God created man, Adam, and had a relationship of trust and respect with him, to the degree that God trusted him with his creation:

“…and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:” (Genesis 1:28)

Through disobedience, man destroyed this relationship and fell from his position of dominion over the earth, giving it to Satan.

In an effort to begin to restore to man the blessings that had been lost by Adam,

God made a covenant with Abraham. It began with a relationship built on faith, trust and obedience:

“Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” (Genesis 18:18)

God’s desire to have a relationship with man continued through Moses and the giving of the law. Because God was of excellent character, it was necessary that man be of excellent character also, and the law spelled out for him how to accomplish this in his life:

“And all these blessings shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.” (Deuteronomy 28:2)

We all know how that turned out: man was constantly doing what he wanted, instead of what was best. This disobedience continued to wreak havoc in men’s lives, as he was incapable of holding up his end of the covenant agreement.

God needed a creative way to end this cycle of broken relationships with man and approached this need from a new perspective. Instead of having a covenant with Himself and man, He would send his son to keep the relationship that man had, for four thousand years, been incapable of keeping. He would make a covenant between himself, God the Father, and Jesus, God the Son:

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood…”(Romans 3:25)

Jesus has paid the price for us to be back in the relationship with God that Adam had. Jesus, the second Adam, did for us what we could not do for ourselves.

God approached our need from a different perspective through his Son, Christ Jesus, and we will forever be the beneficiaries of this mercy.


How often in our own lives and lives of our families do we become stagnant in our relationships, expecting and hoping things will change, but finding from experience that they rarely do. Perhaps it is time to seek the Lord for a new approach in order to achieve the desired results.

Here are five “I will” principles whose practice will help us incorporate the character quality of creativity into our lives (write these on a poster, board or overhead transparency).

  1. I will use my talents for good.
  2. I will see things from more than one perspective.
  3. I will use principles to solve problems.
  4. I will learn all I can.
  5. I will look for new ways to be a person of character.


Closing #1: Lets dialog about it with one another.

    • Shift the group in to small discussion groups of 3-4.
    • Encourage groups to list the hindrances in their own lives to practicing creativity in their families and with acquaintances.
    • Ask groups to share their feelings with the whole group.

Closing #2: Let’s close in silent prayer, ask God:

    • To forgive you for things in your life that cause you to focus on yourself instead of the needs that are around you.
    • To show you how to practice creativity in your life.
    • To make you aware of opportunities to grow in this character quality.


Contributed by Craig E. Beckley
Teacher, Moores Hill, Indiana

January 27, 2002



The Israelites endured great persecution under the Egyptian pharaohs. One particularly ruthless pharaoh commanded that all male Israelite babies be murdered. After Moses was born, his mother hid him for three months. When she could not longer hide him she coated a basket with tar and pitch, put him in it, and set it among the reeds on the bank of the Nile. Then she had his sister hide nearby to see what happened to him.

The story has a happy ending. Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and Moses’ sister volunteered to find a nurse for the baby—his own mother. So, Moses’ mother raised him as a young child and then he went to live in Pharaoh’s palace. Eventually he played the key role in leading the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery. (Moses: 1520-1400 BC, approx.)

Moses’ mother demonstrated creativity as she solved the problem of saving her son from being murdered. Human instinct would probably lead to hiding the boy (which she did when he was very young) or escaping the country with him. But instead, she thought “outside the box” (as we would say) and allowed him to be put directly into the enemy’s hands.

It is not clear from Scripture that Moses’ mother planned for Pharaoh’s daughter to find Moses, but it is quite possible that she knew that the daughter passed by the Nile at a certain place and put Moses in the water at that location. Regardless of whether she knew of Pharaoh’s daughter’s travel plan or not, she approached solving the problem from a different and fresh perspective and the result was the saving of her son’s life.


Some practical evidences of creativity we can see in our lives today are seen in the following “I will” statements:

I will use my talents for good.
I will see things from more than one perspective.
I will use principles to solve problems.
I will learn all I can.
I will look for new ways to be a person of character.

