Devotion: Beauty Which Lasts

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2010

Too often we define beauty and see ourselves through other people’s eyes.  God’s way of beauty is infinitely better and so freeing!  We need to see ourselves for the beautiful,  handsome, infinitely-valued people of God that we are, endowed with great God-purpose every day of our lives.

Beauty on the outside is passing away day by day and though its effects can be masked temporarily, nothing can halt its progress.  But beauty from the inside out is eternally-ever-increasing when it is nurtured by our constantly seeking more of God and submitting to the transforming power of His Spirit at work in us.

External beauty has no lasting effect on those around us.  It works nothing of true value.  Internal beauty, on the other hand, cannot help but have an ongoing, positive, potentially-eternal effect.  Internal beauty flows through us and touches others like a refreshing spring in the desert.  As when an exquisite butterfly quietly visits a flower to drink of its nectar, thereby facilitating a bountiful harvest, the internal beauty of one person visiting others triggers something within them to begin seeking to nurture their own.  Thus like a pebble thrown into a pond, the ripples from one person’s internal beauty go out to touch another and then another in an ever-widening circle, having effect way beyond what that individual will ever know.  

Perhaps this is why the Bible tells us that silver hair is a crown of glory.  It doesn’t mean we have to let our hair go grey as we get older, but what a beautiful reminder that our focus should be on letting God make us more beautiful from the inside out, instead of anguishing over what is passing away on the outside.   In reality, no matter how we look on the outside, who we are inside is what people really see and no amount of make-up or plastic surgery will change this.

This does not mean we should ignore how we look, but we should take care of ourselves for a different reason.  The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit dwells within us and that our bodies are His temple.  We are to take care of ourselves from the inside out so that we can be the best we can be for Him. 

We are so blessed!  When we let Him have His way with us, He transforms us day by day more into His image so we can shine like stars into the darkness, lighting the way back to Him, His freedom, joy, peace and divine purpose for all who seek Him.  

What an awesome God we serve! (Selah ~ pause and calmly think of that!)

19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.  1 Cor 6:19-20 

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  1 Peter 3:3-4  

14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out[a] the word of life— Philippians  2:14-16a

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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