June 24, 2009
You're A Piece Of Work
“You’re a piece of work.”
What if Jesus suddenly arrived where you are right now, and, looking you in the eye, made the above statement? How would you take it? Would you think He was kidding around? Making a joke? Would you look behind your back, thinking He was talking to someone else?
Imagine Him saying it to you—Terry, Mike, Debbie, Kevin, Daniel, Connie—“You’re a piece of work.” What might be your immediate interpretation?
Many of us would have a negative spin on it. No surprise. Most everything and everyone around us estimates and judges us by what we do, how we perform, and what we produce. We easily get used to living with that knowledge motivating us. But while our behavior is not completely unimportant, it does not necessarily reveal who we are.
I can act like a six year old. Ellen, my fourteen year old daughter, can sound like she’s twenty-nine. Sarah can act like a ballroom dancer. Emma, my twelve year old, can sing and wiggle like a rock star.
So when God says, “You’re a piece of work,” it’s highly likely that He isn’t judging your behavior but reviving your spirit. He’s pretty good at that. God makes sons and daughters—brilliant and fantastic—and works always to encourage them to live by faith in what He has made of them. It’s the number one reason why, whenever we beat ourselves up in prayer—“You’re such a worthless loser!”—we don’t hear God agree with us. We’re wrong and He knows better.
“You’re a piece of work.”
To believe what God thinks of you and to live from it, you’ll need regular exercise in the truth and by the Spirit. He works in keeping with what He knows is true, and you have a part in it, too. Agree with Him! Even out loud. “He’s right about me. I am His workmanship, created holy and blameless, made perfect in Him, and all of heaven recognizes me.” You won’t be boasting, you’ll be agreeing with Him and boasting about Him. And you’ll feel better because the gospel, even the good news about you and God coming out of your own mouth, is the power of God.
If you don’t get regular godly exercise, you’ll read that first sentence negatively, rather than positively. And that means you'll be frustrated in life with Jesus because you'll be living by the standards of this world, even though He isn’t. It happens to me, too.
When that happens, it won’t be long before your flesh will be in evidence in most all you do. Your Christian life will become about restraining yourself from ugly and ungodly stuff, rather than about living in Christ, holy, righteous and free.
That’s no way to live.
Take a little time and ask God what He thinks of you. Think of a scripture or two that says what He has made of you—the real you. You'll like what happens.
You’re better off than you think.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:4-10, italics mine)