Three Front and Center Realities for All Christians: #1 – Beauty

26 Sep

There are three realities in this life which Christians must keep at the center in order to live a life of joyful fruitfulness as a believer.  These realities are the ones we are most likely to ignore or distort and when we do, we often end up as distorted believers ourselves.  Over the next three days, I am going to write about each of these realities.

The first reality which we must not ignore or distort is the reality of beauty.  We live in a beautiful world.  We serve a beautiful God.  The story of our redemption is  a beautiful story.  Interestingly, the people who often lack a sense of wonder at the beauty of God and His world are the people with a lot of Bible knowledge.  This is not how it should be but there is a way in which the knowledge of God can deaden, rather than awaken, one’s affections.  When this happens, we become good analysts but we cease to be real lovers of God.  This has devastating consequences in our lives.  We can pontificate about all kinds of points of doctrine in the loveless, clanging cymbal way described in 1 Corinthians 13.  When our own hearts are not warmed by truth we become the poster children for every cliche of the cold-hearted Christian.

It is possible to so want to defend the doctrine of creation that we miss the wonder of creation.  In the same way, we may have such a passion to convince people that the gospel is true that we forget what good news it really is for us and for everyone who believes.  We can care so much about the church and church structure and making sure our churches are doing it in a biblical way that we miss the beauty of the biblical pictures of the Church: the bride of Christ, the body of Christ, the unity of diverse people under the banner of Christ’s work on the cross.  We can so desire to speak to ethical issues like abortion or alcoholism or modesty or marriage and divorce that we only see problems instead of giving thanks that for the beautiful rights underneath all the wrongs we want to correct.

There is a great need in evangelicalism today to recapture beauty and in particular the enjoyment of beauty.  We are good at enjoying comfort or good circumstances but we are not adept at enjoying the glories of God in what He has made and in what He has done in His Son.  There is a real danger in some of the most theologically orthodox quarters of evangelicalism to know the gospel without loving the gospel.

So today, enjoy what God has made.  Revel in His power.  Rejoice in His goodness in calling you to Himself.  Live in the reality of the beauty of the world.  When you do, you will find joy welling up in your heart.  You will find your life has a sweetness to it which attracts other people to the Lord.  You will find, even as you enjoy the life God has given you that your heart will be more drawn to Him and less drawn to His gifts all the time.

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