Next month, all the youth groups in the town will come together for a community-wide youth group event. We have chosen, “Canvas,” as our theme for the event. At the event, we plan on playing some games, having a time of worship, and then, my former youth pastor, Jason Jackson, will deliver the message. This event will give kids who are involved in youth group a chance to invite their friends who don’t go to church or who aren’t plugged into a youth group. Our hope is that the Gospel will be heard and that kids would respond, think about how they are living, and give their lives to Christ.
When we considered having Canvas being the theme of this event, the thought of painting, artists, and artwork naturally came to mind. So, like all good Christians do once they have a keyword or idea and need a biblical passage to go along with it, we googled it! Ephesians 2:1-10 was one of the passages that Google brought up; thanks Google! It is the perfect fit for the message that we want to share!
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
When thinking about a canvas, the first thing that must be done in order for a canvas to be a canvas is that a framework needs to exist. This framework can be seen as a life found in Christ. It is important that a foundation in Christ is built before the artist (God), can begin his artwork. When a canvas is being attached to its framework, it must be stretched and nailed for it to attach to the framework. The stretching and nailing of the canvas can symbolize those struggles and trials that we may go through when we are being formed into the people that God has called us to be. A life in Christ requires change. Many times, this change stretches our faith and our comfortable lives.
Change is awkward.
We will lose friends.
Our lifestyle will look different.
However, we must embrace that the Artist knows what He is doing. Despite the stretching and struggles that the canvas may endure, we must hold on to the truth that God saved us by his grace when we believed. He has a beautiful painting in mind throughout the process.
This process is a gift from God. We are God’s masterpiece.
When we give God our everything, he becomes our framework. He uses us as a blank canvas, painting us with beautiful colors that bring light to the world and bring glory to His’ name. Who is the artist of your canvas? What message is your canvas reflecting?