True Beauty

Ephesians 5: 6-7

Ephesians 5: 6-7

“6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them;”

As I read these words from Ephesians 5 this week I thought, “Perhaps at no other time in human history have these words carried such a warning to the people of God.”  We live in a culture that is full of so many empty and useless words and ideas that it is hard to even filter them out anymore!  Unfortunately I believe that the professing church isn’t even actually trying anymore.  Instead of affecting the culture with truth, the culture is affecting the professing church with empty words and ideas.  The epidemic is so prolific that most churches look like an extension of the culture instead of a temple of God.  Daily we are told lie after lie.  And after a while even the most guarded Christians begin to believe them.

You have heard many of these lies before and perhaps you have even begun to believe some of them…”You can be anything you want to be”, “You are free to make your own truth”, “Being fat is healthy and beautiful”, “You are in control of your own destiny”, “Trust your heart”, Trust your feelings”, “Posting selfies everyday on Facebook isn’t narcissism”…actually, rather ironically, as I write this, a song just came on the radio in the coffee shop I am working from today…listen to the words.

“You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world should change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Oh-oh, oh-oh
And you don’t have to change a thing, the world should change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful”

-Alessia Cara

Are any of these statements true?  Can we be whatever we want to be?  Can we make our own truth?  Is a man or woman beautiful just the way they are?  Who defines beauty?  Of course the answer to this question is that God is the only one who defines what is right, good and beautiful.  Believing the empty words of the lost culture we are living in is far more dangerous than we may realize.  We live in a culture that celebrates sin and wickedness in every possible way.  In the lyrics above the singer states, “And you don’t have to change a thing…”  What a lie!

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (CHANGED!) by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

We must be changed if we are to find peace in God!   We must be changed by God if we wish to even be able understand God’s will and truth.  The goal of the culture in all of these lies is to get every man woman and child to believe that every decision a person makes is right.  There is no truth, there is no need to be changed, after all you are beautiful any way you want to be.  Want to pretend you are a man even though you are a woman…no problem.  If you disagree you are a bigot.  Want to be a glutton and be overweight and unhealthy…no problem!  If you disagree you are a fat-shamer.  Want to murder your child in the womb…that’s a good thing!  Disagree and you are a misogynist.  And the list could go on.

The world is filled with lies, because the fleshly world is a product of the father of lies, Satan.  Satan’s entire focus is to get everyone to question the truth of God’s word and to replace it with their own empty words and ideas.  The truth is that humans are not beautiful just the way we are…they are uglyful just the way they are (I realize this is not a word, but work with me!).   We are sinful, wicked and abhorred by God just the way we are and we will incur God’s wrath on the Day of Judgment because of the way we are.  We must be changed!  Repentance is both a change of mind and a change of direction.  So the question is, “Have you believed any of the lies of the world?”  Do you believe that your gluttony is beautiful (or at least not really a sin)?  Do you believe that your own version of truth is beautiful?  Do you believe that your narcissism is beautiful?  Do you believe that basing your life’s decisions on your emotions is beautiful?  Church, we are called to look nothing like the culture around us…we are called to look like Christ.  To be His reflection on earth.  Brothers and sisters, do you look like more like Christ or more like the world?

Yours in Christ,

Pastor John