On the Outside

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To Be Like Me

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On the Outside


“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” I Samuel 16:7 (NIV)|


“In just a few moments we will talk with three members of the sexiest congregation in NYC,” the morning talk show host shared with the viewing audience. Huh?
The young men and women interviewed were very polite, well-dressed, personable and attractive as they explained that the New York City church they attended – the “sexy church” as it was called – was promoted to good looking young professionals who want to worship with those who are just like they are: similar careers, good looking, dressed in the very latest styles, with “like-minded values.”
They shared that the sermons were tailored to their age group (18 to 34) and that they fit into their lifestyle as young professionals. And it was evidently working because the Sunday evening service was always packed, they smiled.
They did not share their faith during the interview but I found myself wondering if I would be welcome at their church. I don’t fit any of the criteria that seem to be encouraged to be a part of that congregation.
In today’s Key Scripture in I Samuel 16:7, the prophet Samuel is told by the Lord to select a man from among the sons of Jesse to replace Saul as king over Israel. I suspect that Samuel had a “king must have” list: tall, good looking, stands out in a crowd, dressed in the latest style of tunic, a professional warrior.  
But every time Samuel saw one of Jesse’s sons and thought he looked the part, God said no. Seven sons came before Samuel and each time God’s answer remained the same. Samuel was looking at their physical appearance but God was not. Samuel was gently reminded “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
And with that statement, David came in from tending the sheep and Samuel received a tap on the shoulder and confirmation from God that “he is the one.” (vs. 12) Samuel probably was thinking “are you sure, God?” but he immediately anointed David as the next king – not because of how he looked or because of his profession but because God knew his heart.
How thankful I am that Jesus does not use the criteria of physical attractiveness or career choice or clothing style to determine if we can live with Him eternally.
He simply looks at our hearts to see if we really want to be His. A repentant heart. A longing for forgiveness and mercy. A desire to live for Him and share Him with everyone we meet.
Man’s acceptance – even at church – may be determined by how we look on the outside.
But God’s acceptance – the only one that really counts – is a matter of the heart.


Father, thank you for loving me and knowing my desire to live for you. I praise you for not choosing me based on the world’s standards. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Have you ever believed that someone would be just right for a job/position simply based on how they looked?


Make two columns in your journal and title them “world” and “Christ.”
List everything the world says is important in the first column and Scriptures that describe what is important to God in the second column.
Now journal which column is most important to you and why. If you need to change the importance of one over the other, go to the Lord in prayer and share your heart.


I Samuel 16:7 (NIV) “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

Isaiah 53:2 (NIV) “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”

Matthew 11:28 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

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Copyright 2010  Nancy E. Hughes