September 18, 2009

Daily Devotional 9/18/09 - "It's All About the Heart"

From: Our Daily Journey With God

1 Samuel 16:1-7
Don’t judge by his appearance or height.
. . . The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure performed on people suffering cardiac arrest. When I first learned CPR 25 years ago the focus was on both chest compressions and rescue breathing. “Pump and blow” is what we dubbed it.

Today, the focus is primarily on the heart. When you approach someone who has collapsed in cardiac distress, new research suggests that you should focus on chest compressions. Supposedly, there is a sufficient amount of oxygen in the blood to keep vital organs working for a time. What the body lacks more immediately is a pumping heart to circulate the blood.

When you think about it, all of life comes down to the condition of one’s heart. Over and over again the Bible stresses that a spiritually healthy heart is vital. Throughout its pages we are told to search for, serve, and love God and others with all our heart (Deuteronomy 4:29; Matthew 18:35). It tells us to hide God’s Word in our heart so we won’t sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). It warns us that a “deluded heart” is what misleads us into worshiping false gods (Isaiah 44:20 NIV). And it urges us to “guard” our heart “above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23).

While people focus on outward appearance, God “looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). He knows that the real story of our lives springs from what is inside of us. It’s not so much what we see on the surface. It’s what we can’t see below the surface that is the most important part.

Don’t get caught up in focusing on the externals of life. Don’t stop there. Look inside where it counts the most.

What’s the condition of your heart today?

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