Ephesians 2:10 — “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

We are God’s handiwork, and he displayed his creative abilities when he first made us. He crafted us intricately and purposefully to complete His plan and glorify Him in the process. How do we accomplish those things? Prayer, Bible reading, and attending church come to mind right away. But, glorifying God doesn’t only come through those channels. Part of worshipping God is having Him on your mind at all times and allowing Him to influence how you act and work. When we produce work as creatives and consider God while doing it, that art will glorify Him.

We were created to do good works that were prepared beforehand by God. We are called to complete His purpose and work in the lives of others. Art can have nearly unlimited reach and expression. You can create in an endless number of ways, and with today’s digital world, you have no shortage of ways to communicate with others.

Consider what your art could accomplish for somebody else. Your striking depiction of the Garden of Eden and the fall of man might be someone else’s introduction to the beauty of God’s first creation and the devastation of our own sin. Art doesn’t replace evangelizing, but it can open doors — and conversations — that would otherwise remain closed. As Christians who desire to spread the Good News, we’re always looking for an opportunity. “If only they could hear the Gospel,” we will often say. Music and storytelling and paintings and poems can give the opening, and that’s glorifying to God and walking in his prepared good works.

1 Timothy 4:14-15 — “Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.  Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.”

We have a tendency to get tunnel vision when it comes to spiritual gifts. Some of us see the words “prophecy” and “speaking in tongues” and think they can only be meant for a different time and place. Others are so mystified and interested in these sorts of exceptional gifts that they lose sight of the more common blessings. Whatever your gifts are, they were hand selected for you by our Heavenly Father to be your specific contribution to building the body of Christ, specifically in Christ’s Church. We use these gifts to serve, encourage, ease burdens and a whole lot more. They can also be used outside the Church to point people to God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 — “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

According to 1 Corinthians, everything we do is meant to glorify God. This includes the unique ways that God has blessed and gifted us in the church and in the world. Your creativity matters. It wasn’t given to you by mistake, and it definitely wasn’t meant to be hidden away in the extra bedroom or garage. It’s expected to shine! All candle, not bushel. Maybe you won’t become famous or wealthy, but if your art touches someone with the Gospel, perhaps it is a whole lot more important than you thought it was.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 — “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.”

So, we’ve learned that God prepared us to do good works for His Glory; we discovered that he gifted us with talents that are meant to be used in the local church and the world outside; and finally, we discover that we shouldn’t neglect these talents. We should work at them.

God calls us to be hard workers. If you’ve had an office job, you may have seen an orientation video that mentioned taking home pens from your cubicle is considered stealing. You were probably thinking, “Really? It’s not that big of a deal.” And while I know you aren’t a no-good pen stealer, we often, without knowing it, will steal time from ourselves and from our employers when we don’t work diligently.

It glorifies God when His people work their hardest and fulfill what they’ve been invited to achieve. This extends not only to your office job, but also to your creative routines. Quit robbing yourself of precious time and energy that God has graciously given to you, and use it to work your hardest.

Engage Art encourages all creatives to work their passions by engaging with visual art, music, or video; creating work informed by Ephesians 6:10-20; and submit it to the Engage Art Contest. Our Carolinas Contest will accept entries until September 30th, 2018. If you aren’t located in the Carolinas, stay tuned for the Engage Art International Contest, slated to launch in 2019 and featuring over $100,000 in cash prizes.. Sign up to stay in the loop!