Saturday, August 15, 2009

Today's Devotional Encouragement

Joy in Living
Suggested Bible Reading The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons." Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you, and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.' Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you." Samuel did what the LORD commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, "Do you come peaceably?" He said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice." And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed is now before the LORD." But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen any of these." Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here." He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; for this is the one." Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah. -1 Samuel 16:1-13 (NRSV)
Today's Scripture: The Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance ... for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." -1 Samuel 16:7 (NRSV)
A peal of laughter rang from the hallway where my 16-year-old brother Josh was playing with his toy cat. Dad said, "Kitty must have told a good joke." Josh's sudden bursts of laughter no longer surprise us.
After my brother was born four-and-a-half-months prematurely, our family adapted to many things. Some adjustments tired our bodies and spirits: long hospital stays, machines beeping late in the night, the daily responsibility of caring for a dependent person whether we felt able or not. But over time we have also become accustomed to uninhibited laughter, wholehearted smiles, and living with someone who claps to every song on the radio and relishes bumpy car rides.
Many people quickly judge the abilities of others based on their appearance. The prophet Samuel saw a young, inexperienced shepherd when he first saw David. But God saw a king. When some people look at my brother, they may see someone with few abilities and little to offer. I think God sees Josh as someone with the gift of sharing the joy of living. Ashley Barrett (Indiana, USA)
Prayer: O Lord, may we see all people and their potential through your eyes. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Look for God in the unexpected.
Prayer Focus: Those limited by the judgment of others
Be Blessed Today and Enjoy Life's Blessings. Take the time to share a smile with someone else.

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