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Saturday, April 5, 2014


"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."   
I Samuel 16:7

"But it doesn't matter what I wear!" Sarah scoffed. "God sees my heart!" Sarah finished putting on her lipstick while Hannah tried in vain to reason with her old friend.

"Yes, God does see the heart," Hannah explained, "but nobody else does, especially boys. They see that." Then Hannah moved her hand quickly in front of Sarah's revealing outfit. "Don't you see? They are too distracted by what you are wearing to notice you."

Sarah said, "But that is my point! I don't care if boys notice me or not." Hannah smiled bashfully. "I just care what God thinks and He can see my heart for sure."

Haven't we all heard the expression, "It is what is inside that counts."  Indeed there is a lot of truth in this. God is mostly concerned with our hearts. We do not want to be like the Pharisees of Jesus' time who were more concerned about the outwardly beauty and appearance. They wanted to appear before men as holy and pious, while in fact they were full of filth on the inside.

Our Lord Jesus rebuked them calling them hypocrites for this very thing. This is what Jesus said to them:

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness.  So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."    Matthew 23:25-28. 

Do you not know that our God can cut into the divisions of our soul and of our spirit, our joints and our marrow, and can know the thoughts and intentions of our heart? In fact, God knows us better than we know ourselves! But my point is, do we not often judge someone by a quick examination and observation regarding their appearance? Let us take a look at what happened in I Samuel 16:7.

"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." 

The LORD was directing Samuel to the one that He had chosen to be anointed as King of Israel. Samuel was impressed with Jesse's oldest son, Eliab, who happened to be full grown and physically better than the rest of his brothers. Samuel made the mistake of thinking that Eliab surely had to be the one whom God would choose to be king. But God had already chosen David, the youngest of Jesse's eight sons. God's thoughts and ways are different from ours. They are much higher! That became obvious when both Eliab and David faced the challenges of Goliath and only David stepped forward in valiant faith.

God saw in David a heart of FAITH. God was trying to teach Samuel that men do not see and regard things the way God does. God searches and sees the hearts of men, while men tend to see only the things on the surface. It is our human frailty.

Let us consider the Apostle Paul who had trouble with people misjudging him. His authority was questioned many times because while his words were powerful, bold and weighty, he appeared to be weak in his body before them and his speech was said to be despicable.  "Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ's, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ's, so also are we... For they say, 'His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.' Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present..."  2 Corinthians 10:7-12.

Sadly, we have the tendency to judge too quickly. We have the bad habit of making quick judgments without full examination. It seems as if we are only concerned about looking at the physical beauty, the clothing, the house people live in, the car people drive, the hair styles that people have. And the list goes on. We are so easily swayed by smooth speech and what some call "charisma."  Let us be wise for a moment. Stop and think. All these things can easily distract us from knowing who people really are.  Let us not focus on seeking the wrong things!  Let us imitate Christ and His Father who see what is on the inside of men, the heart.  Does God know my heart? Yes, He does!

Remember, God looks at the heart. Unfortunately, what men see is what is in front of their eyes… what we show them. God warns us over and over that we should not regard or judge others by their outward appearance. Man's failure and weakness is to focus on the outward appearance and not the heart. What do you think?

Although we as Christians are aware that we should not judge others by their outward appearance, we must remember that others have this weakness. Our purpose should be that of desiring to communicate the righteousness of God and His Son by the way we behave and present ourselves to others, especially to a lost and dying world, steeped in darkness.

Take heart, what is inside of us will eventually show up on the outside, "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life."  Proverbs 4:23. 

"You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."  Matthew 12:34. 

"But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander." Matthew 15:18-19. 

"For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness." Mark 7:21-22.

"The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."  Luke 6:45. 

So, if your demeanor is sloppy, sensual, careless or unclean, you must ask God to help you change your heart for a righteous one. Why not ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Does my outward appearance communicate a message of love for Christ and my neighbor, or do I appear to want to be perceived as someone who never seems to care? 
  2. Do others who meet me ever act surprised when they find out that I am a Christian because of what I apparently regard as important to me, such as my affection for subculture dress, leather, body piercings...?
  3. Does the way I dress and behave communicate a message of chastity, or would others assume I am trying to look "hot'?
  4. Why not look in the mirror and ask, “Does my demeanor appear to be gloomy or severe, or do I see joy and loveliness in my reflection?”
Remember that everything matters.  Every bit of it!  And the foundation for all of this is found in the words of our Lord:   

"And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40.

