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The Final Coat

1 Samuel 16:7 … the Lord said to Samuel, “Eliab is tall and handsome, but don’t judge by things like that. God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart. Eliab is not the right man.”

It’s one thing to say, “I believe in God, I believe in Jesus,” but it’s quite another thing to open up our hearts and our minds, to let Him in, to give Him the license to work His love and power deep inside. Yeah, that … that’s a whole other thing.

My wife and I once lived in an old 19th Century terrace house which we renovated to bring it into the 21st century; replacing the unstable floorboards, repairing the crumbling plasterwork, sealing up the draughty windows, rewiring the electrics.

But throughout the long and messy renovations on the inside, the gorgeous old front façade, which is all you could see from the street, remained dirty and dilapidated … until one day the painters put that final coat on the front of the house, and the rest of the world could truly see what was there – a beautifully restored period home rather than a dilapidated old ruin, as it had once been.

For the rest of the world, that final coat made all the difference. But for us, it’s what happened on the inside that really mattered.

We live in a world that has a habit of focussing on outward appearances. That’s what matters to them … but not to God. What He cares most about is what’s going on, on the inside.

When He was choosing a king for Israel through His prophet Samuel …

1 Samuel 16:7
… the Lord said to Samuel, “Eliab is tall and handsome, but don’t judge by things like that. God doesn’t look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart. Eliab is not the right man.”

Giving God a licence, letting Him loose to make those much-needed renovations on the inside … that’s what really matters. That’s where God does His mightiest works. That’s where ultimately, His Spirt will dwell.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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