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  • Pastor Tom Cunningham


Scripture Reading: Hebrews 1:10; Jeremiah 29:11; Psalms 139:13-14

“And, You, Lord, in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands [of your power]...” Hebrews 1:10

Before my father got so sick with Dementia that he could no longer recognize reality, we were preparing to bring him and my step-mother back with us to our house to live. Preparing the move and to sell their house, we spent weeks going through boxes and bedrooms and 'things' and I dove as deep as I ever had into the details of my Nanny's life (Paternal Grandmother) and beyond. We came across portraits of family members dating back to the Civil war; regal portraits in hand-crafted ornate frames. Apparently, at one time in our history these portraits had hung on the great walls of homes or estates in England, France or Ireland. Unfortunately, there is no story, no names, and no indication of whose portrait it is that hung in those frames. At one time they were important. Somebody related to me, in the late 19th century, had commissioned professional artists to create oil-painted portraits while my ancestors posed in their fancy clothes. Those portraits represented Patriarchs and Matriarchs of a family of old. Their identities and their stories should have been passed down through the generations, playing a significant role in my family history. I should be aware who they are. I should be telling my children and then my grandchildren all about their lives and exploits. At one point and for reasons of significance they placed their faces on canvas to preserve a legacy they deemed important for future generations to know and remember. Once the Masterpiece; once significant; now forgotten.

However now, as we, their distant relatives, look at those paintings, we are lost to the historical significance and are left to simply wonder how much that amazing ornate frame is worth!

Isn’t that how we are? We are created to be this memorable, amazing image of God on the earth and we have managed to whittle all of that down to ... the frame—the outer shell; what we look like, what we wear and how we appear… Getting your makeup right. Wearing the right colors—is your hair perfect? All of our time, energy and concern is spent on the 'outside'—what the world sees—when inside these frames is the real significance.

It’s amazing that we work so hard on our frame that we forget about what we are on the inside! We are a walking depiction of 'who we are' as God’s creation. What we are called to be, who we are supposed to be has been so cheapened by the less important things that consume us… That is not how it is supposed to be in the Kingdom of God! Every one of us has a purpose—a destiny—in Christ.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

We have a rich and glorious inheritance in Christ. We are chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed and forgiven.

God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Him! We are God’s masterpiece; His epic poem of creation – His greatest creature, and in using that metaphor, our flesh, our bodies are the frame. We are not made for hanging on the walls of some estate of prominence, but rather are made, ornately framed and called upon to hang in the very heart of GOD! Yet He chooses to dwell in the hearts of men.

Think of all the places in the universe that God could have chosen to dwell. He is the great I AM, the creator and master of the universe, the divine existence that had no beginning and has no end. He created everything you can see, perceive, appreciate and understand; everything you call beautiful, He made!

He can do anything and could have chosen any number of the infinite places in the Universe to dwell to live, to call home, yet He chose to inhabit, to make His home in the hearts of men—of all places, He chose to dwell—in you!

Now I don’t know how that makes you feel, but to me it makes me feel special, like it should mean something about who I am and what I am intended to be...

For you formed [all my delicate] inward parts [the way I think and feel]; you knitted me together in my mother's womb [Oh, the divine power involved in the mother’s womb, not a piece of tissue, or a fetus, but purposefully knit together in every detail before you are even unveiled for the world to see]. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

God fully intended us, you and me, to be his epic creation. We are the crown jewel, his 'opus magnum', built and formed as His 'cream of the crop' intended to show forth His glory on the earth. That’s what we are called to be. We are put together with everything we need to be great; to be successful; to rise up and take the world for Jesus. God desires for born-again Christians to be the grand example of His glory; to be put on display as His show-piece of a life lived for Him.

So many times the world tramples us down, gets in our way, pushes us around, makes us feel like we are losers and failures—like we can’t get this done; like life itself is too hard for us. But God intended for us to rise above that and to do something amazing. How many want to do something amazing? Something really, really and totally amazing?

Just over a month ago, I was at a 'Pick and Pay' in Lusaka, Zambia in Central Africa and I saw a young Zambian man wearing a T-shirt and I loved it—right across the front of his shirt on a black background, it read, “Training to be Amazing!” I said to myself as I walked by, “Glory to God—I’m training to be amazing!”

How many of you want to be in training to be amazing? You have all the tools you need, built in. All that's left is for you to get started.

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