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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Skin Deep Beauty"

February 3, 2004

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"He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man without equal among the Israelites; a head taller than any of the others." 1 Samuel 9:2

We place great value on outward beauty. Teenage magazines sponsor dream guy

and beauty queen contests with emphasis on looks and personality. Men and
women of all ages work, sweat, diet, and exercise to remain trim and avoid
wrinkles. As for the inevitable aging process, cosmetic and fashion
companies provide expensive ways to cover it up and make us appear more
beautiful than we look in the morning mirror. In short, we emphasize
skin-deep beauty.

Saul filled the bill as an attractive king for Israel. But Saul‚s beauty
turned out to be only skin-deep. Shortly after becoming king, he revealed
his inner character by disobeying God on two successive occasions. To make
matters worse, he tried to cover up his sin by lying and blaming others.
The Lord came to Samuel and said, "I am grieved that I have made Saul king,
because he has turned away from Me and has not carried out My instructions."
(1 Samuel 15:10).

Saul's skin-deep beauty and inner ugliness make us look at our own lives.
Are we guilty of devoting major attention to our outward appearance while
neglecting our relationship to God? Do we cover up physical blemishes so
artfully that we also cover up our sins against God and others? In honesty,
we need to confess a beauty that is only skin-deep and sinful hearts,
deserving the clear label of ugly.

God knows our hearts and sent His Son to die for our sins. He covers our
sins with Christ‚s righteousness. No need for us to cover up. He makes us
truly beautiful in Christ. As His children we have no need to concentrate
on a beauty that is only skin-deep.

PRAYER: Forgive us, dear Father, for pursuing skin-deep beauty. Point us
to Your Son, who died on the cross to make us truly beautiful. Amen.

(Devotions from "My Daily Devotion" by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright
1988, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed,
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by
any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,
without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For
ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit

Today's Bible Readings: Genesis 41-42    Matthew 22:1-22

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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