Summary: A life dedicated to God is a beautiful thing.

Romans 12:1-8

“The Most Rad Beauty Pageant Ever!”

By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Soddy Daisy, TN

I was spending some time with our son Ben last summer—having some “guy talk.”

So, of course, we were talking about girls.

Anyhow, Ben has never had trouble attracting girls to himself.

He’s got an amazing personality.

He’s really outgoing and a lot of fun.

And best of all, he’s a genuinely “nice guy.”

Ben’s not a bad looking kid either…

…but, in speaking about a new girlfriend, he said to me: “She is so hot! I always would have thought she was ‘out of my league.’

There’s a lot guys who are better looking than I am, but so many of them are too shy or don’t have a good personality.

Girls are more attracted to personality than looks.”

I think that goes for both guys and girls.

The daughter of a friend of mine recently placed second or third in a local beauty pageant for teen girls.

He said that it was an interesting experience and his daughter felt very good about how she did.

He gave me some of the details about the pageant, and said it had some to do with grades, personality, extra-curricular activities…and, of course—“looks!”

My reply was, “it’s such a shame that ‘looks’ has anything at all to do with it at all!!!”

Think of all the young girls who were not even considered, just because they didn’t fit a certain “body type” mold.

It is my belief that “looks” have nothing to do whatsoever with beauty!!!

And what a relief that is!!!

And from reading the Bible as a whole, and especially the passage we have before us this morning—it is obvious that God is not interested whatsoever about such things like the length of our nose, the color of our hair, whether we are awkward or graceful, heavy or thin, old or young…

Instead, the top placements in the beauty pageant of the Kingdom of God are persons who have offered their bodies as “living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God…”

This is a “spiritual act of worship.”

This is how we win the “Most Rad Beauty Pageant Ever!!!”

Forget the Ms. America pageant.

Forget the Ms. Universe pageant.

Even forget the Ms. Soddy Daisy pageant.

I want to win the Kingdom of God Beauty Pageant, how about you?!

So how do we go about doing just that?

Well, we enter by accepting God’s grace for us—God’s salvation provided for us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.

We move from their by applying our new-found faith to our daily living—to everything we do!

In verse 2, Paul writes, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

How do we renew our minds?

One way we do this by being persons of the Word.

That means that the Bible we own does not just sit on the coffee table to look pretty.

It is our recipe book for life!

There is nothing more important in our transformation process than the daily study of God’s Word!!!

The way I do it is I use a Bible and a journal.

I set apart time—every day—if possible, to read the Bible.

I may just focus on one verse.

It depends.

Then, I write down what I hear God speaking to me through that passage of Scripture.

How does it apply to my life?

What am I to do about it as a Christian living in the 21st Century?

At last week’s United Methodist Men’s Retreat, one of the speakers spoke about John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules for Living.

They are: “Do no harm.

Do Good.

Stay in Love with God.”

How do you stay in love with God?

One of the most important ways to Stay in Love with God is daily devotion…Scripture, Prayer, and Application of God’s Word to our lives!

This is the only way we will be able to “test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will,” for your life—for my life!

Another very important aspect of God’s beauty pageant is humility.

Paul writes: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…”

There is nothing less beautiful than someone who is out to impress.

There is nothing less beautiful than self-absorption.

There is nothing that causes more insecurity, and as my son Ben put it, “shyness” than when one is so busy thinking about oneself that they are unable to think of others—to get outside themselves!

God gives us the ultimate model of humility in the person of Jesus Christ.

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