THE MASTER SCULPTOR & HIS CHISEL The block of marble that became Michelangelo's most famous masterpiece, David, was a stone that had been discarded by several other sculptors. In carving out the statue Michelangelo visualized the form of David in the rock and then set about removing everything from the block that was not his image of David. The English word "character" comes from the Greek word 'kharakter' which literally means 'chisel'. The word is used in Hebrews 1.3 where it refers to Yeshua as the exact image (kharakter) of the Father. He (as a man) has been chiseled into the exact likeness of God our Father. Paul shows, that as God communicates His infinite love to us, He also uses tribulation to shape our character - and to conform us more into the image and likeness of Jesus. God is like a master sculptor, who exploits the various events of life in this fallen world to remove and chisel away everything from us that does not fit in with the image and likeness of Jesus. "We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Romans 5.3-5) "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8.28-29) Recently, we heard someone say 'God is more interested in our character than in our comfort." God’s main task with us is to conform us to the image of His Son and He will use absolutely everything that happens to accomplish this end. For this reason, believers should never be ashamed of suffering as if it were an expression of lack of faith or of not being victorious, but should rejoice in tribulations while resisting the devil. In seasons of trial believers need never be discouraged, but can learn to 'glory in tribulation." "Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." (James 4.7) Sometime we resist, not only the devil but every circumstance we do not like. In this way we can hinder the Fathers' loving and careful chiseling us into the likeness of His Son. Paul calls this process "the chastening (discipline) of the Lord." It will go on throughout our lives no matter how much faith we have. The result will be that we bare the character of Yeshua more. “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens. .. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten." (Hebrews 12.6-7) God is using the tribulation of this present time (which you, yourself are also experiencing) to form a people full of character, from within the Lord’s body worldwide. The world will see His image - the character of Yeshua - more perfectly in us. He is working through literally everything to form the character of His Son in us as we yield. The Character of Yeshua is the fruit of the Spirit. “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." (John 17.20-21)
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