CREATIVITY : EASTER
(PRERECORDED MESSAGE 03/30/2020)
APRIL 12, 2020
The resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord is one of the most creative events in the history of the world. That’s right, the gospel of God is one of the most creative, and innovative processes ever. When God did this, it’s like He dropped the cosmic mic. Creativity, creativity, when I say “creativity”, what do you think about? What goes through your mind? God made all of us as creative geniuses. Right now, wherever you are embracing this service, I want you to look around and just say, hey, you’re a creative genius. Just say that, just say that, you’re a creative genius, even though you don’t believe it.
Point to the person next to you, or someone maybe in the kitchen, you are a creative genius. That’s right, all of us are creative geniuses. Now, why could I make such an outlandish statement like that? Because some of you are going, “you don’t know me.” Yeah, I don’t know you, but I know that everyone’s a creative genius.
The Bible says in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Creativity is the first thing we KNOW about God, and it’s the first thing we FORGET about God. Then the Bible goes on to say, when God created, He made the heavens and the earth, and all of the beautiful vegetation and the animals, and then the crown of His creation is in Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) “Let us make man in our image,” We always talk about the attributes of God, the different qualities of God, but we don’t think about the fact that we’re made in the image of our creative creator. So if we’re made in the image of our creative creator, God is the creator and we’re the sub creators. Just own the fact, accept the fact that you are a creative genius because of God.
Everybody’s seen the show Superman. I grew up on Superman. Superman is popular today and will be popular in the future. I’ve got to be honest though, Superman frustrated me. This disguise he would try to put on like Clark Kent, walk around with those black horn-rimmed glasses, black big wingtips and his gray suit and black tie, being this beat reporter from some metropolitan newspaper hanging around with all the people. It just frustrated me. I would go,” That’s Superman. Don’t you see? I said,” That’s the man of steel. Don’t you see? But they never really saw Superman
Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman.
It would show him standing there with his Cape. Yes, it’s Superman. Strange visitor from another planet. Who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man. Yes Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers. Bend steel in his bare hands. And who, disguised as Clark Kent, a mild manner reporter from a major metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way.
Hey, you’re Superman. What are you doing walking around like Clark Kent? It’s time to take off the glasses, take off that coat and discover that your creative man, creative woman, innovative, one of a kind, special, unique. Taking creativity to restore your corner of the world. Yes, Superman.
I want to ask some basic questions about creativity. What is creativity? Well God is creativity. We are doing live against the backdrop of creativity on this creative canvas. Creativity is the ability to look at something as it is, to see it for what it could be, and then take the steps to make it happen. Creativity is simply asking “what if”, and then doing the work it takes to turn “what if” into “what is”.
It’s the art of innovation and application, creativity. If you can solve a math problem, that’s creativity. If you can wire your man-cave for sound, you my friend are a creative genius. If you can look at your house, your yard, and see certain patterns and things you would change to bring out a symmetrical look, a beautiful look, you are a creative genius. If you can throw a pass to a receiver, not where he is, but where he will be, you are a creative. If you can teach a class and explain complex issues in a simplistic way, you are a creative genius. If you have two or three toddlers in your life, and you can communicate to them, and teach them, and put them on his schedule, you’re really a genius. During this time of quarantine, so many families have done so many creative things to pass the time away; creativity.
I majored in the fine arts at Florida State, and one of the classes I took was a sculpture class. And this sculpture class was taught by a renowned sculpture from San Francisco.
He was very, very artsy. You know the long hair, the long beard, he wore T-shirt that said, sure, I’m Marxist and all that. And he used to look at every thing we would do, every sculpture project as a problem. And I’d never heard anyone talk about art as a problem. As he was judging and grading our art projects, specifically sculpture, he would go, “Oh, you solved the problem really well. Oh, okay, I see how you solved the problem.” Solving the problem, I love that because that’s creativity. That is God. God solved the problem.
Let me go back for a second. Before God created man, He created these spiritual beings, angels that the A-Lister was Lucifer. Lucifer decided to usurp God, to push God off of the thrown. He was kicked out of the heavenlies. Then God created, separated the land and the water and the seasons and the plants, and he created man. He told Adam and Eve, don’t touch the fruit on the tree in the middle of the garden.
Speaking of Satan of the enemy. Have you ever had your ID stolen? Identity theft. It’s worth billions and billions of dollars. Several times I’ve had to call the credit card company and stop payment, change, all that rigmarole you have to do, just to get a new credit card because someone stole my identity. And other people have had their identity stolen on a deeper level. Just some crazy things have happened with identity theft. Well, that’s nothing new.
