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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, April 11, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
1 Samuel 16:1-13 – Finally, the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel. Now fill your horn with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my new king.”
But Samuel asked, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” “Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.”
So Samuel did as the Lord instructed him. Whjen he arrived at Behtlehem, the leaders of the town became afraid. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Do you come in peace?”
“Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them, too.
When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.”
Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.” Next Jesse summoned Shammah, but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen.” In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep.”
“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”
So Jesse sent for him. He was ruddy and handsome, with pleasant eyes. And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.”
So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the olive oil he had brought and poured it on David’s head. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.
Michael Macdonald (North Carolina) titled his story “HOW LONG WILL YOU GRIEVE?” Here is a portion of Michael’s story:
“. . . Like Samuel, we are often unable to move on with life after deep disappointments – the break-up of a marriage, the death or injury of a loved one, or the loss of a job and financial stability. We are so busy grieving over what was or what will never be that we are unable to see the new direction God has for us.
“Just as God does not judge by the outward appearance of people but rather by the heart, so too God sees to the heart of human life. We may not find happiness in the way the world defines it. But when we truly surrender to God, our greatest desire is to serve God.
“In the midst of our deepest disappointments and defeat, God is not finished with us. How long will we grieve? God is ready to help us move forward.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God is waiting for me with the strength to help me move forward.
Prayer: God of hope, help us when we grieve over what has been or what will never be. Thank you for giving us strength to continue even when we feel defeated. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE WHO FEEL PARALYZED BY GRIEF
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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