Missing God's Masterpiece

Jon Burgess


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. Ephesians 2:10


From behind the bars of his prison cell the Apostle Paul wanted to ensure the church in Ephesus was no longer held captive to a false understanding of who God had made them to be! They weren't second class citizens in the kingdom of God. Specifically, the Gentile Christians were just as valuable to the Body of Christ as the Jewish Christians. In fact they were valuable to each other. This wasn't an accident on God's part to put these two people groups together. It was by divine design. When God looked at His church He didn't see a mess, He saw a masterpiece! The greek word for masterpiece is "Poiema", where we get our English word poem. This isn't a haphazard wreck, this is a holy work! Paul was helping the church in Ephesus to see themselves as He saw them- beautfiul and balanced rather then people with no rhyme or reason.


I was missing the masterpiece as Thirston walked into our church at the 5 pm service this past Saturday night. I didn't recognize him as he came in sat on the front row. During worship he was dancing like there was tomorrow and really enojoying the beat. We want people to get into the worship of their Savior provided it doesn't become a distraction from what God is doing in the room. So, the security team and I kept an eye on him just in case. After worship he began to wonder around the room. As I was sitting in the front row as well I didn't see where he went. When Pastor Wayne went up on the stage to bring the message he sat right down in Pastor Wayne's seat right next to Pastor Aaron and I. He seemed to be completely unaware that this was an unusual thing to do. Aaron and I figured the best place for him was right next to us. Over the years Pastor Wayne has had many people threaten him or make attempts to come at him so we were all on alert should Thirston try something similar. At one point during the message he yelled out something in the middle of the message. Pastor Aaron gently leaned over and suggested we keep our comments to ourselves. The whole service Pastor Wayne was well aware of Thirston but continued to bring the attention back to Jesus. At the end of the message he recited a powerful poem byMyra Brooks Welch about an old violin being sold at an auction for a few dollars. Everything changed when an old man took the violin in his hands and played the sweetest music anyone had ever heard. When the auctioneer went to get bids on the violin again it sold for thousands of dollars. The poem illustrated how our lives are changed at "The Touch of The Masters Hand." The poem included these powerful words about our lives:

And many a man with soul out of tune
And battered and scarred by sin
Is auctioned cheap by the thoughtless crowd
Just like the old violin.

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul, and the change that is wrought
By the touch of the master’s hand.

When Pastor Wayne gave the invitation to know Jesus as Lord and Savior Thirston's hand went up and I realized I was just like that "thoughtless crowd". I had missed the masterpiece sitting right next to me on the front row. Thirston wasn't here to cause trouble or to get attention. He wasn't trained in "church ettiquette". In fact he wasn't used to going to church at all. He just needed a touch from the Master's Hand. Pastor Aaron and I both gave him a big hug and welcomed him in to the Kingdom of God. Our "YES Team" got his information so we could follow up with him and gave him a Bible to start his journey of faith. It was only after the service that I would find out the rest of the story. Craig, one of our prayer team members, had been driving to church earlier that Saturday and saw Thirston on the side of the road. The Holy Spirit told him to stop and pick him up and bring him to New Hope. When Craig asked him what he was doing Thirston replied, "I'm looking for Jesus." It turns out Jesus was looking for Thirston. He saw the masterpiece that I was missing.


My prayer is from the end of the poem but is from the depth of my soul. Give me eyes to see the poems all around me, the masterpieces in need of a touch from the Master's Hand:

O Master! I am the tuneless one
Lay, lay Thy hand on me,
Transform me now, put a song in my heart
Of melody, Lord, to Thee!

Devotions for June 06

Ecclesiastes 1,2,3
Psalms 45
Ephesians 2

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