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Hiew Peng Wong, Habitat International’s manager for storytelling in Asia-Pacific, shared the second Lent Devotion. She talks about inclusion and the importance of walking closely with God.

“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”: 1 Samuel 16:7

With over 2 billion active users each month, Facebook is the world’s largest social media site. Imagine the number of hours spent creating personas so that others view us as we would like to be seen.

If the prophet Samuel had depended on personas instead of God’s wisdom to gauge people’s character, social media might have served him well. The sons of Jesse could have curated content and presented their best selves before Samuel. Anointing a king might simply have been based on the number of “likes” or “wows.”

Instead, one by one, Jesse’s sons passed before the prophet. God warned Samuel not to consider appearance or height. Those features could not determine who was the man after God’s own heart. Both David and Saul, who was the first king of Israel, were described as handsome in the Bible. They had also sinned against God. David was forgiven, whereas Saul was rejected by God. As we see in the passage above, what really matters is what is in a person’s heart.

The world might judge people for how they look or behave. At Habitat, we learn to see people differently. Whether future homeowners, volunteers or supporters, they are individuals created in God’s image. By partnering with them, we demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ and get to be His hands and feet in serving them.

At the same time, we have to guard our hearts against the worldly trappings of success and happiness. We will fall unless we walk closely with God.

During this Lenten season, let us think about what is pure, lovely, worthy of praise. As we focus on our Savior who laid down His life for us, let Him direct our thoughts, words and deeds. The best life is found in serving the risen King.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, forgive us when we are half-hearted in our service, when our trust in You wavers or when our hands grow feeble. Show us that our actions for You count for eternity. We give thanks for the work that You have given to us through Habitat for Humanity. May all praise and honor be to You. Amen.

Questions

  • When have you been tempted to judge someone based on appearance or the fact that they are different from you? What lessons did God teach you?
  • In your interactions with colleagues, partners or supporters, how do you show that you are a person after God’s own heart?
  • Have you ever been deceived by your own heart? How has the Lord created a clean heart in you?

 

Read more of our Lent Devotions here or take a look at suggestions for 'Forty Positive Actions' you can try in the run up to Easter.

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