Daily Devotionals Daily Devotionals

Keep Your Focus ‘On the Inside’

Man sits on park bench praying for Israel

Credit:Eva Geller 2014

All glorious is the princess within her chamber;
     her gown is interwoven with gold.
— Psalm 45:13

In honor of my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and his life work helping Christians understand the Jewish roots of their faith, I offer you one of his devotional teachings from the beloved Psalms.

As a society, we are overly focused on exteriors. We tend to value people who look good, look powerful, or look wealthy. Not surprisingly, everyone wants to look good, powerful, and wealthy. As a result, many folks end up spending money they don’t have on things that they don’t really want or need in order to impress people who they don’t even like or know!

Does this sound familiar?

This is also true when it comes to spiritual matters as well. Some people feel they need to broadcast to the world about every good deed that they do or every penny that they’ve given to charity. Others will quote the Bible, not because it’s in their hearts, but because they want to impress other people.

In the Jewish morning prayer service, we have a blessing about learning the Bible “with the right intentions.” Why? Because at one point in history, people used to study the Torah for the wrong reasons — just to appear scholarly and impress others. One time a student bragged to his rabbi that he had just gone through and completed the entire Bible again. The rabbi replied, “That’s great, but how many times has the Bible gone through you?”

God isn’t interested in what’s going on the outside as much as He is concerned with what’s happening in our interior life. We need to keep focused ‘on the inside’ if we want to please Him.

Focus ‘On the Inside’

In Psalm 45 we read, “All glorious is the princess within her chamber.” Literally translated, this verse reads: “All the glory of the daughter of the King is on the inside.” This verse has become a foundational verse for the advocacy of modest dress in Judaism. A woman’s beauty shouldn’t be about what the world sees; her true beauty is on the inside. However, the broader message for men and women alike is that a true prince or princess is discrete and modest; the glory is on the inside.

Only the person who doesn’t feel he or she is worth much has to look like a million dollars. When we know that we are royalty — the son or daughter of the King — we don’t need to prove anything to anyone. We are free to keep our glory on the inside where it is seen only by God.

Today, try to keep your focus ‘on the inside.’ Be modest and be less concerned about pleasing others and more focused on pleasing God. The outer world is only temporary, but our inner world will last forever.

Your Turn:

Start the New Year off right by helping you and your family learn how to set priorities. Download a sample lesson from my new family-friendly guide, the Generation to Generation Workbook, the companion piece to my book, Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children.

Hebrew Word of the Day

January 10, 2021

Conversational Phrases

What time is it? — Mah Ha’sha’ah

YAEL'S HOLY LAND REFLECTIONS

Yael Eckstein speaking at Fellowship event for emergency responders

Part of a Greater Whole

A recent event recognizing Israeli emergency medical responders who you helped equip showed me that we each have a unique role to play in God’s plan, but are united in this amazing partnership.

Monthly Teaching Resource

Fellowship Word Search – On the Frontlines of Faith

Fellowship Word Search – On the Frontlines of Faith

See how many words you can find related to the frontlines of faith.

How to Help

Yael Eckstein embraces elderly Jewish woman

Help Save Them this Winter

For elderly Jews in the far reaches of the former Soviet Union, the harsh winter months threaten their very survival. Your best gift will help provide winter relief essentials like heating fuel and warm clothing as well as food and medicine to elderly Jews who have no one else to care for them. Share God’s love and provide them warmth and hope this winter with your generous gift today.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.