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home : religion : religion October 15, 2019

10/12/2019 12:11:00 AM
Painted Into A Corner

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC

Leonardo da Vinci was one of the most talented men in history. He was a great draftsman, an engineer, a thinker, and of course one of the most famous artists who has ever lived. Can you imagine being great at everything?

I read a story that described an incident that happened before he commenced work on his rendering of “The Last Supper.” According to the story, Leonardo had a serious altercation with a fellow artist. Leonardo was so angry and bitter at his former friend that he decided to use the image of his face for one of the faces of the disciples. Can you guess which disciple Leonardo selected for his new nemesis? You’re right, he selected Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus. The face of Judas was one of the first completed in his painting.

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When friends would come by to check on his progress and bring Leonardo an encouraging word, they easily recognized Judas with the face of his old friend. Leonardo da Vinci had made up his mind to exact his revenge on this man forever, or until the end of time, or as long as the painting lasted (I think you know what I mean).

The painting was going just fine until he had to paint the face of Jesus Christ. It seemed that Leonardo could not make any progress in defining the compassion and forgiveness of Christ on canvas. He was experiencing what millions of Christians have experienced in their lives at one time or another, the correcting power of God in his life. We call it “conviction.” Conviction is God’s corrective force in our lives, to put us back where we need to be in order to honor Him. Without conviction, each Christian would do what would be right in his or her eyes. Talk about a mess!

Leonardo da Vinci held to a belief that is still popular today. He felt that his talents were at his disposal for his use, and maybe for his own personal satisfaction. I am always grateful for God’s mercy and grace, but we should never forget Who is in charge of all heaven and earth. No matter how famous you believe you are, it is God who decides if and when you are going to use His gifts. Yes, you can misuse a gift from God, but when God decides that you are not going to do something, you are not going to do it!

When Leonardo finally accepted the conviction that painting the face of his adversary as Judas for his own amusement was wrong he did something about it. He repainted the face of Judas Iscariot! He then set out to paint the face of the Master, and this time with the success which the ages will never forget.

What can we learn from this piece of history? First, don’t make a famous artist mad; your face might be used to depict some character in the Bible like Jezebel or the Pharaoh in Egypt who opposed Moses! Second, you cannot attempt to paint the features of Christ into your own life, and use hate and meanness to paint your actions into the lives of others. Third, always use your gifts from God to bring Him glory. If you spend your life using His gifts to accomplish your goals, then you will never get anything worthwhile accomplished. Forth, always allow the Spirit of God to speak to your heart to make sure you are living a life that honors God.

How do you respond to the corrective conviction in your life? I pray that conviction brings repentance, and repentance will bring a spiritual fruit that will last forever!

Remember, don’t give in to sin. Think about it!

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