When you hear the voice of Jesus saying, “Come to me,” pray that God would give you eyes to see Jesus as irresistibly true and beautiful.John Piper
Exploring the Wonders of Christ’s Beauty
OVER THE YEARS, my life has been profoundly impacted by mighty giants of the faith whose lives have challenged me to pursue God in greater dimensions. One of those is Robert Murray McCheyne, a Scottish preacher in the mid-nineteenth century who was passionately consumed with the beauty and wonder of Christ. Referencing Song of Solomon 5:16, McCheyne introduces us to the Beautiful Jesus:
You will never find Jesus so precious, as when the world is one vast howling wilderness. Then He is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation, or a rock rising above the storm! Do not set your hearts on any of the flowers of this world. They shall all fade and die. Prize the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. Jesus never changes. . . . Yes, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!
Today we turn our attention to the wonders of Christ’s beauty. How beautifully do you see Jesus right now? The apostle Paul wrote to Corinthian believers: “Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful” (2 Corinthians 4:5–6 MSG).
The author of Hebrews adds:
“The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor” (Hebrews 1:3 TPT).
This is beauty to the extreme! The psalmist likewise spoke about the beauty of the Lord. He wrote:
“For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever” (Psalm 100:5 MSG).
Elsewhere he declared:
“For GOD is great, and worth a thousand Hallelujahs. His terrible beauty makes the gods look cheap. . . . Royal splendor radiates from him, a powerful beauty sets him apart” (Psalm 96:4, 6 MSG).
King David in one of his most memorable psalms wrote: “I’m asking GOD for one thing, only one thing: to live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet” (Psalm 27:4 MSG).
Meditate for a moment on this expanded definition of beautiful: “the quality attributed to what pleases or satisfies the senses; having or possessing beauty; qualities that are especially attractive.”2 Synonyms include: “loveliness; elegance; magnificence; excellence, attraction, fascination; majesty; value; merit; worth and allurement.” Indeed, there is no single word or phrase in any definition of beautiful that cannot be applied to our Lord.
Occupied with Jesus!
Few historic church leaders have fascinated me as much in their radical devotion to Christ as has Francis of Assisi. Born the son of a wealthy Italian merchant in the late twelfth century, and living only 44 years, Francis forsook all of his inheritance at the age of 27 and founded what would become the Franciscan Order. This humble Italian friar left such a legacy that generations would know him simply by the city of his birth, as Francis of Assisi.
What most marked Assisi’s life was his pure passion for Jesus! He was consumed with the beauty of Christ. Such was evident when he wrote to his fellow Franciscans about his beautiful Savior:
We should wish for nothing else and have no other desire, we should find no pleasure or delight in anything except in our Creator, Redeemer, and Savior; He alone is true God, perfect, good, all good, every good, and the true and supreme good . . . loving and gentle, kind and understanding. . At all times and seasons, in every country and place, every day and all day, we must keep him in our hearts, where we must love, honor, adore, serve, praise and bless, glorify and acclaim, magnify and thank, the most high supreme and eternal God . . . Creator of all and the Savior . . . lovable, delightful and utterly desirable beyond all else, for ever and ever.4
The apostle Paul captured that same intensity. He summed up his entire reason for being with these words:
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10 NASB).
Take time today, and every day, sitting at the feet of Jesus, basking in His beauty!
A Prayer for Today
Beautiful Jesus, I want to spend my life captivated by Your beauty. You are truly beautiful in every way, and Your beauty resonates throughout all creation. Everything about You is beautiful. Everything You do is beautiful. Everything You create is beautiful. Everything You say is beautiful. Today I call to mind specific and personal encounters with Your beauty, that I may meditate on the ways You have revealed Your beauty uniquely to me in the past. I thank You for the beauty with which You have flooded my life; all of it is Yours. May I always truly abound in Your beauty. Amen
ENCOUNTERING AWESOME JESUS:
A PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Remember—these four steps to help you apply this quality of Christ to your own life.
- EXPLORE: Take time to meditate on this quality of Christ. Use Scriptures in this chapter to get started.
- EXPERIENCE: Turn your meditation into prayer that this quality might impact your life today. Pray the above prayer to begin.
- EXPRESS: During your quiet time, take a moment to journal your thoughts, even if briefly.
- EXALT: Pray, praise or even spontaneously sing your way through today’s list of the names of Jesus. It only requires a few minutes.
Author: Dr Dick Eastman.
We are grateful to Dr Eastman and Dr Doug Clay of US AG who has provided these resources. This is an edited version for the international audience.