You cannot go anywhere without hearing about how to stay young and beautiful. There are so many different medications, treatments, home remedies, fitness regimes, etc. to help people stay looking young and beautiful. There are so many types of makeup as well as medical procedures to help keep this look as the years continue.
Is there something on the market that can make a person beautiful forever? Not at all. Eventually the face lifts and makeup cannot hide what natural aging has done to one’s face. But we are told in Isaiah of this promise to be beautiful forever. Only God could make someone or something beautiful forever.
God has offered each one of us eternal life. God has promised that he will make all things new. When you accept him into your heart, when you give your life to Jesus, as one of the saints you will be beautiful forever. Forever could start today. If you haven’t accepted Jesus into your life, or if it has been awhile since you have turned to Jesus, now is a great time to start your forever. Trust me, it will be beautiful.
“Though you were once despised and hated, with no one traveling through you, I will make you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations.” – Isaiah 60:15 [NLT]
Do you have different clothing you wear to different places? Perhaps you have “work clothes” or a work uniform to wear when on the job. Maybe you have gym clothing to use when working out. I even have “laundry clothing,” which is clothing I wear when doing the laundry.
In Isaiah 52, it speaks about putting on “beautiful clothes.” There is the command to “clothe yourself with strength” and to “put on your beautiful clothes.” So how do you clothe yourself with strength? It’s more than just eating your whole grain cereal in the morning. And what exactly are beautiful clothes?
Strength—clothing yourself with the armor of God. Your strength comes from Christ. Beautiful clothes—clothing yourself with holy, royal garments. Remember you are a child of God. Remember you are the bride of Christ. Today when you walk out the door, be sure to clothe yourself with strength and wear your beautiful clothes.
“Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer.” – Isaiah 52:1 [NLT]
Every one of us makes mistakes; every one of us is flawed. I know I can fill pages and pages of paper listing mistakes I’ve made if I took the time. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that God can use us no matter how flawed we are or how long the mistake list. God made us out of dirt—there’s no doubt He can work with whatever mess we’ve made to be used for His glory.
Look at Abraham. He was called a friend because of his great faith. He was promised blessing, land, and to be a great nation because of his great faith. But he was flawed. He lied about his wife being his sister twice. He did not wait for God’s plan for Isaac to unfold either. Yet, God used him and he became a father of many nations.
Stop looking at what you did wrong, the missteps you took, the mistakes you have made. Walk forward in faith and allow God to turn your mess into something beautiful for His glory. We all have flaws. It’s our faith that matters.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6 [NIV]
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” – Philippians 4:8-9 [MSG]
When the temperatures rise, my dog Max likes to be in the air conditioning. Though he comes down in the morning for his breakfast, bone, and a walk, he quickly persuades me to let him back upstairs with the kids because of the air conditioning. He wants to be where it feels good. He wants to be where he is comfortable.
We are told to focus on what is good, pure, and lovely. We should seek those things out, focus on those things, and keep ourselves from turning elsewhere. Sometimes we find ourselves losing our focus because other things catch our eyes. Perhaps the things that are good do not look to help us feel comfortable. Sometimes we are to stay away from what appears comfortable, stay focused on what is pure, and patiently wait for the true comfort that only God can give us.
Comfortable does not always mean it is right. Something that feels good to us may not be good in the eyes of God. Continue to focus on Him. Today, remember these words from Paul and trust God’s promise of peace. Oh, the peace that only He can bring.
As I was driving through Virginia, I saw so many beautiful mountains. Though I have seen many breathtaking mountains in various countries, God continues to amaze me. The radio was on and as if God had waved His conductor’s wand to use the music to work together with the beautiful sight before me, David Crowder sang, “You make everything glorious.” I could do nothing else but worship the Lord as I thought of the beautiful sights that He created from nothing. The beautiful colors. The beautiful scenery. No one has a paintbrush like God.
We get so busy with our day-to-day list to accomplish that we often do not take a moment to look at some of the beauty around us. Today, be sure to take a moment to look around with eyes opened, seeing some of the things God has created. He truly makes everything glorious whether we open our eyes or not, but we are much more blessed when we share it with Him.
“All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing the praises of your name.” – Psalm 66:4
As I prepared for the next lesson I would be teaching, I peered onto my bookshelf in search of other resources to help me study more in depth. I noticed a “tablet” that I was given months ago, almost five months to be exact. My best friend’s mother handed me this “tablet” that said “Holy Bible” on the front, suggesting that I could possibly make good use of it by filling it with notes. When I received the tablet, I paged through it and noted that it was unused. When I was packing my suitcase to leave, I slipped a photograph inside of my son that was taken weeks ago at a tourist attraction so that it would not get bent. Months later, I saw that I had carefully placed this “tablet” on my bookshelf beside the book “The Story of Jesus.”
