Devotional Thoughts: Beauty & Worry

Do not worry my friend! God takes good care of His people. In a time of such uncertainty there’s a lot to worry about. This verse is nestled inside of the Sermon on the Mount. Before this verse we are told to give to the needy, taught how to pray in The Lord’s Prayer, spoken to about fasting and we are then instructed to not store up treasures on earth but in Heaven.

So much hooplah these days about how we look and what we wear. We are not our bodies! The part of me that will last forever is the soul. My body is temporary, so why would I spend time and money getting Botox, face lifts and lyposuction? This temple will DIE. My body is just a temporary home. Time is best spent on heavenly things. What are these heavenly things? Living out our faith to the best of our ability and choosing obedience. When we do this we do heavenly things. We make a mark on eternity looking different than if we hadn’t stepped out in faith and obeyed.

In Heaven I won’t need Botox! My body will be perfect. It won’t have any faults. We don’t know anything without fault here in this life. There’s not even anything to compare this to. We do from time to time talk about someone’s inner beauty. I’d certainly rather be known for inner beauty than outward beauty. There are many people our culture so considers beautiful they are even worshiped. Some of these, if we met them, would probably be ugly inside. True beauty only comes from God. If we want to be beautiful we need to repent of our sin and turn and follow God. God changes the heart and soul; we do not.

Young ladies, do not let media images shame you. If you belong to God you have an eternal beauty that is second to none! Don’t listen to the evil voices of this world tell you. Listen to that soft, still, powerful voice of God and you’ll have a beauty people won’t even understand.

So, don’t worry about what’s for dinner! We aren’t and greater or lesser if we just have a PB&J sandwich at home or if we dine in a lavish restaurant. There’s a large banqueting Table we are invited to, it’s just not time yet.

My beauty is the same whether I’m wearing something I bought in a thrift store or whether I’m wearing the finest linens. As a teen I was quickly cured of my name brand loyalty when I accepted Christ. My identity wasn’t tied up in a brand name everyone else was wearing. I didn’t feel that need to fit in so much anymore. I fit in the most important heavenly space and that’s what mattered most to me. This felt like freedom, like coming out of a place of bondage that enslaved me as a teen who was trying to fit in everywhere. I remember being one way with a certain group and another way in another place. I wasn’t happy with myself. Just giving my life over to God freed me from so much! Everyone who’s waited to do this tells me they really regret they didn’t do it sooner once they’ve arrived on the other side. Come on over! There’s sweetness here! There’s freedom in your soul like you’ve never imagined!

Devotional Thoughts: Beauty, Eternity, Our Inner Soul

I’m reminded today that my body is the part of me that will fade away. It’s my soul, my spirit, my inner self that will last forever. That’s the real me, the part that really matters.

Our society places such emphasis on the outer image of a person. This is so sad. Even young boys feel insecure about how they look nowadays. Just Tuesday an eighth grade boy wore a hoodie in the heat because he feels better covering up his body. He voiced this to me when I saw him sweating and suggested he remove his sweatshirt.

Our bodies are flawed. They are wasting away a little more each day. Some are on a quest to find the fountain of youth. They seek eternity in earthly things. They will come up short, empty handed and disappointed because exhausting our resources on something that’s fading is pointless.

We wouldn’t invest our money in a dying company, so why invest so much time, money and energy in the way we look outwardly?

Our outer self is decaying. In ministry I see men especially struggle when they are no longer able to physically do certain things. Some feel worthless because they cannot lift 50 pounds any longer. I’m thinking this way of thinking probably stems from self worth being tied to their physical abilities. Maybe they have looked at someone else and devalued them for their disability? As a citizen of God’s Kingdom I cannot value people for their bodies but for their souls!

This is a rich chapter of scripture, 2 Corinthians 4. Verse 14 says that he who raised Jesus will also raise us. Here’s verse 17-18: ”17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.“

Wow! What encouragement! This life of suffering is called light affliction and pales in comparison to eternity. We must place our efforts on our souls, not our bodies. We especially should value others for who they really are, not what they look like or what their physical capabilities are.

Do not lose heart! Aging bodies are normal! Do not miss out on this renewal of the inner self. This can only happen through our relationship with God, the renewer of all things. Give God your sin. Seek inner beauty, purity and cleanliness today. This is true beauty, true worth!

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