‘I AM’ Study Round Two Lesson Two
“It was at this time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and he was nurtured three months in his father’s house. Acts 7:20 NASB
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:2-3 NIV
“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” Psalm 149:4
What is your initial reaction when your husband, mom, or friend says, “You are beautiful!” Do you immediately believe it or is your response, “Sure, right. I am beautiful. You are obligated to think that. But thanks, anyway.”
God says you are beautiful and in case you have forgotten, He does not lie! Thankfully, God does not judge by our society’s skewed ideas of physical beauty. The Israelites were chief offenders when it was time to choose their king. Their confidence in Saul was based on his “head taller than anyone around” physique. (1 Samuel 9:2) What they could not see is that inside he was a quaking coward. Samuel also relied on appearance when he was to choose Saul’s successor. When Jesse’s sons were brought before him, he immediately saw Eliab’s stature and said, “surely this is the Lord’s anointed.” It was during this scene when God reminded Samuel that man looked at the appearance of a man, but He looked at the heart.(1 Samuel 16:7) As the Israelites looked forward to the Messiah, no doubt they expected Him to be the next in a long line of lovely kings.
It seems so natural to deny our beauty, yet when we do so we often only have our outside in mind. Yet to reply, “Yes, I am quite stunning aren’t I?” flies contrary to the humility Jesus exemplified. So where is the balance? What does God mean when He says we are beautiful and exactly what is the standard we should measure ourselves against?
One place we can look for wisdom is Acts 7:20. Moses was described in the NASB as “beautiful in the eyes of God” or in the KJV, “exceeding fair”. It is not surprising that a newborn baby would be described in such a way. However, when you study the meanings of these phrases, it can be concluded his beauty was both on the inside and outside. In my studies I have personally come to believe Moses’ physical attractiveness was a tool God used to arouse the compassion of the Egyptian princess. A high premium was placed on beauty in that culture and finding a lovely baby in the waters would have seemed a gift from the gods. A gift from God, maybe – straight to Pharaoh. :) What is most exciting is the word translated as ‘beautiful’ or ‘fair’. I can hardly wait to tell you about it. You are going to love this!
The Greek word translated ‘fair’ is ‘asteios’ (Strongs 791) and is only used to describe Moses. This word is derived from a word ‘astu’ and means, “one who dwells in a city and by consequence is well bred, polite, eloquent, as the inhabitants of cities are in comparison of those in the country’.
Moses was from the city alright, the heavenly one! Do you ever encounter people and know by their countenance they are believers? A friend of mine went on a mission trip to Africa and while there came in contact with a tribal chief/witch doctor. During her groups’ stay, the man was born again. She has ‘before and after’ photos of him and I am not exaggerating when I say you can hardly tell he is the same man! All of the hard lines of sin were erased and replaced with a gentleness that can only be described as angelic. How amazing that God Himself makes us beautiful! (Psalm 149:4)
We are told in God’s word that when we are saved, we are seated in the heavenlies.(Ephesians 2:6) So spiritually speaking, we are like Eva Gabor in Green Acres – high society meets country living. We are City Girls, high-born daughters of the King and when people look at us they are to see peace and joy in our countenance in such a measure they will say, “Wow, she isn’t from around here is she? That, girls, is the kind of gorgeous we are after.
As you let the implications of being a City Girl settle on you, read again the focal verse of Isaiah 53:2-3. The only way we can be beautiful to God is to accept the death Jesus died by which he bore the sin, shame, and disgrace which causes both a spiritual and visible ugliness. The Israelites looked for a handsome, physically inspiring man to be their Messiah. Jesus came as none of this. What would draw men to Him would be His Spirit.
The world still looks at our Savior and ‘esteems Him not’. The Hebrew word for esteem was an accounting term and meant, “to count, inspire ideas.” The description of the Suffering Servant should inspire in us a new line of thinking where loveliness and beauty are concerned. Let this passage be the seed that grows this radical idea in you, “Jesus became ugly, therefore I am not. What draws people to me will be His Spirit, not an outward attractiveness.” The Jews counted Jesus as nothing because when they looked on Him, all they saw was one afflicted. Surely He must have been stricken of God instead of sent by Him. Practically speaking, we are still ‘esteeming Him not’ today by continuing the beating that He has already taken. Some examples of how we do this are: Negative self-talk when we look in the mirror or step on the scale, mentally abusing our own intelligence, nurturing toxic relationships, and engaging in self-destructive behavior are but a few. Remember, thinking lowly of ones self is still thinking of oneself more than God. Reverse pride is still pride and the most dangerous form of idolatry. Ask God to reveal areas in your thought life where He is not being esteemed. If you do not esteem yourself, you are not esteeming Him. God particularly convicted me on this one.
Oh how I wish we could go on. There is just not room! But, let’s see how we can apply what we have learned so far.
What is your initial response when anyone suggests you are beautiful?
Do you find you engage in a lot of negative ‘self-talk’? How much of your thought life does this form of thinking consume?
What is the most radical transformation you’ve witnessed in an individual after they were born again? It’s okay to tell about your own!
The imagery of being a City Girl has absolutely changed the way I perceive my worth before God. Does it yours? Will you receive this truth and let it boost your righteous confidence?
