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!

Holy Week Devotional Thoughts: Heaven

He is RISEN! Resurrection was first revealed to the women who loved Jesus. They were still loving him as they went to the tomb and discovered he wasn’t there.

He is alive!

This changes everything!

In these verses Jesus is speaking to Mary and Martha before he raised Lazarus from the dead.

Again, the word believe here is stronger in Greek than in English. It doesn’t mean to just acknowledge but to believe in such a way that it affects your actions.

Jesus promises that if we “believe” we will never die. I have learned that my relationship with God helps me not to fear death. I know my life here matters, but I do not fear what’s to come, I look forward to the day I don’t live here anymore. No more pain, sin, evil, hurt.

I belong to another Kingdom and that matters more than anything else. As a teen I stopped expecting our world to look like Heaven. Heaven will come in due time. I do not expect this earth to be Heaven. It will be destroyed in due time. All will be made right and true, Holy Justice will be done. I do not have to seek justice here. If I expect justice here I will only be disappointed.

This reminds me of Luke 3:5 quoting the words of the prophet Isaiah. Handel’s Messiah was taken from this verse: “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth.”

God will make all things right. Our job is to respond to resurrection today and every day to live our lives as a good citizen Of Heaven as we carry on walking over these hills, mountains, crooked places and valleys. Press on my friend, all will be resolved. Believe. Become a citizen of the Kingdom that matters most.

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