Thursday, June 27, 2013

Outward Appearances

Scripture Reference:

"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7b, NIV)

Almost two years ago, I attended a holiday dinner at a couple's house where there was only one other invited guest. Throughout the evening, I was questioned about my living situation among other related personal questions. The stranger who also had been invited came across as very abrasive, intrusive, and offensive. Right off the bat, she seemed to think that it was her prerogative to ask me very personal questions about myself and my life. I felt very put on the spot and put upon especially by this woman. It felt like I had been invited to an inquisition and not informed of the real purpose up front. I did not realize it was going to be that kind of an evening for me. Otherwise, I probably would not have attended this dinner but I digress a little.

After the special event was over, I was thinking back over the unforgettable evening and the very rude woman. It made me more upset with her and myself. For one, I felt that she had violated me and my privacy. Looking back, I should have set boundaries with her up front. However, on the other hand, she should have known the unwritten rules. She did not seem to have the social etiquette that you would expect from most people though.

Unfortunately, that awful evening was just a reminder of the way people judge other people. I do not know whether her friend who invited me had told her a little about me. Based on the line of questioning, both of them had misjudged me. They based their judgments by outward appearances...things in the natural or physical world.

It was just another reminder how very important it is to renew our minds in God's word. (Romans 12:2) When we seek God and renew our mind in His word, He tells us and shows us what we need to know about a person or a situation. (Matthew 6:33) He gives us wisdom, knowledge, and discernment among other spiritual gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) Additionally, when we ask God for wisdom, He gives it to us. (James 1:5)

If those people had been seeking the Lord and studying His word, perhaps they would not have misjudged me. Then, I would not have had to endure an unnecessary inquisition at the couple's house.


"The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7b, NIV)

Life Application:

People should not judge others by the outward appearance of people and their lives. People do not know how God is working in and through people and the temporary situations in their lives.

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Ultimate Rewards Program

There are so many rewards programs in this world.  You join, register, or sign up in order to be a part of different rewards programs.  There are rewards programs for groceries, restaurants, pet shops, bookstores, movie theaters, and the list goes on.

Sometimes, you can get disappointed in the rewards programs of this world.  You have to go so many times somewhere before you begin collecting the rewards points.  You have to buy so much before you can actually get a reward from the program.

However, there is a rewards program in God's kingdom which is like no other in this world.  It is God's ultimate rewards program.  It will not disappoint you, because God will not ever let you down.  Let's take a look at His ultimate rewards program.

"Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed."  (Psalm 103:2-6, NIV)

Now, please tell me...Isn't that the ultimate rewards program?!?!  What can do any better?  Who can do any better than Him?  Nobody!

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sharing God's Love

"I know that I am supposed to, but I don't like to share."

That is what one of my younger cousins said many years ago when she was told to share with others.  At the time, she was a very young child when she was told to share something with somebody else. 

However, I believe that the same is true of adults, at times, when it comes to sharing with others.  Why is it so hard for us to share?  For one, it is a part of human nature which finds it hard to share with others. 

It is the flesh or the old sinful nature that does not like to share with others.  Perhaps, we think that if we share with others we will not get a fair share.  Maybe, we just want to have it all to ourselves.  Other times, we only want to keep it all for ourselves.

In God's word though, we are told to share with others whether it be material possessions, the Gospel, or God's love.  

"Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Romans 12:13, NIV)."  

When you love someone, you want to share with them.  You want to help people when you love them. 

"Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well (1 Thessalonians 2:8, NIV)."   

John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same (Luke 3:11, NIV).”  

Most importantly, when you love God as the very first commandment (Matthew 22:36-38) says to do, you will want to share His love with others.  You share God's love with people by showing them in tangible and practical ways.  Feeding the hungry.  Clothing the naked.  Sheltering the homeless.  Visiting the sick and those in prison (See Matthew 25:35-40).

Your flesh or old sinful nature may try to rise up every once in awhile.  You may think or say something similar to my much younger cousin did years ago.  However, see it and know it for what it is right then and there.  

 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV)."  

Once you know God, His thoughts, and His ways; you will know what to do and what not to do (See Isaiah 55:8-9).  

You will know not to give into the flesh, the old sinful nature, but will live by the Spirit.  When you live by the Spirit, you give by the Spirit (See Romans 8:12-14; Galatians 5:24-25).   You give to others.  You love others.  You share with others.  Most of all, you share God's love.

Copyright 2013 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.