"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, June 1, 2012

BEAUTY REDEFINED

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV 1984)  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"





With furrowed eyebrows, my first impression and response was: "Nasty! These are disgusting! Can they ever look decent?"

Deteriorated, ruined, stained and damaged describe the state of our home's forty-eight year old worn out hardwood floors. A lack of proper maintenance was obvious as we considered buying our present home.

Several black spots were deeply embedded in the grain of the wood and one, the size of a throw rug, seemed unlikely to ever be removed. These floors appeared beyond repair.

What did we get ourselves into? These floors look hideous!  Do we really have the time to restore them?  Is it even worth the effort?  

The shear amount of work kept my husband sanding for sixteen hours. He powered the two main sanders while I knelt and handled two smaller ones for edges, corners and tough spots.  

At 1:30am we called it quits.

After hours of clean up the next day, the wood sealant was applied followed by three coats of polyurethane.

Unbelievable!  Now these floors shine and reveal their natural elegance.   The comparison is night and day.  Our red oak floors look brand new.  I still stand and just stare at the magnificent beauty of these gorgeous hardwood floors.

The beauty of this woodwork could never be captured until proper care and restoration took place.  It took time, energy and a skillful hand to produce such an outcome.

We are not much different.

Each of us have scars revealing a battered life; personal injuries leaving us bruised; we each commit a city dump size of sin marking us hideous; our lives reflect our experiences and can appear beyond repair.

Often, our impression on others would cause them to conclude we are hopeless.  Thankfully, other people's views of us is not His.  Christ concludes we are worth His time and energy.  He desires to take our broken, damaged, ruined lives and restore them, making them new.   

The key verse from 2 Corinthians 5:17 declares that if we are in Christ, we are a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come.  

A Christian is a new creature; one who possesses not just a new name, but a new heart.  Our old pattern of life is changed: our way of thinking, our beliefs, attitudes and actions.  A new way of life controls us: godly thinking, biblical beliefs, christian attitudes and Spirit led living.  Once a slave to sin we now become a slave to righteousness.

Christ did the work to renew us.  His sacrifice is a gift of restoration.  It's our choice to allow Him to work out the stains that hinder our reflection of Him.  With the Master's skillful hand He smooths rough edges of selfishness, polishes abrasions of past failures, removes blemishes of insecurity and refurbishes hopelessness.

The process of restoration does not come with ease and comfort.  Only a high powered touch can restore such hideousness.  The beautiful outcome surpasses the difficulty of becoming more like Him.  He restores our life of sin to a life of beauty.  

Beauty restored is beauty redefined.  

Beauty redefined comes through the redemption of Christ and His work within us; a daily surrender of self to accept His touch.  Embrace God's desire to refinish your life and shape you into His likeness.  He believes you're worth every drop of His blood.

Heart Work:
Comment below on the beauty God is currently bringing to fruition in your life.

Make a list of the evidences of God's work in your life and how He has enabled you to grow through difficulty and overcome sin.  Praise Him for this and ask Him to continue to restore even more beauty in your life, for His glory.

Heart Exam:
What evidence is there that you are a new creation in Christ?

What are your rough spots?  What is God striving to work out of you? And, in you?

Why is the process of restoration difficult?  Why is it worth it?

Heart Changing Word:
Romans 6:20 & 22  "When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. . . But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life."

Ephesians 2:10  "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

Philippians 1:6  "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."



Copyright 2012 by Hester Christensen.  All rights reserved.