Wednesday

Where is Beauty? - A Dose of Encouragement



When I want to study about something from the Bible I more often than not tend toward the Question Words

What, When, Where, Why, Who and How   


So for this study on Beauty I have partly used this method once again.

Previously in the blog post WHAT IS BEAUTY we looked at the real beauty we need to have and it was not physical.  
If you haven't read that post click on through to it and read it and then come back and continue here.






So, having already looked at what Beauty is let's now consider


WHERE IS BEAUTY?

No questionnaire to start this time and no sayings.

But perhaps we could consider this section as an illustration.


IT'S WHAT 'S INSIDE THAT COUNTS

Imagine two large Tesco Long life carrier bags that were popular a few years ago.

Well actually you don't have to imagine just take a look at this picture




2 Bags 

1st. containing garbage & broken things

2nd. containing pictures & items

 

1. If we take out each piece and decide whether it’s ugly or beautiful

  • a plastic wrapper from raw meat  
  • a clump of dusty, hair and dirt
  • a note containing a nasty comment about a person

 

2. If we take out each piece and decide whether it’s ugly or beautiful

  • a drawing made by our children/grandchildren
  • a family photo with happy smiling faces
  • a momento from a special holiday


We could probably all agree that the first bag contained things that were ugly or not worth keeping.

The second bag however contains things that are beautiful to us because of the special reasons that caused us to kept them. 

For example when we did this at our women's meeting all the ladies could understand that 

  • a picture of me from long ago was beautiful to me because it was my husband's favourite picture of me - a good memory and the love of my husband



SO WHAT'S INSIDE US?

Is it Godly beauty and if so will it ever change?

 


 

Beauty is in Goodness    

We discovered in the previous blog post that Beauty was Goodness

We saw this from creation last time when after everything was created God said: 

Genesis 1 v 31

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  



 

Yes the Bible tells us that God said it was GOOD.

God did not say it is beautiful and we know He would not have created something that wasn’t beautiful in His eyes but it was more important for Him to say it is good so we discovered something of what beauty is to God.

So Beauty is in goodness


From this we know 

that with the beauty/goodness of God upon us

 we will be more like Him in all ways.

 

  

Where else is Beauty?  


Let’s take a look at  Psalm 96  yes the whole Psalm

And look out for the word beauty.

 

Psalm 96


1Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
Declare His glory among the 
nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.
Honour and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
Give to the Lord glory and strength.
8
Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.

10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns;
The world also is firmly established,
It shall not be 
moved;
He shall judge the peoples righteously.”

11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
Let the sea roar, and 
all its fullness;
12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice
13 
    before the Lord.
For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.

 

A great Psalm starting with praise of 

God's salvation and His greatness


Look again at Verse 6

"Honour and majesty are before Him;
Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary."

 

Where is Beauty?   -    Beauty is in the sanctuary of God

What is the sanctuary of God?   -    The Holy Place.

So Beauty is in the Holy Place - The place of God's presence and greatness


What other word does the word sanctuary remind you of?  

  Sanctification.

 Definition of Sanctification:  

the action or process of being freed from sin or purified

the action of making or declaring something holy


So Beauty is a result of God’s sanctification of us, sinless, pure, holy

 

Look again at Verse 9


"Oh worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness"




 Holiness is Beautiful

So beauty is in the holiness in our lives 

 

From this we know 

that with the beauty/holiness of God upon us 

we will be more like Him in all ways.

 


 
 

 

Start - Work in progress - End   

 

One of the girls in our church is studying Art at University and for a project she was working with textiles.

She had to plan out her work, dye fabrics, find different textures of fabrics and a lot of this involved research even before she started into any of the artistic and practical work.

When Eden shared her project with the ladies we could see and understand that her work was unique to her  – no one else has produced an identical piece of Art.

We thought there was great beauty in her final result but along the way we could see times where we wondered how it would turn out.

From this we could clearly see that Eden had a start, a time of work in progress and an end product which was unique to her.


God has made us unique and treats us uniquely so each of us will have a unique Christian Walk.

God gave us new life – Salvation

Our Christian Walk is a progression, growth towards holiness as we walk and learn in Him.

 

But there is a difference between this and the example of beauty in Eden’s work

Eden’s beautiful project came to an end.

Godly beauty will not come to an end.

Instead it is results in something full of goodness & holiness 

that we could never imagine.

     Eternal Life     

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 





What is Beauty? - A Dose of Encouragement




As ladies we hear a lot of talk about beauty, we see a lot of adverts about beauty and from an early age we are aware that most people will make a decision for themselves if we are beautiful or not!

So instinctively we know who decides about who is beautiful in this world but before let ourselves stay in this mindset about beauty we really should consider what beauty really is.

Or what is real beauty.





So 

WHAT IS BEAUTY?


