Minister’s forum: A beautiful God, a beautiful people
We live in a very beautiful world. When we think of beauty, we have this image in our minds of things that are very attractive to us. We put the greatest value in life on appearance and what looks good to us.
Hollywood stars and celebrities, the flowers and gardens of Hawaii. There are the beautiful temples scattered across Europe or the architecture and towering buildings of the major cities in the world.
One of the most beautiful places in the world – Emerald Bay – is right here where we live. Music and art, such as the paintings of Thomas Kinkaid or Al Hogue, everything around us in the world and above this planet remind us of God, and point to His existence that He is personal, attractive and beautiful.
People have a tendency to think of Christianity as being anything but beautiful, and that somehow God and relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ will lessen our lives and take away that quality of attractiveness from us. It’s really the contrary. It’s recorded in the book of Psalms, “Let the beauty of the Lord be upon us and worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”
When we leave God out of our lives, we really are leaving behind what is beautiful and who really has the power to take our otherwise ugly lives that are aimless and without purpose, and change us into something we all want – to be beautiful.
This beauty I am talking about is not necessarily outward, but inward that shows through our countenance and character – it is God’s beauty. God can take what would normally be ugly and undesirable and make that person attractive for the purposes of drawing people into his kingdom. God in a committed relationship to Jesus Christ actions into a beautiful life, setting us on a firm and stable foundation. The foundation of God in His wisdom gives stability to our lives.
Through Christ we actually become the temple of God, where as believers in Christ His presence dwells in the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t live in cathedrals, stained-glassed church buildings, or religious temples and empty relics. He lives in those lives, and is seen in them that know Him in a personal way.
Jesus said, ” I am the way, the truth and the life.” When God wants to attract somebody to Himself and reveal His Son to someone who is seeking, He reveals his beauty to that person through His people. We are God’s garden that He is living through. God is made visible and knowable through the testimony of His people. True beauty does not begin on the outside with cosmetics and artificial means, but on the inside, the heart. God wants to use you through His beauty in you and seen through you.
Ask God today as David in the scriptures, “let the beauty of the Lord be upon us, and worship the beauty of holiness.” He truly makes all things beautiful in His time.
– Alan Morse is pastor of First Baptist Church of South Lake Tahoe.