Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
Beautiful! Like Esther (Part 24)
Beauty Ingredients: Packaging
Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace... So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand.
Esther 5:1-2 (NKJV)
You were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 6:20 (NKJV)
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14 (NKJV)
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)
Basically, before Esther met the king, she spent a year in beauty school, 'With perfumes and preparations for beautifying women' (Esther 2:12). It was necessary polish for the role she would play.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Among the ingredients in Esther's recipe for success, I saved packaging for last--because it is the least important. Your superficial appearance is like the icing on a great cake. The icing enhances the cake, but the cake must stand first--without it.
Jesus speaks hard Words in a hard Chapter to the beautifully adorned leaders of Israel: 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness' (Matthew 23:27).
Countless people spend millions of hours and billions on dollars on adornments: well cut clothes on well cut bodies; souped-up hair and made up faces. But when coverings become cover-ups, beware. Jesus said, 'There is nothing hidden which will not be revealed' (Mark 4:22).
On the other hand, Jesus told His disciples to be as 'Shrewd as serpents' (Matthew 10:16). In arts and entertainment, it's shrewd to look media-relevant and fashion-forward. So don't swing in the opposite direction, ignoring your appearance while focusing on God.
Yes, He wants your eyes on Him first, but He also wants other eyes on you. Because you are fishermen and your beauty is bait. When fans are caught by your appearance, then dazzled by your performance, they will want to know more.
Your answer? 'Come and see' (John 1:39); 'Come, follow me' (Matthew 19:21). What they will find beyond your hook and within your boat is the true Life Preserver: Jesus.
So cherish the body He gave you. Treat it well. Feed it properly. Keep it active. Polish it gently. The industry calls it packaging. I call it bait.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beautiful Like Esther series.