Appreciating God’s Creative Gifts



Scripture:

1 Timothy 4:4-5
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

Observation:

False teachers were preaching a very strict asceticism for Christ followers. The problem was that they were embracing Gnosticism, and separating the world into two realms, the spiritual and the physical. Over and again there is the affirmation that just as Jesus came in the flesh, sanctifying all of humanity, so we are to live in the flesh as sanctified followers of Christ. The Gnostics saw physical creation as evil, and therefore to be avoided. 

This teaching was not to infiltrate the church, but it had. Now the affirmation was to embrace the beauty of things that God had created. This included sexual relations in marriage, as well as enjoying lovely foods. All of this was to be seen as a gift from God, enjoyed with gratitude and thanksgiving. With our whole beings we are to appreciate and sanctify what God has given us in creation. 

Application:

When my mother was young a preacher told her that it was sinful to wear pearls. She loved her pearl necklace and had never seen it as a sin. Actually, my mother enjoyed the beauty of pretty things, and appreciated having a few “nice” things. After the preacher told her to get rid of her pearls, she did just that. She took them off and threw them away. Not until her 90th birthday would she again wear pearls. My father bought them for her on that significant day. Little did we know how much she would love them and put them on, wearing pearls nearly every single day now, for the last four years. 

The admonition to Christ-followers is not to make an idol of our things. Sometimes we can make not having things an idol, and be judgmental of those who do. Instead of embracing the things of God as a gift, we misuse and abuse them. 

Taking the time to soak in and embrace God’s beauty can be a spiritual venture. Leisurely walking the halls of an art museum and being awestruck by such talent and beauty can be overwhelming. Listening to music which stirs the heart by the sounds of different instruments can reflect the glory of God. Awakening to the sound of birds in the morning chirping their holy hallelujahs in praise of their creator makes one want to join right in. Experiencing an intimate relationship with someone whom you wholeheartedly trust can be exhilarating, and enjoying the fruits of creation while fellowshipping around a beautiful table can be a glimpse of the great banquet table which awaits God’s faithful. 

By the study of the word and prayer the Christ-follower is sanctified, in the here and now. Every part of life is made holy by the sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit. Embracing the beauty of life is a way of honoring God. 

Prayer:



Lord, please open my eyes to soak in the beauty of all that surrounds me on a daily basis. Help me to appreciate all that you have done and provided. Amen. 

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