I have commented on the TV programme ‘Fake or Fortune’ in the past, but while watching part of the present series another thought has come to mind. These programmes show all that is involved with proving the authenticity of certain items of art. Obviously if a picture can be proved to be by a certain artist it could be worth a great deal of money, in some cases many thousands of pounds. If not then it could be worth nothing at all. The steps taken are extremely complex involving very close scrutiny of the picture itself using high tech equipment, chemical analysis of the materials used, a thorough investigation of the picture’s provenance, sometimes involving research to the location where the picture was painted, interviews with those who know something of the pictures origin, perhaps relatives of the artist, and experts familiar with the work of the artist in question.
When all the evidence is collected it is then presented to a committee, or in some cases an individual who has the responsibility as the recognised authority on the artist, to say whether it is genuine and can be included in the official catalogue of the work of the artist or not.
What struck me over this is that the outcome, and hence the potential value of the picture, is often dependent upon the decision of one person. It is this person who has the final say.
God has the final word regarding our value, whatever others or the enemy may tell us; ‘You are not your own; you were bought at a price’ (1 Corinthians 6: 19); ‘For you know that God paid a ransom to save you … not paid with mere gold or silver … it was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless spotless Lamb of God’ (1 Peter 1:18-19); and ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3). These verses and so much more in Scripture show what God thinks of us and how much He loves us!
When we commit our lives to Him He has the final word regarding our destiny; ‘He created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall and he determines their boundaries’ (Acts 17:26); ‘For in him we live and move and exist’ (Acts 17:28); ‘We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps’ (Proverbs 16:9).
On that final day it will be only the Lord’s word that counts. Even as we present our ‘evidence of authenticity’ as it were, as did those the Lord refers to in Matthew 7:22, with the words ‘Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?” But I will reply, “I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorised”’.
Let us all make certain that in our eagerness to serve our master we only do what the Lord is asking of us so that we can look forward to His approval with the words ‘Well done my good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:21).
Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive me for the times I do my own thing and don’t always listen for Your word on the matter. Please help me to realise afresh that You are sovereign. You know best and You always have the final say. Amen.
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