Keller: Allow God to shape you to be like Jesus

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A news release out of Milwaukee last week shared the story of a man sentenced to seven years for stealing a violin.

It was not an ordinary instrument, but a 300-year-old, $5 million Stradivarius violin, crafted by renowned Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari.

The article reminded me of a story I use often when speaking to groups, especially at rehabilitation centers or in jails.

It tells of an annual auction used to raise money for a nonprofit organization.

This particular year, the crowd was the largest ever and the money collected broke a record. As the auctioneer was closing the function and thanking the crowd, thinking everything had been auctioned, a member of the auction team interrupted and said, “We still have this,” and handed the auctioneer an old dusty violin with broken strings.

Hurriedly, he held it up and started the bidding.

“One dollar,” someone yelled.

“Two dollars,” said another.

“And who will make it three?” asked the auctioneer.

No one responded, but before the sale was closed, an elderly gentleman in the crowd asked if he could see it.

He walked on the stage, was handed the violin and wiped off the dust.  He straightened the strings and noticed it was an old, handmade, and expensive instrument.

“May I play it?” he asked.

With permission, he played it and the audience was in awe. Never had they heard such beautiful music.

He handed it back to the auctioneer and the bidding was reopened.

“$1,000,” a voice from the crowd shouted.

“$2,000,” said another.

It finally sold for $3,000.

One lady told her friend, “It’s amazing! I wonder what made the difference?”

“I guess it was the touch of the master’s hand.”

The story continues that people who are tattered and scarred with sin will sell themselves to the cheapest bidder, much like the old violin, until they allow the Master (God) to enter their hearts, dust them off and straighten out their lives. Only then they can become the valuable person for which they were created.

Thursday, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, there’s no better time to thank God, ask forgiveness and allow Him to shape us to be like Jesus!

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477 or e-mail: