An Unfinished Article

An Unfinished Article

Are those new years resolutions still holding strong? Or are you already wallowing in the fact you're never quite good enough? God loves you as you are, but he loves you too much to leave you like that.

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Ben Lees

Ben Lees

Ben Lees is an old friend of ours at The Bridge.

He is a Worship Leader at Holy Trinity Clapham, and has been studying at Worship Central. He is a man who is gifted in mentoring and bringing up guys in the faith and isn't half nifty with a guitar. Yes... Ben looks like the normal, attractive, dim worship leader, but he is so much more. He packs a punch. He once came second in Monopoly.

Streams

The Big Story #6: God's Church

The Big Story #6: God's Church

Rounding off our big Bible overview we look to the conclusion of the story and what we need to do to get there. God has chosen us to play a part in it, but how? What does it mean to be God's church?

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The Big Story #5: God's Son

The Big Story #5: God's Son

It all points to Him, everything that had come before, the promises, the prophecies, the people. Here we reach the climax of God's story in a person, God's son, Jesus Christ. We don't understand him until we see how he fits into what's come before.

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The Big Story #3: God's Kingdom

The Big Story #3: God's Kingdom

Look around the world and we see kings, presidents, leaders who are very much flawed. Israel had a king - God, but they wanted a human king. We look at how that worked out for God's people.

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The Big Story #2: God's People

The Big Story #2: God's People

God's story is both cosmic in scope and intimate in care, we see that as he chose to fulfil his purposes in a family. But why did God choose Abraham and the people of Israel to be the ones who would be a blessing to the whole world?

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An Unfinished Article

I remember watching a short film once called “God’s Chisel” by a Christian ministry called The Skit Guys. In the film there’s a dialogue between two people, one of them playing the role of God and one playing an everyday man. The man begins by praying and asking God to do whatever it takes to mold him into the image of Jesus.

When we first decide to give our lives to Jesus and become Christians, this should be the first prayer that we all say.

What does this really mean though, and how will it affect us now and in the future?

Ephesians 2:10 says

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” 

We were created in His image to do His works and yet I know I sometimes feel I look nothing like Jesus and question whether what I’m doing is a ‘good work’.

Before I became a Christian, I saw Christianity as a strict, rule-giving religion that in order for you to be a part of it you had to abide by God’s commands. It was through a loving and friendly welcome at a youth group that I started to search for Jesus, because I met Christians that were fun and had something about them. They didn’t care what I had done, they just accepted me and it was freeing.

God doesn’t say “change yourself and then I’ll accept you.” He says “I accept you”, and that changes everything.

It was through God’s acceptance, knowing that I wasn’t perfect, that led me to give my life to Him. I was an unfinished article, knowing that God had called me to more than just existence but not knowing how to transform myself into the image of His son.

In “God’s Chisel”, God responds to the man and takes out a chisel and hammer in order to start transforming the man into the image of Jesus. Throughout the chiseling process, the man is in pain and is constantly interrupting and stopping God because the process of being transformed is hurting him.

Anyone can follow Jesus without suffering, but no one can become like Jesus without suffering.

When we invite God into our lives, we acknowledge that we aren’t the finished article but that we are willing to be changed. We don’t suddenly start singing ‘kum ba yah’ around a campfire and wearing socks and Jesus sandals. The transformation into the image of Jesus is lifelong and usually difficult becomes it means saying no to some of the things of this world and not conforming to everyone else. The freedom we receive though through Christ is better than anything this world could ever offer.

God sees us as his perfect creation even when we don’t see it ourselves. He sees the parts of our lives that are causing us harm and that are not good for us and if we allow Him to “chisel”, He’ll enter into those things and bring good works.

When the famous renaissance artist and sculptor Michelangelo first saw one of his most famous masterpieces, the statue of David, everyone else just saw a 17ft high block of marble. Michelangelo saw each muscle, each bend in every joint and even the expression on David’s face. Over two years after work had begun on this block of marble, Michelangelo’s vision of David was born. He saw something in that marble that no one else saw.

When God looks upon you, he doesn’t just see an imperfect person, he sees his son within you, a glorious masterpiece and wants to start work transforming you into that masterpiece.

The challenge is, can you give God the chisel and hammer and say, transform me?

Hebrews 12:1

“…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”

Being a Christian isn’t always easy. Our walk, or should I say our run, isn’t always pain free. Sin will constantly try and separate us from God. Our call in life though is to live for God, to glorify Him in all we do. I trust that God knows what’s best for me and so when I ask God to make me into the image of his son, I do my best to give myself to Him with a hammer and a chisel and say “transform me”.

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