Sunday, 14 December 2014

He understands. Advent Day 14

Scripture:
 
3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.’

4 Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, ‘Do you come in peace?’

5 Samuel replied, ‘Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.’ Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.’

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, ‘The Lord has not chosen this one either.’ 9 Jesse then made Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, ‘Nor has the Lord chosen this one.’ 10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ 11 So he asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’

‘There is still the youngest,’ Jesse answered. ‘He is tending the sheep.’

Samuel said, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.’

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; this is the one.’

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
~ 1 Samuel 16

Name of Jesus:  Good Shepherd
Symbol: Shepherd's crook

Devotional:

We are all aware that the world in general looks upon the appearance of a person, they look upon good looks, stature, weight, the career they have, the car they drive, the house they own, the clothes they wear, their sunny personality, their accent...I could go on.  But for God, it is who He meant us to be that matters.  David, the youngest of the family (and obviously not considered important as he was left the tend the sheep whilst the rest of the family went to the sacrifice with Samuel) had been overlooked and yet God had great plans for him.

You might feel overlooked, you might feel a failure, or a lesser person than the others you see with their good looks, talents and sunny personalities.  But for God, He has great plans for your life.  He created you with a purpose and with great love.

Jesus was born into a poor family from Nazereth and placed in a feeding trough no less, He would have had a Galilean accent (a 'peasant' accent most likely ridiculed by those who considered themselves 'better educated'), He wasn't much to look at, He had no fixed abode, and often slept outdoors, He had no money and relied on miracle and women (for a 1st century man this is the ultimate dishonour to rely on women!) to supply His needs, He had nothing but the clothes on His back, He was more rejected than we could ever imagine - no-one has ever threatened to literally crucify me even one of His closest friends betrayed Him.

Jesus understands.  And Jesus shows that when God has a plan, the whole world and circumstances can be against you but that plan will bear great fruit.  Most of all, know that you are worthwhile and you are loved.  This is why Jesus suffered as He did, both in life and in death He understands...He even understands our temptations and weaknesses.

He understands.  He is our Great Shepherd and we are the sheep of His flock.  Turn to Him today.  It's why He came.

28 ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ ~ Matthew 11

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