Judging a Book by Its Cover
At one of the turning points in my life, I sat down with a notebook and pen and listed goals I wanted to achieve. Nowadays, people call them bucket lists. I get the idea behind the term bucket list, but I don’t like to use that term. I wasn’t even interested in seeing the 2007 movie titled, The Bucket List just because of the title.
Two of the goals I had written under the headline of Spirituality were to join a church and to join a Bible Study. I met these goals somewhere around 1994/1995 and I bought a study Bible at that time. I cannot count the number of Bible studies I have been in since then, but as I look at my Bible today, I have obviously have been to many.
In the front of my Bible, there is a timeline printed in a heavier weighted paper that has come apart from the spine. The first thinner (Bible paper) page following looks accordion with unintentional dog-ears. I have numerous book marks throughout reminding me that God had an important message there for me. I have penned and penciled in notes along the margins throughout. Yellow, pink, and green highlights stand out on important verses as do underlines in blue, black, and various colored pencils.
Since my Bible is in such disarray, I purchased a zippered cover. With that, I am able to tuck in other notes, prayer cards, and important-to-me memorabilia.
To anyone else, this book is ready for the trash. To me, this book is full of life.
Isn’t this how we look at others? We look only at their shell. We judge their clothing, their home life, their car, and their education. We are ready to discard them before getting to know the life inside of them.
I just completed the next chapter of the book my Bible study is currently working on. Instead of judging others it is SO IMPORTANT to be in constant prayer for everyone, always. When God places someone on your heart that you may not have seen or talked to in a while, stop and say a little prayer for them. It is okay if you don’t know their specific need, God knows it. In fact, it isn’t even important that we know anyone’s specific need as we pray in either way from the following Bible verses:
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)
A Prayer for the Ephesians
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
Colossians 1:9-12 (NIV)
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 New International Version (NIV)
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.[a]
May your thoughts about, and prayers for, others be a turning point for you today.