Spiritual Sundays - Nothing Beautiful





For how long those posters were hanging on one side of the walls in our medical clinic, no one knew not unless they had worked in the jail for a long time.


There were 4 columns of men’s and women’s faces, horizontally and vertically. They were the “before and after drug use” kind of photos. And the pictures told it all, they were not pretty!


Two or three years of drug use made these faces looked so old! They were in their 20’s or 30’s and they looked like twice, even thrice their ages already. Teeth were decayed, some receded to their gum lines. Their hair falling off and brittle, compared to what was once thick and shiny hair with a nice style. Clear facial skin was replaced with overly dry condition, filled with rashes or acne all over. The once over-all well-kept appearance looked shabby and unkempt.


These people were trapped in the web of habitual substances abuse. Others made fun of them. They were ridiculed, outcast, perhaps, rejected. They would find their “quick-fix” by increasing the amount of drugs they used to achieve that “peace and elation” feelings they were hoping for. But unfortunately, their mental condition also began to deteriorate at the passing of times.


People are often quick to judge others just by seeing their faces or over-all appearances. They think that they know that person’s character just by merely looking at them from the outside. If they appear handsome or beautiful, they associate it with them being “good kind of people”. Or vice versa.


Long time ago, though He didn’t use drugs and “sinless”, there was a humble Servant who came here but he was judged, laughed at and ridiculed. He did not appear majestic so why would one believe that He was the “Son of God” even? He was only a carpenter, born in a manger, so how could He be the “King of all Kings?”


The prophet Isaiah described Jesus this way [Isaiah 53:1-6]:


1- “Who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?

2- “My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender, green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.

3- “He was despised and rejected - a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.”

4- “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins!

5- “But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!

6- “All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of all.


Be careful not to lose that opportunity of becoming “friends” with others just because your opinions have formed pertaining to their physical appearances.


It may be the “best friendship” you can ever find in your lifetime!




For more of encouraging posts, please visit Spiritual Sundays, hosted by sisters Charlotte and Ginger.
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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends