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Chiseling away…

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I’ve always been fascinated by how things are made. While the finished product is what most are interested in, I want to see the process of how something was made.

formed steelBack in the day, as they say, I used to work with steel and iron. I learned to use various machines to cut, roll, bend, and press steel and iron into pieces that would either be bolted or welded together to make a finished product.

To the untrained eye, it is hard to imagine that beautiful scroll work, ornate sculptures, and even structures once were nothing more than a flat piece of metal or iron. Yet put that same piece of metal in the hands of a skilled craftsman, and the magic begins!

It’s the same with a stone carver. Just think of some of the world’s most beautifully carved works of stone, such as Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. This masterpiece took nearly four years to complete and stands 17 ft. tall. Yet it started out as a huge slab of marble!

david_statue

touropia.com

I often think of God as the Master Craftsman. He takes an ordinary, “nothing special about us” person like you and I and makes something beautiful out of us.

One swing of His hammer at a time!

Rejoice when you find yourself upon God’s anvil, for He is shaping you into what He knows to be something beautiful.

Rejoice when you find yourself upon the Potter’s wheel, for it is in this process that He is removing the impurities in our lives.

Rejoice when you feel the blow of the hammer and chisel, for God is chipping away at this rough exterior in order to reveal the beauty only He knows lies beneath the surface.

But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.   Isaiah 64:8

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.   2 Corinthians 5:17

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.   Ezekiel 36:26

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A front row seat to a marvelous transformation

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Over the past several days I have had a front row seat to watch the construction of a new home directly behind me.To many,I’m sure the noise and debris generated by this construction is all they see and hear.2016-12-22-10-30-09

For me however,it has been a wonderful experience to watch as the workmen who started with a blank canvas of Southern Oaks and tangled vines quickly transformed the site into a house.

I’ve watched with great interest as huge machines came on sight and completely ripped out trees that have been on the earth far longer than I have. In awe I watched the ground being leveled, concrete foundations poured, block walls erected, and now the roof sheathing is finished.2017-02-03-12-11-10

Like a well-oiled machine the construction crews all work in perfect harmony, each person responsible for completing a specific task. As soon as one job is finished, the next worker is waiting to add his unique part to the ever enlarging home as it soars to new and greater heights.

The more I’ve watched this building process, the more I am reminded of construction of another kind. Like these skilled workmen who transform raw lumber into a beautiful home, every one of us is being transformed into something we as of this moment cannot fully appreciate.

Just like this new home is being constructed of many pieces and parts, all of us are in various stages of our own personal transformation, with Jesus being the Master Builder. In as much as the construction crew started with sticks, stone, dirt, and trees, God took us just as we were, and began what will be a lifetime transformation process in us.

Firstly, He must remove the dirt and undesirable things from us, which occurs when we repent of our sins. Once the canvas of our heart has been cleared, it is time for the foundation work to begin.

Second, when He saves us and fills us with His Spirit, the foundation has been laid, one that can never be destroyed. He is the Chief Cornerstone of our salvation, the stone that the builders rejected (Acts 4:11), and in Him our building is secured.

Thirdly, the real work begins in us. While this work may seem tedious, even difficult at times, it is necessary for our growth and maturity. The battles that loom on our horizons will serve a dual purpose: first to strengthen our resolve in Him and our commitment to Him, and second, to increase our faith in Him.

All of this of course, is to build us up to ultimately become the finished masterpiece that the Father envisioned we should become when He is finished with us.

Paul understood this perfectly as he explains it to the church at Ephesus:

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,

21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,

22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Eph. 2:19-22   NKJV

Yes, we all start as a blank canvas, but oh what a masterpiece you will become, especially when you have a front row seat to the transformation!

Have blessed day in Jesus name!

Ron