Many Christians feel tired and worn out. 2 Corinthians 3:1-6 contains an important reminder that the incredible change one experiences as a Christian is not an act of the will but an act of Jesus through the Spirit of God.
This means that being an effective Christ-follower in the 21st century is not a matter of you being smart enough, witty enough, or even insightful enough. Rather, the essence of what it means to live in Christ is produced by Jesus through the Spirit of God. Furthermore, this means that the essence of ministry is found in what Christ is doing through the Spirit of God. Our ministry is not based on ourselves and our ingenuity.
Jesus, through the Spirit of God, is writing a masterpiece.
Think for a moment about tattoos. What are they? Ink underneath the skin. The tattoo artist works for a while and then leaves the customer with the picture or the image. He may make a mark on the skin but it never goes beyond anything that is skin deep. When Jesus lives in you, he works on you through God’s Spirit. His work isn’t limited to the skin. No, what he is writing is not on stone or flesh but on your heart.
He is creating a masterpiece. Think for a moment about some of the masterpieces in the western world.
· To Kill a Mockingbird
· The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
· Gone with the Wind
· The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
· The Lord of the Rings
· The Black Stallion
· Charlotte’s Web
· War and Peace
So let us think about this reality:
· Jesus is writing a masterpiece: you. In fact, this is something that will be read by all who have the opportunity. You won’t find this at Barnes & Noble or on Amazon. You will find this masterpiece by looking in the mirror. Don’t get distracted by your ears, skin, height or weight. I am not talking about self-esteem, either the lack of it or the importance of it. Rather, I am talking about you and me not minimizing what God is doing in our lives. You are God’s masterpiece because it is God who is writing on your heart. Once God through his Spirit begins to write on your heart, you will never be the same.
What can others read? The question is not just what are we telling. What are we showing? Our mission requires speaking and incarnation (Jesus living in me and in us).
· Let us be cautious about telling truth while we neglect doing truth.
· Our ministry is an incarnational ministry that displays God’s masterpieces. This means that we believe that Christ really does live in us individually and as a church.
· What makes a church is not a building but a mission.
· Our mission is expressed in both words (2:17) and transformed lives (3:1-3).
· Knowing that God is preparing a masterpiece gives us confidence.
Why do some Christ-followers seem to often feel overwhelmed, worn out, and exhausted than energized and refreshed?