I think most people would agree that Michelangelo was a master at his craft. Yet he worked on 44 statues completing only 14 of them. The 30 unfinished ones are in a museum in Italy drawing dust _ the unfulfilled work of a genius. How sad.
Here is something even sadder. People that could have become masterpieces of God’s handiwork _ people that could have made a difference in the world sit around drawing dust. The question I lay before you is: “How do you become God’s masterpiece? How do you discover and develop your gifts? How can you make a difference?” The answer has 3 parts.
First, we need to… Look up! You can’t be God’s masterpiece or discover your life’s purpose by simply looking at yourself both outwardly and inwardly. It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Ephesians 1:7-9 puts it this way: “In Christ we have redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished on us in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself…” So look to the Lord because without Jesus we will neither become God’s masterpiece nor make a lasting difference.
Second, we need to… Give up! You’ve got to be willing to sacrifice who you are in order to accomplish what God wants you to do where God wants you to do it. The first couple verses from Romans 12 hit the nail squarely on the head: “I urge you, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
In the Bible we discover people who lived out their lives with that attitude: Abraham picked up lock, stock, and barrel _ leaving behind the comfort of being where he had always been _ doing what he had always done simply because God told him to go somewhere else. Peter and Andrew were at work when Jesus comes along and says, “Come follow me.” (Matthew 4:19) What did they do? “At once they left their nets and followed him.” (Matthew 4:20)
It seems that every achiever _ everyone that made a difference in the Bible has a “give-up” story. So why should we think that we can hold on to ourselves or worldly values and still be able to make an eternal difference. So give up and give in to the Lord and His “good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Third, we need to… Show up! You weren’t created just to consume resources _ eat, breathe, and take up space. You can’t sit around watching a game and expect to make a difference _ to win you have to play the game. You were put on this earth to make a contribution _ to make a difference _ to be God’s masterpiece.
What God told Jeremiah is true of all of us: “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.” (Jeremiah 1:5) So rather than drawing dust in the church building, find your God-given assignment _ your “special work” then pour your life into it and you will have become God’s completed masterpiece.