Tag Archive | Inspiration

God the Artist and Jesus the Muse

tim-arterbury-126157From the beginning of time, God has been in love.

First, He was in love with the most pure, Holy, and right being in the universe for anyone to love–Himself. And this love of God for Himself has always been expressed in the relationship between God the Father and God the Son.

Eventually this explosion of love between God and His Son overflowed to the point where it had to be shared with others. Out of this ridiculously pure and holy love, God the Father was driven to create. So He said “Let there be light,” and “Let there be space between the waters,” and “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night” and so on. The crowning act of love expressing itself in art by these two was expressed on the sixth day: “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us,” (Genesis 1:26).

So everything that was created was created, not out of utility, but out of love. The Father loved the Son (because the Son was the exact expression of the Father) and that love culminated in the creation of the Earth. You and I and the computers or phones we are reading this on and the chairs we sit in and the views we see from where we sit were all designed as an expression of love for God. God creates out of love for Himself and now out of love for us.

Friends, we are all artists. We were designed to be like God. We were made in His likeness. Not only that, but when we decide to follow Christ, God promises that the very Spirit of God comes to live inside of us.  This Holy Spirit contains the very creativeness of God within Him, so as believers we should be some of the most creative people on the face of the planet.  Not all of us will paint or write or sing, but all of us will create. It’s part of our nature and part of having the Spirit of God within us.

While we are all called to be creative, not all of us are. By looking at the example of God, we see that true creativity is birthed out of love.  Truly creative ideas, the kind that change the world and leave a mark on history, aren’t birthed out of selfishness and the desire to be an artist. They are birthed out of a passionate love that grips the artist so that he or she creates must create. If we want to be an artist, we must fall in love.

The secular world talks frequently of muses. Originally these were daughters of Zeus who as spirits inspired artists and scientists. In today’s world we use the word to refer to people who become the inspiration for our art. These muses give writers and directors and painters ideas and provoke art. But from the beginning of time, God had One muse: His Son.

Our level of creativity as Christians is tied to the level that we are loving and musing on Jesus. The more we love Christ and think on Him, the more creative we will become, because our creativity will be birthed from the same fountain that caused God the Father to create the Earth. Paul wrote that without love we are a noisy gong or clanging symbol. The love of Christ compelling us to create keeps us from that kind of gaudy, temporary, short-lived art that doesn’t really matter. Love for Christ frees us to make art that resonates for eternity.

So work at expanding your skills. Get better at whatever your craft is. But in all your attempts to be a better artist, muse on Christ. Love Him well. The love of Him will fill you inspiration to create from a place of purity and inspiration the world will never be able to replicate.

In all your getting, artist, get a love for Christ.

[Related: Jonathan Edwards on the Relationship of the Trinity]

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Inspiration Avenue 2017 06 11

Welcome to Inspiration Avenue!

My conviction is that our generation is over-taught and under-inspired, so every week I cultivate some of the most inspiring content I can find on the internet and bring it to you. I hope you are inspired to live fully submitted to Christ and pursuing everything He purchased for you on the Cross.

Maybe this goes without saying, but I don’t expect you to agree with me about everything I post here. In fact, I expect some of the things I post will rattle your theological cages. My suggestion? Be inspired by people who aren’t perfect. Realize you won’t agree with everything I share here. Eat the chicken, spit out the bones.

So, without further ado, here are three sources of inspiration for the week:

Simple Church JournalMethods and Tools vs. Prayer and Obedience: Roger Thorman writes about his journey into simple, organic house churches on his blog, SimpleChurchJournal. This post hammers at the thought that all of our disciple making methods and strategies are useless outside of a close walk with the Lord. This is so crucial, because often we get so caught up in the methods that a relationship with Christ can get left behind.

Salvation ArmyThe Phenomenonal Growth of the Salvation Army: Lex Loizides is a church historian of the revivalist variety. He spends his time at his blog Church History Review telling the stories of revivals of the past. Currently Lex is telling the story of the Salvation Army. While the whole story is powerful, I was particularly touched by the picture here of William Booth as an old man, completely eclipsed by the men and women he had raised up into ministry from the ranks of the poor and disenfranchised. May God help us all to raise up disciples that touch the nations of the Earth like He did with William and Catherine Booth.

David RavenhillDavid Ravenhill: David Ravenhill is the son of famed preacher and revivalist Leonard Ravenhill. Leonard Ravenhill was known throughout the 70’s and 80’s for calling the church away from being like the world.  I recently came across a quote of David, echoing his father in many ways: “this tidal wave of deception [. . .] seeks to make self the ultimate object of our worship while reducing God to being our ultimate personal trainer. In recent years, the words “your destiny” have been preached, prophesied, and promoted throughout the Body of Christ, to the point where self has become the center and focal point of life rather than Christ and His Kingdom.” Let’s all purpose to serve Jesus and not continue to ask Jesus to serve us.

Inspiration Avenue

Welcome to a new feature here at the blog!

We live in a society that is over-taught and under-inspired. My hope is to help a bit with this by weekly looking for inspiration and sharing a few of those sources in a post with you. Let me know your thoughts.

Maybe this goes without saying, but I don’t expect you to agree with me about everything I post here. In fact, I expect some of the things I post will rattle your theological cages. My suggestion? Be inspired by people who aren’t perfect. Realize you won’t agree with everything I share here. Eat the chicken, spit out the bones.

So, without further ado, here are three sources of inspiration for the week:

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The Sent Life: This is a podcast I just discovered on Facebook yesterday. It’s by a brother named Jonathan Ammon. Jonathan is connected to the #NoPlaceLeft network and is passionate about reaching the unreached, making disciples, and building up the church. I’ve listened to a few of his podcasts so far and I’ve been really encouraged. The content is good, but more than anything, I hear in his voice a focus on “sentness” that I don’t hear other places. Jonathan is not a house church guy, necessarily, but for those of you who are, you will find much to be encouraged about. Also, for a church planter, he has a ton of perspective on healing and hearing the voice of the Lord that I don’t hear in most church planting circles.

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Shawn Bolz: The other day I had some time with one of my sons and we were talking about the place of the prophetic in the church. He was asking good questions and listening as we read through 1 Corinthians 12 through 14, but when we got to a certain point, I decided to bring up Shawn’s facebook page and watch him minister prophetically to people. After the first video it was obvious that my son was seeing the purpose of the prophetic and was more hungry to see it operate in his life. I was too.  Want to be encouraged that God knows you and loves you and wants to communicate that? Check out this video and this one.

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Just a Little Faith: Finally, this picture by Earl inspired me.  I know, I know, we all know that it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to cause things to move in the Earth. But often we forget how small our faith needs to be if God is really in something. This was just an in-your-face reminder that something so small (like my faith) can really change things on the planet.