Divide into pairs and discuss:

  • What are some areas of life, besides problem solving, in which we need to demonstrate creativity? (Possible answers: in our communication with others, in our celebration of special events, in our entertainment, in our time spent with God, in our learning, in our hobbies)
  • What things hinder people from being creative? (Possible answers: laziness, lack of time to think and plan, disorganization, habits, etc.)


Spend a few minutes in personal reflection:

  • Identify an area of your life in which you feel “stuck”, “in a rut” or bored. (Examples: your devotional life, your family activities, your work, communication with your child/spouse, your recreational activities)
  • Ask God to give you one creative idea to implement this week that will stimulate you in the area and get you “out of the rut”. If you have difficulty coming up with an idea, ask a friend to help you. Some people are naturally more creative than others.
  • Ask a trusted friend to help you implement the creative idea.


Contributed by Margaret Garner
Senior Associate, Worldwide Discipleship Association, Fayetteville, GA

January 14, 2002



Creativity flows from beholding beauty without and cultivating beauty within. These two poles are drawn together in one of the most beautiful poems of the Bible, Psalm 19. This Psalm was written by David, the poet-king. The Psalm naturally divides in half. Verses 1-6 describe David’s amazement at the beauty of God’s creation. Verses 7-14 describe the beauty of God’s revelation as it transforms the heart of human beings.

The beauty without: God’s creation (verses 1-6)

The Psalm begins in verse 1: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” The beauty of the Lord is reflected in what his own hands have made, just as our creative work reflects our personality.

Verse 2: “Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. The creative work of God is enduring. It is a constant, eloquent testimony to His greatness.

Verse 3: “There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.” The beauty of creation is beheld in the silent consideration of its perfection. Creative expression does not yell to be heard, but gathers its audience by its own attractiveness.

Verse 4-6: “Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.” Creativity produces inspiring and skillful actions.

The beauty within: the transforming power of God’s revelation (verses 7-14)

David then considers the beauty within as God’s revelation shapes and moulds the character and desires of the human heart. As he praises God for the beauty of his word, note the effect of word in our hearts as it produces the character and peace of God.

Verse 7-10: “ The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.”

God’s word purifies us and cleans us deep within, producing another beautiful testimony of His creative artistry.

Verse 11-14: “Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.”


Some practical evidences of creativity in our lives are seen in the following “I will” statements:

I will use my talents for good.
I will see things from more than one perspective.
I will use principles to solve problems.
I will learn all I can.
I will look for new ways to be a person of character.

Divide into groups and discuss:

  • What does the Psalmist mean by the statement that the creation pours forth speech day by day?
  • Why is it so important to keep something beautiful before us at all times?
  • How does God’s creative word produce something beautiful within us?


Spend a few minutes in personal reflection with God:

  • Draw your thoughts and prayers toward the most awesome thing that you have ever seen with your own eyes. Reflect on how this place, person or event reflects the creative power of God.
  • Pray for a deeper appreciation of the beauty of God’s work and word in your life.
  • Ask God to show you one way to express this week a creative gift He has given you.
  • Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable.



Contributed by David and Christine Palmer
Ph.D Candidates at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio

January 28, 2002



1 Kings 3: Solomon was the third king of Israel (965-926 BC), and the last king of the united kingdom of Israel and Judah. David, Solomon’s father, had chosen Solomon, among all his sons, to succeed him. Solomon loved God and God appeared to him in a dream, asking what Solomon wished for God to do for him (vs. 5). What an opportunity! If God invited you to ask whatever you wanted and it would be yours, what would your response be?

Solomon seems to have thought out his response. He probably inherited great wealth from his father David, so that would not be his first choice. He was king, and his father had left him the largest empire that Judah or Israel would ever know, so he did not need to ask for power. One might wonder what else there was to ask for, but Solomon was very creative. Solomon asked God to “give thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, to discern between good and evil” (vs. 9). Well, God was so pleased with Solomon’s request that he not only gave him the requested wisdom, but the riches and honor he had not requested.

Wisdom often yields creativity. Creativity would be a real asset in dealing with 700 wives and 300 concubines. Solomon creatively dealt with Hiram, king of Tyre, the country that supplied the materials for the temple that was to be built (1 Kings 5). Perhaps the most explicit use of Solomon’s creativity was in the first example we are given of his use of the wisdom that God gave him. The story is found in Chapter 3, verses 16-28.