It is all about loving God with all your heart as well as loving your neighbor as yourself. One way I can express such love for Jesus our Lord is by honestly representing Him well.  It is our duty before our God to be prepared to act like godly women and godly men. What that means is that we must be careful to appear godly before a world of darkness. Our lives as Christians are open Bibles that represent Christ and can save souls. But we must be careful not to become stumbling blocks. We must learn to use discretion!

This is my question to you then, 1)  Is it okay for Christians to go to the PROM?  2)  Is it okay to wear indecent and immoral gowns just because everyone is wearing them and that is what our culture dictates?   3)  Are we fiercely guarding our reputation before our God?  4)  Don't you know we are commanded by our Lord to guard His reputation?  We clothe ourselves with Christ, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ."  Galatians 3:27.   5)  Are we aware at all that when we dress, speak and behave, we are speaking of the purity of Christ whether it be honestly or dishonestly?   6)  Do we want to leave doubts about our chastity?  7)  Do we want to appear as contradicting the WORD of God? 

REMEMBER, the way I behave and present myself to the world points others to Christ, and should not distract them from Him. The same questions need to be faced concerning wedding gowns. Delicate sisters who would never dare to appear in public showing so much skin as the typical wedding gowns uncover, give themselves permission to do so in church.  Are their worldly friends thinking about how godly she looks or are they thinking how “hot” she looks?

Likewise older women are commanded to admonish the younger women to be "chaste" among other things. And why? The Word of God says, "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled."  Titus 2:3-5.  This admonition is very serious, "that the Word of God may not be reviled."

May we never cause the Word of God to be reviled among the unbelievers as well as believers by the way we live and behave that is counter to what is described in Titus 2.  To revile or blaspheme literally means to slander, to communicate that which is not TRUE. We must live a life behaving in a manner worthy of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. What that means is that we must live a life that is consistent with the WORD of God, lest we give the unbelievers the opportunity to slander God because of our hypocrisy. Perish the thought! That would be a horrible thing!

As Christians, we might regard ourselves as being active just because we pass out tracts all day long, read our Bibles, or evangelize... The list can be long.  But if we leave out showing the purity of the Gospel before the lost, those that need to be inspired by us and the Word of God, because we neglect living according to the Word of God, we are allowing Satan to take away the power of the Gospel of our Lord. The Word of God says, "And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes."  Ezekiel 36:23.

My question then is this,  1)  Does your life vindicate God's holiness?  2)  Do those around you see a true and honest picture of God's righteousness and holiness?  3)  Do they see the beauty of Christ in your life by the way you live?  4)  Do they experience the power of the Word of God through the Gospel in you?  5)  Did you know that our primary purpose while we walk this path of life here on earth is to glorify our God in our bodies?  Our lives are to reflect His holiness, His character, His love, His purity and His beauty.   

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."   
I Corinthians 6:19-20. 

Here is another admonition, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."  Romans 12:1-2.
Let us take these admonitions to heart and obey them! 

So with all these admonitions and exhortations about CHASTITY, let us behave in a manner that is pure and godly. Let’s let our godly conduct speak for us before the unbelievers. Let us be women and men who are chaste.  Let us be women who are submissive to our husbands in spirit in our conduct, living a life that reflects the TRUTH and PURITY of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior. 

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.  Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—  but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."  Lest we forget true beauty is found in the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, I Peter 3:3-4.

My greatest desire and hope is that we learn that TRUE and BIBLICAL beauty is found in the heart of a woman who is chaste, godly, modest, gentle, meek and submissive to all the authorities in her life. She is the woman who lives a life that is marked by her good works, "with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works."   I Timothy 2:10.

May the Lord help us to live a life that is simply beautiful before His eyes.  May we make our lives as well as the lives of our daughters define our true beauty.  And may it be a life that is consistently evident by our godly behavior to the lost and dying world around us.  Hallowed be His name!


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