Imagination and Creativity – In His Image – Purity 697
Purity 697 04/05/2022 Purity 697 Podcast
Today’s original piece of art featuring what I think of as a “pink bonsai” tree on a cliff of similar hues overlooking clouds and either a blue sky or ocean or lake below, comes to us from our friend in the UK, Philip Hand. Dendrophiles and arborists will have to forgive my classification of Philip’s creation if it isn’t technically correct but that is one of the things that is great about art: it allows us to utilize our imaginations and to have our own interpretation of what we see.
Phillip utilizes his creative talents to recreate sights he has seen or to create original pieces to simultaneously bring delight to others, provide himself with a sense of peace, and also gives God glory by pointing to the Lord’s magnificent creation out in the world and inside of Philip!
When we look at a magnificent piece of art and admire the person who created it, we should also take one step further and recognize that the artist, his work, and the entire context of their creation was all put in place by God in the earth and that all the galleries and all the museums in the world contain wonderful creations from men who were all given life by the Grand Artist that spoke the world into creation.
Whether the painter, sculptor, architect, or craftsman recognizes that fact that the part of their artistic talents that “just came naturally” to them were given to them by God or not, God rightfully should be recognized as “an inspiration” for every creative work of man because He not only provided the raw materials and the setting for the work by creating the universe, He also shaped the course of history to create the environment in which the artist was given life and felt moved to work their craft.
Our ability to appreciate art, to imagine and think about abstract concepts, to “create” the things we imagine, to recognize that truth of a Creator above us, and to begin the search to know the ultimate meaning of life that can lead us to know the Lord is the evidence that we are different from the rest of the living creatures on this planet.
Although man can be wickedly savage and depraved, our capacity for creativity and to love show us that the Bible is telling the truth when it reveals that mankind was made in God’s image.
But unfortunately, our creativity and imagination can be short sighted and be used for our own selfish means and we can willfully deny that there is a God that provided us with all that we have.
That’s why the Lord sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth. God sent Jesus to teach us that there is a God who loves us and who calls us to use our talents for good and who wants us to be reconciled with Him.
Christ revealed Himself as God in the flesh through His creative works. Christ’s miracles of healing disease, multiplying limited resources to provide a meal for thousands with the loaves and the fishes, making water into wine, walking on water, casting out demons, and raising the dead to life were done so we could recognize that this Son of Man was God the Son. And what was this “creative genius”, this artist, this miracle worker trying to tell us? What was His message? Jesus said in:
John 6:38-40 (NKJV)
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
God created the universe and made mankind to have dominion over it. God wanted us to freely live and create a life for ourselves with the gifts that He gave us to give Him glory. But Adam, although admittedly tempted and deceived, imagined a life independent of God and His good counsel leading to the fall of man and the broken world of sin that we live in now.
But The Lord imagined a way to bring sinful mankind back to Him. He sent Jesus Christ to create a way where we could be forgiven of our sins, have peace with Him, and live with Him eternally. Through faith in Christ we can be set free from the guilt of our sin and experience a new and eternal life with which we can contribute to the creative works of God’s kingdom.
Through living according to God’s ways, our transformed lives can be a thing of beauty in and of themselves but they can also inspire others to come to Jesus and to become a part of God’s magnificent tapestry of love.
So keep walking and talking with God. Everyday is another opportunity to create another “good work” that will give God glory. Through loving our neighbors as ourselves and by conforming ourselves to the image of Christ, we contribute to the masterpiece of God’s kingdom. We may not have skill with paints or the other implements from the world of art, but our very lives can be the form of expression we can use to bring joy and peace to other people’s lives and that will reflect the love that the Original Artist has for His creation.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is :
Romans 3:24 (NLT2)
24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Today’s Bible verse reminds us that God declares us righteous through Jesus Christ and that it is through His kindness that we are forgiven and freed from the penalty of our sins.
Okay, if you’ve got a déjà vu feeling, you are not the only one . Rather recently the Bible Promise book from men shared Romans 3:22 & 23 and I gave a commentary that included the context and the content of today’s verse.
Honestly, when I came across today’s verse I thought I may have lost my spot in the book and was going over old ground causing me to have a small moment of panic. I was momentarily worried that I was going to be redundant and it may annoy someone.
But you know what?
I think that the truth of what today’s verse is sharing is something that we can benefit being reminded of.
The fundamental doctrine of grace is counterintuitive to everything the world teaches us about being self sufficient and earning our own way through life.
So it is good to be humbled by the fact that it is God who declares us righteous. We don’t earn it. Christ paid the cost and it is only through our simple faith in Him that we avoid the penalty of our sins and are set free.
Unfortunately this is something that we can take for granted. “Yeah I know, Jesus paid for my sins. I’m forgiven. Can I go now, I got work to do.”
Simple phases like that reveal that we have let the world steal our joy. The fact that we are forgiven should be a great relief and be used as a continual source of peace.
Because it is based on what Christ did, we can’t screw it up! That’s good news! Because man, I screw up things all the time! To minor errors to colossal blunders, I have the potential to really make mistakes and could condemn myself.
But I’m forgiven. I can try to fix the mistakes I make in life and may or may not succeed in those efforts. My mistakes can result in the loss of finances, relationships, and the good opinion of others but whether or not I can fix my mistakes, be reconciled to others, or regain a good reputation in this world ultimately it doesn’t matter! Because at the end of the day and at the end of my life here on earth, I am forgiven and am declared righteous by God.
If nobody loves me because of the messes I make or the silly things I can say at times, God still loves me and He will never leave me or forsake me. He forgives me and declares me righteous because of His undeserved kindness.
When they tell you to put on the whole armor of God, remember that all of those metaphorical pieces of armor merely point out that you are in Christ and you are forgiven and made righteous. With these assurances from God, nothing can “touch us”. Nothing and no one can separate us from His love or prevent us to from being the people that He created us to be. Thank you God, Thank you Jesus, Thank You Holy Spirit!
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.
G. How to Grab Good Food “On the Go”
We’re all tempted … and too often we succumb.
We’re standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, surrounded by racks of candy bars, chips, and all other kinds of products dripping in saturated fats and sugar. As the cashier totals up the cost of our asparagus, bananas, and ever so lean chicken … plop … a big, fattening candy bar winds up in the mix. How did I let that happen?… we later lament.
Besides planning ahead and predetermining not to “give in” to unhealthy foods, the following tips can help when those cravings crash upon us outside the home. And by committing our desires and goals to the Lord, Scripture tells us we will find success.…
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
Plans for the Road
• Avoid ordering “junk food,” which is high in fat and low in nutrition.
• Don’t eat at restaurants without planning ahead.
• Eat at restaurants that offer a variety of healthy foods.
• Keep a small cooler in your car with healthy snacks.
• Predetermine the best foods to order when eating out (fish, turkey, chicken, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, etc.).
• Take healthy foods with you when you are away from home (fruit, nuts, white cheese).
As you consider your strategy for eating on the go, remember that both planning and implementing are necessary for success. And remember that you are not alone in making plans because the Lord Himself makes and carries out His plans.…
“ ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ”
Reducing Body Fat
Question: “Should I eat only once or twice a day in order to lose weight?”
Answer: No! You can optimize your body’s fat burning ability by eating five times each day: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. Keep portion sizes no larger than your fist. Remember, caloric intake for women will be slightly lower than for men because women have a naturally slower metabolism.
The priests serving God’s chosen people were to follow strict instructions concerning the fat of offerings, as recorded in the Bible.…
“They shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven.”
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 35–36.