“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
We are created and saved for a purpose. God saves us in Jesus Christ as that we might live into the purpose for which we were created. We are most fully alive when we are doing what God created and saved us to do. What is that? To join God in his kingdom work. That’s what we were created for and that’s why God saves us in Jesus Christ.
The following is a story of Niccolo Paganini and his violin. I wish I wrote down who the author was, but I didn’t! So, just know that I am not the author of the following story. I share with you the story of Niccolo Paganini’s violin because it’s a perfect illustration of what we were created for.
Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840) has been called the greatest violinist who ever lived. He astounded audiences by performing an entire sonata on a single string. In one piece, “Variations for the Fourth String,” he used a harmonic technique to reach a note three octaves beyond what that string could normally produce – a note no other violinist could reach. He amazed and delighted thousands of music lovers during his lifetime.
Paganini willed his favorite violin, which he called il mio cannone violino (my cannon violin), to the city of Genoa. He placed only one condition on his bequest: No one would ever be allowed to play it. So the cherished violin was displayed in a display case. Unfortunately, violins do not age well in a display case. A finely crafted instrument needs to be exercised regularly to maintain its beauty and tone. Paganini’s violin was drying out and cracking from lack of use until the city decided to violate the terms of the will and allow the instrument to be played from time to time.
So it is with you and me. God did not create us to be museum pieces, placed behind glass as silent exhibits of his grace. He created us to be used daily for his glory and for the blessing of others. We can never become what he intends us to be until we allow him to use as he intends.