A few years ago I was on a missions trip to Armenia. Our team debriefed in Paris. I know, I know …a tough gig. I really looked forward to seeing Paris. The reality is that it’s a gorgeous place. It's a postcard picture every time you turn around. I was really looking forward to some things …the Eiffel Tower, the Arch de Triumph, a boat ride down the Seine River and I was really looking forward to the Louvre, that magnificent museum filled with art treasures. I was especially interested in seeing the Mona Lisa.
So I walked into a room. I saw a small mob of people in front of what looked like a pretty small painting hidden behind thick glass, guards on either side, security cameras at the ready …and there it was the Mona Lisa …DaVinci’s masterpiece.
I mean it had to be a masterpiece. Everyone said it was. The art world raved about it and the security around it said ‘this is important". That it’s worth treasuring, worth protecting, worth preserving.
The Louvre owns the Mona Lisa. Try to destroy it and the full wrath of the museum and their security will descend upon you. Try to steal it and you’ll be caught and you’ll go to jail. It’s under their jurisdiction and their authority.I doubt any amount of money could remove it from their grasp. DaVinci’s genius created it. The Louvre now maintains it and protects.
The apostle Paul once wrote to the small church in Ephesus, located in what we now know as Turkey. He writes:
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.
God's masterpiece. His creation. Created by God for His purposes. A long time ago he planned for you to do good. That’s his plan for you. You belong to Him. He has things for you to do. Nothing can separate you from His love. Nothing can deter him in his drive to fulfill His purpose in you. As the Louvre will go to any lengths to protect the Mona Lisa …God will go even further to get your attention, to get you focused on Him. Any attempt to remove yourself from His ownership will be met with resistance. It’s a fact of life. To God you are worth treasuring, worth protecting, worth preserving, worth pursuing. You are far more valuable than the Mona Lisa in his eyes.
You are God’s masterpiece.
I know that I struggle with this concept. I have an amazing ability to see myself as quite a bit less than a masterpiece. I know my faults. There are times when I don’t see myself as a masterpiece. Sometimes I see myself as a paint my number project or some kind of Elvis on black velvet painting. And when I don’t see myself well it impacts my ability to live into all those good things God has created me to be. Even worse, when I don't see myself as the masterpiece I am I can lose sight of the masterpiece you are. And that causes trouble.
We are God's masterpiece. Nice.