Creativity, Part 2

Creativity, Part 2

As we discussed in the last article, God has made mankind in His own image; He has made us to be creative even as He is creative. 

Every human being has a unique personality—we all understand that fact.  In the same way, we each have a wonderfully individual mixture of talents and abilities blended in a distinctive combination. 

Whatever our talents and giftings, God has not only given them to us but He has blessed us to serve Him and His kingdom through them.  Here are several passages of Scripture that demonstrate the talents that He has given to mankind, and also how those abilities are intended to bless everyone around us.

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.  (Ex 31:3-5)

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.  (Rom 12:4-8)

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  (1 Pet 4:10-11)

In our creativity we live, walk and work by faith, trusting that God has blessed the work of our hands.  By faith, we also understand that the Lord uses our creative work to bless, help, and to inspire other people.

Keep on creating, friend!

Creativity, Part 1

Creativity, Part 1

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  (Gen 1:27)

. . . for in the image of God He made man.  (Gen 9:6b)

God created mankind in His own image.  If we meditate upon this concept, it can be eye-opening for us. 

One point I’d like to discuss here is that our God is a creative Being, and He has created us in His own likeness.  Every single one of us has the capacity to be creative.  What does that mean?  It means that every human being has original talent and ability in unique areas and ways.  Each and EVERY one of us has and does receive:

  • Imagination
  • Inspiration
  • Resourcefulness
  • Inventiveness
  • Productivity
  • Innovation
  • Artistic thoughts/ideas

We’re not all called to be actors or musicians, but we may instead be called to be composers or designers.  We may be a computer whiz whose creative ideas design new programs and software.  Another person may be an interior designer, an engineer, or a gifted organizer with skill and talent in creating workable systems.  There are as many ways to be creative as there are human beings on the face of the earth!

Don’t sell yourself short!  Acknowledge that you have creativity within you.  Think about what you most love to do, and where your talents and abilities lie.  Then release yourself mentally to prosper in the occupation of your choosing!

God has blessed all of the work of our hands, minds, and hearts.

Do you see a man who excels in his work?  He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men.  (Pro 22:29)

There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.  (1 Cor 12:5-6)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.  (Jam 1:17)  See our next article for part two of this topic.

 

 

Beauty

Beauty

“Beauty will save the world.”  ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.  (Ps 50:2)

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
  (Isa 52:7)

What is Zion and why is it important to Christians? 

Jerusalem and Zion are one and the same city.  Zion was the place of God’s special presence among His people, and the place where they turned for help and deliverance.  Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE (before Common Era).  During classical antiquity, Jerusalem was considered the center of the world, where God resided.

What does all of this have to do with our topic of beauty?  Because God promises to shine forth out of Zion, which is called the perfection of beauty

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.  (Ps 33:1)

The Word of God reminds us that praise is beautiful—not only in the sight of God but in the sight of men, as well.  If I happen to find a television program that is broadcasting a praise and worship service, I find it so beautiful to see that I’m moved to tears.

. . . rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.  (1 Pet 3:4, emphasis added)

In this verse from first Peter, the Word of God tells us that a gentle and quiet spirit is indestructibly beautiful!  It is also very treasured by our God.  So, we see that God considers salvation to be a beautiful thing, along with our praises to Him.

It is this inner quality of beauty that God commends and which the entire world unerringly recognizes!  We will achieve this level of beauty as we obey God and seek to follow Him.  He is the only One who transforms lives because He is the glory and the lifter of our heads!  (Ps 3:3)  Because His Spirit lives within each one of us, His beauty will shine forth through us.

This is why Isaiah 52:7 (at top of this article) calls the feet of those who spread the Gospel “beautiful feet”!  We all may confidently pursue this beauty that shines forth from our inner man.

