Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beauty & the Beast by Robert Ricciardelli

We have often heard the truth, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. As I looked at the world around us, creation, people, it is amazing how beautiful it all is. God calls it good. And when we look at His most prized creation, people, He has many wonderful things to say. He knew us before He formed us, He formed us in His image, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, the apple of His eye, and all kinds of wonderful things.

So we know that God places value on each one of us. Dirty, clean, saved, unsaved, Christian, Muslim, Jew, or Atheist, God sees value. That value will never diminish from his eyes or His hope for each one. The value may never reach the promise God had planned, which is culminated in the Lordship of Christ, but yet the value seed remains in every human being. Whether we see the beauty and value or not, there is no doubt in how Father God sees it.

Ultimate Beauty – God perspectives

When I consider ultimate beauty it must accompany parts that are not visible at a glance. These parts however will reveal themselves over time in people. Wholeness is godly integration of body, soul, and spirit. In becoming a “whole” person, a person of ultimate beauty, there are foundational features that exhibit His nature while revealing God’s hope for all humanity.

Love - This is foundational because God is love. Everything He has done or will ever do is motivated by His Agape love. Love has many adjectives attached to it, as we see in 1Corinthians 13 and all through the Word of God. And it is a word that encompasses motivation and deed, “doing good to others”, “Preferring others before ourselves”. It is a word that demands acts and expressions of His nature. Loving as He loves is a beautiful thing.

Justice - God is a God of Justice; you cannot separate godly justice from love as they are fully integrated. Many times when justice comes, many may cry out, “but where is the love?” and the answer is, God’s justice encompasses love. Walking justly before God and man is a beautiful way to walk.

Worship – What is it that motivates the person? What is the “apple of man’s eye”? We know that there is only One worthy to be praised and worshipped. Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! When we live our lives, every aspect of it, as worship to our Father, His presence is pleased and manifests powerfully through us.
A person who lives as worship to God is a beholder of beauty.

Wholeness would seem to be an integration of all these in a persons life that would reveal ultimate beauty and not the “skin deep” variety that the world’s eyes promote and worship. It is the ultimate beauty that the world needs, and Father through His Spirit has allowed us access. If we remain in Him and obedient to walking in His Beauty. we must walk in Love, Justice, and Worship. As we do, we will become the soul catching ambassadors of promise that Father desires us to be.

The Beast

Oh but what about the beast? Oh yes He is lurking in the shadows waiting to strike and bring his ugliness out. We know there are principalities at work all around us and yet there is still ourselves that often choose to exhibit the beast. It is called flesh and it is ugly, and comes directly against the beautiful nature of God.

It comes out in all kinds of ways, jealousy, murder, envy, selfishness, greed, lust, and exchanging lies for truth. The sadness comes when His people of light to the world are living in this manner. You can see it across the board from pulpit to pew, from prince to pauper, and many times in Jesus name. We have all fallen short, so none of us have been exempt. But there is a remedy; there is a better way.

Taming the beast

1. Repent - The greatest way to begin to tame the beast and live a life of ultimate beauty for God is to acknowledge our sin, and repent and turn from it. He says He is faithful to forgive, but are we faithful to turn, and stay turned from self seeking lifestyles?

Humility - When we walk humbly before our God, and realize that He is our only sustenance of life, the beast begins to lose some steam.

Intimacy – Father wants our hearts and not anything more. The more will come when the heart is in loving relationship with Him. He wants time with us. Are you giving Him time? Are you talking with Him, listening to Him, and giving Him something to work with?

4. Obedience – He desires this above any sacrifice. He loves “Father pleasers”, so be a “Father pleaser” rather than one who pleases self or any man.

“Ultimate Beauties” the beast cannot come out if we live in His ultimate pleasure and beauty. Love much, Love truth and justice, while walking in it, and live your life, your “whole” life, as worship to your Father.

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