Day 4: The Beast Within
Between October 28 and November 6, Grace Church proudly presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast! If you haven’t purchased your tickets, there may still be some available. The show centers around transformation through grace, forgiveness and love. Over the next 10 days, Be Our Guest and check out our daily devotionals centered around these themes and the production! Check back every day for the latest devotional!
BY SUE ROSECRANS, GRACE ATTENDER
Selfish, unkind, rude and spoiled describes us all. Life has a way of consistently reminding us we all fall short. Often for no reason, we snap, raise our voice or explode. We are all broken. We all live and love broken people. Life is hard. Loving others is hard. Dealing with the brokenness this life brings can derail us. We can end up rattling around our own dark castle. Barking orders and feeling isolated we only interact only with those like us deeply broken.
Some days we are porcupines with quills from head to toe trying to embrace other porcupines with quills from head to toe. Maybe if we started each day with this truth, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) we might find a way to live other-centered, kind and generous. The Beast was transformed by an encounter with love. We are also transformed by an encounter with love. A forever love. An indescribable love. A grace-mercy-forgiveness love. We “all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:24-26)
Justified freely. His Grace. Redemption. Christ as a sacrifice. Atonement. His blood. Faith in Jesus. Beast to prince or princess. Forever forgiven to reign with the One that gave His all, so we could roam freely through the golden streets of an everlasting kingdom. The Beauty in our story is God’s grace, His love, His forgiveness leading to our transformation. We can all move from beast to beauty.
We are all broken. We all fail. We all hurt and hurt each other. But we can walk clothed in His righteousness marking a path to eternal salvation. Beauty and the Beast is the story of love conquering brokenness. Is there a more wonderful story to be told in these days of hatred, racism, isolation and brutal cruelty?
My friends, when you steal a glimpse at the auditorium filled with children, many as young as three-years-old, know the story you are telling can change their young world. More importantly, know the life you are living can and will change your world. Change the beast into beauty by the power of love!
Did you feel selfish at any point today? Were you unkind to anyone at school today?
Did you hurt anyone with your words today? We all fail and make poor choices.
How does Jesus treat you when you fail or make a poor choice? Once you have honestly and with a tender heart asked for forgiveness from a poor choice do you need to go back and confess over and over again?
God’s grace is bigger than your worst mess. How does love change things?
Think about your family and friends. How can you be more loving?
“Train me, God, to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you, dear Lord; I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to. You’ve always been great toward me—what love! You snatched me from the brink of disaster! God, these bullies have reared their heads! A gang of thugs is after me— and they don’t care a thing about you. But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit. So look me in the eye and show kindness, give your servant the strength to go on, save your dear, dear child! Make a show of how much you love me so the bullies who hate me will stand there slack-jawed, As you, God gently and powerfully put me back on my feet” Psalm 86:11-17 (MSG)
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a (MSG)
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (MSG)