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The Lord said to Moses, 'See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft.

Exodus 31:1–5

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God loves beauty. Since we are made in His image, this means that we are creative beings designed to resonate with beautiful things and to fight for beauty in order to effect positive change in the world.

If we doubt that God loves the creative arts, we need only to look at the ways He has designed His dwelling places—filled with beautiful objects and exquisite craftsmanship—or how He has filled His written word with poetry and songs. Indeed, the very first people said to be filled with God’s Spirit were craftsmen (Exodus 31:1–5). Jesus Himself was a carpenter and a storyteller. Throughout God’s creation and His Word, we see creativity and the arts.

It is possible that you’ve come to the end of this week’s study believing that you are not particularly creative. If so, take heart: every human being, without exception, is endowed with creativity because we are each made in the image of our Creator God. You don’t have to be an artist, poet, or dancer to exercise creativity or to enjoy the arts. Every area of life is an opportunity to ask questions with an open mind and then bring your own particular skills and experience to bear in ways that benefit yourself and others. And almost all of us can learn to appreciate some area of the arts: whether it’s listening to our favorite songs in the car, watching a good movie with friends, or curled up with a good book on a rainy day. These activities can bring life to our souls and joy to our hearts. And joy itself is one aspect of the kingdom of God (Romans 14:17).

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One way to increase our creativity—and also our enjoyment of the arts—is to develop hobbies or interests that bring life and joy to our souls. In his book Color Outside the Lines, Howard Hendricks says, “Our brains thrive on variety. . . . our discretionary time should be filled with choices of constructive activities that provide a contrast to what we do most of the time. The shifting of mental gears appears to kindle new thought patterns and thereby make our lives more fulfilling.” Identify a hobby or interest that makes you feel more alive, and schedule an hour or two this week to practice it.

G. K. Chesterton once said, “A saint is one who exaggerates what the world neglects.” Is there an area of truth or beauty the world is neglecting that you could “exaggerate” for the benefit of others? What is it?

In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:13–30) the only servant whom the master rebuked was the servant who was afraid to take a risk. Is there a gift or talent you have been given that you tend to hide because you are afraid of failure? Consider how you can fan that creative gift into flame in order to bring a return of beauty and benefit for God’s kingdom

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Reflections of God

Which gift or talent has God entrusted you with to help battle for beauty in this world?

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