 

Don’t Compare Yourself: Just BE Yourself

Don’t Compare Yourself:  Just BE Yourself

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.  (2 Cor 10:12)

The Bible has some pretty clear teachings that indicate that we should never compare ourselves to others, nor to be so foolish as to praise ourselves, either.  Comparison is a trick that the devil uses to steal our joy and to make us envious of others. 

Here are some helpful hints about the kinds of things that God wants us to do in order to live as God created us to:

  • Focus upon loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mk 12:30)
  • Lead a quiet life and mind our own business. (1 Thes 4:11-12)
  • Be proud of our own accomplishments, and assume responsibility for our own actions. (Gal 6:4-5)
  • Be transformed by renewing our mind. (Rom 12:2)
  • Humbly think of others as being better than ourselves. (Php 2:3)
  • Commit our way to the Lord and trust Him. (Ps 37:5)
  • Be content. (1 Tim 6:6-8)
  • Give thanks for everything. (1 Thes 5:18)
  • Imitate Christ. (1 Cor 11:1)

Remember, don’t compare yourself to anyone.  Just go ahead and be the best version of yourself ever!

Clothed With Power?

Clothed With Power?

God is the only One who can bestow special power upon people.  His purpose for doing so is to enable witnesses to broadcast the gospel [good news] of Jesus Christ to the world.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  (Eph 3:14-21, emphasis added)

Note that our witness, according to verse 17 above, is to be rooted and authenticated in LOVE!  This will result from our own experience of the love of Christ for us. (v. 19)  Love is the bond of perfection, and it must be our sole motivation for all ministry.  (Col 3:14)

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.  (Lk 24:49 NIV)

In Luke 24, Jesus was instructing His followers to wait for the arrival of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  The disciples wouldn’t have received the grace that they needed to be effective witnesses for Christ until then.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

The indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to obey the instructions that Jesus gives us in Matthew 10:8 – Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Fulfill your mission, brothers and sisters!  Share the power that God has placed within you now . . . today!

Living in the Moment

Living in the Moment

Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.  (Isa 43:18)

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  (Mt 6:34, NIV)

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.  (Rom 13:11, emphasis added)

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  (2 Cor 6:2b)

This is all about living in the NOW of our lives.  Our past is behind us, but remembered.  Our future is unknown but hoped for.  Only today—this moment in time—is of ultimate importance and necessity!  Why?

The present matters deeply.  We must live right now, in this moment, in the kingdom of God.  Recognize that the kingdom of God and His power are within you!  (Lk 17:21; Acts 1:8; 2:4)

We should nurture an attitude of heart that is always seeking and searching for God’s will and God’s best for ourselves and for others.  We need to put away distractions and selfishness, and focus on what God’s plan for us is. 

What ministry has God called you to?  What lives does He want you to touch?  What life experience has developed compassion in you for others, and how can you share that compassion?  How can you help others, and improve their lives?

Not only does God’s presence surround us, but people in need surround each of us as well!  Jesus wants us to reach out to the needy and the hurting, and to minister His love and mercy to them through each of us.   Jesus wants us to:   Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.  (Mt 10:8)  These are His instructions that He gives to each one of us. 

In Jesus, come ALIVE and live in the moment for the Kingdom and for God’s glory!

It Stood Fast

It Stood Fast

For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.  (Ps 33:9, emphasis added)

What does “it stood fast” tell us?  Here’s the same verse in the The Bible in Basic English (BBE) version:

For he gave the word, and it was done; by his order it was fixed for ever.  (Ps 33:9 BBE)

This verse is communicating the understanding and knowledge that, at God’s Word, things are permanently created!  They are established and secured.

That’s the power inherent in God’s Word.  Once we fully understand that God’s Word is creative, superior, powerful, and invincible—we have anchored this knowledge in truth and supplied our faith with rapid growth food.

As we feast upon God’s Word and meditate upon its message, we become assured not only of God’s love but also of His power to establish and to secure the very thing that it is sent to achieve.  His Word stands forever.  Hallelujah!

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.  (Isa 40:8)