Friday, April 26, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Highlights

Highlight The Important Stuff!
A devotional by Heather Martin

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” –1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

When I was a student in college, I had a professor who we affectionately called “Shane the Man.” He was everything you’d imagine an old school player to be made of: He was full of phrases that included the word “jive.” He was tall, dark, handsome, well dressed for the 1970s, smelled good, and smooth talking. He taught the first Bible class I took and every day right after prayer, he’d begin with this phrase, “people forget, but paper remembers, so take notes, and highlight the important stuff.”

A few weeks ago, a popular rapper named Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed in Los Angeles, CA. I had never heard of him until the day he died. His death has shaken the entire world, but especially his community at large. He had a rough past that included him being apart of the notorious Crip gang of Los Angeles. In his music, he speaks about the harsh truths of the reality of growing up in a bad environment (drugs, crime, promiscuity, etc.).

However, it is so interesting that Nipsey had an awakening that caused him to turn his life around and invest his fame and fortune into a goal of making the world a better place.

He set out to change the lives of young people just like him by not only encouraging them to make good decisions, but creating physical spaces that would allow them to be in a positive environment.

If you listen to some of the lyrics to his music, you could easily judge him by his mistakes. But the way that the world is remembering him speaks to his true character: the good things he did, the highlights, the important stuff.

As I got to thinking about Nipsey and his life, I thought of the lives of Saul and David in The Holy Bible. When the people of Israel demanded a king, Saul was anointed by Samuel and God to be the first king of Israel. But Saul was disobedient to God and God rejected him as king. Then Samuel secretly anointed David to take Saul’s place. Saul was furious and was determined to kill David. 

The Bible book of Samuel tells the stories of how both David and Saul were incredibly flawed men. At different times in their lives they were murderers, idolaters, adulterers, liars, and did all kinds of wrong. However, even though all the bad they did was included in their stories, a stronger emphasis is placed on the highlights: the important stuff, the times they allowed God to lead them and the good that they did. 

Everyone has a past, or something that’s not so pleasant about them, and sometimes it can be easy for us to judge ourselves and other people by the bad stuff. The bad stuff can make you look at a person funny and expect the worst from them or yourself.

Today, I encourage you to look for the good in people and in yourself then highlight it because it’s the important stuff!

This is exactly how God looks at us: He looks beyond our faults and highlights the good in us.

Won’t you try to see the good and highlight the important stuff too?

Author Bio:
Heather Martin was born the last of six siblings in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was raised by an amazing single mother (Rebecca Trotter) and was taught at an early age to love God and how to sing! 

She graduated from Oakwood University with a Bachelors Degree in Language Arts Education and later received a Master’s Degree in Education from Kaplan University.

Shortly after graduating she followed God’s call to minister. She joined the Stellar, Dove, and Grammy-nominated gospel group Virtue, which was founded by her two older sisters Ebony Holland and Karima Kibble several years prior. Virtue has used their talents to spread the love of God across the world! They have recorded 7 studio albums and have been the recipients of numerous awards.

God has not only blessed Heather professionally, but personally. She met her husband, Dr. Colin Martin, and they have been married for 14 years. They have four children: Colin Jr. 11, Harper 10, Clark, 7, and Charleston 5. In 2016 Heather started an online blog and vegan and allergen-friendly cooking channel called “Chef Mommy.” Heather (Chef Mommy) has cooked with numerous celebrities and top chefs to spread the news of healthy cooking and lifestyle.

In addition to this busy schedule, Heather enjoys, running, reading, writing and spending time with her family.

Connect with Heather:
Instagram for Heather:
Instagram for Virtue (Heather’s singing group):

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