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The Christian Palette, Issue #010 -- The Offering
August 29, 2015
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What comes to mind when you think of the word - "offering"? I usually think of gifts of money offered to God in church on Sunday.
Therefore, the possibility that art created by my hands could be an offering challenged my thinking.
I knew that God did not expect me to just give art away to anyone that seemed interested in it. Experience taught me that most people will happily receive the work, but underestimate its value and the labor that was involved in its creation, simply because it cost them nothing.
Giving art away devalues your efforts, so I do not recommend it, unless the Lord specifically instructs you to. Sometimes He did, and I obeyed.
The worker deserves his, or her, wages.
It is a Biblical principle.
It tries my patience when people ask for discounts or bargain for the work, when I know that they would gladly spend that much, and more, on other things without ever haggling!
Art is devalued because artists often make the mistake of trivializing their own labors.
"Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;Jer 22:13
"For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, the labourer is worthy of his reward."1Ti 5:18
Guidance from the Lord about my offering:
The time spent creating art would be sacred - a time of communion between the Lord and me. I would refrain from creating whatever I felt like, or merely create to please another - unless it would first please Jesus.
I determined to depend on Him for direction. If I had none, I would wait, in faith, expecting to be filled with the necessary ability, ideas and insight. If I was empty, I would return to our last “conversation” and begin again.
He has never failed me. There has yet to be a lull in our conversation!
Time spent creating is so precious to me that I don’t much enjoy spending it with anyone else. Group painting sessions no longer hold the same thrill that they once had.
Art is now made quietly, alone.
I am not recommending this - only sharing what I’ve been led to.
You must seek God on your own for what your offering is to be.
Biblical principles for preparing your own offering:
The Bible teaches us that for an offering to be of value, it must be excellent. In Biblical times, the offering was carefully selected to be free of flaws and blemishes.
God deserves the best, given freely in gratitude for all He is to us.
The excellence of the offering is not based on standards the world imposes, but by its inherent costliness to the one offering it. Rich and poor alike have something to give that is personally costly to them.
If you feel you have nothing to give, you are wrong. You do possess something that’s dear to you. If nothing else, you possess time. Offering that up constitutes an excellent offering.
The woman with the alabaster jar of perfume brought her best to Jesus. The fragrance of it assaulted the senses reminding everyone present of its expense. As she poured it out, she was pouring herself out, a worthy sacrifice, even if it was mingled with the dubiousness of her character.
No offering is perfect in one sense because we are sinful. Yet the attitude of the heart can make our offerings acceptable to a holy God.
Costliness is a theme that is repeated throughout the Bible. David paid an exorbitant amount for Araunah's threshing floor so that he could present his offering.
But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
The widow’s mites were commended by Jesus. She gave her all.(Luke 21:2)
The obedience of the widow who first made the prophet a meal before considering her son or herself, made her the recipient of the abundant provision of God.(1Kings17:13)
Each sacrificed something costly to them in order to express to God how much He meant to them.
Could you do the same with your art?
Could you spare no expense and squander no time to create artwork for the Lord as an offering?
Something to think about, isn’t it?
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