Crafted by the Master Artist

house window mountain view

I sat down in my home office recently, excited to spend some time alone crafting. Immediately, I was struck by my view from home. 

My window looks out onto an open field, a typical countryside view here in New Zealand. It’s a view that looks different each time I gaze out—yet every time, it calms me. It reminds me that our God is spectacularly creative and a designer without equal.

Last week, Bailey wrote about God’s design being everywhere, and it’s so true. When I look out my window and see the colors of the sunset, or when I reflect on the events in my own life, I see God at work. Our lives have God’s fingerprints all over them.

Romans 1:20 tells us: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (NIV) The phrase ‘from what has been made’ in this scripture is the English translation of the Greek noun ‘poiema.’ It means “that which has been made, a work.” It’s only used twice in the New Testament, the other verse being one of my favorites, in Ephesians 2:10. Here are three translations of the verse:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (NKJV)

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. (NLT)

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (NIV)

So, just like all the rest of creation, we, too, are the work of his hands. His workmanship, masterpiece, handiwork. Isn’t that amazing to think the God who created the entire universe thinks you are a masterpiece?

In both instances ‘poiema’ is used in the Bible, it’s telling us about God’s creative activity. I love that we get the English word ‘poem’ from this Greek word. As a writer, the metaphor that we are a poem composed by the greatest Poet himself really resonates with me.

When I think of a poem, I think of words composed in a beautiful fashion, carefully crafted and reflecting the skills of the wordsmith. Every word is placed intentionally, and it’s the same with us. We’re the result of the Master Poet, who made us new in Jesus Christ. He has carefully crafted us—just as Psalm 139 tells us we’re “knitted together” in our mother’s womb.

Timothy Keller puts it beautifully in this quote:

“Do you know what it means that you are God’s workmanship? What is art? Art is beautiful, art is valuable, and art is an expression of the inner being of the maker, of the artist. Imagine what that means. You’re beautiful … you’re valuable … and you’re an expression of the very inner being of the Artist, the divine Artist, God Himself.”

We are all image-bearers of our Creator, and just as we all have unique fingerprints, so too, we each have a unique set of “good works” that God designed for us to walk in. If we see ourselves as a masterpiece of God—created intentionally and with purpose, we can then step into the good works he has planned for us.

Lord, thank you for calling us your poiema. Your masterpiece. Created to do good works. Thank you that you created us intentionally and knit us together in our mother’s womb. We praise you for we are fearfully and wonderfully made, our souls know it very well. God, we commit our days to walk in the good works you have planned for us.

When I look out my window and see the colors of the sunset, or when I reflect on the events in my own life, I see God at work. And when I look in the mirror, I see him at work there, too.

Our lives have God’s fingerprints all over them.

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