Loving Beauty!

beautyI am renewed by beauty.  Last night a woman on “The Voice” sang an old country song and I was moved, not by the lyrics but the beauty of her voice.  Driving a country road where I see the work of God spread out in front of me – wildlife, hills, streams – I break out in praise!  I keep my home in order so that it is a pleasant place that invites me (and others) to retreat from the haste of the world, a kind of sanctuary. There is so much disorder and decay around us, we need to work at making things new!  Nowhere is this more important than in our souls.

Beauty is a delightful gift. We are irresistibly drawn to it and, when our hearts are full of God’s Spirit, we will desire to create beauty, just as He does. The opening lines of the Bible speak of His love of beauty. “The earth was empty, a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface.” (Genesis 1:2, NLT)  Then, the text says He called Light into existence. He spoke the seas and mountains into being. He gave flowers, trees, and all living things their beginning.  Then, we learn that “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7, NIV)  The whole of those texts are poetic praises of the amazing beauty that poured from the mind of God!

The New Testament teaches us that God is not interested in simply putting a coat of paint over the old or adjusting a few things in us – HE MAKES US NEW!  “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NLT)  And, that new life of the Spirit, is radiant with true beauty!

Lent contrasts beauty and brokenness. We are reminded of our sinfulness and look ahead to breaking the darkness with the celebration of the Resurrection!  Will you let God, the Beautiful One, bring beauty into your life?  None other than Jesus declared that our mission is to make broken things beauty. He quoted Isaiah as He described His mission.  “I will provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3   Meditate on those phrases.  Each is a promise of restoration, calling the beauty made by the Spirit from the chaos that comes from sin.

What we experience as ‘beauty’ will vary to some degree, but we all love the beauty of virtue.  No matter our age, sex, race, or culture – we recognize the beauty of love, of kindness, of a gentle heart, of goodness. In the same way that a gorgeous garden does not spring the earth without the attention of a gardener, those things do not flourish without our application of ourselves.  God has given us the seed and the tools of His Spirit. Now, we are privileged to create beauty. Will we?

Let Him make you beautiful today. Share that beauty with the world where you live.  Then, as Isaiah said, you will be one “planted by God to display his glory. ” (Isaiah 61:3, The Message)

Here is a word from the Word. May the Spirit awaken a yearning for beauty in our lives with the promise of renewal.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all’s well, proclaiming good times, announcing salvation, telling Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
Voices! Listen! Your scouts are shouting, thunderclap shouts, shouting in joyful unison.
They see with their own eyes God coming back to Zion.
Break into song! Boom it out, ruins of Jerusalem:
“God has comforted his people! He’s redeemed Jerusalem!”
God has rolled up his sleeves. All the nations can see his holy, muscled arm.
Everyone, from one end of the earth to the other, sees him at work, doing his salvation work. “
(Isaiah 52:7-10, The Message)

______________

Beautiful Things

All this pain,
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way?
I wonder if my life could really change,
At all?

All this earth,
Could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come up from this ground,
At all?

You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of the dust!
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of us!

All around,
Hope is springing up from this old ground.
Out of chaos life is being found
In You!

You make me new,
You are making me new.
You make me new,
You are making me new.

CCLI Song # 5665521
Lisa Gungor | Michael Gungor © 2009 worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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