God’s Masterpiece


When you look at the canvas of your life, what do you see?

Maybe you see it riddled with mistakes. The lines might not be straight. Parts of the drawing have gone outside of the lines. The paper is torn, dirty. Stains splattered across the painting serve as a constant reminder of past mistakes [1]. People in the painting are blurry, once good friends have become un-recognisable.

No form of eraser or glue can fix the mess which you’ve created.

What would you give to start again? How much money would you pay to have your messy, torn up canvas turned into a masterpiece?

For we are God’s masterpiece.’ – Ephesians 2:9

We don’t become God’s masterpiece after we have fixed up the canvas of our life. Not God’s masterpiece once we’ve sorted out those messy lines and torn edges.  We are God’s masterpiece. Not in a few weeks, months or years. We already are.

His prized possession.

Saying “we are God’s masterpiece” is one thing, believing it is a whole new beast. But living in knowledge of it, for many people, is one hill too many.

And it’s something I struggle to actually believe and live out too.

Surely we all see flaws in our character and faults we’ve made in life? Maybe it is just me. I can recall numerous times when I’ve taken a step back to look at my canvas and not been all that proud.

This struggle brings me to a few questions:

  • Considering my past, how can I still be called a masterpiece?
  • What does it mean to live knowing I am God’s prized possession?

Let’s paint a picture of what it looks like.




When I think of a masterpiece the Mona Lisa comes to mind, the world’s most famous painting, painted by Leonardo Da Vinci. So for the sake of discovering what being God’s masterpiece implies, we will use this as our analogy.

A painter or sculptor puts a lot of time into making a piece of art. Some sources say that the nose of the lady in the Mona Lisa took 12 years to paint, although I tend to question Leonardo’s potential procrastination tendencies. But you get the idea I’m sure – a masterpiece is not made overnight.

Often a painter will base their picture off an image of sorts, either through a small picture or a model sitting in front of them. Leonardo Da Vinci used a model in front of him – and his attempt to re-create the image of this person is depicted in the painting.

A painter develops a lot of pride for their painting. Once completed, many present their piece of art in public places. It brings joy to see the amount of time and effort put into the painting was all worth it.

The Mona Lisa is completely and utterly a reflection of Leonardo Da Vinci. When experts comment on the painting, they direct all praise to him, the painter.

A piece of art cannot boast of itself – it can only boast of its creator.



God put a lot of time and thought into creating us. God says even before he made the world he knew and loved us (Ephesians 1:4). I don’t know about you – but that’s really knowing your creation. That before he made us, we were known by him. He specially made us, knitted each of us together in our (respective) mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

God doesn’t mass produce his pieces of art – he isn’t required to meet a quota each day. Each piece of art he creates is special. We are all unique, known by him.

We are the workmanship of God himself, made in his image (Genesis 1:27). Essentially, God has created us to look and be like him. Let that sink in. God himself has created us to resemble him.

The Lord takes pleasure in us, his people and his creation (Psalm 149:4). Just like a painter takes pride in his piece of art, so too God genuinely loves and cares for his creation. How awesome that is!

Therefore, as the masterpieces of God, we cannot boast of our good aspects of character. We cannot boast of our good skills/characteristics in certain areas. As his masterpiece, all praise and glory should be directed to our great artist.



‘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 2:10

Through death and resurrection, Jesus claims to have carried all of our mistakes. He carried the collective, the whole world’s canvas – riddled with mistakes and errors – and provided for us a clean sheet. God has created us anew in Christ Jesus. Through him, we can claim the beginning of his work in us – to becoming his masterpiece.

But don’t hear me wrong in this. There is no doubt our mistakes have human consequences, and becoming a Christian doesn’t just wipe them all away from having happened in the first place. Stating the obvious I know, but important to say regardless.

Rather I believe we can suffer, recover and learn from our mistakes, whilst knowing we are completely forgiven of them through Jesus. My point, and what God has told us through scripture, is that we are already his masterpiece because of the image we were made in – and that was of God himself. Nothing we do can separate us from that.

Furthermore, as God’s masterpieces we were not made to just sit on a mantle and be admired (this is where the analogy gets a bit dodgy). As highlighted above in the bible verse, we have been made new so that we can do the good works he planned for us.

Therefore we are advocates for the living God (2 Corinthians 5:20). I’ve always hated the word responsibility – it usually implies me doing things I don’t want to do – clean my room, do the dishes, be an adult, etc. But this responsibility is different. What a massive privilege, yet huge responsibility we have to represent our awesome creator!


Hawthorn Football Club’s motto is to ‘Play Your Role’. Everyone plays a different role and position on the field. Yet when each part is executed correctly, the whole team can (and has proven to) be successful.

It is the same for us as people scattered throughout the world. We are all placed in different situations. We serve different roles and positions – some of us may be pastors, others may be teachers. Some may work at their local shop, others may be homeless.

As individuals, we are just one piece. Yet we all play a part in God’s big jigsaw (plan) – in the workplace, sports, school and social arenas. One piece in a jigsaw is insignificant, somewhat useless. But together, have the potential to create an awesome picture.

Let God work out the puzzle – whilst we stay present in his house.



‘They took the thirty pieces of silver – the price at which [Jesus] was valued by the people of Israel’- Matthew 27:9

30 pieces of silver was the same price used as compensation for a slave’s accidental death (Exodus 21:32). Significant however, is this payment for Jesus wasn’t made after the event of death, as compensation for some sort of accident. It was made prior to Jesus death. The people were signalling their intentions, essentially saying “this man is dead to us.” 

