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Daily Devotion

Recreating the Masterpiece

By Paul Dailey

"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. . . . Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:8, Philippians 3:13-14)

The chances are pretty fair that if you’ve been a Christian for some length of time, you have probably read these verses. And if you have even the slightest love for Jesus, those words evoke a retort in your heart -- something like a teenager at a rock concert. The Spirit of God inside you is leaping in untamed exhilaration at having identified with the very heart of God that beats in Jesus. The Spirit inside you testifies to the truth. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what your denominational slant on things might be. I don’t even care what version of the Bible you trust the most. There is something inside every believer that, when you read this verse, you can’t help but cry out, "Yes Lord, that’s what I want!"

But what happened from the time you first read that verse till now? Why doesn’t every believer live like that? Why did the colors of that picture run together like finger paints in the rain? Ask yourself, "What took place in my life that caused that picture of Jesus to become blurred beyond recognition?"

I believe the answer is all around you.

Paul said, "But one thing I do ..."

There was nothing else for him. But life isn’t set up that way. The whole system of the world and the entire plan of the enemy are deliberately intended to keep you from the one thing. From there to here you have gotten caught up in many things. Your life has splintered into a million tiny pieces. The beautiful magnum opus Jesus painted on your heart the very first day you surrendered to Him was slowly torn to shreds until all that remains is a shattered, fruitless existence. You find you have traded the magnificence of that work of art for old, washed-out snapshots of your own mundane life.

But take heart, friend. All is not lost. Jesus is the great Master Artist, and He can always start again to create a masterpiece in you. With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. He can gather the fragmented pieces of your life and begin to reconstruct them together again for His glory.

I am on this journey with you. I have found that I had lost that fervor, that desire to press beyond the gossamer veil of accomplishment, in order to find the excellence of the knowledge of Christ. It’s a challenge to forget those things. But I am realizing that, one day at a time, as I lie on my face before the Lord, the passion is returning quickly. It is mental and spiritual warfare to put aside the accolades, as well as the disasters, and fasten myself to the one thing. God is faithful, and for each thing I have laid aside, for each trophy that I now count as rubbish, I find another portion of that work of genius. With the Lord’s help, I am piecing the "Mona Lisa" back together again and rediscovering the glory of God.

I want to encourage you today. Wherever you are right now, if you read that passage from Philippians and your heart still cries in youthful exuberance, "Yes, Lord, that’s the hunger for You I want," there is still time. You haven’t gone too far. You haven’t blown your last chance. Get down on your knees right now and ask God to help you regain that passion for Him. Let the Lord put His brush to the canvas of your heart and paint something new and fresh in you today. Little by little you will see the image of Jesus begin to take shape in you. And before you know it, you’ll be right back where God wants you, pressing into Him and reveling in the all-surpassing excellent knowledge of Jesus.

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