ODJ: works of art

August 2, 2015 

READ: Ephesians 2:8-10 

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 (v.10).

Carrie Stuart Parks is a talented writer and an award-winning artist. But you may want to think twice before signing up to become her next work of art. Parks is an FBI-trained forensic artist. Most of her artwork is comprised of the drawings she has made of criminals through eyewitness accounts and the human faces she has rendered after viewing the remains of unidentified victims.

In the foreword of Park’s first novel, author Frank Peretti wrote, “[Parks once] was interviewing a witness to a murder when she realised he was the murderer.” Whoa! How crazy would that be?

The New Testament portrays God as an artist. In his first-century letter to the Ephesians, Paul described those who’ve been saved by God’s grace as His “masterpiece” (Ephesians 2:10). In other words, believers in Jesus are God’s works of art.

As the Creator-God’s masterpiece, Paul explained that we’ve been created “anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (v.10). The “good things” for which God created us aren’t simply moral commands to keep us out of trouble. They’re so much more!

The “good things” for which our Divine Artist recreated us are a way of showing to the world that there’s a new way to live because of Jesus’ death and resurrection—God’s new creation way.

His new creation began when Jesus rose from the dead. And good works are the way we can live out the reality of this new age in the midst of the old age. Among other things, new creation life is revealed as we pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44), love one another (John 13:35) and help those in need (Galatians 2:10).

God not only created us for good works, He’s the one who empowers us to do them!

—Jeff Olson

365-day-plan: Luke 11:1-13

Read Matthew 5:14-16 and consider what it looks like to live out God’s new creation way. 
What are some good works you’re already doing that display God’s new creation work on earth? What will you do today to help someone see that you’re God’s masterpiece?