That’s what the devil was into in the garden. Adam and Eve were there, a perfect environment. God had created them. They were creating, they had the ability to do all of this great stuff, but God said, “There’s one thing that I don’t want you to do. I don’t want you to touch the tree.” That tree, the fruit of the tree, the tree called the Tree of Good and Evil, don’t mess with that one tree and Adam and Eve are like, “All right.” Here they were in the most beautiful creative area in the history of creation. They would have lived forever and ever. They had this perfect relationship with the creator going on.
The enemy the devil comes in and begins to mess with God’s creative order and to steal the identity, specifically the creativity, from the first man and the first woman.
Here’s what he did though. He attacked Adam and Eve’s imagination. Now it takes an imagination to read the Bible. As we read scripture, we have to imagine things that the reader does.
Satan came in and he told Eve, “Imagine Eve, if you and Adam could become like God, knowing good from evil. God’s holding out on you.” Eve began to run that around in her imagination. “Wow, what if I could become like God? I might be a better God then God.” Satan said, “Eat the fruit from the tree. That one tree, that’s God’s. Just do it. You’ll be like God.” She did, then she shared it with her husband. From that day forward, after they created sin, we have dealt with sin.
You might be saying, “Wait a minute, that’s just one sin. You mean one sin can mess up the world?” Well, right now, one germ. COVID-19 has created all of this mayhem around and that pales in comparison to the sickness of sin. Adam and Eve created a problem.
I remember one time I was drawing with one of our kids when they were younger and while they were drawing, they were like, “Oh, I hate this picture.” They wadded it up and were throwing it away. I go, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. “Let me show you what we can do with that sketch.” I took the wadded up paper, smoothed it out. Then I began to draw around what they had drawn. They were like, “Whoa, Dad. That’s a cool picture. That’s awesome, I didn’t see that.” That’s what was in play here. We have taken God’s canvas and literally messed it up with chicken scratch and wadded it up. God could have thrown it away. God though, began to draw again and he began to create.
The Bible says after Adam and Eve’s sin, they realized they were naked. They realized their condition. They were truly naked and afraid. God killed an innocent animal in front of them, used the skins of the animal to cover their nakedness. Thereby giving a creative thought, a creative bone, if you will, to show them what was going to happen in the future. Because God was foreshadowing a faith relationship with His Son Jesus, by taking the life of that animal. Due to the fact that the animals’ skins covered their sin, one day we would need the same. Throughout the Old Testament, God using innocent animals, having their blood spilled to atone for the sins of man. How creative. Then at the right time, God sending Jesus, co-eternal and the co-creator to be born in a manger, to live this pristine life, to die and then to rise again, now, offering us eternal life. If you want to talk about creativity, that’s creativity.
You have the creation, God creating and working. Then you have man’s sin, the fall. Then you have the redemptive process of Jesus and what he did in on the cross for our sins, and the resurrection, which we celebrate today. And because of the resurrection, we now have the power because it’s on tap, to restore our corner of the world, to restore our marriage, to restore our business, to restore the educational system, to restore the arts. The restore, the restore is what we’re here for.
You know when I think about restoration, I think about something that my wife did a couple of years ago. She has a little company. She bought this house, pretty much took it down to its studs, and she and some friends here at Fellowship, rebuilt this house. And after she finished, I was like, “this house is sick. It’s amazing.” The house stood out on this street of other homes that were kind of in decline. But I watched something. Every month, I would drive by that house until finally it sold, thank you Lord. I watched that house set the precedent of the entire neighborhood. Because that house was restored, because it was rebuilt, and redone. Because it was brought into something that is like 2020, all the other houses in the neighborhood began to up their game. Other people did that with their homes, and it was like, wow, that house was the catalyst of the whole neighborhood.
We have that kind of power. We bring in creativity, we can restore our neighborhoods. We change. We bring about innovation using our imaginations, with our family, with our business, with our recreational pursuits, with our relational choices, we can restore our neighborhood. And it happens as we walk in creativity. God is our creator, we’re sub creators. But somewhere along life’s journey, we’ve forgotten that.
