Fresh Hope – 2nd November 2016

People watching is a fascinating hobby.

Whether standing in a bus stop or sitting in an airport, there is always plenty to see.

People of all walks of life surround us every day, and I often look at their faces and wonder what lies beneath their expressions.

People of all shapes and sizes make up our world – from babies to the elderly, rich and poor, male and female, short and tall, yet one thing is for sure, they all have a heart. Not just a physical heart, but a heart that could be described as the very centre of who they are. Some would describe it as the soul.

It is the tendency of all to look at people’s outward appearance and make a quick judgement about who they are, something that I wouldn’t recommend if you don’t want to get it horribly wrong.

‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is very old and wise advice but actually has its roots in the Bible…

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

Fashions and fads come and go with the passing of the years, as do the ever changing seasons of our lives, bank accounts, personal successes and failures.

People will become our friends often based on what they perceive about us, but God never does…He always only looks at our hearts.

Man looks at our intentions, whereas God looks at our motives.

The very secrets that we hold close to our chests may not be known by anyone, but be sure of this: God knows all of our secrets.

Many years ago, myself and Gillian befriended and old man that we regularly saw pushing a filthy old pram full of fire wood. We went to his home that was littered with old newspapers and junk. We dared not to drink the tea from the tea cups that he politely offered us each time we went to visit him with groceries.

As time passed by we stopped seeing the elderly gentleman and learned that he had sadly passed away.

You can imagine our surprise when we read of the amount he had left behind – it was thousands!

Thankfully, we had not judged him by his looks and appearance. We had looked into his heart and tried to help him for who he was.

It would be nice to report that he left us in his will, but that was not the case.

The next time we people watch, see each one as a person with a heart that needs to be loved and a soul that needs to find our saviour, Jesus.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.