God is Beautiful

(My good friend Michael Wickey, a computer programmer (who was raised Amish!) and a terrific guy, wrote this devotional and shared it with our church’s diaconate. I asked if I could share it with you. I hope you enjoy!)

I sometimes lose sight of or don’t think often enough about this idea; that God is beautiful. Not only is he beautiful, he himself loves beauty. Ubiquitous with the idea of beauty are, sunrises, sunsets, mountain landscapes, Caribbean beaches, clear blue water, massive glaciers, grazing herds of bison, or a cute and cuddly kitten, but I think, if God loves beautiful things, then he loves all these things too. But first, let me backup a little bit. How do I get to the conclusion that God loves beauty?

Well, there are many reasons, but one that just came to me this week was the sacrifice of Jesus, who died while still sinless, who took our just punishment, and rose again on the 3rd day. Yes, that alone is beautiful. Not much stacks up to the beauty of sacrifice. Jesus says in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” But how does that make me think God loves beauty? There is much more that could be explored here because Jesus died for those who persecuted him as well as his friends, but for now my point only concerns the beauty of sacrifice.

We were made in God’s image. He knows us inside and out, and even with the fall, we carry a lot of Him within us. He knew what could bring us back to him. Beauty, and namely his (this is only one aspect and I’m only covering this one, for my point.). Beautiful things are a source of gravity, though it is the type of gravity that can be denied, they pull and change the things they act upon. A real world example is playing with a kitten when in a sour mood, or being around people with overflowing joyfulness. It is really hard to stay the same while encountering beautiful things. Either we need to leave and possibly even hide from the beautiful thing, or we will be changed by it.

Beauty is somehow wrapped up in the essence of God and a sense of it was imparted on all His creation, and since we are made in His image, we can also do more and change more through it. By this I mean that we have the ability to actively foster beauty and to let ourselves be changed by it.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” – Psalm 19:1-4

The Gospel is beautiful, and it will change us if we recognize it (this does not negate us choosing), but it can also be denied which also changes us. Denying its beauty is only done if we use a different standard of beauty, namely our own, which is worthless (since we are mere fallen humans as opposed to the Creator God, our creations necessarily fall short)  in comparison and will lead us to nothing or rather nothingness.

Why and how does this particular beauty change us? My wife Jenny theorized that “it is our natural longing to become what we are meant to be, and we, who recognize the Gospel, know that this goal is to be like Jesus!”

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” – Romans 8:29

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” – 1 John 3:2

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” – Psalm 27:4 This connection didn’t seem like a lot at first, but it makes me feel closer to Jesus, though this is only a feeling because Jesus is never far, but it is not nothing. It is a feeling of confident peace. A good and confident feeling, a solid and steadfast heart are forces that carry a soldier into battle and fireman into a burning building. I need that feeling of closeness in order to overcome some obstacles and challenges, and I love the thought of standing there on my back porch, with steaming coffee in hand, watching the sunrise while the birds chirp, with Jesus!


About salooper57

Husband, father, pastor, follower. I am a disciple of Jesus, learning how to do life from him. I read, write, walk, play a little guitar, enjoy my family.
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