A Heart Adorned — Part Four of Four
Originally published “At the Well – A Titus 2 Ministry,” this four-part series ran in November, 2010.
May this short study bless you as it has me and others. May the glory be ALL God’s. Amen.
Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NASB)
Welcome back to “A Heart Adorned”, our final day on these two verses in 1 Peter 3. Our focus today is on what “is precious in the sight of God.” As we walk with You, LORD, may the precious jewels hidden in our hearts be uncovered so that we would become a brighter beacon to Your world.
Just as we can easily believe that our outward appearance is of importance in who we are, so too must we consider this outer shell to be precious to God. He created our bodies. His Holy Spirit dwells in our body-temple. Caring for it should be of prime importance. Caring for God’s temple is important and truly necessary. Yet our bodies, clothes, makeup, and jewelry are only our outward appearance. God knows the beautiful bodies He created and considers them all such and we must remember that. It is important to see ourselves in the mirror through God’s eyes, seeing the beauty He created without judging ourselves by worldly standards.
In my young adult years, I really struggled with self confidence and esteem. With a little help from a precious friend, I began looking into the mirror and saying, “I love you, Linda”. I said that a couple of times each day, but I could not look myself in the eyes in the mirror when I said those words. Yet I kept it up. One day, well into the third month, I caught my eye in my reflection and turned, focusing on myself, and said, “I love you, Linda”. I repeated the words several times, each time looking myself straighter in the eyes. I began to see myself differently. Over time, with repetitive reflection, I began to see the love of God towards me, knowing that He created me, beginning to discern that He loved me. And I began to see the inward beauty of my hidden heart. God knows the inner me, the inner you, and wants His beauty to shine and be reflected to His world. Look at the reflection of the roses in the picture. The reflection is near perfect in the glass compared to the actual roses. Imagine we are those roses with all their beauty reflecting Christ as He is beautiful. Allow the world to see Christ in us.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). Belonging to Christ does not eliminate the pressures of the world. In Christ, our lives are changed as we become a new creation with ever-renewing minds. We are the dew on the roses of today, sound minds grounded in Jesus, our LORD, to discern His will. This word “discern” in Greek is “dokimᾱzo”, meaning that “by putting something to use the worth of it can be found”. Let’s look at some of what we can put to use for God’s Kingdom by finding that which is precious to Him.
- Be adorned with modesty, discretionary taste, godliness–Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
- Bearing fruit, we are God’s jewels. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
- We grow from His incorruptible seed by abiding. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
- Embrace hope, chasteness, submission, obedience, reverential awe as many women of the Bible displayed. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear (1 Peter 3:5-6). Mary, the mother of Jesus, Ruth, Esther, are just a few of God’s examples of holy women for us to ponder.
- As we abide in the Word, we become an epistle, a letter to the world. We speak His Truth without fear. In purity, we do not malign the Word of God. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
- Trust, hope, and love for God produces inner peace and a deep-seeded joy reflected in our countenance. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)
- Adorned in respect, dignity, integrity, security, consistency, graciousness, we bring light to the world. A gracious woman retains honor,…. Proverbs 11:16a Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5)
- Wisdom, discernment, and an inward righteousness are precious to God. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11).
- Glorifying God in all we do, in all we are is truly a part of our heavenly adornment. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; (some versions of the Bible read – in the beauty of holiness, or in holy attire) (1 Chronicles 16:29). “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us” (Psalm 90:17).
LORD, we ask that You teach us Your ways so that we are clothed with Your beauty. May we open our hearts and minds to Your revelations. May we be willing to change, to grow, to cleanse our hidden hearts. We love You, LORD, and want to please You in all we are and in all we do. LORD, I love each precious woman joining us for this study. Guard, guide, and grow Your daughters to be more precious day by day. Remind them as they seek You that You created them beautifully. Amen.
CULMINATING QUESTIONS FOR STUDY:
What image are you reflecting to your world?
In what ways does your image affect the ripple effect?
Are you seeking the true beauty of holiness in your own life? In what ways would you like your holy attire to change (permitting that we are not perfect!)?
Photo 2: “prayer 7 alt” by KHRawlings@Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/khrawlings/3925045109/; Standard Restrictions/Creative Commons license;permission granted
Photo 3: “Ripples” by email@example.com; Standard Restrictions/Creative Commons license; notified