I have the privilege to work with 1st-3rd graders at the church I attend in California.
A few weeks back I was teaching about the anointing of young David to be the next king of Israel, and I really loved the truth that we were driving home for the kids, so I’d like to share it with you. Of course it’s slightly adapted as y’all aren’t 1st-3rd graders... but it’s a timeless truth that I think is SO fitting for Legacy Retreats.
The portion of scripture I’m using is 1 Samuel 16:6-7. (Samuel was at the home of Jesse, asking to see his sons…)
When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” 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.”
And then later in Acts 13:22 it says that God described David as "a man after my own heart."
So then we should ask ourselves, “What does that mean... a man after my own heart?” Because it certainly wasn’t perfection; if we read more about the life of David we see that he was far from perfect. And that’s a constant encouragement to me -- that God can use me, even in my imperfections. What God IS telling us here is that what impresses others... doesn’t impress Him. God looks at the HEART!
So a "man after my own heart" can be defined as people whose hearts look like His. What God cares about is what you care about. What saddens Him also makes you sad. David’s heart reflected God’s.
And friends, the past few days we’ve had together with these families has been just that -- every single one of us has been a reflection of God’s heart to these families!
This is the part of IoH that I love the very most! Cause any organization can treat a family to a great time in a theme park, but the people on this team, serving these families the past few days, being the hands and feet of Jesus, reflecting God’s heart, sharing the hope we have in Jesus... THAT is what sets IoH apart from all the rest!!!!
And if you bear with me for just a few more moments... I am a kindergarten teacher by trade and taught kinder for 13 years before our firstborn came along, so I love a good, tangible, hands-on, takeaway... So under your chair is a piece of paper with lyrics to a song on it, as well as a little piece of aluminum foil. The reason I’ve chosen foil for our takeaway is because it has a reflective quality to it. While it’s not exactly like a mirror you can still see general colors reflect off of it. Which is perfect because we are going to use it to remind us that we have been a reflection of God to these families this weekend, and as we all go from here to our respective homes, we continue to be called daily, to be a reflection of the heart of God to those around us.
So in a moment I’d like you to use your fingers to gently mold and shape your foil into a heart shape. It won’t be perfect and that’s okay, because God still uses us even in our imperfections... I’d like you to take your foil heart home with you, pin it on your bulletin board or somewhere at your desk, kitchen, or bathroom. Let it be a daily visual reminder of the reflection that you are.
I’m also going to play a song for you. These retreats have been described as “impactful,” “sacred,” “powerful,” “holy,” and the song begins by saying, "You brought me to this holy place." And I believe the impact these retreats have on families truly is holy and sacred. This song is about looking like Jesus and sharing Him with others, which is SO much of what IoH is about!
So as the song plays, mold and shape your heart, then close your eyes and listen or you can read the words of the song as it plays. As you form a heart, spend some time thinking about the heart of God. How does your heart reflect His? Maybe ask Him to mold your heart to be more like His... but FOR SURE let’s think about the hearts of these families and pray for their hearts as God impacts their lives, for eternity!!
Sam Zabel is a Legacy Retreat® Coordinator with Inheritance of Hope. She originally shared this devotional with the February 2019 Orlando Legacy Retreat® team.