Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 1/27/2008

Yesterday’s message in the God’s Good Creation Series was called God’s Good Gift of Creativity, taken from Exodus 31:1-6.

Exodus 31:1-6 -Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts — to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you.”

The main idea of the message was that we should use the creative gifts God has given us to bring God glory in all aspects of life. Here is a brief summary of the message:

I. God chooses to whom he gives gifts. (1-2)

God chose what gifts to give Bezalel for the task of building the tabernacle. God is the giver of all gifts, and he chooses which gifts to give to whom. God in his wisdom gave you exactly the creative gifts that he wanted you to have. Your gifts are part of who you are. They are part of the person that God created you to be. And so you should receive those gifts with thanksgiving and use them to the best of your ability.

II. God gives knowledge, skill, ability and craftsmanship. (3)

Bezalel, was a master craftsman. He was filled with the Spirit of God in knowledge, skill and ability to do the work of building the tabernacle. We are not all going to be like a Bezalel. And that’s okay. God not only chooses to whom he gives gifts; he also chooses how much of any gift he gives to each person. But the point is this. Whatever knowledge, skill and ability you have comes from God. God is the giver of all good gifts, and so we should never take a wrongful pride in the talents and gifts that he has given us.

III. God gives a wide variety of creative gifts. (4-5)

God gave Bezalel a wide variety of gifts. And that was all just one person! God in his grace gives a wide variety of gifts to all people everywhere. And so when we think of creative gifts, we should not limit ourselves to just thinking about the creative arts – painting, sculpture, writing, music, dance, design, photography, and so on. All of human endeavor involves creative gifts and abilities, from a simple setting of the table for dinner to the building of a vast cathedral.

Anytime you put part of yourself into a task or project you are being creative. Anytime you organize or decorate something you are being creative. Anytime you solve a problem you are being creative. Anytime you inject humor into a situation you are being creative. Anytime you apply the knowledge, ability and skill that God has given you to the task at hand, you are being creative. And this whole, wide variety of creative gifts comes from God.

IV. God’s gifts have a purpose. (6)

God gave Bezalel, Oholiab and all the other craftsmen the particular skills they needed in order to build the tabernacle. God gives creative gifts for a purpose. Part of that purpose is simply for us to fulfill our role as human beings made in the image of God. A strong, biblically-based creational theology encourages us as Christians to get involved in all areas of life.

Too often we think of Christianity only in terms of the Bible, prayer, and church on Sunday mornings. But as important as all those things are, the Christian life is so much bigger than that. Christianity is all about being human to the glory of God. And so that means taking all that God has created in this world and all of human culture and creativity and then returning it to God in praise. Otherwise, Christian faith becomes divorced from real life, and we lose our real influence as Christians in the world.

Beyond the general overall purpose of reflecting the image of God in society by exercising your creative gifts, God also has specific purposes for the gifts he has given you. Ephesians 2:10 says that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Just as Bezalel and Oholiab produced quality workmanship for the tabernacle, you are the workmanship of Almighty God. And God has not only prepared specific works for you to do, but he also created you with the specific gifts necessary to do those good works. God’s gifts have a purpose, and God has a purpose for the creative gifts he has given you.

APPLICATION: What should our response be to all this?

  1. Thank God for the creative gifts he has given you. Do not put down your gifts. Do not envy the gifts of others. Do not boast in your gifts. Rather, thank God for the specific gifts he has given you, and do so with a spirit of humility and wonder.
  2. Use and develop your creative gifts. Remember the parable of the talents? God does not want you to bury your gifts in the ground. Work hard, and develop the gifts God has given you. Take the gifts that God has given you, develop them to the best of your ability, and then use them in loving service to God and others.
  3. Engage all of life for God’s glory. Remember, “Everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” (1 Timothy 4:4) So if you are an artist, then yes, go ahead and paint scenes from the Bible, but also paint portraits and landscapes and snippets of life. If you are a musician, then yes, write praise songs to God, but also write love songs and fun songs and songs about all aspects of life. No matter where your gifts or interests lie, God can use you to bring him glory in this world.

Note: To read the complete message, go to the Sermons tab at the top of the blog.

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