Unwrapping Gifts Devotion

We wanted to offer devotions to our fellow sisters to help provide encouragement and support for the week.  We know that not all of the readers who visit are site will share our beliefs and want to read the devotion portion, but if you are one who would like to read further please click.

A couple Christmas’s ago was a fun one in our house.  My almost 2 year old son was really getting into the excitement of things and his eyes were glazed over with anticipation, and possibly too much sugar. We passed him gift after gift and watched as he triumphantly called out, “TADA!” as he ripped off the wrapping to expose the toy inside.  To our surprise, instead of being excited about the gift he had unwrapped, he was excited about the wrapping paper.  He squealed with delight as he not only tore off the paper, but shredded it into confetti at his feet.  Destruction and carnage in his wake, he raced off to the next activity. 

I was very surprised that the gifts that my son received didn’t interest him at all.  He was only interested in the packaging and the mess that he could make with that.  He was content with what was on the outside instead of looking further for the bigger reward.

As I gathered up the mess left behind from the gifts God put on my heart the story in 1 Samuel of when God asks Samuel to go to Jesse’s house and anoint the next king.  Samuel goes to Jesse’s home and sees the first born son.  Now, Eliab isn’t described in scripture, but we do know that Samuel was impressed with him and thinks that he would make a good king based on outward appearance.  In my mind I’m thinking he might look a little like Brad Pitt in his role as Achilles in Troy, but who knows.  What we do have record of is what God said next to Samuel. 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 man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

How true is this in my own life?  Just as my son discarded his gifts for the outer wrapping, I too have spent more time focusing on the appearance of things rather than the reward that God has inside.  To give an example, when we initially purchased our home, we bought it with the purpose of ministering to students in mind.  I set to work adorning it with curtains and paint and making it our dream home, rather than spending the time to pray over every room and remember that we were there to do ministry, not to have everything look pristine.  Now I’m not knocking decorating.  I still enjoy doing that, but it needs to not be my focus of the gift that God has blessed me with.  With our new home I made sure that my first priority was to pray that God would make this home feel comfortable and that He would bless our ministry through it.  Everyone who enters our home comments, not on the décor, but on how homey and comfortable it feels and that they feel blessed being in it. 

God has changed my perspective to look, not at the outward appearance in things, but at what is inside.  I pray that He offers that to you today as you ask Him to change your point of view, so that you can say, “TADA!”  at what He has given you.

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