A few years ago, I went to a conference with a group of young adults. During one of the evening sessions, we were entertained by a painter with a huge canvas. Since watching paint dry is not the most exciting activity, the artist kept our attention with loud music and low lighting while he used his hands to create with glow in the dark paints. It looked like a mess that a child would make trying to paint with his fingers. Finally, as the song came to a rousing end, he stepped back and spun the picture so that it was right-side-up and we saw that, what looked like a chaotic explosion of paints was in reality an upside down portrait of Jesus.
What a perfect picture of our lives. Absolute messes until we meet the artists that turns us right-side-up so that we see who we were made to be - Children of the Living God.
In Scripture, we see that God created mankind in His image (Gen. 1:27) and we find out that He also takes a personal interest in each one of us.
Psalm 139:14 - For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Matthew 10:30 - And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
I Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you
Not only did He personally create you - He has made a plan for your life.
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Psalm 139:16 - Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
And He made a plan for your eternity
Romans 8:17 - Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Revelation 3:5 - The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.
God was written a story and it is all about you and His love for you.
But not everyone is part of this story.
Revelation 20:15 - Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
This is because God did not just want to plan to tell your story without giving you a choice for an outcome. He wanted you to choose to be a part of this story. He does not want robots, He wants children to love. This is why He placed the two different trees in the garden with Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:16-17). Adam had a choice to remain in God’s story, or to leave the story. By choosing to stay, he was showing his love for God.
When Adam ate the fruit, He was leaving God’s story to try and create his own story - a task that was too hard for him, and so it became a mess. God had to write a new chapter in our stories to show us the journey back to him. He put Himself into the story to show us the way.
John 10:4 - When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice
John 10:7 - Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
John 14:6 - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
But we must choose to follow Him. - Joshua 24:15; John 3:16; Matthew 7:13-14 (when you find it - show it. This is Discipleship