From: Rich Carlson
Date: September 26, 2019
Subject: It's September 26; Good Morning Union

“Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

This one is a little earlier than usual because we have to catch a 6am flight to Dallas so I can speak this weekend at SWAU.

This past weekend I was with our recently returned student missionaries and ACA students for our re-entry retreat. I was blessed as they shared their joys, challenges, struggles, and recovery processes as they came back. It’s not easy to leave everything behind for a year and then come back, hoping it will be the same but it’s not.

I was most moved by a statement one of them made as we were sharing together. “I continue to discover that I have value outside of what I do.” What an amazing epiphany in the growing up process; an insight I’m guessing many adults still haven’t fully discovered. I can be so “works” oriented and I am so often “rewarded” for what I do that it’s easy to forget that I have value outside of “things” and “measurable outcomes.”

I am a valuable person for more than my external accomplishments. Jesus didn’t die for “righteous” people; He died for sinners! I am not valuable in God’s eyes because I have done everything right, but because I’m His child. I may not get it all right and do everything perfectly, but I’m still a child of God. I ask “what do I need to do?” but God asks, “Why are you doing it?” He is far more interested in my reason than my reaction or response. He’s way more interested in what’s on the inside that what is seen on the outside.

Granted, what I do, though it does not save me or get me more loved, does help me not cloud the picture or add baggage that I eventually will have to address, so it’s still good to make wise choices. But this past weekend I was reminded again, by one of our returned SMs, that what’s most important to God is what no one else can see; who has my heart?

Have a great day taking care of the outside, but focusing on the inside,

Pastor Rich

Quote for the day:           "This is God's universe, and God does things His way. You may think you have a better way, but you don't have a universe." Vernon McGee

PS        uGather – 10:35 in the church. This is our weekly time of “Celebrating Community in Christ.” This week we welcome Marcus Larivaux, pastor of Allon Chapel right here in Lincoln.