Found In You Devotional - Day 3

I'm currently on my first cruise and it's been really interesting. One thing that was really cool but very unexpected was a Park West art gallery on the 3rd deck of the ship. It was super cool. Back when I was a kid, before I decided to really make music my thing, I was really into art. I painted a lot with my grandma, and we would do Bob Ross paintings together. Honestly, my favorite part was cleaning the brush, because Bob would always smack the water off his brush and say to “beat the devil out of it!” Anyway, Park West being on the ship reminded of my love for art.

There is something so amazing about a painting that can make you feel something. They had ten different events throughout the week, and I really tried to hit them all. I got the chance to attend my very first art auction, and the first painting was a very colorful piece by Peter Max. It sold for $30,000! I thought that was completely insane for what the painting was, but then I started to learn more about the artist. Peter Max is literally a living legend! Critics say that his art is the “visual counter part to the music of The Beatles.” His art is everywhere! I promise that you cannot exist in this world without seeing his art somewhere. He was unbelievably successful. I could take a hundred pages and write about his achievements. 

However, it isn’t his success that is intriguing to me. It is what he did with his art and how he leveraged it to promote world peace. The more I knew about the man, the more I could see him in his paintings. And the more I looked at the paintings, the more I could glimpse who he was. I hope that makes sense, because it is the same way with God.

God’s creation is a reflection of who He is. Romans 1.20 says, “For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” So, even through creation, God is revealing Himself to us. That is so cool! Now here’s something to think about. We are part of His creation! Genesis 1.26 says, “let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness”. So, we are created in the likeness of God, but then sin came into the picture and distorted that likeness. Oh it’s still there, but it’s just underneath all the death in our hearts. Luckily for us, Jesus came to the rescue, and through Him we find life. God the Father looked down at His son on the cross and saw the sins of the world so that later He would look at us and see His son.

I have heard it said by many that there is a hole in our hearts that only God can fill. However, we try to find this satisfaction in other things such us money, cars, luxuries, food, alcohol, drugs, the opposite sex, the same sex, clothes, traveling, kids, job titles, you name it, we try to put it right at the center of ourselves. But once we accept God’s love, grace, and mercy, His very spirit is given to us. That hole is filled by our very Creator and through His Spirit, He is making something new. He is making us into the likeness of Jesus. We are God’s very own children. We are a new creation! 2 Corinthians 5.17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

So, what do we do with our new life? I believe that, just like Park West displayed some of the most amazing paintings, we should display the new life, the new creation we are in Jesus. And just like I started to understand the worth of a Peter Max painting because of who he was, I know the world will see the worth in our salvation by us reflecting our Creator.   

You might ask, “How do we put our life on display for others to see?” I’d like to point you to the bridge of “Found in You”.

You lead, I’ll follow
With every breath I take, with every word I say
My life, in your hands
The more I find who you are, the more I know who I am

The answer is surrender. That is what the bridge is talking about. It's easy to say it or to sing it but it is not always easy to live in surrender. But if you really want to put your life on display, to be a light in a dark world, it starts with letting God lead you in every breath, word, and deed. Just as Jesus sacrificed, we must also sacrifice our selfishness. Through the precious blood of Christ, we have an opportunity to show the world who the artist is behind the masterpiece of a regenerated soul. That masterpiece is you and me and anyone who makes Jesus their Lord. The world needs Jesus, and we have been given the great commission (Matthew 28.19-20). So, as Christians, we live lives of remembrance so that we can stay focused on God, because that is the only way we will reach our world. And Christ died for the world because of His great love for us.

Questions:
When is the last time you really saw beauty in something? Maybe in creation, art, dance, music, or a movie? When were you really moved?
Can you see the significance of your own journey in God making you a new creation?
Are you letting a habitual sin or unhealthy thought pattern cloud your thoughts about God giving you new life in Him?
When is the last time you surrendered something to God? 
When is the last time you put your testimony on display? Or maybe I should say when is the last time you were serious about telling someone about Jesus?

Challenge:
That last question might be a real kick in the gut. Jesus gave us the Great Commission as the last thing before He went to prepare a place for us in heaven. I think that was probably a pretty important thing to Him. So here is the challenge: Take a step, just one more step, in being more missional. If you can’t identify what that step is, I will tell you what it should be: Your next step is to find a pastor and talk to them about living a life on display or living an open-arms life. I promise you that every pastor on staff can help talk you through what that can mean for your life. 

Prayer:
God, thank you for creating me. I trust that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The work you have done to regenerate my soul is bigger and deeper and more amazing than I could ever understand. Thank you for the cross! Would you help me live in remembrance of what you’ve done and to live a life of surrender in light of it? God, I want to be fully sold out for your cause! I want to plunder hell and populate heaven. Let the new creation in me shine your love on all that see my life. I love you Lord. Amen.