I don’t often write about current events or popular culture. They are here today and gone tomorrow and often not worth much in the grand scheme of God’s plan. That being said, I’m going to use an example today that is drawn from a recently aired television show simply because it helps to make a useful point and because of how God used it to show me something that I want to share with you.
Over the past few years, my wife and I have enjoyed watching the BBC television show, Downton Abbey. If you are familiar with it then you know it is a British period drama that takes place in the early part of the 1900’s and deals with the family of nobles that inhabit Downton Abbey, their staff and the way that the world began to change rapidly during that period of time. We follow the lives of these aristocrats through war, modernization, the advent of the automobile and the telephone and many other changes all set against the backdrop of the marvelous house (actually, that word doesn’t do it justice, castle or estate are better descriptors) and grounds that make up Downton Abbey.
And even though we are watching the show to see what ultimately happens to these people, I can’t help but be impressed and sometimes even awestruck at how beautiful and grand the backdrop is for the show. The architecture of the house, the rich woods, the marble, the paintings, the decor and even the clothes and finery are all fairly breathtaking. I enjoy seeing these beautiful things and appreciate the craftsmanship and ingenuity that went in to their creation.
After watching a recent episode, I had the thought that seeing beauty on that scale was inspiring and that I appreciated being able to see it, even if it was just a television show. And on the heels of that thought I thanked the Lord for beauty and my first instinct was to call to mind a sunset, a bird in flight, a night sky filled with stars and other images of God’s creation. But immediately the Holy Spirit spoke to me and took me deeper. He said “the most beautiful thing in all creation is that which I am creating in you”. And as I pondered that thought, it took my breath away.
It’s difficult to put into words, but I know what the Holy Spirit spoke to me is the absolute truth even if I have very little knowledge of the specifics. I know, from what the Bible says, that I am now a new creation. I know that God’s Holy Spirit has come to reside in my heart (the center of my will) and that as I yield to Him and His teaching, He is changing me from what I was into what God intends for me to be. And if you are a child of God, the same holds true for you.
Brothers and sisters, we have something to truly be excited about! The work has begun but it is not yet finished. I believe we’ve barely scratched the surface of what God intends to do with us and reveal to those whom He loves and calls His own. True beauty, the purest and most lovely in existence, resides in the hearts of the redeemed. And it’s only going to get better and better as we keep on following Him and keeping Him in the center of our lives.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (NASB)