1 Samuel 16: 7
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (NIV)
We are accustomed to reading this verse and thinking about others. We know that we cannot tell what is really going on with a person simply by looking at his or her outward appearance. Try applying it to yourself, however, and this verse might have a different feel.
God does not pay one bit of attention to the size of the Bible we carry. He does not care about the mere fact of our attendance at church activities. For that matter, He is not all that impressed with any of the great things we do. After all, He gave us the abilities to do everything that we do, from picking up a pencil to launching a rocket. God, as He sees through all our outward appearances and activities, looks directly into our hearts and sees our motives. He knows our thoughts and intentions.
Suddenly this verse becomes a bit uncomfortable. A Sunday School teacher of mine used to say that you cannot con God. He knows exactly what is going on in our hearts. So take a look. Ruthlessly apply His holy and perfect standard to all that you think and do. When, not if, but when you fail to measure up, know that God already knows. Do not try to hide it, but confess your less than pure motives. He is faithful not only to forgive, but to guide you back on the path of becoming more like Christ.
Pray this prayer: Lord, I do not always want to look into my heart, for I fear what I will find. Grant me the courage to see what You see and to bring everything before You. Transform me into the likeness of Your Son, my Lord Jesus. In His name I pray, amen.