Summary: God is at work in our lives so that we may become more and more like Jesus... accomplishing his will in us and through us.

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Becoming Like Jesus Part 1

Title: The Making of a Masterpiece Part 1

Text: Romans 8:28-20

Thesis: God is at work in our lives so that we may become more and more like Jesus…accomplishing his will in us and through us.

Series: Belonging, Believing and Becoming

I invite you to journey with us as people who value:

• Belonging to a caring faith community. (Making everyone welcome and cared for…)

• Believing the truth of God’s Word. (The Written and Living Word of God…)

• Becoming more like Jesus Christ.


What is a masterpiece?

A masterpiece is considered the greatest work of a person’s career or a work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship.

The Sistine Chapel is a large chapel in the Vatican. The Chapel was built between 1473 and 1481.

It is a tall, rectangular building... 134 feet long and 44 feet wide with 68 feet vaulted ceiling.

The Sistine Chapel is the Pope's own chapel. It is used for important Masses and ceremonies. When a pope dies, the College of Cardinals meet in the Sistine Chapel to elect a new pope.

The Sistine Chapel is most famous for its fresco paintings by Michelangelo.

The ceiling is the most impressive and famous part of the Sistine Chapel which was painted between 1508 to 1512. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is a preeminent example of a masterpiece. Michelangelo did not just stand on a scaffold with a long handled paint roller and slap on some off-white latex from Home Depot. It was tediously painted from a standing position with his head tilted back with his arm outstretched upward... for 4 long years.

Before he began to paint, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was carefully imagined in the mind of Michelangelo.

Along the center of the ceiling are painted nine pictures that tell stories from the Book of Genesis.

The stories start with three pictures of God making light, making the Earth, the Sun and the Moon, and making the Sea and Sky.

The next three pictures tell the story of Adam and Eve. In the first scene, God has just made Adam. He reaches out his hand and touches his finger to give him Life. There is the scene where Adam is asleep and God makes Eve from one of Adam's ribs. And then the scene of the fall of man.

The last three pictures are about Noah's Ark. They tell about a sad and sinful world and the destruction of the world by a universal flood and of how Noah’s family is saved only to show how mankind continues to be very human, even when given a second change.

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is an example of a masterpiece perfectly imagined and created.

Our text today is about the imagination and creative activity of God in our lives.

The making of a masterpiece is a long process and it usually begins in the mind of the artist or the master. The master has a vision for what that masterpiece will look like when it is completed.

So we begin with the master plan of the masterpiece the master has in mind.

I. God’s Will for Us

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 is one of the most well-know and often quoted verses in Scripture. It is one of those texts we hold near and dear to our hearts. We believe and are convinced of the truth of God’s involvement in our lives. We believe God is nearby and we believe God is engaged and active in who we are and what we do and whatever occurs in our lives.

We are convinced God is at work.

A. Convictions, Romans 8:28

Our first conviction is:

1. God is at work

When we think of God being at work we imagine that God is doing something. We imagine that God is actively engaged in accomplishing something.

This is autumn and autumn means raking up the leaves that have fallen from the trees. Actually raking leaves is from a by-gone-era. We don’t rake leaves any more, we blow the leaves into piles for bagging. The last couple of days we had some folks attempting to do just that… blow the leaves off the lawn onto the parking lot and into piles for being toted away.

Our son sent me a picture of Ethan, our 4 year old grandson, attempting to blow the leaves in their yard. The leaf blower was bigger than the lad and it was a comical thing to see. He was obviously very busy at it but he was not accomplishing anything other than blowing a clear path for him to walk.

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