March 04, 2009


Philippians 2:12-15

It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Philippians 2:13


Myra Brooks Welch wrote a poem titled “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.” It tells of an auctioneer who is unable to sell an old battered violin until a master musician plays the instrument with such grace that the selling price jumps to great heights.

The change in perception happened because of performance. When we allow our lives to be a violin played by God, we will hardly believe the wonderful music that is produced.

Satan is perfectly willing to have a person confess Christianity as long as he or she does not practice it. Put another way, the critical fruit of doctrine is contained in the first two letters—DO. No farmer ever plowed a field by turning it over in his mind. The smallest deed is often better than the grandest intention. Likewise, as we start playing the violin God has given us, our perceived value in God’s kingdom suddenly soars.

As we begin to act, God acts on us. God is so powerfully active within us that both our willing and our working are empowered by his Spirit. With the touch of the Master’s hand, we can play any song. Our obedient service to God is the best performance we can give. In fact, it is like light shining into the world. God appears brighter than ever when we perform his music and follow the lead of the Master conductor.

God of grace and power, we are your orchestra ready to follow your musical score. May our performance for you make beautiful music, transforming your world. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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