Two women came to Solomon, carrying a baby. Both women had given birth to children within three days of each other. During a recent night, one of the women rolled over onto her child, suffocating it. This woman reportedly replaces the living baby at the other woman’s breast with her dead baby, and takes the living child as her own. Both women now come before Solomon claiming to be the mother of the living baby.

1 Kings 3:23,24 Here are the principles and facts King Solomon has to consider to arrive at a solution: Since the women are harlots, it is possible the credibility of neither is especially strong; one of these women is the mother of the living child; the mother of the dead child does not seem seriously affected by the child’s death (no mention of tears or other signs of mourning); the mother of the living child loves her child; the mother of the dead child has no love for the living child; love or the lack of love will affect the way these women act.

Take one minute. Think about this situation. If you are not familiar with the story, try to determine how Solomon would respond. If you know the story, think about some alternative solutions.

1 Kings 3:25-27 The king has made his decision. The king has considered all the principles involved, and has apparently discerned attitudes from the women’s demeanor. Remember, he was given great wisdom from God. The child is to be cut in two, with half given to each of the women. How harsh the king’s order seems. The mother of the dead child thinks his creative decision is acceptable. This response of the second woman is in line with her previous activity and attitude. The response of the mother of the living child is quite different. Solomon knows that love will prevail, and that the true mother will give her child to the other woman in order to save its life. Solomon’s creativity led all of the people to recognize the wisdom that God had given him.


Some practical evidences of creativity we can see in our lives today are seen in the following “I will” statements:

I will use my talents for good.
I will see things from more than one perspective.
I will use principles to solve problems.
I will learn all I can.
I will look for new ways to be a person of character.

Divide into pairs and discuss:

  • What are some areas of everyday life in which we are pressured by society to not adhere to biblical principles in solving problems? (Possible answers: complete tax returns honestly, resolve marital differences without divorce, fulfill financial and other commitments, not divulge confidences)
  • What things hinder people from using their talents for good? (Possible answers: selfishness, laziness, insecurity, lack of ideas, etc.)


Spend a few minutes in personal reflection:

  • Ask God to show you two new situations in which you can use your talents for good this week, and give you creative ideas in how to do them.
  • Ask a trusted friend to help you implement the creative ideas and/or hold you accountable.





Faith Committee



For Children

Have you ever heard the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors? Back in the early days of God’s people, Joseph was one of twelve sons of a man named Jacob. (Joseph: 1910-1800 BC, approx.) Many of Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him, because they thought their father loved Joseph more than he loved them. When his father gave Joseph the many-colored coat, many of Joseph’s older brothers became very angry. Some wanted to kill Joseph. Instead of killing him, however, they sold Joseph into slavery, and he was taken to a land called Egypt, far away from his home. God was with Joseph, and he learned to do things he never had the chance to learn before. Joseph tried to please God in everything he did. Joseph did some very creative things while he was in Egypt, and because he was creative, he became a great ruler.

One day the king of Egypt, called a Pharaoh, had a really strange dream. He saw skinny cows eating fat cows, and skinny stalks of grain eating fat, healthy grain. The king did not know what this dream meant. One of the king’s servants knew that Joseph could tell the meaning of dreams, and so Joseph was brought to the king. Joseph told the Pharaoh that the dream meant that there would be seven good years when cattle would get fat and lots of grain would grow. Then there would be seven years where the cattle would not have enough to eat and grain would not grow well. This was called a famine. The king was so happy that Joseph could tell him what his dream meant that he put Joseph in charge of seeing that the people had food through the seven bad years. Joseph came up with the idea of building storage cities, and created a system of getting food for these cities during the seven good years. Then he decided how the food would be given out during the seven bad years. Because Joseph was creative, the people had enough to eat.

The famine went to the land where Joseph’s brothers lived. They had to go to Egypt to get food. They did not know Joseph was the ruler who would give them the food. Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize Joseph. How do you think Joseph treated his brothers?

Take a minute to talk in your group about how you would treat your brothers if you were Joseph and they had been mean to you.

