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Search My Heart, God

Today's Devotional

People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

To reduce food waste, a supermarket chain in Singapore sells slightly blemished fruits and vegetables at lower prices. In one year, this initiative saved more than 850 tons (778,000 kg) of produce that previously would’ve been thrown out for not meeting aesthetic standards. Shoppers soon learned that outward appearances—scars and quirky shapes—don’t affect flavor and nutritional value. What’s on the outside doesn’t always determine what’s on the inside.

The prophet Samuel learned a similar lesson when he was sent by God to anoint the next king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1). When he saw Eliab, the firstborn son of Jesse, Samuel thought he was the chosen one. But God said: “Do not consider his appearance or his height . . . . People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (v. 7). Out of Jesse’s eight sons, God chose the youngest, David—who was tending his father’s sheep (v. 11)—to be the next king.

God is more concerned with our hearts than with outward credentials—the school we attended, what we earn, or how much we volunteer. Jesus taught His disciples to focus on purifying their hearts of selfish and evil thoughts because “what comes out of a person is what defiles them” (Mark 7:20). Just as Samuel learned not to consider outward appearances, may we, with God’s help, examine our hearts—our thoughts and intentions—in all that we do.

When have you done a “good thing” with the wrong motive? How can you ensure that what’s in your heart is pure?

Dear God, please help me to do what honors You.


When David was selected to succeed Saul as king over Israel (1 Samuel 16:8-12), it was because God saw his heart and that it was bent toward Him. David was far from perfect, for the Scriptures describe his failures very clearly. He had a continuing desire to maintain a pure heart before God, however, as expressed in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

By |2024-07-10T02:33:11-04:00July 10th, 2024|
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