Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Sixty Eight

August 27, 2020

Dear friends,

In recent weeks I have heard reports that there has been an increase in cosmetic surgeries, as people have been bothered by how they look in video conference meetings. In one article – – Matt Richtel writes: “At a time when many medical fields are reeling from lockdowns when lucrative electives work was postponed, cosmetic surgery procedures are surging, practitioners say, driven by unexpected demand from patients who have found the coronavirus pandemic a perfect moment for corporeal upgrades.

‘I have never done so many face-lifts in a summer as I’ve done this year,’ said Dr. Diane Alexander, a plastic surgeon in Atlanta. She said she had performed 251 procedures through the end of July from May 18, when her clinic opened back up for elective surgery. “Pretty much every face-lift patient that comes in says: ‘I’ve been doing these Zoom calls and I don’t know what happened but I look terrible.’”

‘This is the weirdest world I live in,” Dr. Alexander added. “The world is shut down, we’re all worried about global crisis, the economy is completely crashing and people come in and still want to feel good about themselves.’”

If you knew that someone was trying to model their life after yours, would you change anything? The apostle Paul clearly stated that his purpose in life was to live for Christ Jesus. In the opening chapter of his letter to the believers in Philippi, Paul wrote: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). He didn’t always think like that though. After watching Stephen be stoned to death (Acts 7:58-60), young Saul began ravaging the church in Jerusalem (Acts 8:3). He was on his way to Damascus when he had an encounter that changed his life (and later, his name). His conversion was recorded in three places in the book of Acts: chapters 9, 22, and 26. Saul met the Lord Jesus while on a mission to destroy His followers. Warren W. Wiersbe writes: “Ìn spite of his great learning (Acts 26:24), Saul was spiritually blind (2 Cor. 3:12-18) and did not understand what the Old Testament really taught about the Messiah. Like many others of his countrymen, he stumbled over the cross (1 Cor. 1:23) because he depended on his own righteousness and not on the righteousness of God (Rom. 9:30 – 10:13; Phil. 3:1-10).”

We learn in Acts 9:3-9 that Saul was blinded by a light from heaven when the Lord Jesus asked him why he was persecuting Him. Wiersbe notes: “Saul thought he had been serving God, when in reality he had been persecuting the Messiah! When measured by the holiness of Jesus Christ, Saul’s good works and legalistic self-righteousness looked like filthy rags (Isa. 64:6; Phil. 3:6-8). All of his values changed. He was a new person because he trusted Jesus Christ. ” I doubt that the apostle Paul ever had cosmetic surgery. In fact, he declared that he asked God three times to remove “a thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7-10) and gladly continued to preach the gospel, knowing that God’s grace was all he really needed.

The Bible is God’s love letter to mankind. May we read it diligently and ask the Lord to help us to demonstrate His love and grace to a world that desperately needs to hear the good news of salvation through faith in Christ.

Scripture for the weekend: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 (NASB)

Thought for the weekend: “Persecution does to the church what wind does to seed: it scatters it and only produces a greater harvest.” – Warren W. Wiersbe (from “The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament”)


By His grace,