Friday, October 29, 2010

Life Ain’t Pretty, but it’s Beautiful

I heard a song while getting ready one morning and it stopped me dead in my tracks. The Chorus went something like this: It ain’t pretty, but it’s beautiful- Life ain’t perfect, but it’s wonderful- We’re all broken-but we’re loveable-It ain’t pretty, but it’s beautiful As I listened to this chorus it reminded me of our lives and the value we each hold.

We Could personalize this chorus:
(Your Name) ain’t pretty, but she’s beautiful
(Your Name) ain’t perfect, but she’s wonderful
(Your Name) might be broken, but she’s loveable

I’m going to break this down as simply as possible.

1. To the world we aren’t pretty; we don’t hold any value to the average person. To God we are beautiful, we are created in his image. I am not just talking physically but also emotionally and spiritually.
Genesis 1:27 says, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Psalm 139 says: 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

2. No one is perfect, but we are wonderful
Romans 3:22-24 says 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
We all fail, we have all missed the mark but God looks beyond to the end mark.
Philippians 1:6 says: 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. If Christ didn’t value us, if He didn’t think we were wonderful he wouldn’t have died for us or continue to work in us and through us.

3. We might be broken, but we’re loveable
Everyone has a place where they are broken or been damaged. Than we see people either chose to put a wall around themselves or people have shut them out.
We see this in John 8:1-11. The Adulterous woman had to be broken: she chose to sleep with another, she’s brought before the whole city and she is now going to be the talk of the town for days to come. Yet Jesus didn’t condemn her or make her feel less, he loved her by his actions and his words to her.
King David is another example of being broken but still loveable. In 2 Samuel we see the story of David pursuing Bathsheba (who was a married woman) and the story goes on that King David ends up committing adultery, murdering Bathsheba’s husband and than Bathsheba gives him a son. This son dies due to the consequences of sin. This had to have left King David broken, bitter, and feeling worthless. God loved Him despite his brokenness and sin, and even allowed David another son with Bathsheba, we know him as Solomon.
We aren’t always pretty, we aren’t always perfect, and were not always whole but we have a God who loves us, accepts us and works through us. Don’t let the world’s perception or your perception of yourself stop you from God’s work in you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do You Stand Out

Do You Stand Out?
Have you ever been to a party or an event in the midst of a group and you felt out of place? Singled out? Today I drove home from school and as I drove around the lake I saw an incredible sight. I saw a row of trees, ordinary you say… Well in the midst of the greenery was a single tree that had orange and yellow leaves. It stood out thoroughly. As I continued to drive I saw this more and more. It was a beautiful sight and brought me a beautiful thought.
We’re called to be like the tree with orange and yellow leaves that stand out in the midst of the greenery. We’re not called to blend in and be unnoticed. Sometimes it’s easier to blend but it’s not worth it. When we stand out, we’re beautiful (people are drawn to us), we’re unique and we fulfill our calling.
Jesus is a perfect example of standing out.
1. Jesus was beautiful and people we’re drawn to Him.
We see throughout scripture people we’re drawn to Jesus- We see in Matthew 8 the man with Leprosy came to Jesus for healing, The Centurion came for healing for his daughter. They sought Jesus out, they had more than likely heard of his reputation. Matthew 9 shows the friends who brought the paralytic to Jesus.
These are just a few examples of how Jesus’ beauty and people were drawn to Him because he stood out. He didn’t blend in with the everyday crowd.
2. Jesus was Unique
He went against the Pharisees. In Matthew 15 They approach him wanting to know why he breaks tradition of the elders, He says it’s not about tradition but about honoring God.
In Matthew 21 we see Jesus go against the chief priests and stand up for the people when he overturns the tables. He didn’t go along with the scheme he stood for what was right. He went against the grain.
3. Jesus fulfilled his calling
Jesus came to earth to become our perfect sacrifice; to put an end to ritual sacrifices made by the people. Jesus died so that we could live without ritual without attempting to pay a debt we’d never pay off on our own. In the process Jesus lived on the earth 33 years, he stood for righteousness, he didn’t sin, and he healed people and loved on sinners.
We can stand out like Jesus. We can love on those around us no matter where we are; work, school, and the grocery store. When we are authentic in our love for Christ and our love for people, people will approach us so they can find Jesus. We can be unique, we can stand for what’s right. We can choose not to participate in gossip, in adultery, in sin. We can fulfill our calling by listening to God, reading his word and seeking his face.
When we stand out we’re like the beautiful and colorful tree that stands out amongst the greenery.