Thursday – October 5, 2023

Jeremiah 22, 23, 26; Psalm 77; James 2

by Becky Hill Martin


Listen: It doesn’t matter how much product you layer on, injections or procedures you get done to your skin. It doesn’t matter how much Prada, Miu Miu, Valentino or Lululemon you wear.  It doesn’t matter if your car is exotic, if your vacation is even more exotic, or if you have mansions in two time zones. These are all external things.  And no matter how impressive they are, your outward appearance is only as good as what’s on the inside.

Take King Jehoiakim of Judah. He built a beautiful palace with cedar walls. Its jaw-dropping appearance hid a lot of damage, destruction, and darkness. He forced people into labor and didn’t pay them. He was so concerned with impressing his peers that he didn’t care about the damage he did to get it built.

God sent Jeremiah to tell him that his heart was NOT in the right place and that having a “beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king!” (Jeremiah 22:15)

You can image how that message went over with Jehoiakim. But his father, Josiah was a king, too. God blessed him because he helped the poor and needy. He didn’t leave a trail of destruction behind. He simply put things in God’s hands, trusted His will, and lived according to His guidance.

It’s not the money, the status or the beauty that counts. Our actions, heart, and devotion to God count. If our inside is right with the Lord, the outside will follow.