A guy came up to me the other night, right, and he was like,
“Who’s your favorite artist?”
And like most people do when they ask you a question,
he didn’t really care about my answer,
and proceeded to tell me what he thought the true answer was,
and he continued about a struggle to recognize who he said was the greatest of all time.
He said, “I mean, is it Shakespeare, is it Frost, Picasso, Michelangelo,
is it The Beatles, Rembrandt, Michael Jackson, Beethoven?”
And he went on and on and on about who he thought was the greatest,
not recognizing even his infrastructure to answer that question was misled and outdated.
So, finally, I kindly smiled and said,
“Okay, sir, you asked me who is The Greatest of All Time;
now, you tried to share yours, so let me share mine.”
Because there is no debate about who is the greatest,
’cause all those other artists you mentioned …
yeah, the greatest made them.
And see, this artist,
He is a beast, a lion, the name above names.
You don’t even realize it, but you encounter his art every day.
And he deserves all of the acclaim; he deserves all of the fame,
because all other artists pass away, but He remains.
Oh, by the way, His name is God, Yahweh,
Creator, your Maker.
He’s infinitely creative, sir—there is no one greater.
See, in the palm of his hand, He holds all the sand;
the author of life, when He whispered “Let us make man.”
See, what if I told you that you are God’s poetry?
You were created
because someone else was creative.
See, long ago He picked up his eternal paint brush,
dipped in His glory,
placed us in His story,
and said, “They will live for me.”
And I know it sounds outlandish, but we’re not the product of random chances.
In fact, we are not even the vine; we’re actually the branches.
In the same way, we are not the artist; we’re actually the canvas.
Because in an instant, God started to make art;
shaped you uniquely and beautiful individual from the start.
And He touched the canvas of flesh and said,
“This one is better than the rest.
I’ll give him so much of my image, so even when they’re hot off the press,
you can still see the steam of My breath.”
And so He crafted and He made every arm and leg,
ligaments, tendons, muscles, blood vessels, veins, arteries.
He said, “They are going to have a part of Me.”
And about that time,
the guy butted back in and said,
“That sounds good and all, but I’m wretched and filthy.
God won’t use me, will He?”
And I said, “Ah, that’s what’s awesome about God—
no matter what we’ve done, He can still use us.
Even though other artists, once they have broken equipment, they start to make excuses.
God instead doesn’t refuse us,
and neither does He accuse us.
He redeems us in Jesus, promises never to lose us.”
So, stop saying that you’re dirt;
stop saying you’re scum of the earth.
You ought to be careful about how you talk about someone else’s work.
Because if we’ve trusted in Jesus, we can stop saying we’re filthy.
All that is anyways is just pride clothed and false humility.
I mean, if only we believed that we’re truthfully created in His likeness,
then we’d stop saying we are wretched, filthy, shameful, guilty,
but instead knowing if we trusted Jesus, we are righteous.
I mean, don’t you see we’re drawn to repentance because of His kindness?
So how dare you call yourself worthless when He says you’re priceless?
But see, the best part is, since God is ultimately for God,
He’ll get glory out of you, whether you like it or not,
because even temple ruins point to you an architect even if the temple is shot.
And all I am saying is that He is behind it all,
so why do we insist on giving Him no credit at all?
I mean he is the one that gave Van Gogh the imagination that changed the face of painting.
Tell me who else is responsible for Mozart being able to compose at age five, without formal training.
See, He made the fingers that Beethoven used to make art on the keys,
for Pete’s sake, he made Stevie Wonder one of the best musicians of our time, and he couldn’t even see.
And that’s why in the same way that our lives are borrowed time,
this poem is borrowed lines,
because the most ridiculous statement we could ever say is that this poem is mine,
because we are not self-sustaining.
No, we’re not self-creating.
Technically, nothing we do is original, we’re just imitating
and that’s not a diss,
all I am trying to say is this,
even our own creativity
is nothing more than an outflow of His.
And so, I’ll end with this.
You know that quote about giving credit where credit is due?
Well, if that’s true,
it’s about time we give God His rightful credit too,
’cause He’s a God in the business in making all things new
and here’s the truth:
He is not through with making a masterpiece of you.
spoken words by Jefferson Bethke