Becoming A Beautiful House – Seen

This past Sunday my wife Patty and I were invited to join the Gospel Outreach Church in Masiphumelele  to celebrate with them the remodeling of their building. About three years ago a generous gift was give to Oceans Ministries, which allowed us to contribute to this much needed expansion.

In Africa everything moves slowly so to see progress finally being made and the old wall removed to make additional space to worship was truly a reason to give praise. Anyone who worshiped here before vividly remembers how packed the small worship space was especially on those windless days with services easily lasting 3 to 4 hours.

As the custom for most African churches, I was asked to preach and I spoke on “The Father’s Beautiful House.” It is wonderful to meet in a bigger space, but the building itself is not the Beautiful House the Father is looking for. Our heavenly Father desires to invade the hearts of His children with His perfect, overflowing love. He wants make our very heart His home.

Our hearts were created for His beauty to dwell within and to be the temple that glows with the radiant glory of His presence. The Cross, Resurrection, Ascension, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is the Father’s restoration project. He is  rebuilding His beautiful house within our very being. His presence living in us will transform us. His glory reflected through us will cause others to know Him (see Hab. 2:14).

Author and psychiatrist Curt Thompson uses 4 words that he strongly believes every heart needs to experience to reflect the beauty of God. They are:  To be Seen, Soothed, Safe, and Secure. Because of sin these slipped away, however in Christ those deep heart needs can be met.   I encourage you to take some time to read John 20 and put yourself into the resurrection story. For the next few weeks we will see how these 4 S’ flow out of this transforming passage.

Seen – Mary, who we are told had seven demons cast out of her by Jesus was the first to encounter the resurrected Christ. She knew shame, guilt, and heartache from her past, but Jesus saw through all that and loved her. It was that love that brought her to the tomb early in the morning. And Jesus appeared to her first, and when she does not recognize Him because of her tears, He says her name, “Mary!”(vs. 16) Hearing His voice awakens her heart to know that the this IS Jesus, Jesus who sees her with His eternal eyes of perfect love.

At the cross Jesus took all of Mary’s shame and our shame upon His naked body.  Jesus did not run away or  hide like Adam and Eve, but He allowed Himself to be publicly humiliated so that we would not have to take the punishment. Because of the death of Jesus we are seen through the cross as forgiven and beautiful children recreated in His image.

Deep in every heart is a desire to be seen, one example is the uncontrollable cravings social media offers. However sooner or later those seeking healing through this emptiness eventually realize it is never enough, not even with millions of views. No amount of likes or recognition eliminates the shame.

To be seen by The One who knows all our sin and shame and still loves us is the answer.  The Resurrected Jesus teaches us that we are forever seen by His perfect love.  When Mary realized it was Jesus who had called her name she cried out, “Teacher!” (vs. 16).  She experienced the healing truth of a Beautiful Savior, One who saw His beautiful daughter no longer covered in shame.

Put yourself in this story. Listen for the voice of the Spirit calling your name. Open your spiritual eyes to know that you are truly seen and loved by your perfect Father in Heaven.


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