A collector of antiques came across a beautiful grand piano. She was immediately taken with the craftsmanship and detailed work. The wood, the keys, even the bench itself were exquisitely made. The seller could tell she was quite impressed and drove a hard bargain. The collector paid more than she knew she should, but believed it worth the price to possess this masterpiece.
She had the piano delivered to a master carpenter for restoration and maintenance. After several months the true beauty of her purchase was complete and she was delighted. She thanked the carpenter, complimenting his abilities and attention to detail.
She compensated him generously for his time and had it delivered to her home in the place she had visualized it from the moment she saw it. It would be visible to all who entered her home; its beauty would welcome them without uttering a word.
Her daughter was the first to touch the keys and make the first chords. The sound was not at all what they had expected. A piano tuner was called to analyze the piano. After several hours of work he reported the piano would never play well, even though he had replaced multiple parts. It was apparent the piano itself was flawed in the design. After further efforts he was finally able to produce a tone that at best was mediocre.
The collector called in two more experts and although their techniques were impressive, the result did not come close to the beautiful exterior. Her daughter commented that the sound from an electronic keyboard was more soothing than this instrument. After deliberation and much consideration, the woman agreed.
Shortly after she invited several close friends over to her back patio for a bonfire. They discovered the piano was the main ingredient for the fire. Astonished and knowing the cost she had invested, her friends tried to persuade her to reconsider or to sell the piano, but she refused. She agreed that it was a fine work of art and beautiful to look at. However, it was designed as more than mere furniture, and it simply did not merit the title of a piano.
Moral of the story:
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
In Matthew 3:10 we see a warning to consider. One that most of us do not really want to look at too closely. Are we doing what we were designed to do? Are we producing good fruit? The piano was designed for a specific purpose, and so are we. This is not about works, this is about devotion. The Pharisees were all about works, but the warning was directed at them. Are you able to believe that God is worth devotion? I catch myself loving the idea of devotion; it is romantic and doesn’t care about the cost. But when I think deeply on the meaning of devotion I realize there is much I could change. I can’t pull up by my bootstraps, I must recognize I am weak and needy before I can adore and really devote myself to God.