Friday, 10 January 2014

Beautiful? {having the Lord's beauty}

"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us"
Psalm 90:17

Last Lord's Day, being the first Sunday of the new year, my hubby brought a "motto text" as his morning sermon. In fact, this year it was several verses from Psalm 90. This is the brief outline of his sermon.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
 - Lord, teach me

"Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants."
- Lord, visit us

"O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." 
- Lord, satisfy me

"Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil."
 - Lord, gladden us

"Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children."
 - Lord, work among us

"And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it." 
- Lord, come upon us and prosper us

 The last verse was one that struck me.

As women, we are constantly bombarded with the world's view of what beauty is.

They try and sell us beauty products. It's said that the beauty industry, JUST IN THE UK, is worth over £15 BILLION. That's a LOT of money.  All spent on trying to improve looks.  All based on the idea that we are not beautiful enough as we are , and we need to change or improve how we look.

Hours of time are spent by women, adding products to their body, and trying to change how they look.  All that time, just to make themselves look more beautiful.

The outside is not what matters.

Not in God's eyes.

" Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

Beauty is vain.

"for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."

If it's the heart that God cares about, how should THAT look?

"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 
- meek and quiet

"see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: " 
- loving

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. " 
- true, and with faith

"If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. " 
- self control in our speech

"For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; "
- grace

"making melody in your heart to the Lord;"  
- joyful

"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. " 
- giving and generous

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness"
 Isaiah 61:10

These are the things of beauty which we should be concerned with. The beauty of our heart. That's what we should be spending our time improving. Putting on that beauty that comes from the Lord - our love for Him, and the work of the Holy Spirit within us.

Many of these descriptions show us the concept of beauty that we would associate with image.

The meek and quiet spirit is described as an ornament.

The true heart that has faith is described as being sprinkled and washed.

Our joy should be melodious.

Our giving should be with a smile.

Above all else, we are clothed - clothed with salvation and righteousness. If we don't have that clothing, none of the other adornments will be of any importance to us. If we ARE clothed with salvation and righteousness, then these things will matter to us.

Every day, we need to put these things on - to dress ourselves in them. To have the beauty of the Lord shining from us. As Peter and John, in the book of Acts, people should see in our lives that we have "been with Jesus". That the Lord's beauty is there, because we spend time with the Lord - so that He shines forth from our hearts.  That His beauty is what people remember when they meet us - not what clothes we are wearing or any other adornment. Our attitude - our spirit - our behaviour. All reflecting the Lord's beauty.

If we would only spend as much time with our spiritual "image", as many spend on their outward appearance, then we would have a beautiful life, reflecting the Saviour.

This year, my desire is to reflect the beauty of the Lord in my life. I am far from beautiful. I so often tarnish my appearance with my fleshly, sinful behaviours. I bring shame, instead of shining.  I long to be more like the Lord, and I will endeavour to spend more time with Him, and exercising the fruit of the spirit, to adorn my life.

Will you join me?  Seeking the beauty of the Lord in our lives?