What Photos Can’t Show


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

One of the first photographs ever taken (1839) was of an American photographer taking a picture of himself—perhaps history’s first “selfie.” Fast forward to today—there are tens of millions of selfies posted on social media sites around the world every year. Many of the pictures record events and relationships. But far too many are of individuals taking images of themselves alone—the “Look at me!” variety of selfie.

The problem with any picture, selfie or otherwise, is that it only records what is on the outside. The camera has yet to be invented (and never will be) that can photograph the spiritual status of the heart, soul, or mind. And that is the part of us God is most concerned about. When Samuel was sent to anoint Israel’s new king, God told him not to anoint a man who looked like a king. Instead, he was to anoint a man who had the heart of a king, a heart after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

Those viewing your photos can’t see your heart, but God can. Make sure He finds in you a heart that is pursuing Him.

A man’s heart is what he is. 
R. B. Kuiper

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Abide in me.


 

Christ is the true vine.  God the Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear even more fruit.  Abide in me and I will abide in you.  Those that abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
Christ is the source of life, the source of eternal life, the source of the spirit.  That spirit tells us that we are far more than flesh and blood.  It tells us that we are beautifully and wonderfully made.  It gnaws within us, telling us to in things of eternity.
The battle within our mind and on the spiritual battlefield is waged every day.  We make choices every day.  To choose things of earth or eternity and convenience or Christ.  It is only when we abide in Christ that the battle is won.
Pastor Shawn, Seymour UMC
Author of Incomplete
shawnlarueorg.wordpress.com

The Mother of the Boy With the Loaves and Fish


There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish.
John 6:9

A mother’s day is full of small tasks like making sandwiches and packing lunches while juggling tight schedules and finicky eaters. Children seldom say “Thank you” for their crackers, cheese, apple slices, and yogurt; and it’s natural for us to sometimes resent the onslaught of small, daily duties that come our way.

But Colossians 3:23 says, “…whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Imagine packing that lunch for Christ! That’s what happened when the mother packed the lad’s lunch in John 6, and it’s a lesson about our Lord’s ability to bless our small chores. A 1902 publication contained a prayer written by a woman named Olive Kimball, and perhaps it’s just the word you need today:

Dear Father, as we realize that we can do but little, may that thought never discourage us, but may we eagerly do whatever our hands find to do. Help us to realize that life is made up of nameless little things, and that true happiness only comes to those who find comfort and contentment in the doing of life’s smallest duties … Wilt, Thou, oh God, bless the ministry of small things if done in the Master’s Name. Amen.

Faithfulness in the small things will lead to blessing in the big things.
Warren W. Wiersbe, in The Bumps Are What You Climb On

The Great I AM


And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
Exodus 3:14

When Moses asked God for His name, the Lord answered, “I AM WHO I AM,” indicating He is self-existent, eternal, unchanging, undying, and infinitely self-sufficient. Centuries later, Jesus adopted this name for Himself in John’s Gospel, saying, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58), and telling us, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35),” I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “I am the door” (John 10:9), “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11), “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).

This is the One in whom we place our trust. Because He is self-existent, we have a basis for our own existence. Because He is eternal, we have everlasting life in Him. Because He is unchanging, we can trust every word in His Book. Because He is infinitely self-sufficient, He can meet all our needs.

Since He is our bread and light, we have provision. Since He is the door, we have entrance into His presence. Since He is the good shepherd, we have His care. Since He is the resurrection and the life, we have a certain future.

We are, because He is.

There is no power in hell or any who can stand / Before the power and the presence of the Great I Am!
Jared Anderson, in the song “Great I Am”