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Your Thoughts and Intentions

1 Samuel 16:
1 Finally the Lord said to Samuel, "You have mourned long enough for Saul . . . Now take a vial of olive oil and go to Bethlehem and find a man named Jesse, for I have selected one of his sons to be the new king."
4 So Samuel did as the Lord had told him to. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him. "What is wrong?" they asked. "Why have you come?"
5 But he replied, "All is well. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice." And he performed the purification rite on Jesse and his sons, and invited them too.
6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, "Surely this is the man the Lord has chosen!"
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Don't judge by a man's face or height, for this is not the one. I don't make decisions the way you do! Men judge by outward appearance, but I look at a man's thoughts and intentions."
(Living Bible)

Eliab was the eldest and probably the most handsome and confident of Jesse's sons. He was so impressive in his appearance and manner, that even the experienced Prophet Samuel was completely awestruck by him.
Samuel was sure that Eliab was the Lord's chosen: the one God had chosen to be the new king. Samuel was ready to anoint Eliab, and was doubtless amazed that this most impressive picture of manhood was NOT the person the Lord had chosen.

Indeed, God chose this incident to give His prophet - and us - a lesson in how He views human beings, and how He makes choices concerning various good works He needs done on the earth at any given time.
Although Eliab was handsome, charming and impressive; and though the sons of Jesse who followed him were also wonderful specimens of manhood, they were not the ones God chose as the new king!

Does that mean God is biased against good-looking people?
Not at all!
It's just that good looks aren't what God takes into account when He considers what qualities He needs for any job He wants done.
Good looks are great, if also accompanied by a good report on a person's thoughts and intentions! God looks on the inner person when making choices about people.

It is important for us to do this too when we choose people who we let into our life. When choosing people to bring close to you, consider their thoughts and intentions.
When God looked at David's older - and probably more handsome and polished - brothers, did He see that their thoughts turned often to the Lord? Did God see that their determined intention was to put God first and love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength?
This is what God saw when He looked at David's thoughts and intentions.

What does God see when He looks at your thoughts and intentions?
In the Book of Proverbs, the writer gives us this gem to consider:
Proverbs 27:
19 A mirror reflects a man's face,
but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses. (Living Bible)

Many times the key to our thoughts and intentions is found in the kind of friends we choose.
What do your friends say about your thoughts and intentions?

Prayer:
Father in heaven,
today I ask that You look into my thoughts and intentions and adjust anything You see there that takes me away from putting You first in my life.
I want to be like the Lord Jesus Christ, who spent quality time on His own, seeking You out, so that He would do only what You required of Him,
Amen.


See you again tomorrow, God willing
for a new thought about
Living in God's Will!






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