But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’

1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV


A devotional for April 9th through the 15th


I eat mandarins every day, sometimes up to 5 a day.  They are so good and good for me.  It’s one of the healthy things I do for myself.  The other day when I was having my mandarin’s I noticed something and it got me to thinking and of course, a connection to God came to mind.

When I have my mandarins, I always have more than one at a time, 2 or 3 usually.  I look at them as I peel them.  From the outside, they each look perfect.  Good color and no blemishes usually.  They appear to be in perfect shape and like they will taste so sweet and juicy.  I peel them and then after they are peeled, I eat them.  That’s when I really noticed.  While they each looked perfect from the outside, on the inside one might be sweet and juicy while the other might be dry and sour tasting, even bitter.

Sometimes the opposite is true.  A mandarin could have some blemish or not look right but once it is peeled it could be the sweetest, juiciest of them all.  The appearance does not always speak of what is under the peel, just as our “appearance” does not always speak of how we are as people, as children of God.

People could have an appearance of being sweet, kind, loving on the outside but on the inside hold resentment, anger, bitterness.  Often what we see on the outside is not how someone is on the inside.  This makes me think of the Bible verse that talks about how God looks at the heart.  This is what we need to remember even about us.

Do we harbor bad, bitter feelings?  Inside are we condemning others?  Or are we building them up and truly having a heart of love for them?  God knows the heart so much better than we do.  We need to do what we can, and ask God for assistance, to have an outward appearance that matches the inward heart.  Preferably this should be reflective of Jesus working in our lives and His love.

Go to Him in prayer, ask for a clean heart full of love and compassion and allow the Holy Spirit to work on your heart so it matches your outward actions and “appearance”.

He knows our heart.  Make sure we closely resemble Him inside and out.

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