Today I’m pleased to introduce you to Elise Gilmore, my first-ever guest blogger. I hope you are as encouraged by her words as I am. Enjoy!
One of my favorite places in New York City is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. During both my visits to the city, I had the chance to spend hours immersing myself in the breathtaking art that is housed within those walls. Even after those two visits, I still feel like I haven’t seen everything the museum has to offer – that I haven’t marveled at the masterpieces nearly long enough. While their monetary worth may vary, their artistic value is priceless and precious. That’s why they are protected. Each sculpture, weapon, painting, and costume displayed there is a treasured work of art. Someone poured time, energy, and heart into each item, each masterpiece.
What about you? Do you consider yourself a masterpiece that Someone poured His time, energy, and heart into?
Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
“We are his workmanship…” Some translations use the words “handiwork” or “masterpiece” here instead of “workmanship”. Out of curiosity I looked up the original Greek word, and it turns out that the word used in this verse is poiema, from which we get the English word “poem”.
Poiema is only used twice in Scripture. In Ephesians it describes us as being made in God’s image. The other occurrence is in Romans 1:20 where Paul wrote, “His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” In this context, poiema refers to God’s other masterpiece – all of creation. The orange and purple sunset that casts its color across the sky. The waterfall that is so tall and loud you have to stop and stare. The immensity of a clear night sky full of twinkling stars, some millions and trillions of miles away. The beauty and strength of majestic mountains like Everest.
It’s not hard to recognize the mountains and night sky as masterpieces, but what about you and me? Did God really pour time and energy into us? Did He pour out His heart?
Yes! And let me be the first to admit I don’t always recognize it. I don’t wake up in the morning with bedhead and look in the mirror, awed by God’s masterpiece. I see the dark circles under my eyes, the stretch marks on my stomach, and the thighs I wish were a little more toned. So often this is what we notice in others as well – the imperfections. The odd attire of the girl behind us at the coffee shop, the blue hair of the guy walking down the sidewalk, the weight of the couple eating at the next table. But is that what God sees? Is that what He thought when He formed Adam from the dust and then Eve from Adam?
Thankfully, God’s vantage point is different. He sees us as a masterpiece, His masterpiece. When we grasp how beautiful we are to God, we can begin to see the beauty in everyone through God’s eyes. As we begin viewing ourselves and others as beautiful, awe-inspiring works of art, we will be able to love others as God loves us. That deep love, overflowing from the great Artist Himself, will open other people’s eyes to the great love God has for each of us! Take a second and let this sink in…
You are beautiful.
You were created by God Himself.
You are God’s masterpiece.
Elise Gilmore is a wife of almost five years to Phillip and a stay-at-home mom to their one-year-old son, Joseph. She majored in Bible and Youth Ministry at Columbia International University and is passionate about her middle school youth group, women’s ministry, and running the race of life together with others in community. When she isn’t playing with her son or binging on Netflix, she enjoys making cards, playing board games, and reading Christian historical fiction. Check out her blog or find her on Instagram.