Encouragement for Today - June 12, 2008
June 12, 2008
Framing a Masterpiece
“Righteous are you, O Lord, and your laws are right.
The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy.”
Psalm 119:137-138 (NIV)
I love watching Antique Road Show. It never ceases to amaze me when people joyfully discover they’ve had something of great worth under their noses for years. My heart sinks in sympathy, however, when people discover they’ve unknowingly diminished the worth of their piece by refinishing, reupholstering or reframing a valuable masterpiece.
Artists are very careful about framing the great works of their lives with the correct frame. The right frame enhances the picture by highlighting its style and bringing out the beautiful colors. A shoddy framing job can significantly devalue the painting.
God calls us to use scripture as a frame to give us the correct perspective on life. As humans, we are so prone to draw the wrong conclusions about life. The inductive thinking that is supposed to lead us to truth and happiness often leads us astray. We tend to look at “what is” in order to decide “what is supposed to be.” For example, I could look at a struggle in my marriage and decide that I should divorce because of the intense conflict. It seems reasonable to me.
God’s ways are not my ways, though. God’s ways goes from “what should be” to “what is.” “What should be” is God’s divine law that is revealed to us in scripture. It is unchanging through time and circumstance. Through a commitment to live by scripture, my thinking is changed. In the example used above, I look at God’s Word and see He wants me to stay in my marriage (I Corinthians 7:10-16). I know that God is the One who not only has higher ways than me, but loves me and wants higher things for me. I need to pray that “what is” becomes conformed to “what should be” by staying in my marriage and taking the steps needed to bring peace and love back into my home.
It’s not easy to accept this framework of scripture. It takes time to learn, and study to understand what it says. It will teach us ways to live that are different than our culture teaches. It will set a standard that is more about our character than our comfort.
However, you are a masterpiece, God’s own unique and dearly loved creation. His plan for you is a life of priceless value. If you allow scripture to be the framework for your life, you will bring glory to the Master Artist as well as live a life of great joy.
Lord, I trust You as my creator for knowing what is the best for me. I commit myself to studying Your Word and applying it in my life.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Visit Amy Carroll’s blog
Women’s Devotional Bible (NIV)
Sign up for a Bible study class in a local church.
Commit to doing the homework and attending.
Spend time everyday reading scripture and asking God to help you to apply it.
Am I more committed to my own opinion or to God’s Word?
Are my decisions based on my own reasoning and emotions, or on scripture?
Have I taken time to learn what God says in His Word?
Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (NIV)
II Timothy 3: 16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (NIV)
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Matthews, NC 28105