A People Set Apart By God and For God…
“A People Set Apart”
A few years ago the LORD blessed our family with a fantastic collection of exquisite china, a truly remarkable set of dinnerware. To the casual observer it is clearly fancier, more expensive, hand-made in its detail, and therefore more special than our regular plates. Thus, we use the china only on important occasions, with honored guests, and for special entrees. Now, the plate and silverware may not directly improve the taste of the meal, but as any chef will tell you, presentation is an important part of enjoying a meal.
Furthermore, we treat the china more carefully than our normal plates, storing it in its own cabinet and washing it by hand (protecting it from the abrasiveness of the dishwasher). These are truly dishes that are “set apart” from the rest for special use.
But did you know that fine china starts out as ordinary raw materials like clay, which are then heated together at extreme temperatures (as high as 2,552 degrees Fahrenheit)? That’s right, fine china starts out as a natural object that people dig through, walk on, spit on, kick, and disregard daily, yet in the hands of an artisan, is turned into something special and beautiful through intense heat and pressure.
Similarly, those who are sons and daughters of God through an active faith in Jesus Christ are, like fine china, set apart by God for special purposes (with no less rigorous and overwhelming a refining process). God Almighty has reserved us for special use in relationship with Himself and all other people:
enjoying the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit!
Towards All Others
-guiding the lost
-uplifting the lowly
-soothing the angry
-healing the broken
-calming the anxious
-pursuing the distant
-loving the unlovable
-including the outcast
-embracing the lonely
-sharing with the greedy
-inspiring the indifferent
-teaching the uninformed
-forgiving the unforgivable
-honoring the dishonorable
-encouraging the discouraged
-offering hope to the hopeless
-being faithful to the unfaithful
This is what God has salvaged us from the scrap yard for, my friends—yes, we are masterpieces, but not so that we can comfortably sit on a marble stand in a museum behind a red velvet rope. No, God has saved us from the trash heap and is re-making us into something beautiful so that we can point others to the Great Artist Who wants to do the same for them.
So may we go out today basking in the great love and power of God as He remakes us into something beautiful. And may we handle others (and ourselves) with care, respect, and gentleness, for we are masterpieces of God with a special purpose—set apart to show off His amazing artistry.