Most kids score on a genius level regarding creativity when they’re younger, but as they get older, in their teens, 20s, they’re barely showing up. We’re barely showing up when it comes to creativity, what’s wrong? We get that creative cramp. We trade in dreaming for dogma, the artistic for the analytical. We trade in our imagination for memorization. We just mail it in. Yet our world, we just don’t really reward creativity as we should. We’ve allowed the enemy to hijack it. If you study church history during the enlightenment, a lot of the creatives just sort of left the church. Creativity has left the building. It’s time to restore, I’m talking about restoration, creativity.
Whenever I think about creativity, my mind goes back to 1990, when Lisa and I drove up to Fellowship Church, and helped start Fellowship Church with about 30 families. And we were happy if we had 100 people showing up each and every Sunday. We just began to do things that Jesus did. We began to operate and minister and do church in a creative fashion. We began to take things from life, things that we deal with every day.
We began to just utilize them in church under the authority of scripture, and things just blew up at fellowship. So, this whole creativity thing, is near and dear to my heart. I don’t mean we’re flying on chandeliers, or jumping pews, or going cuckoo for cocoa puffs. I’m talking about storytelling, I’m talking about film, I’m talking about visuals, I’m talking about engaging our culture from knee high to tree high. I remember going to church as a kid and I was bored, slapped out of my mind in the children’s area, and even in the student ministry. But man, I look at our children’s area, and our student ministry, and I’m like, woo, I wish I could be young again.
So creative, so innovative. And what we offer online, it’s ridiculous. So, Fellowship Church, thank you for your creativity. And we only have creativity because we’re created in the image of our creative creator, and because we’re walking in the resurrection power of our creative savior, the Christ, Jesus.
Creativity is the God given ability to look at something as it is. In other words, it is what it is. Then, to see, to see it for what it could be, and then to apply that knowledge. In other words, to make it happen. That is Easter.
God looked at our sin, it is what it. We’re self-centered centers, I am and so are you. He saw though what it could be. Instead of trashing us and pressing the delete button, and wiping everything out, and rebooting everything. No, no, no, no, God said, “I see a way.”
He formulated this creative and genius plan, what if I created something? What if I did something that could change and alter the eternity of man? He got together with the second person of the Trinity, Jesus, who’s co-existent, co-creator, and co-eternal. They got together along with the Holy spirit and devised a plan, an ingenious plan, a creative plan, Jesus was born in a manger, Jesus became man.
Let me stop, how creative is that? That’s so creative we can’t even fully understand it. I mean I can’t. Fully God fully man, good luck with that one, it’s the creativity of God. Then Jesus chose life, chose to live. He chose, purity over impurity. He chose success over sin. He chose holiness over hell.
The devil went after Jesus. The devil attacked Jesus’ imagination, like he attacked Adam and Eve’s imagination in the garden. “Jesus, what if you could turn these stones into bread?” He had to use his imagination. “Jesus, what if you could jump off this temple? I mean, the angels would save you. My boys I used to know back in the day until I got kicked out, they’ll save you. Jesus you could think about it. Use your imagination. You could bow down and worship me and right now I’ll give you the keys to the kingdom. Jesus chose to say, no, no, no.
Creativity, the art of innovation. We’re made in the image of God thus we should create, but I want you to understand something we can’t create on the level of God. We’re just a mirror just a microcosm of his creativity. However, because it’s one of His major qualities and because we’re made in his image, we’ve got to walk and move and groove in creativity.
The enemy doesn’t want us to understand that we’re Superman. The enemy wants us to Clark Kent our lives. The moment though that we understand who we are, then we can walk in creativity, and so often creativity is the key that unlocks the door to this dynamic life that God desires for all of us. Creativity, creativity, creativity. As I’ve been talking about during this time of quarantine, this virus is everywhere. It really, really is. It’s, it’s a pandemic. It’s around the world. We have though another virus that we contracted it in the garden and that is the virus of sin. The death rate is pretty, pretty prolific. 100% of sinners die.
The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23 (NKJV) that “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God,” the creative gift of God, the innovative gift of God, “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We deserve death because of sin, and we have this virus that we can’t cure. We can’t come up with anything that will cure it.
God did though, being so innovative and creative sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, to rise again, so his death, burial, and resurrection is the vaccine that cures our sin. It forgives our sin, it heals our sin. Now we can walk in forgiveness, in freedom, here and forever, and it only occurred because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
I’ve got to ask you; Have you made the choice to receive what Jesus did for you on the cross? Have you made the choice to say, yes, Jesus. I give everything I am to you. God is using this pandemic to bring us to him. He didn’t cause it. He’s using it. God works through all things, good things, bad things, even viruses for the good of those who are called according to his purpose and God is calling you to Himself.