I pray when we look in the mirror, we will learn to see what God sees and love who He loves. Hear me well – You Are Beautiful!! You will act out what you believe – Let the world see your ‘City Girl!’ :)
Don’t forget to sign below and link to your study responses, not your homepage. Also remember to visit, visit, visit the other girls in the group! I promise your experience in this study will be so much more meaningful when you do….
Thank you for joining once again…..Blessings on your week! :))
Lisa, I have to say I so enjoyed this lesson…can’t wait for the next! :)
The thing I like the most about this study is that I truly feel that I can answer honestly. Thank you, it feels good to get some things out. The study just happens to be dealing with alot of things I have been dealing with personally. God is so good!
Hey Lisa! I see you everywhere, and I checked out the study months ago but I would have been too far behind. I stopped by tonight… are you just starting up again?
Thanks for this week’s lesson. I did see you at Deeper Still, but did not get a chance to introduce myself. I really only knew ConnorColesmom. Blessings..
I’m not going to be writing on my regular blog any longer, but I still wanted to participate in this study so I started a new blog specifically for the I AM bible study.
Thanks for the lesson. It ties in nicely with the negative self talk I was engaged in last night, enough to make my stomach hurt. It was good to write about it even if I couldn’t be specific.
I never thought I’d hear myself say, “I want to be a city girl!” but there… I’ve said it!
Eep. I accidently linked my main page instead of my entry for this lesson in Mr. Linky…. I added the other one with the correct link after…. ah, sorry for cluttering things up!
But anyway, this study was a much needed revamp of how I view myself & a necessary reminder in seeing myself as God sees me! I look forward to the next one! :)
I haven’t written my response yet, but you are SO right! Reading the other responses makes this experience so much different. I read them first and have so much more to think about as I process my own response in the next day or two. This is such a neat thing, Lisa! : ) What a blessing!
OK… I wrote my response. : ) Just in case you wanted to know!
And I can’t wait to get started on the next lesson!
Praise God for who he is and what he can do in our lives as we surrender to him.
Seeing myself as a City Girl now!
So enjoying the times I spend here. Can’t wait to catch up.
Thank you so much for this study, Lisa! It is funny, this lesson and Mel’s first lesson on being a Masterpiece go along so well together! I’m glad that God led me to read them both in the same day!
Can I just say, “ouch!”? God is really hammering some things home lately. Thank you for these words. I needed to read them.
I have read the scripture Eph 2:6 before and never caught or understood I should say the significance of it. I love that He reveals His Word more and more.
Thank you for reminding me that self-loathing is just a disguised form of pride. And thank you for pointing out that it’s through salvation that God made me beautiful! I already wrote that verse in my spiral notecards for memorizing this week.
I’m done with lesson two, sorry about the double Mr. Linky.
Thanks for the study I noticed you posted it a while ago, but there are some new people, so I guess it’s okay. I am liking it.
Please Lisa get off my toes. Yes I do the reverse pride big time, you wouldn’t think it to see me strut and the stuff I let out of my mouth (God is working on this), but in the secret place where no one see’s, that is another story. I needed this. Thank you.
Thank you for this study! This lesson two was probably the most difficult for me, but one that I know I need to work on.
I finished lesson 2. I have been working on this for the last year, since I took Breaking Free. I have been doing a lot better. For example, I decided that it is okay for me to want to look nice and wear make up! I got my hair cut and HIGHTLIGHTED back in February for the first time! I decided to start taking care of myself and TRYING to exercise more and watch what I eat, I’ve lost 30 lbs since May 2007. I have found out what TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are! It is so much fun to go with friends and try on clothes. We’ll try on 20 outfits and maybe buy one! (They hate us at those stores!) Of course, most days, I still throw my hair up in a clip and no make up, but I don’t feel like I am wrong for wanting to look nice when we go places. I used to think that I would be showing off or attracting people to me and was scared to death! My husband loves it that I am enjoying these things! I even got my feet done! Ha! Ha!
However, this study made me think of something that I did the other day, I saw a picture of my friend and I, it was a great picture, and I immediately went to negative self talk. Why? My smile was too big! She said, “What is wrong with a big smile!” I don’t know, nothing! I’m still a work in progress!
Wow,I am ready to start my 3rd lesson and am finally getting Mr. Linky figured out. I messed up on the Melody at lesson 1, so now I am MJ.
I am excited to see how God will work with all of us on this study.
Thank you so much! This study has been such a blessing to me even though this is my second one. Thank you!
Well, this is my 2nd study date…and I have so enjoyed what God is saying to me. We are in a STORMY ministry right now…not of our choosing. So the first study about Moses and the time of his birth…was so good that I could not wait till my husband got back from camp to share it! And today’s study just reafirmed to me the love my Lord has for me!
Thank you so much! I hope to hear from some of you ladies in the future…Joy is my motto John 15:11
is my verse..
Joy for your day!
Lisa, this Bible study is running exact parallel to the John Bevere study we are doing at church. God is amazing!
Hi! I’m starting your study again. Life got crazy for awhile (as usual). Hopefully I will be able to stick with it this time:-)
Thank you for all you do.
Just leaving a comment incase someone else is doing the study now and they want to check out my answers. here is the link to my lesson two post http://meandyouplus2.blogspot.com/2009/01/lesson-two.html