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So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:10 (NLT)

Have you ever had a huge project to do and lamented over getting it done? A home I used to own had a yard built into a hill. I hired an excavator to level part of the yard and then spend hours hauling rocks from farmer’s fields to built a rock wall complete with waterfall and pool. I added a few lights and had my own little backyard paradise. It took many hours and I had many sore muscles from the project. But when it was done the feeling of accomplishment was tremendous.

Paul says we are complete in Jesus; a finished project. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “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.”

I like that! I have to admit it’s hard for me to think of myself as a masterpiece. At best I’m a bruised apple. Okay on the outside for awhile, but my true character may come bursting through at any minute.

Do you feel that way too sometimes? Are you constantly reminded of your shortcomings by other people or the voices of your heart?

We’re wrong you know. Our view of ourselves isn’t anything like the view Jesus has of us. I’m a masterpiece, flaws and all…and so are you. I know, I know. I’ve seen the buttons and the T-shirts that say ‘Please be patient with me, God isn’t finished with me.’ I understand the implication. We are growing and as children we stumble and fall, just like when we were toddlers. But the finished product was completed on the cross and that’s really all that matters.

Scripture seems to teach that God IS finished with me. Sure, I have some maturing to do, but I am his masterpiece and I feel pretty good about that. So should you. So, when you sin, when you stumble for the umpteenth time, remember this. God IS finished with you and YOU are his masterpiece. There is nothing you need to add. There is no religious activity you need to complete, no schooling you need to take. Jesus Christ knows you inside and out. He knows your struggles, your fears, and your rebellious actions. He knows the secret you’ve been trying to hide for years. He knows all this, and you know what he says about you?

“Look, there, right there in your mirror. THAT is my masterpiece!”

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I get tired of the struggle. I get fatigued trying to measure up. Help me to remember that it isn’t about my striving. It’s not about what others may think of me. It’s not about me at all. I AM your masterpiece and by the power of your Holy Spirit I resolve to live worthy of your love. Amen.

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 (NLT)

Have you ever taken something apart and tried to put it back together again? No matter how hard you try the parts just don’t seem to fit together. When you finally succeed (sort of) you have extra parts and no idea where to put them?

Or perhaps you’ve broken something of great value like a vase or plate. Try as you might you can’t seem to get it back together. Some of the parts are chipped. Some are badly splintered they no longer seem to go anywhere. You finally come to the realization that it will never be ‘back to original condition.

If you have ever had something like this happen then you have a small idea of how God felt in the Garden of Eden. He had just finished the greatest accomplishment of ‘his life’ so to speak. He’d created the universe and the planets and stars and other heavenly bodies of course, but none of that compared to the pride he felt looking at mankind. Adam and Eve were his most cherished creation.

Every night he’d visit the couple and walk through the garden with them. They’d ask him questions. He’d find out from them what new discoveries they’d made that day. I don’t think this was some stuffy, theology-laced discussion time. There was laughter. There was excitement. There was love.

Then tragedy struck. For whatever reason, as a result of the disobedience of his masterpiece creation, the relationship was destroyed. Did God want to lose his best friends? Of course not. Did he miss the walks in the garden, the camaraderie, the passion? You bet. Would he do anything at all to restore that relationship? Yep. In fact he did.

The Bible isn’t man’s story of sin, failure and destruction. The Bible is God’s story of his earnest desire to restore the relationship he once had with us. Some people read it as some owners manual or guide book. Others read it as some Theological journal or textbook. Others don’t read it at all because they don’t realize its true indent.

The mystery of our passionate relationship with God is that it’s easy enough for a toddler to understand and deep enough to confound the scholar. Try reading the Bible from God’s point of view. If you are new to the process get an easy to read version of the Bible like ‘The Message’ by Eugene Peterson. Start slow, just a chapter or so a day. Begin with the Gospels. Jesus tells us that if we want to learn about God the Father we need to learn about him first.

Before you read ask God to teach you something new for that day. Don’t just read it for answers or to prove someone right or wrong. Read it to discover that God, unlike stuffy, guilt-ridden religion, earnestly wants to restore a relationship with you that was lost years ago. He loves you. He loves you more than anything. You are worth it and the Bible is the story of his plan to get you back.

PRAYER: God, I still don’t always get it. You are so powerful and so mighty, yet you love me enough to spend all of history to try to bring me back to relationship with you. There are so many things I don’t understand about you, about myself, about life in general. Thank you for sending your letter, the Bible, to guide us in restoring our relationship with each other. Help me to read it with new understanding and appreciation. In Jesus name, Amen.

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