I pulled this “tablet” off the shelf and contemplated what I would put inside. Maybe I could fill it with some notes. For some reason I paged through the “tablet” this time, and I realized something was different about this “tablet.” It wasn’t a tablet at all. It was a book—a special book that is used by pastors, teachers and speakers. This “tablet” I wanted to fill with notes was already filled with a useful teaching tool. It was not empty, though I had intended to fill it. The way it works is simple. Flip through the booklet holding the bottom, and the pages are blank. Flip through holding the top of the booklet, and the pages look like a brand-new coloring book. Flip through holding the middle and the eyes will meet fully colored pages.
This booklet shows the different stages we can be located at in life. If we see the Bible as meaningless, the pages as good as blank, we haven’t accepted Jesus and may even declare that God does not exist. Our life, as such, is very empty because the void that only God can fill is vacant and we try our hardest to fill it with things that can never work. Then there are the pages without color, but showing us a nice outline. We can choose to color in as we wish. We understand that there is a God. We go to church. We accepted Jesus, but yet there is part of our lives that we are holding back. We truly haven’t given Him our heart. We are on the borderline, wanting to walk forward but not wanting to give up control. Finally, there is the beautifully, colored pages that are full of life and symbolize what God brings to our lives when we accept Jesus into our lives and we walk with Christ.
Here I wanted to fill this “tablet” with notes. Here my friend’s mother did not realize what she was giving me. Sometimes we try to fill the Bible with what we think it says. We use it as a tool for our own good. Sometimes we try to fill the void in our lives with something other than God. And sometimes, we have something right in front of us and we do not realize what it is because we do not take the time.
Today I encourage you to spend time with God and His Word. It is never too late to open your Bible and to pray for the Holy Spirit to help you glean what you personally need to hear at this moment. Whether you know it or not, there is this amazing, sovereign God of the universe who loves you. The thought of that alone colors every one of the pages of my life.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
– 1 John 4:9-12
Some people may ask, why Mary? Why was Mary chosen to be the mother of Jesus? There is honestly not much written about Mary or Joseph in the Bible. I believe Luke 1:28 from the Message translation helps to answer this question. This verse is part of a passage where the angel Gabriel visits Mary to foretell of the birth of Jesus. Mary was selected by God to be used for this great plan He had designed since the beginning. The angel says, “You’re beautiful with God’s beauty.” This is very different from other translations that say she is favored. Beautiful with God’s beauty. God’s beauty.
I began to think about the choosing of King David. The Israelites wanted a king so they could be like all of the other nations. Though God created His people to be set apart from others, He allowed them to have a king, King Saul. In time, King Saul showed that he lacked the characteristics that we see in God. In other words, King Saul was not representing God very well. It was soon thereafter that Samuel gathered the sons of Jesse so that God could show him the king that would replace Saul. David was chosen because God could see into his heart, and He saw what He liked. King David, just a shepherd boy at the time, found favor with God. He was beautiful with God’s beauty even before Mary was called beautiful with God’s beauty.
The next question is are YOU beautiful with God’s beauty? That is something we must all ask ourselves. If we have accepted Christ, one would hope that people would see this beauty in us– that a person would claim you had God’s beauty simply by being around you. When I think of us having God’s beauty I think of the fruit of the spirit– love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I think of Christ and the qualities He demonstrated to us all. I am reminded of God’s forgiving nature as well as His promise to never forsake us. I am reminded of the importance of the condition of our hearts. This is something to think about as we get closer to Christmas day. Are you beautiful with God’s beauty? We are to love others, to forgive, to be generous, to have compassion, to be an example, to show grace. If we truly are, then I believe we are beautiful with God’s beauty.
My son started playing the trombone at the start of this school year. Some people warned me that I would be in for trouble, and that the noise of his practices would drive me crazy. I have not found that to be true at all. When he practices, I always want to be nearby so I can listen in to hear his progression. I heard his struggles with notes, his first successful run of notes, his hushed “yes” under his breath, and his silly behavior to get him through it all. Now I recognize the songs he is playing and it sounds great. It was such a blessing to be able to have these moments and to continue to have these moments.
God loves to hear our beautiful music too. Some of us may be struggling with notes, and not have an ear to even reach the notes that are written. I remember this one time my son made this high pitched squeaking noise come out from his trombone that I jumped a foot in the air. I prayed that it never happened again, but I stayed in my chair and kept listening. God loves every time we sing, even with the squeaky notes that cause others to cringe. It is not about hitting the right notes, about getting the song just right. The most beautiful music comes from the heart.
Our God is an awesome God. He is our Lord, our Creator, the great I AM. He is our Comforter, or Saviour. He is our All in All. Today, as you are faced with struggles and triumphs, the good and the bad, don’t forget to sing to the Lord. Praise His great name. If you’re like me, it’ll warm your heart.
“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!”
– Psalm 150:6 [NASB]