Tag Archives: beauty

1 Kings 7:40-9:9

So at last Huram completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of the Lord: the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals; the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars); the ten water carts holding the ten basins; the Sea and the twelve oxen under it; the ash buckets, the shovels, and the bowls. Huram made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord, just as King Solomon directed.” 1 Kings 7:40-45 NLT

In the past I might have skipped over these verses thinking that all of this extravagance is unnecessary. After all, God’s presence dwells in me and I am His temple. But, as an artist I get to display His beauty to the world. One of the ways that I put this into practice is by painting during worship at my church. It’s a way to be lead by the Spirit and draw myself and others closer to God. I recently went to the National Gallery of Art to see one of my favorite paintings. To take in its beauty and see what God is speaking into my soul. Art can be a tool to draw others into His presence. To give Him glory. As long as I am not worshipping the created, but the creator.

Now I have built a glorious Temple for you, a place where you can live forever! Oh Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep Your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion. You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.” 1 Kings 8:13; 23&24 NLT

How am I displaying God’s beauty and hope to a world that so desperately needs it? What gifts and abilities has God given me to display His glory?

Thank you Father that Your presence is always with me. Thank you for the signs of Spring and new life, help me to see Your beauty all around me. Amen.

But will God really live on earth? Why, even the highest heavens cannot contain you. How much less this Temple I have built! Nevertheless, listen to my prayer and my plea, O Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is making to you today.” 1 Kings 8:27&28 NLT



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1 Chronicles 22; 1 Peter 3; Micah 1; Luke 10

It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you – the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious to God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NCV)

Every day (yes, even in India), I am bombarded with images of male and female models who project what the world values as beautiful. The men are well dressed, muscular, a trace of 5 o’clock shadow, eyes staring dreamily at something on the unseen horizon, a flirty smile on their lips. The women, more often than not, are adolescent girls exposing stick thin figures and ample cleavage in barely-there fashions with come-hither expressions painted on their faces.

The world’s definition of beauty has always left me feeling inadequate, falling just short of the perceived ideal. Even though I did some local modeling while in high school, I still always felt too dumpy, too fat, not enough this, not enough that.

Throughout the years, I have experienced times where I looked at myself and liked what I saw in the mirror. My positive self-esteem strengthened by my understanding that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and being unique is appreciated. I have also experienced times when I was unhappy with my reflection, especially after being a veteran of childbirth. Though I love my daughters immeasurably, getting to know my post-pregnancy body has sometimes been a less than pleasurable encounter.

In the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, Andie (played by Kate Hudson) is going to a gala event with Barry (played by Matthew McConaughey). She steps out of her apartment building in a stunning gold dress, walks to the edge of the steps and turns a 360 in front of Barry who is standing at the bottom of the stairs on the sidewalk. He is awed by her outer beauty.

A few years ago, while I was in the midst of a self-image struggle, God showed me a picture similar to this scene. Dressed in a gorgeous red gown, I walk out of the building, walk to the edge of the step and slowly twirl around. Jesus, standing near the road, looks at me with awe. God whispered in my ear, “You are beautiful. You’re covered in the blood of Christ. You are made perfect in me.”

“Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 (NCV)

Beauty isn’t simply skin deep. It isn’t about how I dress up or accessorize; it isn’t about wearing the latest trends or having the latest hairstyle.

Choosing Jesus made me beautiful. My beauty is found in my character, in my spirit. It originates inside of me and radiates to the outside. Being beautiful is about Christ in me and the fruits produced as a result of our relationship. Being beautiful is about what I do with that harvest.

The beauty the world prizes will fade – aging is inevitable. But, my inner beauty, the beauty that is precious to God and ultimately treasured by those around me, will never be taken away. It will only grow more beautiful because of Jesus.

Yesappa, Thank You for loving me. Thank You for proving my value and worth when You died for me on the cross and covered me with Your blood. Thank You for making me beautiful. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 17, Psalm 20, Psalm 21, Proverbs 31, 1 Timothy 2

 The Lord spoke, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11

 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 1 Timothy 2:5-6

Read http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Lev.%2017;%20Ps.%2020,21;%20Prov.%2031;%201%20Tim.%202&version=NKJV

              How grateful I am for You Lord God! You clearly tell me what is required to be clean in Your Presence! “blood atonement for my soul” And You provided it for me by the Sinless Life, torturous Death and Victorious Resurrection of Your only begotten Son Jesus!

              Thank You for sharing the Gospel with me! Thank You for making it irrefutable that I was sinful and deprived of True Life and Love – and Undeniable that Your Son Jesus took the full Wrath of God that I deserved for everything I have ever said, done, felt, and thought that was against You and Your Word!

            Lord God, I am soooo grateful that I am Your daughter! (1) Oh, thank You my God and Savior! I could never provide for myself the One Mediator Sacrifice! Yet You did this for me!

Psalm 20       Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. v.7 

            I had trusted in “chariots, and horses” by running from You! I had been fleeing from Your Presence, Truth, and Your Ways. I chose to trust my own mind, heart, emotions, and flesh – deceiving myself and manipulating others. I was in the dark, though the world saw me as a very “good girl”. I am glad I couldn’t fool You Lord God – for You see into my heart always! (2) And because of Your Great Love, You came to rescue me from my sin and death!

