By MANDY SAELER
When I think about the most beautiful women I know, the faces of beloved mentors and dear friends fill my mind, each one having influenced my life in a meaningful way through their love and kindness, and most of all their givenness to Christ.
Gayle’s tenderness, thoughtfulness, and warm countenance. Lynn’s prayerfulness, wisdom, and edifying expressions of love. Eileen’s easy company and infectious, fun-loving nature. Sydney’s radiant faith and encouraging words.
The special women in my life are marked with love for God and love for people. They are devoted to their God, delighting to commune with Him in secret through prayer and His Word. Kindness is upon their lips, warmth is in their demeanor, and refreshment is lavished upon others. They genuinely care for others and are joyfully given to meeting the needs of others. Rather than being bridled by their own needs or expectations, their hearts are settled and satisfied in God. Their lives gleam with the beauty of His Life.
Have you ever noticed the brightness that shines forth from the lives of men and women who love Jesus?
I’ve often noticed that the people of God emanate a kind of beauty that I can only think to describe with words like radiance and sparkle. There is a light in their eyes, a shine about their countenance, and overall, an essence of life that emanates from them. Their lives show forth a radiance that is beyond natural charisma or personality, but is of the heavenly variety – and it’s what I’ve recognized to be a visible testimony that “those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces are never covered with shame” (Ps. 34:5).
Those who look to Him are radiant! What a beautiful, truth-filled statement of reality for any man or woman who looks to Jesus for salvation, deliverance, redemption, and life! The original Hebrew word for radiance in this verse means: to shine, beam, light, burn; to beam, be radiant. And Strong’s defines radiance as: to sparkle, i.e. (figuratively) be cheerful.
What a beautiful way to describe the children of God!
When we, as women, contemplate the topic of beauty, it’s all too easy to settle for a version of beauty that is defined only by external things, whether it be a polished physical appearance, a high quality wardrobe, or something else. But today, I want to freshly encourage you to remember that true beauty comes from the Beautiful One – looking to Him, abiding in Him, and reflecting His likeness and nature to those around us. Though we can (and should) maintain our physical bodies in a beautiful and God-honoring way, may we remember that the truest beauty can’t be applied to our lives through a magical foundation formula and sweep of mascara, neither can it be earned through a faithful relationship with cardio and a plant-based diet. The truest beauty shines forth – not of our own effort or accord – but as a result of the indwelling life of Jesus in us!
Rather than fixating on our own fading beauty, may the gaze of our hearts look again to our Savior, remembering that our lives are no longer our own, for we have been bought with a price and are hidden in Him. (See Proverbs 31:30, Galatians 2:20, and Colossians 3:3.) May we cherish the reality that we have been adorned with the salvation in Christ Jesus, and have been made beautiful and without spot through Him. (See Isaiah 61 and Song of Solomon 4:7.) And may we celebrate the incredible feat of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection – we have been redeemed from destruction and crowned with the lovingkindness and tender mercies of our God! (See Colossians 2:11-15 and Psalm 103.)
As we go forth into this day, with the assurance of His presence with us and His perfect love encompassing us, may there be strength in our gait and joy upon our faces as our lives testify to the truth that those who look to Jesus are radiant! And may the radiance of these redeemed lives, in word and action, extend His invitation of True Life to those around us.
P.S. At this year’s Set Apart Conference, Leslie will be sharing an in-depth look at true, biblical beauty and the importance of cultivating the kind of lasting heavenly loveliness that will impact this world for eternity! If you haven’t yet considered joining us, know that we would love for you to!