Let's take a very quick questionnaire

Questionnaire   (with my personal answers)

Read through the questions and note your personal answers.

1.   What is your favourite colour?       Blue

2.   What is your favourite number?     4

3.   Which do you prefer?  odd nos. / even nos.    Even

4.   Do you like to have music played loudly or softly?    Softly

5.   What style of music do you prefer?   Classical

6.   Do you like spicy food?     No

7.   Do you prefer savoury or sweet?     Savoury

8.   Do you prefer dogs or cats?     Dogs

9.   What type of shapes do you prefer?   curvy / straight   Straight

10. Do you like to go to bed early or late?     Late



Did you agree with my answers?

When I did this short questionnaire with a group of women last month no-one agreed completely with my answers in fact not many of the ladies could find someone else in the group who were very similar in their answers (even though quite a few of these questions only had a choice of 2 answers).

Different Answers!

WHY?

Because we are all unique.


HENCE

We will not all agree on what is beautiful.

We all have our different preferences and likes and dislikes.




Sayings about Beauty     

Have you heard these sayings over the years?

You may have some other suggestions to add to this short list

a. Beauty of Creation - colours of the rainbow 

b. Beauty is only skin deep

c. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

d. Beauty makes you smile 

e. She's a beautiful soul

f.  I don't know what he sees in her, she's no beauty!

(ok this last one may be a Northern Ireland saying)


But leading on from these sayings let me tell you:


The Story of my face when Fred told me he loved me. 

Briefly:

At a youth camp I was fond of Fred and I thought from previous times that he may have been fond of me but I  thought there may have been someone else who was also fond of Fred!

But I had a very ugly and very large blistered patch on my cheek which everyone kept staring at. 

An ugly face which made other people stare at me but not Fred 

No idea if my face was going to be scarred for life, but that didn't stop him from loving me and telling me this at the end of the camp.

You can read more about this in What a Face!


Being physically ugly did not stop Fred from loving me

This always encourages me because it helps me to remember that:

  • Being unsaved made us ugly in God's sight
  • God just could not have us in His family because of our sin.
  • However being unsaved didn't stop God from loving us
  • So He sent Jesus to be punished & die in our place to replace the ugly sin in our lives with forgiveness  


Being physically ugly does not stop God from loving me!

But what is the real Beauty that God sees?








What 10 things can we learn from the Bible about Beauty?

1.   Is there a difference between physical beauty and Godly beauty?     

YES 

1 Samuel 16 v 7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”






Proverbs 31 v 30

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,

But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

 




 

2.   Can physical beauty be harmful?  Used wrongly?  Lead to sin? 

 

YES 

- lust  

2 Samuel 11 v 2

Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.


- pride 

Esther 1 v 10-11

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. 


  - lies 

Genesis 12 v 10 - 13

Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. 

And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance.

Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 

Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.” 



 
3.  Is physical beauty essential to becoming a Christian?


NO! beauty is never mentioned regarding salvation

 
Ephesians 2 v 4 - 5

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
 



 



4.   How do we become beautiful in God's eyes?   


   Our beauty starts in our salvation.


 1 Peter 3 v 3-4

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,  
in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, 
the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,  
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts 
of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.


God could not have us in His kingdom because of our sin which had nothing to do with our physical beauty
and 
we had no Godly beauty because of sin in our lives before our salvation.




  
5.  How do we stay beautiful in God's eyes? 

  
By the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

2 Corinthians 3 v 18

 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 




 
6.  What should we be focused on? 

  
  The marvellous God who created us
and
the attributes of goodness
the true, noble, just, pure, lovely goodness of God  


Philippians 4 v 8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report, 
if there be any virtue and if there be any praise
think on these things.




  
 
7. What beauty are we to ultimately want to admire? 


The beauty of God

Psalm 27 v 4 

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in His temple






8.  Is Godly beauty essential to growth as a Christian? 


YES
 

The clue is in the sentence - Godly beauty must be beauty that reflects God hence it must be godly in nature so must take on the attributes of God.  The more we get to know God the more we will be changed by Him and we cannot be changed by God unless we show His beauty to others which means we must have His beauty within us.




9.   What were we created for?  

Good works


Ephesians 2 v 10

For we are His workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
 

 




10.   What did God see in His finished creation? 


A likeness of God


Genesis 1 v 27


So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God created he him;
male and female created he them




God created man in His image 

so this would indicate that mankind was beautiful to God


However


God did not look at all of creation and record it as beautiful, 

instead God clearly recorded it in the Bible as being GOOD!


Genesis 1 v 31


And God saw everything that He had made,
and, behold, it was very good.



 

 

In God's eyes everything He created was good.

And it is logical that whatever is good in God's eyes 
is beautiful to God.

So Godly Beauty is Goodness.