I’m a writer, a woman full of words. Fifi LeFan is an artist, a woman full of light and color. Among her exquisite portraits here, you’ll find our April verse, which has everything we need to know as believers: who we are, what we’re called to do, and how God makes all this possible.
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation… 1 Peter 2:9
It’s a powerful trio of Old Testament descriptions, which Peter extends to the followers of Christ, assuring us, “all the old titles of God’s people now belong to you” (Phillips).
Chosen, royal, and holy. Oh my. Not because of what we’ve done, but because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
Then and now, God says we are “the people I formed for myself” (Isaiah 43:21). We didn’t stumble into the family of God, beloved. He chose us, declaring us “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). Yes, wow.
Fifi and I agree: this description of how God sees us is our favorite.
…God’s special possession,… 1 Peter 2:9
We are a “treasure” (NIrV) to Him — something He values and guards and keeps close by His side. Since He “purchased” (DRA) us at a great price and “acquired” (YLT) us through His sacrifice, He knows intimately the value of each one of His children.
As a portrait artist, Fifi works from a photograph, but her heart’s desire is to see inside the soul of the person and capture who they genuinely are, not simply a photographic likeness. It’s the light in their eyes that invites her in, and us as well.
Fifi believes a portrait helps people grasp their true worth. “It validates them, realizing they are seen, knowing an artist has spent hours studying their features.” And to think, God has spent all of eternity looking at us! Seeing us, loving us, cherishing us.
You can imagine the joy of watching people react to the finished portrait. Fifi says, “Something happens when they see the way they are illuminated, when they see the light inside them — it’s His light, shining through.”
Whatever our talents, our training, or our daily tasks, as “God’s instruments” (MSG), we have a calling like no other.
…that you may declare the praises of him… 1 Peter 2:9
Look closely in the lower right corner of Fifi’s full-size paintings, and you’ll find her name, with a slender cross and GTG: Glory to God. It’s why she paints. It’s why I write. It’s why we all do what we do.
God empowers us to “tell about the wonderful things he has done” (ICB) and “proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you” (VOICE). If I were to list all the kindnesses God has shown me, the miracles He has showered on people I love, and the blessings He has poured over strangers I’ve met — friend, that list would stretch from sea to shining sea!
For those of us who’ve spent any portion of our life in the shadows, we’re especially grateful for the light of His grace.
…who called you out of darkness… 1 Peter 2:9
Fifi knows well that “inky darkness” (VOICE). Like many of us, she is a recovering approval addict, having grown up trying to earn the praise of others, laboring to be the light, rather than depending on His light. “Only when I was broken, when I couldn’t paint for three years, when I had nothing left inside of me — only then did I understand that darkness is the absence of color and God is all color and all beauty and all light.”
…into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Wonderful indeed. And “marvelous” (AMP) and “amazing” (CEB). Fifi’s website sums up her mission and ours: “Expressing God’s Beauty. Reflecting His Light.”
We are moons to His sun — not producing light, but reflecting it.
Words like “brilliant” and “dazzling” and “shining” and “glorious” not only pepper Fifi’s speech; they also pour from her paintbrush.
Fifi says, “God overwhelmed me with His grace and with His presence, and gave me a heart for others who feel forgotten and desperate. All I want is to love Him and love people.”
Because I’m eager for you to experience that love in vibrant, living color, our giveaway this month was an original portrait by Fifi LeFan, who has been painting professionally for as many years as I’ve been speaking. The finished artwork will be an unframed 16 x 20 original watercolor, valued at $600. It’s a gift from Lizzie, meant to bless Fifi and you!
On Tuesday, April 16, the Lord chose Evelyn W. to win a portrait of her adopted granddaughter, Courtney. Can’t wait to see what Fifi creates from Courtney’s photo!
Thanks for joining me for another Wonderful Wednesday!
Your sister, Liz
P.S. If you missed April’s first Wonderful Wednesday on Facebook LIVE, watch and/or listen as we get to know Priscilla (love that woman!). Meanwhile, meet my friend, Fifi.