Proverbs 2-8-23

We can fixate on worldly passions, or we can focus on the love, joy and peace that Jesus offers us in a relationship with Him.

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. Psalm 33:3

What happens to worldly passions (desires) when we fixate on them? They become addictions, entanglements, snares, and eventually, our downfall. Without a focus, a target, so to speak, our passions will never reach their full potential; they veer off-track. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:4, “Through these [His glory and goodness] he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine naturehaving escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” God created us with unique talents and gifts, and He wants us to participate in His divine nature. When we allow Him to unlock those talents and gifts, we find true release and ultimate fulfillment as He says to us, “Well done!” The inspiration of the Spirit is a duet, a cooperative effort that creates something that no one has ever seen or heard or done. It may not get world-wide attention, but it is something that you and the Spirit create together. For this reason, Christians have drawn, painted and sculpted as outlets of their praise and worship, and to inspire other Christians to give praise to God.

From, “Person of Interest,” page 131,

The early Christians were immediately inspired by Jesus and eventually employed every art media at their disposal to draw, paint, sculpt, and craft images of their Savior. Even those who opposed Jesus and his followers were inspired to depict Jesus, if only mockingly. Perhaps the earliest image of Jesus was drawn in this way, illustrating him as as donkey. But shortly thereafter, emerging images of Jesus revealed the adoration of his followers as they illustrated episodes of his life and ministry.

Buried within this historic collection of inspired art is an evidence trail. The fingerprints of Jesus dominate the art of the earliest centuries of the Common Era. So much so that the truth about Jesus can be completely reconstructed simply from the oldest known Christian paintings and sculptures. Page 135

The renowned masters of every historic period, every artistic genre, and every region of the world painted, sculpted, sketched, or etched Jesus of Nazareth.
This did not have to be the case, and it cannot be said of the leader of any other religious movement. Art as we know it today was forever shaped by the inspiration of Jesus, even when those who were inspired didn’t claim a Christian identity. No other person in history has been such a person of interest to artists. No other historical figure has received this much artistic attention. No one has mattered like Jesus.
Page 138

Musicians have composed, sung and played music to Him and for Him since the very beginning of the Church. Philippians 2:6-10 may have been one of the first “songs” of the early church–but, music is tomorrow’s topic! Today, enjoy the artistry around you and allow it to help you praise our Lord.

Abba, I like looking at art; it inspires me to think of You. Dance moves me to tears of joy. Music–ah, music–gives me an outlet that soothes the savage beast within me. I identify with the words of praise or the melody of the instrument. Even now, as I listen to instrumental music, it resonates within me a calm and peace that I might miss without the music. I find myself talking to You easily as the music plays. I praise You for music and what it means in my life. Amen.

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