Posts Tagged ‘“God’s love”’

How will you express the love of Jesus and His sacrifice, His life death and resurrection to our world in this season? This is one of my favorites. It’s a six foot wooden cross that is covered with stories from the newspapers and magazines about sin and it’s effects. It’s a deliberately uncomfortable image for many. Some may even think I am desecrating the cross. To think that is to miss the point. The cross itself was desecration. Jesus bore every every act of evil and every sin to a hideous instrument of gruesome death. The reason we revere the cross is because Jesus changed the narrative, making an instrument of death into a symbol of life and love and grace. Our sins are what put Him on the cross. The cross as I have created it symbolizes 2 Corinthians 5:21 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

I position the cross on the platform and as a narration of John 19 plays, I do to the cross what was done to Jesus. I “flog” is with red paint representing the beating He took. I place a crown of thorns on it, put a purple robe on it, and finally I throw the robe down and drive nails into it. Then I nail a sign to it, “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.” The very last thing is to add some thin purple paint in response to Jesus saying “I thirst,” the final prophecy fulfilled in Jesus’ earthly life. By now the piece is pretty messy. The final words of the narration are “It is finished,” Jesus’ last words before the tomb.

I then begin speaking. You see Jesus Christ did not speak English, as a matter of fact there was no English. So in effect He did not say. “It is finished,” but the Aramaic equivalent, a single word, “tetellestai.” It did in fact mean, “It is finished,” but it has a secondary meaning. I paint this meaning across the crossbar. You see, it also means “Paid In Full.” That is precisely what Jesus did—He paid your sin debt and mine in full. He did what only He could do, and because He did, when we trust Him as Lord and Savior, our debt is paid and we are set free. Eternal life begins, not at the gate of heaven, but in the moment when we come to Him. From that point on, we can live with Him in this world and in the life to come.

Have you trusted in Him? If so, share Him. Tell people about Him and His love. If you have not, why not today? Ask Him to forgive you and ask Him to come into your heart and into your life. He is good. One final thought. The cross is hideous and awful. Why did Jesus do it? Because you and I were in danger of being lost forever, but out of perfect love, He did it for you. Jesus loves you!

Okay… warning, I’m about to confess a great weakness in hopes that it will help someone else. I was online yesterday, and I saw an amazing piece of digital art. The artist was getting opinions as to whether or not her prices were too high. She was asking $25 for a close up, just the face, or for a wider angle full body commission she was asking $40. I was flabbergasted. The work was beautiful. I’m not sure I could do a piece that good, but if I could, I would charge a minimum of ten times what she was charging, but in her question, I heard the bigger question, “Am I worth it?”

See all of us creative types question our value. We’ve been taught from a pretty early age that what we do is not a real job and as a result, we question the value of what we do. I’m more guilty than most. You see “Am I worth it?” can flow into every area of life. When I am happy, when I feel like I am doing really great and more correctly when things are going really great, there is always this nagging suspicion that something is going to come along and ruin it. I’ve felt this way about my art, my ministry, even my marriage. “I’m too happy, something is sure to fall apart.” Am I the only one, and if not, why do we do this to ourselves? Why can’t I just enjoy life? I mean I just had a phenomenal couple months of ministry both in my church and on the road, and I should be overjoyed and in awe of God’s faithfulness. Instead I am wondering when it’s all going to come apart. Why can’t I just be happy? I think it comes down to that old question. “Am I worth it?”

If you’ve ever felt that way, let me tell you what I really long to hold on to and what I’m trying to grasp even now. You and I are loved by the God of the universe. That is no guarantee that things will not fall apart, but God is with you. There are people in this world that love you just for you, and everything God has given us to do has value to someone. You have value whether people see it or not. If people don’t like your work, they are the wrong audience for your work. At the end of the day, God will never leave you, nor forsake you. Trust in Him. He’s ultimately who matters most, and He loves you. Then find the people who love you too. If the God of the universe gave His only Son for you, that’s all the evidence you need.

You are worth it!

It’s Good Friday…

1 John 3:16 says By this we know what love is: Jesus laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
On this Good Friday, we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us and His call for us to love sacrificially, laying aside our plans and agendas for the sake of others, dying to self for the cause of Christ.

I’ve had this piece in my mind for a while. It’s a little on the nose interpretation of John 3:16. God loves the world so much that He gave His One and only Son. His love for the world causing His blood to flow to rescue us all. I was pretty pleased with this piece, but the question is, what do you think? Does this express God’s love in a way that might touch someone who might be looking for God?

The latest video from my new VBS Curriculum Creation Station. This one is about God’s love. I’d love to bring Creation Station to your church in 2014. For more information contact me at

I have a really simple message for you today, God loves you. I started looking at all the stuff that my congregation has been dealing with and all the struggles we face and felt like we needed a reminder. If you’re struggling today know this God loves you and He has not left you, come to Him through Jesus and hold on.

The text for the message is Romans 8.

God bless! The message will be preached later this morning at New Creation Fellowship. If you’re in the Reading PA area, join us.

It’s strange. I wrote this one post over a year ago called You Do It. It features an image Jesus in an Uncle Sam like pose saying I Want You. For some reason, it is consistently one of my most hit pages. I’m not sure why but as I began to think about it a few new thoughts came to mind, so I made a new graphic for a new post.

The original post was about how if you see something and think somebody should do something about it, chances are, somebody might be you, so “you do it.” Get the idea.

The real danger in a blog like this though is that it would become all about what you do. Needless to say there is more to a relationship, especially with God, than what we do.

First, He wants our obedience. He wants us to put Him first and follow Him even if everyone else goes in another direction. Following Him will not always be easy or popular but it is always right.

Secondly and maybe most importantly, more than anything else, Jesus wants to be in relationship with you. He wants that more than your gifts, more than your service, more than anything you can do for Him. He just wants you, all of you. He desires to spend time in your presence and He desires you to spend time in His. The bottom line is this. It’s not about what you can do for Him. He really needs nothing from you. He doesn’t need you or me at all, but don’t be upset, because while He doesn’t need you, He wants you, all of you. Obey Him, follow Him and, yes, serve Him but know this more than anything else, He wants you because He loves you!

Isn’t that cool!

I think at the core of each of us is a desire to be understood yet artists are some of the most widely misunderstood. We have this great gift to help us to make things more clear and yet we almost wear this idea of being misunderstood as a badge of honor. Like we’re so much smarter than everyone else and we’re in on something their missing. Some church folks act the same way and I don’t really like it from either group. I do what I do to share a story to bring others in to draw people into my story and to build a community. I have no desire to be elite, I want to be your friend, yes I want to challenge your world view but not from a position of supremacy but more like the way a friend talks to a friend putting ideas and concepts out there to be considered.
In my case it’s the story of Christ and what He has done for me, what He expects from His people. My belief in God makes me need to make that very clear.

Christ taught in stories and I still feel like it is probably the most effective way to get a message across.

Look at this image. it’s a collage a series of images most of which are extremely iconic.
I adhere pretty strongly to the quote attributed to a Confucian philosopher named Xunzi. What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I understand. So adding the visual to the story makes it more memorable and more retainable and if I can get the people interacting with the story or helping with the art, so much the better because in the end I want them to not just hear the story, not just remember the story, not just to understand the story but to emprace the story, live the story and be transformed by the story.

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Exodus 7,8; Psalm 44
You can also download your own chart here.

Maybe we Christians need to spend less time talking about what we’re against and more time talking about WHO we’re for!