LUKE’S CHRISTMAS GOSPEL OF JESUS: A 30-Day Christmas-Time Devotional.
Beautiful Inside and Out. Who Me?
Luke 1: 28 (MsgB)
28] Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her: Good morning! You’re beautiful with God’s beauty. Beautiful inside and out! God be with you.
Inside and out?
You talkin’ to me?
In a world where it sometimes seems like there is so much more bad news than good, it’s truly refreshing to pick up Luke’s Christmas story and see such good news abounding in the advent of Jesus.
For Mary, a thirteen-year old farmer’s daughter, growing up in very humble surroundings in the remote and often forgotten village of Nazareth, it might have been more than just a little bit difficult for her to view herself as “special” or “beautiful.”
When compared with the upper crust of society around her, Mary certainly wouldn’t qualify for any special favor through the eyes of the world.
Not one of the world’s ‘pretty people.’ Not a candidate for People Magazine’s top 25 best looking celebrities!
But to God.
Ahh . . . but to God.
There is something different here than what the world sees.
Mary is “beautiful with God’s beauty . . . beautiful inside and out.”
What a wonderful surprise to know that even when the world might not recognize it, or even more importantly, when we fail to see much beauty in ourselves, God sees things differently.
Fortunately, God sees beauty in ways our human eyes will never be able to do. God sees, for example, our simple faith in Him. God sees our humble obedience. God sees our gentle heart. God sees our willingness to trust as a child. God sees.
And, praise Him, God takes the special effort to send a holy messenger every now and then, wanting us to know how beautiful we are in His sight!
I’m guessing that these words of amazing encouragement made Mary’s day? Maybe, her whole life! What do you think?
My prayer: Lord, thank You for the reminder that You see things far differently than we do. To You, beauty is deeper than skin tone and facial features. For You, beauty is defined with higher, longer lasting standards than our shortsighted, touchy-feely opinions. You, oh Lord, see deep within our hearts, finding beauty that we didn’t even know existed in us. Thank You for Your standards of beauty, which tower far above the world’s. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: If I’m honest with myself, do I see others and myself as God does? How do I ascribe beauty toward others and toward myself? What lessor earthly standards have become my measuring stick for beauty? How do I need to re-adjust those beauty standards so that they conform closer to the standards of beauty God uses in measuring our lives?
So what is God speaking to you today? Are you practicing the Kingdom presence of God?
We hope you’ll enjoy these 30 blogs that walk you through 30 days of Advent (Nov 26 – Dec 25). Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
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