Look at The Heart

So often we look at the plaques and certificates on the wall and the accomplishments of an individual to assess their qualifications for a job, even as a prospective pastor for our church. I believe that in our Scripture today we will learn to do what God does – look at the heart, or as one translation says it: at the thoughts and intentions of the individual. You see, college and seminary will teach us to be smart, but only God can touch the heart and help us to be like Him. Which do you prefer for the next position you will fill?

DATE POSTED Sunday, 2021-10-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Samuel 16:6-7; 18
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
18 One of the servants said to Saul, “One of Jesse’s sons from Bethlehem is a talented harp player. Not only that—he is a brave warrior, a man of war, and has good judgment. He is also a fine-looking young man, and the Lord is with him.”

APPLICATION: For years I served on various Search Committees looking for church pastors and/or church staff. For years I also interviewed applicants for jobs where the individual would be subject to my supervision. I now hope that things would have been somewhat different if I had long ago studied this chapter of 1 Samuel in more detail! A lot of times we often hear the saying ‘Common sense is just not that common anymore’, perhaps that comes from a person intent on being obedient but without applying their heart to their actions. Notice that as soon as Samuel saw the looks, stature and age of Jesse’s oldest son, he was sure he knew who God’s pick was for the next king of Israel. But God not only knew the heart of the next king based on history, but also based on his commitment to God and his future dependence on God to make good decisions. Friends, I believe it is beyond amazing how God was preparing the path for His new king. In Saul’s depression, he needed the calming music of a harpist. God had been preparing David for this opportunity from a very young age. Also, God had arranged for one of Saul’s advisors to have knowledge of David and He gave the advisor the boldness to share what he knew about the heart of David: 1). Talented – meaning that he devoted his time to learning an instrument that he fell in love with, the harp; 2). A brave warrior – usually this will be a character of a man with great confidence in what he and God could do, in spite of the circumstances around him; 3). A man of war – David had principles towards things that were important and necessary at times, even if that happened to be ‘war’; 4). Good judgment – we know that David was the youngest son, so to be considered for this character trait, he must have listened well and obeyed. No doubt his dad was a key mentor, but this advisor also knew that God was super important in David’s life; and 5). The Lord is with him – just as David was credited with having the Lord on his side, I pray that we too will be so much like Jesus Christ, that the world will give reference to our relationship with God. For He is also on our side!
So let me encourage you dear friends, to live your life for the One you serve. May it be evident whose you are. Also, let’s learn from this experience by Samuel, look at the heart of a person, not at the outward appearance or on their personal achievements. God has blinders on for the latter, and He concentrates on the heart of man instead. So should we!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Forego the outward appearance and concentrate on the heart of man. This is good for every purpose in life, and for every person that we meet or associate with!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, instead of spending so much time and money on improving our outward appearance, please continue to teach us the lesson that is so prevalent in today’s Scripture. Please teach us to constantly work on the heart, based on what You have commanded, and on what You demonstrated to us while You were here on earth. I truly believe that others need to experience how much we care based on our actions and kind words. I pray that it will be very evident to them that it’s all about Jesus, and nothing of our sinful selves. Be glorified today precious Lord, even through Your humble servants who need Your touch in every aspect of life. Please reach into the hearts of the unsaved today also, may this be the day that they will experience You in all of Your fullness. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Author: Ed Algreen

One of God's kids expressing his understanding of God's Word and sharing how it is affecting his life! May those who read it be blessed, encouraged, and drawn closer to the Lord!

2 thoughts on “Look at The Heart”

  1. Roughly two months ago I noticed this black butterfly had shown up seemingly out of no where. He was solid black, completely void of all color and was the exact size and shape of a monarch.

    At first I thought nothing of it, but then it happened again and again. It would suddenly show up out of nowhere and always circled either just me or myself and my vehicle. Always just once and then would fly off. At first it was just around my house, when I was working in the yard, or coming and going from home.

    But then it started showing up when I would be sitting at a red light, or dropping my mom off at the doctors. I mentioned it to my mom and she laughed it off. Then it happened three consecutive times when she was with me and she became excited and said look it’s your butterfly.

    Now I was intrigued. It had happened too many times to be a mere coincidence. That and the fact that it was always solid black. So I decided to research first black butterfly’s but could not find anything recorded on butterflies being solid black in nature without some thread of coloring.

    Then I decided to type in the meaning of when you see black butterflies. There are certain meanings cataloged based on the color that visits you and this is what I found.

    Black butterfly: Time coming for a new chapter in your life. Look deep inside yourself, maybe you already know what’s coming. It’s symbolism is of new beginnings,resilience, endurance, and change.

    In biblical reference it stated, it means the angels are approving your actions and that you are on the right path. It also means that the angels are guiding you and that you need to stay faithful. Butterflies are the representation of spiritual transformation and ascension. Like the dove, butterflies could also be the Holy Spirit guiding individuals as they traverse the earth.

    As a spirit animal and totem, butterflies are guiding creatures to take life calmly and with grace. It is a reflective guide in connecting to a higher purpose and to change what needs to be changed to achieve ones dreams and potential.

    In all the above, what a beautiful reminder that we are never really alone. He is always watching and guiding us in our journeys.

    Sent from my iPad



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