“Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
–Ephesians 2:9-10 (NLT)
“Hello, students, and welcome to the opening session of Martian Community College. My name is Professor Green.
“Just as Earthlings have courses in sociology, we have started a course on Earth-ology. It is my hope that this course will foster intelligent dialogue between our two planets. In order to see this goal realized more quickly, however, I have also started a foundation to study interplanetary relations. It’s quite unfortunate that Earthlings have often been portrayed in a negative light, whereas the Martian has been cast in a superior mold.
“I felt that this was not at all the case, and that we both have strengths and weaknesses to bring to the table. I have taken quite a bit of ribbing about this stance, but I wanted to correct what I perceived to be a misconception. So, disguising myself as a businessman, I was able to travel to planet Earth and do some research while working on my dissertation.
“Now that you have a little background on me, please open your sylllabus to page 1. In today’s session, we will compare and contrast two earthly custums–namely, what humans call the common picnic, and what is known as the dinner party. I don’t know if we will have time to get through both of these topics, but if not, we will continue our discussion next week. Let me just say that it has been my pleasure to experience both of these events.
Without any further ado, I’ll begin by telling you that an Earthling picnic is very much like our intergalactic races. I wasn’t able to go on one of these picnics firsthand, but was told that they enjoy similar festivities. However, instead of Martianmellows, they eat strange things called hambergers and hot dogs. In order for you to experience these odd foods, they have been set up in back. There will be plenty if each student only takes one of them.
“While you are tasting them, I will continue. I am told that to enjoy these burgers and dogs, they go to what they call a park, and each hot dog is eaten on what they call fine china.
“Now we don’t have a lot more time to talk, as this description is taking longer than I thought. We will, however, begin our contrast between the picnic and the dinner party now. I feel more able to explain that, as I once saw a lavish affair where humans sitting at decorated tables allowed others to serve them. I couldn’t see very clearly, but it seemed like they were using what they call paper plates. These were very foreign to me, but they look something like a flimsy flying saucer.
“My sensors are telling me I’ll have to continue this discussion next week, as we are over time. But in order for you to experience these occasions as much as possible, I will bring in some earthly delicacies for you to sample next time. Class dismissed, and please read the first two chapters of my book, The Solar Neighborhood.”

Of course, this story is ridiculous, but I am using it to make a point. When you have a special occasion that requires a set of good china, it would be absurd to use a paper plate, or vice versa. But many times, I believe we have a paper-plate mentality when it comes to our relationship with God.
Let me offer this thought. I have heard some people say that man is an animal, or nothing but a cosmic accident. I even heard of one person who believed that man might be some kind of refuse left over on this planet.
In contrast to this kind of negativeism, the Bible tells us that God has made us all in His image. Like individual pieces of china, God sees His children as unique and precious treasures.
But the Bible also says that He has created us for His pleasure. So whether you feel like it or not, God sees you as a work of art, and an awesome masterpiece.
Today, my friend, if you feel more like an accident or a piece of garbage than the treasure God says you are in His word, you don’t have to listen to the voices of defeat. The Holy Spirit will help you yield yourself to a loving God, as you confess your sin to Him.
Like static on a radio, sin keeps all of us from hearing what God has to say. So when you really come to know Him by agreeing that His ways are right, you can attempt to live on the higher plane which I mentioned above. In order to be successful in this new life, ask God to fill you with His Spirit.
We will all stumble, but God wants to walk beside us, lifting us up. Furthermore, the Bible goes on to say that the body of the believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit. In other words, when you ask Him in, He abides within you.
If you already know Christ but you have drifted, know that you were created by God for a specific purpose. Ask Him what that might be, and let Him help you to start living in the way His Word says you can. Though circumstances may be difficult, remember that Christ has overcome all, and He will help you be more than an overcomer.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-432-6498. When prompted, press 1 for live chat rooms, and we’ll be waiting in room 31. You can press pound to bypass our friend Sharon’s intro message once you’ve entered room 31. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.