God's Workmanship

J.R. Miller


"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do!" Ephesians 2:10

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

The "new creation" declares upon its very face, that the hand that made it is divine. The "living epistle" of true Christian life, reveals the handwriting of God. The mighty works of conversion, regeneration, and sanctification only God can perform. When the fountain that used to send out bitter streams, begins to send out pure, sweet waters then the prophet's hand has cast in the healing branch; but I know it was God himself that sweetened the spring. When a life once selfish, impure, unloving, unholy, false, hating God becomes loving, pure, holy, true, Christlike, human lips may have dropped the healing word into the heart; human faith may have called down heavenly blessings upon the life; and human love may have warmed the dead spirit but I know that God is the true author of the change.

If I stand by the grave of Lazarus, and see the dead man come forth living, vigorous, strong at the bidding of Jesus then I know that he was divine who did it.

When I see one who has been a reeling drunkard, or an immoral woman, or a prowling thief, or a greedy miser changed into soberness, purity, honesty, unselfishness, into the beauty of Christ then I know that the hand of God has wrought the marvelous change.

When I see Saul on the highway, hurrying eagerly on, his heart full of bitter hate against Christ, his hands red with the blood of martyrs; and, the next moment, all the bitterness, the anger, the hate gone, lying at Jesus' feet, looking up into his face, changed into a meek disciple then I know that it is the hand of God that has wrought this sudden, marvelous change!

If one shows me good fruits, and I taste them, and find them rich, luscious, and sweet then I know they must have grown on good trees. In the same way, when I see a life bringing forth the beautiful fruits of righteousness, meekness, love, faith, patience, joy, prayer, and good works then I know that they have been gathered from no tree of earth, but must have grown upon a branch of that great vine, whose root is in Heaven, but which trails all over the earth.

If the wind bears sweet fragrances in its breath, perfumes of flowers or fruits then I know it must blow over fragrant fields or gardens. In the same way, if a human life breathes the sweetness of Heaven; if the holy fragrance of love perfumes its words, its thoughts, its deeds, and all its influences then I know that it must be the breath of the Spirit of God, blowing through that life from the fields and gardens of Heaven, that so sweetens and perfumes it.

When I hear lovely strains of sweetest melody and harmony coming from a musical instrument, as I pass along the street then I know they must be skillful fingers which strike the keys. In the same way, when I hear the harmonies of Heaven, the sweet music of love and peace, songs of joy and gladness, and especially "songs in the night" of sorrow and trial, coming forth from a human heart; when I hear, however faintly and feebly, in a human life, the echo and repetition of the songs the angels sing as they do God's will; or what seems even a faint reverberation of God's own sweetness, gentleness, love, truth, and peace then I know that it must be the fingers of God that play upon the chords. No other hand could bring out such harmonies and such melodies of sweetness.

Such a song as that, Job sang over the mangled corpses of all his children. Such songs as Paul and Silas sang that night in the prison at Philippi, while their chains cut deep into their flesh. Such songs as the martyrs sang as they went into the flames. Such songs as many who read these words have sung in the hour of great trial and affliction, when their hearts were crushed and broken. Such songs as all of us have heard from the lips of dying friends as they went down into the valley of shadows. Who but God could bring such heavenly melodies out of human hearts?

Thus on its very face, the Christian life bears the evidence of God's creative skill. Only the divine hand could produce such workmanship. Miracles have not ceased. Every conversion, every beautiful and noble Christian life, every life of faith and joy lived in a world of struggle and trial is as great a miracle as any that Christ wrought in the days of his flesh.