Here we have Jesus, the Son of God. His own people and creation valued him as nothing. To them Jesus was as good as a slave, dead to them (Mark 10:44-45).

But despite the world completely rejecting him and treating him as nothing, Jesus knew his value in God. That despite being whipped, spat upon and taunted by all, Jesus’ self-worth was not based on other people’s opinions.

His identity was found in God. 

When we find ourselves against the world, the subject of ‘persecution’ of sorts, we need to realise our worth in our Father’s eyes. When others point out the flaws and mistakes on the canvas of our life, we can confidently redirect them to the clean canvas that Jesus has given us access to. And in that, we can truly begin to become the masterpiece we were made to be.

“How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure. That he should give his only Son, to make a wretch his treasure”

So I’ll ask again: when you look at the canvas of your life, what do you see?

You may see a mess, nothing is even remotely close to perfect. You might only see the broken pieces of mistakes and flaws in your life.

But our broken pieces have been made a mosaic.

Re-assembled in him.



[1] Skit Guys, S 2015, Our Mess, God’s Masterpiece, online video, December 27, accessed 27 April 2016, <https://skitguys.com/videos/item/our-mess-gods-masterpiece&gt;.

[2] Gibson, T 2013, ‘God’s Masterpiece’, Image, 5 February, accessed 15 April 2016, <http://www.lightbearers.org/gods-masterpiece/&gt;.

Uncompromised Deliverance [Daniel 6]



The story of Daniel in the lion’s den is an awesome story, one I’ve heard a number of times growing up. However, just recently I was impacted by the story of Daniel in a  different way. It was whilst listening to a sermon from our pastor (Andrew), when a picture came to mind (drawn above).

I don’t claim this is a ‘prophetic painting’, or even necessarily say it directly inspired by God. Considering my level of art expertise – I doubt this stuff had divine intervention (although I am the least artistic person I know, so maybe this is a miracle in itself).

What is most important is to direct our focus to God in this situation, considering how he did (and continues to do) the impossible.

This is just my way of expressing an interesting thought that came to mind. I’ll try to explain my thinking into how this picture relates to the story of Daniel.

But first, some context.

Daniel was one of three administrators to the kings and high officials, to supervise and protect the king’s best interests. Daniel was a man of integrity. He was faithful, responsible and trustworthy. So much so that when others became jealous of him and were looking for reasons to kick him out of government, they found nothing. They couldn’t find fault in this guy.

Knowing he had a faith with some God, these jealous co-workers hatched a plan. They managed to convince the King (Darius) to set a new law in place: For thirty days if anyone prays to anything except the King, they would be thrown into the lion’s den.

Having heard this new law, Daniel still went home and prayed as he usually did. In fact, he continued to pray three times a day from the view of his window. Daniel was later found out for praying and was sent to the lion’s den, despite the King’s efforts to stop the ordeal (he valued Daniel pretty dang highly).

The next morning, the King came to check if Daniel was alive, fearing the worst. Daniel responds from the den, giving praise to God who had sent an angel to shut the mouths of the lions.

God snatched victory from the jaws of lions (defeat). One of the best comeback performances of all time if you like – would have made for an excellent highlights package (if cameras were a thing). But we still have the match report in the Bible, a trustworthy historical source. An awesome summary of God’s deliverance in a situation where the odds for victory were ridiculous, next to impossible.



The clenched fist is universally seen as a sign of defiance, or rebellion. It has been used in various movements across the world, where people stand firm against an event or issue. Unfortunately the clenched fist is often characterised by the ‘white supremacy’ movement. Recent uses of the clenched fist have also appeared in logos to represent certain groups, such as the band Rise Against or the AFL team Port Power (subtle plug). Whether a large scale global movement or a smaller scale arts/sporting group, many utilise this image as their sign of defiance, solidarity or non-conformity.

However the clenched fist is also a sign of the desperate need to be saved. Something I’m sure many (especially us Australians) learn early in life is that if you’re drowning, not to wave open-palmed for help, as the signal may be confused as having fun, saying hello, etc. We are told to raise a clenched fist to indicate we are drowning, need help.

Daniel, in the story of the lion’s den, typifies both fists.

Daniel was defiant. Andrew (in his sermon) described Daniel as being ‘uncompromised’ in his convictions. He was not willing to let the world sway his faith in God. Yet despite this stand of faith, Daniel was also in desperate need of saving. He was about to be thrown into a den of hungry lions, seemingly looking death in the face(s).

Daniel was facing his ‘drowning moment’, if you like. Despite his integrity, his willingness to defy the world – things weren’t looking flash. He needed help.

But through the situation God rewarded Daniel’s uncompromising faith, regardless of circumstance. He showed Daniel first-hand the promised deliverance God would give him in the den (hence play on words in picture title).



The Bible has many stories where people have suffered seemingly impossible, potentially disastrous situations. But because of their faith, have been saved.

God didnt save Noah from the flood, but through it – providing insight and knowledge prior to the event. God didn’t save Shadrach, Meshash and Abednego from the fire, but through it – ensuring none of them were even burnt. God didn’t save Daniel from the lion’s den, but through it – shutting the lions mouths so they couldn’t harm him.

God doesn’t hold his children back from experiencing hard times. In fact, he didn’t hold himself back. In this life, we are not held back from entering the lions den. We are not held back from the fires we are thrown into.

But we are promised one thing – deliverance beyond the grave.

You may not experience a once-off, life changing experience like Daniel in the Den. Maybe you think your life story is pretty boring, average at best.

But truth is, we already have a testimony far greater than any other.

That we are not saved from death, but through it.