READ: Romans 2:17-24
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. —2 Corinthians 4:7
Canadian minister John Gladstone has made a compelling application of a sad episode in the life of Isaac Watts. That famous English hymnwriter fell in love with a beautiful young woman, Elizabeth Singer. She admired his poetry, his mind, and his spirit, but for all her admiration she could not overcome her revulsion at his appearance.
Isaac was short and slight, afflicted with mere slits of gray eyes, a hook nose, and large cheekbones. When he proposed to Elizabeth, she all too hurtfully replied, “Mr. Watts, if only I could say that I admire the casket [jewelry box] as much as I admire the jewel it contains.”
Gladstone draws a disturbing analogy between the “jewel” of the gospel and the “casket” of the church. How many people have rejected the good news because of its often sincere yet overly zealous witnesses! Are we unknowingly repulsive and unloving? How can we be “a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness” (Rom. 2:19) if the beauty of Jesus cannot be seen in us?
By every means possible, let’s proclaim the gospel. But let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will make us personally winsome and loving and free from sin so that we can attract others to Him. —Vernon C Grounds
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity;
Oh, Thou Spirit Divine, all my nature refine
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. —Orsborn
Righteousness in the heart produces beauty in the character.