Women's Devotional Bible - Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Transformed by Jesus

Acts 4:1–37

When women kindly ask me to sign their copies of my books, I sometimes write, “To Susan the Beautiful!”

“Oh, no!” Susan (or Kathy or Linda) will protest, turning red. “I’m not beautiful.”

“Sure you are,” I insist, as I add my signature. “It says so right in the Bible.” As further proof, I jot down “Psalm 149:4” and encourage them to look it up. You see, it’s God’s gift of salvation that makes us truly beautiful, inside and out. Nothing transforms a woman’s appearance more than being covered from head to toe in the grace of God’s Son.

I know this beautifying process is legitimate because I’ve seen it happen again and again. When women come to know the Lord in a real and personal way, their frown lines begin to soften. A sparkle appears in their eyes, and a radiance falls over their countenance.

We have proven scientifically that such physical changes occur when we fall in love: glowing skin, sparkling eyes, increased heart rate. And for some of us, similar improvements take place when we’re expecting a child. Conventional wisdom says that “all brides are beautiful” and “pregnant women glow.” It’s chemical, hormonal, and very real.

Why not at the spiritual level too? When you allow the Lord to fill your heart with his boundless love, it shows on the outside. This beauty has nothing to do with cosmetics or plastic surgery. On the contrary, it’s an inside job: A heart full of love produces a face full of joy.

When I stepped into a church for the first time as an adult, I was amazed to see pew after pew of attractive women. Is this a requirement of membership? I wondered. Maybe they’re all Mary Kay consultants!

Soon I learned the happy truth: Such beauty is a gift from God. Unlike lipstick and blush, which seldom last longer than a few hours, spiritual beauty is timeless. It literally pours out of your pores and alters your appearance in a most appealing way. People will think you’ve had a face-lift, when in fact you’ve had a faith-lift.

—Liz Curtis Higgs

Reflection

  1. Why were people so astounded by Peter and John’s courage?
  2. Based on your knowledge of the Bible, what had happened to transform them so radically?
  3. How have you experienced a “faith-lift” since walking with Christ? How does it reflect outwardly?

Acts 4:13
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

Related Readings

Psalm 149:1–9; Isaiah 61:1–3; 1 Corinthians 1:26–31

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