Psalm 21       Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You.You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; The Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath, And the fire shall devour them. v.8-9

             This was me! I was Your enemy! Yet You DID do Justice! You poured out all of Your Anger, Wrath and Vengeance for all of my sin!  You exercised Your Powerful Love and Mercy through the Lord Jesus Christ. You placed all the condemnation for sin upon Him so that I would not have to bear it forever in hell! (3)

Proverbs 31             Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. v. 30

            I shall not to be fearful about my appearance but shall choose to live in the Fear of the Lord daily! Teach me, guide me, grow me, show me – fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I would live for you and please You here on earth and always!

            Lord God – Help me to show others that True Beauty is purity of heart. Not the things that I have nor portraying a persona, but living every moment conscious of You as my Savior and Lord. That Truth brings me enough Joy to set my sails billowing full, to propel my ship through all sorts of waters!  (4)

Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power. Psalm 21:13

 Bible Insights – 

1 –  2 Corinthians  5:17, John 1:12-13, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 3:1

2 – 1 Samuel 16:7

3 – Romans 3:10-26, Romans 5:6-11, Romans 8, Exodus 20

4 – 2 Peter 1:1-11

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Song of Solomon 4, Song of Solomon 5, Acts 7:22-43

Please read at www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Song%204,5;%20Acts%207:22-43&version=NKJV

Song of Solomon 4            Behold, you are fair, my love! … You have ravished my heart, My sister, my spouse… How fair is your love, …How much better than wine is your love … A fountain of gardens, A well of living waters,

            The Song of Solomon tells of the intimate love God has for His people and their love in response. In the Old Testament, Israel was set apart for God. After the second covenant of Jesus’ Blood, God’s covenant of love is for His Church, the Body of Christ, which contains all followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1)   

              Lord God, so often You have shown me immeasurable love within my soul. No one can penetrate my innermost being except You! (Psalm 51:6 ) In this world of fleeting emotions and harmful controllers, You Lord Jesus are the One True Love. You heal me, correct & teach me, protect and bind me to Yourself by Your Word and Your Holy Spirit. You never leave or forsake me because You dwell within me. I will praise You for You are my salvation! (2)

Song of Solomon 5              I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice… His mouth is most sweet, Yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, And this is my friend,

            Intimacy with God is for all who trust the Lord God Almighty because of Jesus’ blood covenant. The marriage is consummated by the Lamb of God. Heaven is our paradise home. (6)

              Lord God, You provide all that is needed to live with You in sweet unity. When we seek Your face and righteousness, You reveal Yourself ever more clearly and closely. Your love for me compels me to love and trust You more deeply. The love You give in Spirit and Truth transforms me to be what You desire. Father, I am grateful that You will complete the work You began in me because I want to see Your glory here and in heaven! (3)  (4)

Acts 7:22-43             When forty years had passed, and the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush … the voice of the Lord came to him,  saying, …I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them.” … He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.”

Yet “… our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt… offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned and gave them up … ‘And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’

              The Lord Jesus Christ, the Angel of the Lord, brought His people out of slavery, releasing them from evil gods and evil rulers in Egypt. Yet the people rejected God’s mighty cleansing love. Instead they sought idols and “rejoiced in the works of their own hands.” So God brought them what they wanted, bondage again.

             The people wanted painful patterns of sin rather than pure love and freedom for Joy in God. How can this be? How filled with self-hatred is that? This is a daily reality today. Hell is a viable choice. To choose captivity now and for eternity, or to flee self-rule and idolatry in exchange for worship of the One Who is worthy, the Creator and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

               The Song of  Solomon displays paradise heaven and sweet communion with God. Acts 7 shows the choice of bondage to sin, separation from God and a bent towards hell. This only magnifies the clarity of daily choices – for heaven or hell? To live with and for God or against God? To live as a lover or as a hater of God?  

              It’s not about me and my pleasures and pleasing me, it’s only about the Lord God Almighty and what brings Him pleasure and glory! God’s goal is to love each person actively, to magnify His Name for the salvation of souls, and for each person’s personal relationship with God based upon the Lord Jesus Christ’s atonement. 

              Which shall it be my dear soul, my heart, my mind, my emotions? Choose this moment Who You shall serve. Choose again, and again. Don’t forget Who drew You in His loving kindness. Who changed You into His image and made You His bride.  Choose to live abiding in the intimacy of God’s Holy Word and Spirit! Rejoice in all things, for the Lord God goes before you for His Good purposes alone! Don’t cause yourself harm, but life everlasting! (5) 

Bible insights –

1          John 15, Revelation 7:9, Romans 9:25

2          Deuteronomy 31:8, Hebrews 13:5, Ephesians 1:13, 1 John 4:4, John 15:1-11, Psalm 50:23, Psalm 118:21, John 7:38, John 4:10-11

3          John 17,  Ephesians 1, Philippians 1:6, 1 Corinthians 9:24

4          Proverbs 18:24, Exodus 33:11, John 3:29, John 15:13-15,  James 2:23, James 4:4, Matthew 12:50, Mark 3:35, Mark 10:29, Hosea 3:1, Revelation 21:2,9, Revelation 22:17, Matthew 25:1-13, Matthew 25:31-46

5          2 Cor 5:17, James 4:4, Psalm 36:7, Jeremiah 31:3, Romans 12:1-2, Philippians 4:4, Exodus 3:2, Romans 8:28

6          John 1:29, 36 ; Revelation 5:6, Revelation 5:12, Revelation 13:8

Crystal (PsalmThirty4) 

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