The background of this area should be an image. Please use Change Background feature to change the background of this area.
(Can be found under DESIGN tab)
DEVOTIONS FOR MEN
All art critics agree that "great" art communicates what the artist meant to communicate and influences and inspires other artists. All well-known masterpieces (the Mona Lisa, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, etc.) meet both of these criteria. So does God's masterpiece.
In the first three chapters of Genesis, we learn that human beings were the pinnacle of God's creation. In their original form, everything about our souls, minds, and bodies was perfect and deeply symbolic, revealing specific things about God. His image was revealed in all the similarities and all the differences between male and female--and in the nature of their union with each other and with Him. Sin vandalized God's masterpiece and nearly obliterated its original form, and most of what remains is distorted, hidden, or destroyed. This is why much of what we believe about being male or female or human--and most of what we believe about marriage and love--barely resembles God's original designs. Still, artists and storytellers have always been inspired by the human body, the human spirit, the human will, the mysteries of love, and everything else that does remain from God's original--vandalized or not.
In Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul says that sin does more than distort God's image in us; it kills us. Left to our own devices, he says, what most human beings call living is actually death. Rather than communicate God's perfection and beauty and inspire creative expressions of these ideals, our actions tend to make others doubt His goodness (or even His very existence). On our own, we tend to inspire only selfishness and more sin. But then God, the Artist, steps into His wrecked studio and begins to work again...
God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 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. (Ephesians 2:8-10, NLT)
Throughout the rest of this letter, Paul explores this amazing truth: though we are God's masterpiece (which means He alone deserves full credit for anything good in us), He creates and recreates us to DO specific things, to live a certain way. In both its original form and its fully restored form, God's masterpiece (us) exists to communicate His truth and love and to influence and inspire others.