• “I have learned that in every circumstance that comes my way, I can choose to respond in one of two ways: I can whine or I can worship” – Nancy DeMoss

True Beauty by Leslie Ludy

“The only true beauty comes from a life fully surrendered to Jesus Christ, where your self has died, has gotten out of the way, and He can be seen in and through you.  John the Baptist said, “I must decrease so that He might increase.”  If we’re in the way, if we’re pursuing the things we want to pursue, living the life that we want to live, His beauty will not be seen in and through us, and we may have a life that looks a little bit cleaner, a little bit more moral than the girls all around us, but we won’t have the essence of the true gospel life, which is becoming a living sacrifice for our King. Nothing that we have is our own anymore.  We don’t have time of our own, money of our own, resources of our own, plans of our own.  It’s now all about Him; it’s not about us. 

When we grow up in Christianity over here, a lot of times we hear about how we’re beautiful, and we have all this value and worth as women because we live in a culture that just bombards us with messages of insecurity.  So, this message of “you’re not good enough,” “you’re not pretty enough,” “you don’t have the right figure,” is constantly in our face.  And so the Christian community has come in saying, “No, no, no, you’re good, you’re beautiful just the way you are.”  But the danger of that message is it often promotes self-esteem, and we’re looking within ourselves trying to find our value, and our beauty, and our worth.  Well, we’re valuable to Jesus Christ before we’re redeemed, but we really won’t have any true beauty until He transforms us from the inside out.

I see a lot of girls.  All of our free time:  Facebook, texting with friends, watching movies, watching TV, obsessing over guys, trying to figure out what we’re going to wear, going to the mall, frittering our life away on these meaningless things.  Meanwhile, there are Christians on the other side of the world literally giving up their very lives for Jesus Christ.

So, I want to challenge you that what we see all around us, and maybe even the version of Christianity that we’ve grown up with, that God is calling us to more than this.  Christ said, “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has, cannot be My disciple.”  It’s not just saying a sinner’s prayer.  It’s not just acknowledging that Christ died for us.  It’s not just saying, “Oh, this is really great…now I can go to heaven at the end of the road.”  This is about giving up our life.  It’s about a covenant exchange with Him.  It’s about forsaking all that we have. 

When we come to Him do we realize that we can’t hold on to our life?  We have to take up our Cross and follow Him.  We have to become a living sacrifice.  We have to let Him have everything.  It’s a life of true surrender, full surrender.  And He said, “Whoever does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”  Are those just nice sounding words…taking up our cross?  Is it just sort of this visual thing in our mind?  I think it was for me for many years.  I didn’t understand what it really meant.  It was just like, “Oh, that’s nice…take up your cross and follow Him.” 

But what is He asking of us?

He gave everything; will we give everything to Him?

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  • “But the misfortune is that people wish to direct God instead of resigning themselves to be directed by Him. We wish to take the lead, and to follow in a way of their own selection instead of submissively and passively following where God sees fit to conduct them. And hence it is, that many souls who are called to the enjoyment of God himself and mot merely to the gifts of God, spend all their lives in pursuing and in feeding on little consolations.” – Madame Guyon

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[The Just Live by Faith] For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. — Romans 1:16 (NKJV)

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