Jehovah Looks at the Heart...What does He see?
by Jerry Curry
Are Our Priorities in Order?
by Richard Thetford
A Lasting Conversation
by Adam Cozort
Jehovah Looks At the Heart…What does He see?
Following King Saul’s disobedience and rejection as king of Israel, the prophet Samuel is directed to Jesse, the Bethlehemite, for the anointing of the next king of Israel. As Jesse begins to have his sons pass before the prophet, Samuel receives the following insight from God relative to the selection process. “And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely Jehovah's anointed is before him. But Jehovah said unto Samuel, ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him: for Jehovah seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looketh on the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:6-7) You and I are most often apt to take life at face value because our ability to look beyond the obvious is limited. God with limitless insight looks into a man’s heart and sees him as he really is. This morning we pause to ask our self the question, what does He see when he looks into my heart?
Does He see love in my heart?
“And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
Does He see a heart that is seeking after God?
“Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast put away the Asheroth out of the land, and hast set thy heart to seek God.” (2 Chronicles 19:3)
Does he see a heart that is seeking the law of the Lord?
“For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances.” (Ezra 7:10)
Does he see a pure heart?
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)
Sobering thought, isn’t it?
May we continually examine our hearts and, as we stray and miss the mark, may we exhibit an attitude of humility and repentance that God may see in us a broken and contrite heart as we recognize our condition and rededicate ourselves to faithful service. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalms 51:17)
- Jerry Curry
Are Our Priorities in Order?
If the Lord came at this present moment to take the faithful home, would He take one who has intentionally been putting off doing right? Would He take one who weekly sheds his Christianity as often as he sheds his Sunday clothes? Would He receive the one who has been bored with short periods of worship, has found teaching others a chore, or visiting the sick an imposition? Would He take the one who must be continually prodded into doing what he ought to do?
I'm afraid that many have no idea what it means to serve the Lord. I'm concerned for those who have relegated the Lord to only a small portion of their week. I fear for those who have become so preoccupied with material things that they have neither time nor energy to be concerned about the wretched condition of their souls.
When we decide to serve the Lord, we need to know what is involved. Our obedience to the Lord needs to be without reservation. It must be complete. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Colossians 3:2 says, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." 1 Peter 1:13 says, "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ..."
What about you? Do you have your priorities in order? Is serving the Lord your main interest? Your honest answer to these questions may very well determine where you will spend eternity.
A Lasting Conversation
Last night I was driving home and my four-year-old son was the only person in the car with me. As we chatted about various biblical things my son said, “Dad, when I get in trouble I pray to God for forgiveness, just like you say in your sermons.” Now I am smiling, because I know the heart of that young boy and have no doubt that what he is saying is the truth.
However, his next words brought tears to my eyes. He said: “But Dad, you always do good, so you don’t have to do that anymore, do you?” If only he knew. We spent the next few minutes talking about the fact that, even though Dad wants to do right and tries to do right, there are still times where he does things wrong and has to ask both God and others for forgiveness. We talked about the fact that nobody is perfect (except God, he reminded me) and we all have times where we need to ask for forgiveness.
My son’s words had a very deep impact with me last night, one that I am sure will last for a long time to come. For, you see, he will soon enough come to realize that Dad is not perfect; he makes mistakes, reacts incorrectly, has lapses in judgment, and at times falls flat on his face in failure. Nevertheless, I pray that he always sees me trying to do good.
One of the greatest things that should give us pause in our decision-making is asking ourselves the question, “What if my children saw/heard me doing this?” What would I be teaching them and what would they see in me? Part of my responsibility as a father is to bring my children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). However, that requires my willingness to do far more than just tell them what they should do; I must show them the right path by the life that I lead. They have to see their father striving to do good, as well as see him take responsibility for his mistakes and be willing to repent when he does wrong.
Parents, never forget to whom your young children look as a standard of righteousness. Realize that, even though the time will come where they will understand your flaws and shortcomings, in those early years, in their young minds, you are the greatest servant God has ever had. Use that time of influence to teach them, talk to them seriously about God, His Word, and the responsibilities that come with it. Most important of all: let them see you live it. You will never do so perfectly and that is okay. Let them see you try your best, take responsibility for your worst, and in your successes and failures let them see you give God the glory of your praise and service.
Finally, as a daily prayer, let us say: “Father, help me to be the parent my children think I am, the spouse my other half needs me to be, and the child that you want me to be.”