Sunday, May 4th, 2014
Beautiful! Like Esther (Part 7)
Beauty Ingredients: Heart
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.'
1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV)
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
John 7:38 (NKJV)
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)
To look like Jesus on the outside, you must look like Jesus on the inside.* Because God creates from inside to out, from nothing to something, from darkness to light, from dust to man and from ashes to beauty.
To look like Him, you must see Him. To see Him, you must be pure in heart. 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God' (Matthew 5:8). Basically, a pure heart is a whole heart: a heart undivided from God and His purpose.
No saint is exempt from menacing heart conditions. Jesus faced one: 'Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me' (Luke 22:42). So did Esther. 'And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: 'Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews' ' (Esther 4:13).
How did Jesus respond to the threat? Prayer and obedience to God's plan. Esther's response? The same. 'Draw near to God and He will draw near to you... purify your hearts, you double-minded' (James 4:8). Both drew nearer to God. Their results? Glorious history.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Satan can attack your heart in many ways, including fear and reason. Esther feared death by disobeying her king's order, which divided her heart. By drawing nearer to God, her heart attack vanished. Reasonable doubts were defeated by unreasonable faith.
Because a pure heart is all about faith.
'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones' (Proverbs 3:5-8).
Healing and refreshment invite beauty, which is your destiny. So, 'You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand' (James 5:8).
To Be Continued...
* The true appearance of Jesus is indescribably brilliant. Consider some glimpses:
From the Gospels: 'Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His Face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light' (Matthew 17:1-2 NKJV);
From Revelation: 'And in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a Son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His Chest with a golden sash. His Head and His Hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His Eyes were like a flame of fire. His Feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His Voice was like the sound of many waters' (Revelation 1:13-15 NAS);
From Daniel: 'I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain Man clothed in linen, whose Waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His Body was like beryl, His Face like the appearance of lightning, His Eyes like torches of fire, His Arms and Feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of His Words like the Voice of a multitude' (Daniel 10:5-6 NKJV).
(Note: Whether this description in the vision Daniel is of Jesus or another divine being is debated, but I think it is similar to His description in Revelation. So I believe Daniel was visited by Jesus. Consider that Jesus also stood with Daniel's friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, in the fiery furnace.)
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Beautiful Like Esther series.