In Christ: A Journey Through Ephesians

Devotional



When life feels hard or uncertain, when things don’t appear to go as I’d hoped—whether in my life or in the lives of those I love, I like to remind myself of the truth promised in Ephesians 2:10, which says, “For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


Scripture says, in Christ, I’m God’s handiwork, or as the New Living Translation puts it, His masterpiece. You are as well. 


Do you hear that? Do you feel that? You’re not rejected or discarded or insufficient. You are God’s chosen, loved, and hand-crafted work of art that is, at this moment, being formed and transformed into something, someone, eternally beautiful.


Speaking on this verse, apologist Tim Keller asks, “What is art? Art is beautiful, art is valuable, and art is an expression of the inner being of the maker, the artist.”


Can we pause here?


Art is an expression of the inner being of the maker, the artist. You are an expression of the inner being of the maker, the artist. Keller goes on to say, “You see, when Jesus gave Himself on the cross, He didn’t say, ‘I’m going to die just so you know I love you.’ He said, ‘I’m going to die, I’m going to bleed, for your splendor. I’m going to re-create you into something beautiful. I will turn you into something splendid. Magnificent.”


You and I, Scripture says, are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus, our Savior, why? To do good works. To join Him in His freedom-giving, life-giving mission. We’re called for greatness and eternal impact. This is true regardless of how we feel or where we are or what we feel we’re up against. We have a holy, beautiful, eternally important assignment, one that God prepared before we took our first breath.


Consider what Beth Moore said in her Bible study on Esther. “You have been placed in your sphere of influence, regardless of the size you perceive it to be, ‘for such a time as this.’ … You see, even your current location is part of the setup for your kingdom destiny.”


That’s powerful. You are where you are and who you are for God’s glory, and you are being created anew for His purposes.


This means, our Creator, the one molding, training, and equipping us, knows precisely where He’s taking us, how He is and will lead us to get to where we need to go when we need to get there, and all that needs to happen in our hearts along the way so that we can be fully prepared for what He has prepared for us.


We don’t have to have everything figured out, nor should we fear that we’ll somehow miss God’s plan. That we'll hear Him wrong and turn left when we should go right or right when He is leading left. He’s bigger than that. 


His plans for us are so much bigger than our fallible human wisdom. He’s not asking us to be brilliant or perfect Christians or brilliant decision-makers. He’s simply asking us to trust Him. To trust in His plan, in the works of His hands, and to surrender to His guidance. As we do so, trudging up life’s hills and persevering through the valleys, however long and dark they may be, we can trust that one day we’ll look back with celebration. Knowing God was with us, guiding us each step of the way.


That brings me such joy and peace. But Paul, the author of Ephesians, had so much more to say, which we discover if we keep reading. Yes, we’re God’s masterpieces, transformed in Christ to be history-makers and life-changers, but He never intended for us to do this alone. In fact, we can’t. We need one another. Just as the Jews and Gentiles of Paul’s time, the diverse yet united members of God’s church, could only fully grow into their beautiful God-given selves in unity with one another, so we need our brothers and sisters in Christ.


Where barriers and division exist between us, our expression is hampered. Our beauty tarnished. Our growth delayed. Our impact diminished. 


We are God’s masterpiece, designed to fit with all the other artwork handcrafted by the Master Designer, the One who is filling all things with the fullness of Himself. Each piece becomes all the more radiant, all the more breath-taking, within its place in God’s intentionally and artistically diverse yet united body. 


I don’t know where you’re at on this transformation journey, but I know God’s leading and will continue to lead you. He’s got you and He’s got your tomorrow, so lean into Him, surrender to Him, and link arms with others as you learn to live wholly loved.   


~Jennifer Slattery