We were in seventh grade, she was a senior (old school –7th through 12th were on the same campus). I don’t know why she was late, but she frequently could be seen leaving her car and walking to class. We watched her from our homeroom window. Not long, a lot was happening during homeroom, but it was a highlight of the day for three hormonal-driven teenage boys. She was beautiful by every definition we knew. And she was a cheerleader–we went to a lot of games that year!

None of us knew the Creator then, but we sure enjoyed the creation. Many are caught up in the beauty of God’s creation. It may be the pretty girl, a sunrise or a sunset, a mountain view overlooking many miles or just a perfect rolling pasture with a few cows scattered about. Maybe it’s the ocean, a bird, a flower, artwork, stars above–either way you have it, God’s creation is beautiful! God’s created beauty points us to Him. I missed that for a long time and selfishly indulged in what I thought was beautiful. Read this if you want to know more about that.

I am a work in progress, as most all others are. Lately, I have seen God’s beauty draw me in a new way. Jesus is flat-out beautiful! He is all about you and I being with Him in heaven for all eternity. He knows we are born sinners in a sinful broken world, yet He pursues us. His heart is to help us overcome our sinfulness. He is NOT repealed by it. He does not wait until we are “cleaned up”, He wants to help lead us and guide us through the whole process. He is a friend of “tax collectors and sinners”. This is what His grace is all about. He does not excuse our sin, but if we will trust Him, receive Him, and accept Him for who He is, He will extend His atoning grace to us. Our sinful condition will be made right with God as God extends the righteousness of Jesus, the Christ, to us! Jesus does not knock us over the head with this, but He really wants to wrap His loving arms around us as we walk with Him. He gives us His Holy Spirit to be here with us, to help lead and guide us as we learn to be the Godly men and women we were originally designed to be.

That is truly BEAUTIFUL!!

Jesus left heaven to come to earth to save us from an eternity apart from God. He lived here for about thirty years and showed us by His example how to do relationships. He loved us well during those years. People were drawn to His kind and gentle ways. They went in droves to hear him preach and to receive physical, emotional, and spiritual healing from Him. He reached out, especially to the down and out; those of that day that the elite pushed out or simply overlooked. And you know what, He continues to do it even today. Our Savior is alive! We do not follow a dead man.

After Jesus was crucified, He overcame death by the power of the Holy Spirit and was physically on earth with His disciples and others for forty days. Then He ascended into Heaven. Now He is there with God interceding on our behalf; sending love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, joy, and peace our way if we will receive it. And He sends discipline too. The rest is up to us. It’s a beautiful plan that all hinges on our beautiful Jesus. Are we going to receive Him? Or, trust self to get us through life and into heaven when that last day comes (which is a lie from hell)? God gives us free will to decide.

Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund has helped me tremendously to see the beautiful heart and attributes of Jesus in ways I have failed to see or overlooked them before. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to understand Christianity, salvation, righteousness, or the heart of Jesus, for us.

About that pretty girl. Well…I married her. She wasn’t the senior we were obsessed with as you saw at the beginning of this reading, BUT she was the one perfect for me. Jane, that’s my pretty girl. Jane and I married at age 21 and she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside!