Wednesday, April 26, 2023

MId-Week Message - Built By the Master Artist

 "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now  you have received mercy."  1 Peter 2:9-10  (NIV)  

As the school secretary for a new Christian school, it was important to me that the students there had their memories to look back upon just as they would in a public school via a school yearbook.  I enlisted the help of parents and teachers to take pictures throughout the school year, then, in the spring, I took those pictures in all the formats that I received them, and compiled them into a yearbook.  It was a lot of work as I had never handled such a large scale production before and I did it all alone.  It was also fun doing it alone because everyone, students and staff alike, were able to have fun discovering what was in them when we had our signing party.  The theme and title of the book for the first year was "Brick Upon Brick."  

Just as with building blocks or Legos, our lives come together one step, or brick, at a time.  I am not an artist, but those who are have told me that they follow the ideas that are in their heads.  If something doesn't work, they make changes, but before any work of art takes shape, the initial mark or stroke or lump of clay has to come first.  

If you are familiar with 1 Peter 2, then you know the verses that precede the ones I have chosen today speak of the cornerstone.  I did some reading about why a cornerstone is important in a masonry building.  That stone orients the entire creation.  It is the first stone laid and sets the direction.  Before it is laid, a lot of very careful planning is done so that there is no mistake made.  After that, one brick is laid upon another until the faรงade is complete.  

Just like in a building, our lives need a cornerstone.  We need a strong foundation that supports and directs us.  In scripture, Jesus is that Cornerstone.  When we receive Him as our Savior and Lord, align ourselves with Him and follow His teachings, then the spiritual "bricks" come together.  Our Father knows which "bricks" to allow into our lives to form us into the people that He has created us to be.  Just as an exquisite work of art begins with one stroke of a paintbrush, so He begins with one cell and continues building physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually until we become His masterpiece.  We may not be able to see what is happening, but the Master Artist is sure and confident in what He is creating.

I have been following several things that are happening in the lives of friends and family that would at first cause me to question why.  Sometimes it seems that some of those who live their lives most sincerely for the Lord experience hardships that are dumbfounding.  Perhaps you or your family are encountering times of difficulty or suffering as well.  My encouragement to you would be the assurance that there is One in charge who is fully aware of the burden you have been given to carry.  He doesn't ask you to carry it alone rather He desires that you turn to Him and ask for His help.  I cannot tell you why you are encountering this trying time, but I do believe that He will use it for His glory and to strengthen you.  Stay close to the Creator.  He knows what He is doing.  God bless. 

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