Throughout the Bible there are 6 values God tells us are His will for all of us to have on our Life Palette. This is not designed as an exhaustive list but is a starting point for everyone as God’s masterpiece. We don’t need to pray about whether or not we want them on our Life Palette; He tells us He wants us to make sure they are on our Life Palette. We simply need to develop our understanding and cultivate our use of them.
1. The Holy Spirit.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18 that we are to “be filled with the Holy Spirit.” In Galatians, he encourages us to “follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” (Galatians 5:25)
2. Pray consistently.
Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” In other words, prayer should be a lifestyle.
I once looked up every verse in the Bible on giving thanks. A stack of pages emerged from the printer, back when all we had were those noisy dot matrix printers. Don’t take my word for it. Do a word study and you will come to the same conclusion: giving thanks is to be a value on every person’s Life Palette. “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17)
4. Rejoice always.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4) This is not an option. We are to proclaim His glory and His praise. We will all go about it differently and express it in our own way according to our God-given personalities and gifts, but rejoicing is to be on every Life Palette.
5. Submit to authorities.
Really? I grew up in a time when you often saw the bumper sticker that said “Question Authority.” I was only a kid in the 1960s, but the teenagers I admired and wanted to be like were all about making sure you didn’t submit to anyone! Yet God, the artist of our lives, says this is an essential part of living as a masterpiece. Jesus gave us an example when asked about paying taxes: “‘Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’ But Jesus knew their evil motives. ‘You hypocrites!’ he said. ‘Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used for the tax.’ When they handed him a Roman coin, he asked, ‘Whose picture and title are stamped on it?’ ‘Caesar’s,’ they replied. ‘Well, then,’ he said, ‘give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.’” (Matthew 22:17-21)
I love how Jesus began His answer, “Well, then…” It’s as though He was giving an answer that we often find in our modern culture: “Duh!” You may question at this point, “What if an authority says to do something against God’s Word.” Look to the life of Peter and John when they were told to quit talking about Jesus. “But Peter and John replied, ‘Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.’” (Acts 4:19-20) And who did they obey? “They called in the apostles (Peter and John) and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: ‘Jesus is the Messiah.’” (Acts 5:40-42)
God’s will is for us to be pure, and this includes staying away from sexual sin. Why would God make this a value for each of us as a masterpiece? Simple. He created sex and knows completely the incredible intimacy, joy, and pleasure that by design it brings to a marriage. He also understands that when we do not live in the value of sexual purity, it will destroy intimacy, steal our joy, and cause us to pursue worldly pleasure—all of which are things the enemy wants to use to destroy God’s masterpiece. While all sin is sin and will take away the worth of our lives, Paul tells us this one has a different impact on us than others: “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-19)
I need to pray for God to help me to avoid sexual immorality and be pure, but do I need to pray about whether or not I should consider making sexual sin a part of my life? No. He’s made it clear He wants purity to be a value on everyone’s Life Palette. “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food. But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:13-14)
As a pastor, I’ve never had someone come into my office and tell me that one of the greatest things they’ve done in their lives is giving in to sexual immorality. No one has ever told me it has added value to their lives, or that it has allowed them to shine as God’s masterpiece. However, I could share with you hundreds of stories of brokenness, hurt, shame, and regret because of it.
As I said earlier, my list is not intended to be all-inclusive from the Bible, but rather a statement of the obvious as you read the Scriptures and look at the life of Jesus and the disciples. When you choose to make the Kingdom of God your primary concern, you take the first step to living as the masterpiece God created you to be. Perhaps some of the values I’ve listed are not currently on your Life Palette. Perhaps you sense God speaking to you. Don’t hesitate. Act now. Ask God to give you wisdom in these areas and commit to Him that, as His masterpiece, you are willing to choose to make His values your values. Ask Him for His help, courage, and power to begin to live them out. Then begin to grow in your understanding of each of them through the Bible and begin to cultivate each of them onto your Life Palette.
Consider the values listed that God desires on every Life Palette—the Holy Spirit, praying consistently, being thankful, rejoicing always, submitting to authorities, and purity. Which of these do you need to make a value on your Life Palette? How?