A Friend in Need

I don’t know where your definition of fine art lies. Maybe it’s the classic black velvet Elvis. Or maybe you like my favorite: A Friend in Need. 

And then there are those among us who have higher standards. Their tastes run to the classic Renaissance painters: the daVincis and Rapheals.

Wherever your tastes lie, I think my observation will apply to all of us. When we gaze at a piece of art, we don’t marvel over the canvas. We don’t get excited about a particular shade of blue we see in the painting. As we gaze at what we see as great art, we marvel over the artist.

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Take David by Michelangelo. It is easily considered one of the finest sculptures in all the world. But no one walks into the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy and says, “Wow, Mildred, will you look at that big chunk of marble! That has got to be the whitest marble I’ve ever seen.”

While it is an exceptional piece of white marble, everyone’s amazement is drawn to what Michelangelo did with it. We marvel how a 26-year-old young man painstakingly chiseled such incredible detail in marble. And at almost 17 feet tall, this was no weekend project. Michelangelo worked for two years on his sculpture.

To my point, we don’t glory in the sculpture; we glory in the sculptor. We know it as Michelangelo’s David. It’s not simply David; it’s Michelangelo’s David. We can’t look at this sculpture and not think of Michelangelo.

Everything about this work of art points to its creator. David brings glory to Michelangelo.

Everything about our lives is to point to our Creator. Everything.  We are His creation. All we have, all we possess, and all we’re capable of are from His hand and out of His grace. As followers of Christ, “you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).

Our human nature caters to self-glorification. We live in a celebrity-driven culture where we seek the praise and adulation of others. But our greatest joy and contentment comes, not from a focus on self, but on pointing all the attention to Jesus Christ.

“Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory” (Ps. 115:1).

When we seek to follow God and do His will, God will never call us to something that does not bring Him glory. When weighing the options before you, consider which one will bring the greatest glory to God.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

I’m no David, but the One who created me and works through me is far greater than any Italian scultor. A piece of marble may bring glory to Michelangelo, but I can bring glory to God.

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This post supports the study “God’s Will and the Glory of God” in Bible Studies for Life.