For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)
Are you aware that God and you have a joint project? God wants you to become a masterpiece, but that would not happen without your cooperation. Without God, we probably have hit rock bottom in our lives; everything felt like a mess, and our lives are a wreck. We felt desperate. But by His grace, God touched us and rescued us from our miry pit. He gave us a new heart and began the work of transformation in us. We are no longer a perfect mess, but the work of change has started. We still, at times, experience defeat and failure, and we are still far from being a masterpiece.
Yet day by day, we are being transformed from one degree of glory to another – see 2 Corinthians 3:18.
God desires us to do good works by being a mini-Jesus in our thoughts and actions. God will not stop at anything until we become Christ-like in everything. Like it or not, you have a mission of transformation with God for the rest of your life – will you accept it or will you resist it?
So How Do You Cooperate with God in Becoming His Masterpiece?
- Live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Your Spirit-filled life should be rooted in daily prayer and Scripture. Be faithful to your relationship with God. Make Him the first thought in the morning and the last inspiration at night. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in big and small decisions you make day and day out.
- Put off the old nature and put on Jesus Christ. Surrender to God your anger, envy, lust, lack of forgiveness, pride, and others to God. Learn to live like a new person in Jesus – peaceful, gentle, loving, kind, During your life’s challenges, check if the “old man” is taking the lead, or is it the new redeemed man leading your life.
- Let God’s word be your measure and standard of living. Let God’s word transform your attitudes and way of thinking. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalms 119:105 ESV)
- Endure trials and hardships as a means of spiritual growth. Challenges in life let you know your actual colour and real character. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4 ESV) Do you pass or fail the character test in your trials?
- Live a “detached life.” Your true citizenship is in heaven [Philippians 3:20]. Live a life without any attachments, even the best things life has to offer – blessings, good relationships, happiness, security, etc. Those are only yours temporarily, but God and His eternal riches will be yours forever.
- Be mindful of the true hope you have in Jesus. Live like a winner, because you are now and you will be in the future. No matter what life throws at you, you are an heir of God’s Kingdom. Overcome everything and be victors in this life and the next, for that is your destiny. Hang on to God’s Word and promises. Live a victor’s life.
OTHER SCRIPTURE PASSAGES:
1. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV)
2. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. [2 Corinthians 5:17]
3. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. (Colossians 3:9-10 ESV)
4. Other Bible verses: Matthew 6:19-21; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:22-24; 1 John 3:2.
FOR REFLECTION OR SHARING:
- Rate your transformation in God from 1 to 10 with 1 a total mess and 10 as a masterpiece. What rating will you give yourself?
- What are your shortcomings to become a masterpiece? How can you grow more?
Tom Caballes is a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with seven branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters [with his son-in-law and grand-daughter] live in Wellington, New Zealand.