Joseph’s younger brother, Benjamin, was not with his brothers the first time they came, and Joseph really wanted to see his brother. When Joseph sent his brothers home to bring Benjamin back to him, he put all their money back in their bag. Then when Benjamin came to Egypt, Joseph did little things that surprised his brothers. He seated them at a table in the exact order of their ages. When they started home, Joseph had his special cup put in Benjamin’s bag. Then Joseph sent his servants after them, accusing them of stealing his cup. He was not mean, but he certainly wanted them to remember how mean they had been to him. Finally, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. They were very glad he was alive. Joseph told them to bring his father so they could all live in Egypt and have plenty of food. Joseph’s father was glad to hear that Joseph was alive. The whole family moved to Egypt and lived there for 430 years, until God brought them back to the Promised Land.

Joseph was very creative in the way he treated his brothers, but he was not unkind to them. Joseph knew that God had used their meanness to send Joseph to Egypt so God could use Joseph’s creativity to make sure that his family and others had plenty of food to eat.

Discussion Questions: Divide into small groups, with a leader for each group.

Practicing the following “I Wills” help build creativity into our lives:

I will use my talents for good.
I will see things from more than one perspective.
I will use principles to solve problems.
I will learn all I can.
I will look for new ways to be a person of character.

  • What are some good deeds you can do to make your mom or dad happy?
  • What are some good deeds you can do to make your teacher happy?

Personal Application:

  • Choose one good deed to do this week to make your mom, dad or teacher happy.
  • Plan to tell the class about it next week.




Contributed by Trudy Pettibone
Bible Teacher, Cincinnati, Ohio

February 12, 2002



After the Genesis flood, descendants of Noah embarked on a project which has intrigued Bible readers. With great creativity they built a city and tower of such significance that the Lord Himself came down to see it. (4000 BC or earlier). Many cities and towers have been built since then, but no people have created the problem found at Babel. What was wrong? The problem lay not in their creativity – this was great. The gigantic tower became the model for other significant towers. The problem lay in their motivation and purpose: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches into the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (verse 4). They wanted to make for themselves a name – to create this gigantic structure to establish their importance in the eyes of men and even God. The city and the tower would tie them together into a solid group, assuring themselves of the strength that comes from unity, so that they might be powerful – even without God’s help. The city and tower would not only tie them together, but also be a monument to their creativity and self-sufficiency without God. But God understood the motives and selfish plans of these rebellious people, and immediately stepped in with the thing they feared the most. By confusing their language so that people groups could not understand each other, He broke down their communication and hence their unity, collective strength and creativity. They could no longer build and function together, so different people groups moved away to establish their own communities. The Lord thus thwarted their purpose, and proceeded to accomplish His own will.


God desires us to practice and grow in the Christlike character quality of creativity. He desires us to use our talents and resources for good. But like the people of Babel, we can get involved in creative projects and practices contrary to God’s will. The projects and practices may be popular, legal, or even socially and politically acceptable; but they are not acceptable to God. How can we know if a project displeases God? How can we decide if we should continue or abandon a particular project? For example, many states have lotteries to raise finances for education and government projects. Should we purchase lottery tickets to support these works?

The Fig Test:

Faith (Romans 14:23)

If we doubt the value of our work — if it causes someone to weaken in his faith –don’t do it.

Inspiration (II Timothy 3:16)

Principles in God’s Word help us evaluate our projects. In the lottery question, for example, we can apply Luke 16:10-11 and realize that being unfaithful with our money may prevent God from entrusting to us the more important things.

Glorify (I Corinthians 10:31)

The apostle, Paul, said we are to glorify and honor God in everything we do.

How are we doing in our lives? Are we using our creativity in ways pleasing to God?


Spend a few minutes in personal reflection:

  • Ask the Lord to help you evaluate your work at home and away with the fig test.
  • Ask Him to show you any project displeasing to Him.
  • Commit to abandoning every project failing the fig test and displeasing Him.
  • Ask a trusted friend to help you.


Contributed by Ron Wallie
Husband and Father of Eight, Southington, OH

December 22, 2001


This material is published by the Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.