God creates, God purposes, God chooses, God gifts, God loves

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But the Lord said to Samuel, “Have no regard for his appearance or stature, because I haven’t selected him. God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the Lord sees into the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7 CEB

I love God’s dialogue here with Samuel. Jesus says essentially the same thing in the New Testament when he says, “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you…”

Not randomly chosen, but with a plan. “I have appointed and placed and purposefully planted you,” the Amplified Bible reads, “so that you would go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit will remain and be lasting” (John 5:16).

This all makes a lot more sense when we come to grips with the fact that we are created beings, that our lives are powerful, meaningful, living, breathing witnesses to God’s intention in Creation. I don’t know about you, but when I think about the fact that I am “purposefully planted” then I need to know more of the story; I need to know the God who planted me and then I need to align myself with God’s purposes.

This is the idea that we understand as “providence.” God creates, God purposes, God chooses, God gifts, God loves. God sees into the heart. Then, if we pay attention and if we are willing to follow Jesus, we respond positively to God’s initiatives of design and grace.

Put these two together – God’s purpose and our obedience – and that is a most powerful place to be, that is providence.

God sees into the heart. I pray that we all nurture our relationship with God, that we listen, that we love, and that we respond in gratitude and joy, and that we live the good news of the Gospel of Love – DEREK

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