Devotional Thought 77: This is the Way (Part 3)

For the Lord does not see as man sees; man looks at the outer appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

(1 Samuel 16:7)

Jesus cared more about people’s heart response to the message of the Gospel than their deceiving outward reactions. In the parable of the sower, He teaches that the Word is like seed, and people’s hearts are like the soil it falls on: hardened to it, receiving it shallowly, crowding it out, or being abundantly fruitful with it. This is why Jesus chose to teach in parables in the first place, so that His teaching was filtered only to those with fruitful, seeking hearts. His disciples were allowed to know the mysteries of the Kingdom, but to the rest He spoke in spiritual stories and parables.

God sees right through our charades and facades. We’re very good at fooling each other, even lying to ourselves, but the Lord isn’t fooled one bit. He knows the true condition of our souls, what we’re really thinking and doing in the secret place. His eyes are like a flaming fire, peering right through us (Revelation 1:14); His Word is like the ultimate sword, cutting us down to our deepest parts (Hebrews 4:12). It’s from the heart that sin is born, and it’s from the heart that we choose to disobey God and His will (Mark 7:21). So when God looks at us, He doesn’t see our phony shows of religion and goodness, He sees the epidemic that’s infected every single one of us, sin.

However, I am eternally glad to say that’s no longer the case! Because of what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross, our hearts are no longer seen as they really are. Instead, He caused our dead hearts to beat again with His life (Ephesians 2:1) and giving us a new one entirely (Ezekiel 11:19)! Now, when God sees those who have received Christ by faith, He no longer sees our sin, He sees His Son. Jesus dwells in our hearts through His Spirit, and He’s the One who heals and transforms our hearts day-by-day. When we remain in Him, and allow His word to remain deeply in us, that’s when our hearts become fruitful and changed (John 15:5)!

  • May the words of our mouths and the thoughts of our hearts be pleasing to Him. Only the One who created us can see what’s really going on within us, and I want Him to be pleased by what He sees, not grieved. Only by abiding in the true Vine, remaining rooted and firmly established in Him no matter what, can I be fruitful and transformed at heart! Even if the righteous falls seven times, he will rise again and always come back to the Savior. This is abiding in Christ. This is a new and transformed heart. This is the way.

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