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This cactus is beautiful.
Rocky Mountain National Park is known for its grand vistas, large herds of elk and occasional moose, not for its cacti. When I took this picture I was surround by a large number of cow elk. But this cactus caught my eye.
There are many of us who are quite similar to this cactus. Because we are special creations of God and because we have been recreated through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are declared by God to be beautiful.
But we keep people at a distance. We live in fear that something bad is going to happen to us so we stick out our needles and keep people away.
“Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, ‘Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?’ ‘No, Lord,’ she said. And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I. Go and sin no more.'” John 8:10 New Living Translation
I’m sure this woman who was caught in the act of adultery felt like nothing, wanting to keep people away. Yet nothing could keep Jesus from declaring her forgiven and beautiful. Nothing could keep him from urging her to leave her life of sin. Why? Because she was beautiful
And so are you. God has declared you beautiful.