|photo courtesy of pixabay.com|
And all I have to do is take one good look at myself in the mirror in winter time, what with my white-as-snow, ugh, skin, not to mention the effects of middle age that have made their grand entrance into my life. What appear to be permanent bags – tired? often – under my eyes. Wrinkles wherever they choose to be, not that I invited them nor had any say as to where they might make their landfall. I could go on, but why waste the time? I believe my point has been made – or the first part of it anyway.
click below to READ MORE
The stark contrast between the unwelcome guests of winter and middle age with the lack of desire on my part most of the time to even bother with makeup, well, what can I say? Actually, I can say a good bit. Some might say I have surrendered to looking like I never wanted to look. Ugh. But for those who know me well, they would know this. I have made an awesome discovery that I believe could turn the makeup industry upside down, not to mention shut down a whole bunch of shopping malls, reduce credit card debt if not rid of it altogether, and close the practices of a good bunch of plastic surgeons. And what discovery is that?
After decades of caring ever so much about what I looked like on the outside, a perfect fit for our society that is so intensely focused on how we appear to the rest of the world, I have discovered that the single-most important thing in our entire lives from start to finish is that we are born again by repenting and believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for us so we can be forgiven and have a relationship with God on earth and be promised everlasting life with Him in heaven. What in the world does this have to do with makeup and appearances, you may wonder. It has to do with this.
At the end of the day, when my life is over, I will not stand on a scale and see if I am the “right” weight. I will not stand before a mirror and see if my makeup brings out the green of my eyes. I will not stand before a man I might have wanted to attract and see if he likes my $500 new outfit. I will not go out with my girlfriends and chat about where is the best place to get a makeover, I will not go before the judges to see whether my workouts at the gym have paid off such that I can win this award or that one.
No, I will stand before the Lord Himself, and He will not judge me by any of this. And I will be accountable for my heart and my life. For my words, my thoughts, my decisions, and my actions. I will be accountable for whether I chose to forsake the ways of the world and to live as the Bible teaches according to God’s ways – or not.
I will be accountable, most of all, for whether I truly repented of my sins and believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ who went to the cross to bear God’s wrath against me for my sins so that I could be forgiven and be in fellowship with God now and forever. I will be accountable for whether I merely believed in Jesus as Lord, or whether I truly yielded my life to the Lord and lived my life for Him who raised me from the spiritually dead and gave me new life.
Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees for being more concerned with cleaning the outside of their cups – part of their endless traditions of men – instead of focusing on purifying themselves for the living God. Suffice it to say I, along with this society, have spent far too long focusing my attention on how I appear to others on the outside. It has been humbling, and hard at times, to look in the mirror and see the unwanted changes, to not have the budget nor even the care anymore, to go all out on trying to “look beautiful” in the eyes of the world.
And though my flesh at times will in all truth lust for wanting to look nice to the world, for the most part this is not the case at all. For the more I seek the Lord, the more I study His Word, the ever deeper I dive into intimate fellowship with Him, the more I learn to live according to His ways rather than my own, the more I desire to be holy as He is holy, to be pure as He calls me to be, and to be a woman who is clean on the inside of herself. As for the outside, I can only hope that what the world sees is not anymore the results of all the effort I used to spend on makeup and earrings and this outfit or that one, but instead the love, peace, hope, faith, and joy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Despite the wrinkles, despite the ghostly winter white skin, despite the seemingly permanent bags under my eyes, despite the hand me down clothes or thrift shop ones, despite the lack of makeup, may the world if it even looks at me see what I have come to see as the greatest human beauty of all – a heart on fire for the Lord God almighty, a life submitted to Him as best I am able, and a face that radiates with the love and light of the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Savior of the world, Amen!
To God be all glory!
If you are caught up in how you appear to the world, why not this very day become caught up in how you appear in the eyes of the Lord? Repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be born again. Become a committed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ by studying and living what the Bible teaches. If you already are, press on with this. Make the changes in your life God wants you to make, purify yourself for the Lord and live your life to love, serve, worship, and please Him. If you stood before the Lord today, what would you have to give account for? He knows your heart. He knows your life. Are you ready for transformation? Let today be a fresh start.
Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Mat 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Mat 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
Mat 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Mat 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
Mat 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mat 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.