Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When He Cometh"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 6:19 – Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself. (NLT)
Hearing about ugly episodes is a normal part of any day.
The early settlers in the Virginia Colony along the James River — in what would become the United States of America — had some ugly in them, even though they were responsible for founding one of the greatest nations in the world. Although the Native Americans helped them to survive, the settlers fought with them and eventually pushed them from their land. Soon, slavery made its ugly entrance into the young colonies. Africans were imported by the millions and crowded in squalid conditions on ships where many died before they ever reached the colonies. As the colonies grew into a country and westward expansion occurred, slavery increased, and so did the mistreatment of other Native Americans.
Ugly didn't cease once America was finalized with 50 states, nor is it confined to America. I listen to ugly every day when I hear about robberies, murders, rapes, terrorism, and other acts of unkindness. I sometimes wonder where the pretty is.
Since my body is a temple of God's Spirit, it should be a pretty place. I've never considered myself handsome. I can't remember girls pining to date me when I was in high school. I had somewhat of an ugly complex. But regardless of how I appear on the outside, my inside can be handsome.
Sin makes me ugly. It's easy to make light of sin by redefining it, calling it something else, or making it appear less tragic than it is. No matter what I do with it, God still sees it as ugly. Sin is behind the ugly that I hear about and see each day. The absence of sin would result in the annihilation of all that's bad in our world.
The only way that I can keep my temple clean is to accept God's solution for ugly: forgiveness. If ugly will separate me eternally from God, then I'd better fix it. Accepting what Christ has done on Calvary's cross allows His righteousness to be credited to my account. Then, I'm not ugly in God's sight any more. With the help of God's Spirit indwelling me, my pretty inside will manifest itself outwardly in kind words and admirable actions, making the world a better place.
Let's allow God to transform our ugly into beauty.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the beautiful new nature that You offer us through Jesus Christ. Amen.