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.” 1Samuel 16:11NIV
Some of us are familiar with the text that instructed Samuel to go to the house of Jesse where the Lord said he would anoint one of his sons, King. If you have not read the scripture, I encourage you to read it because one can glean several insights into the heart of God, which should ultimately be the heart of man. King David was the one tending sheep; he was one of Jesse’s sons, the youngest. The text describes him as Rudi. He was almost overlooked because he was not in the house. I believe many people would have picked one of Jesse’s sons in the house regardless of hearing from the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel in this chapter that he does not look on outward appearance but the heart of man. This text has stayed with me, but how many are more concerned with the image instead of the heart. I know folk who talk about everyone; it is because they have self-esteem issues so to look big, they tear people down. I am so very grateful that man’s choice is not Gods choice because many would have stayed in the house and would have never inquired of Jesse is there another son; especially one who was tending dirty sheep. Let us remind ourselves that we are all dirty in the sight of the Lord, filthy in our righteousness. The odor is intensified through our arrogance, self-righteousness, and boasting. There have been opportunities in our life when we have dined with aristocrats and the who’s who by man standards. Some of us have a few degrees that have afforded us advantages and opportunities; we have luxuries that others will never be able to obtain, we have experienced places and cultures that others will only read about, we snub our nose to what is described in the Gospel of Matthew to the least of these. Publicly and privately. Jesus continued to use people throughout scripture with no name, people who were marginalized. One must ask themselves the question are you a follower of Christ or are you one of the Pharisees or Sadducees? We must not forget, we are striving to be more Christ-like and in this pursuit, the scripture reminds us to be humble. As followers of Christ, let us not sit down until we invite those outside inside. Remain encouraged God bless you.
Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:7 NIV)
Today is Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be grateful for especially if we look at what is going on in the world. Every day the Lord wakes us up puts breadth in our body is reason alone to be thankful. A healthy Christian walk overflows with gratitude and praise, primarily if you are rooted in the word and continuing to grow in the knowledge of the faith. The song reminds us every day gets sweeter with Jesus. In this letter to the Colossians Paul is telling the followers of Christ, that praise and thankfulness should be deep in the soul. As we gather with family and friends or however one chooses to spend the day, let us forget about our problems and hectic schedules and think on good things, and those good things which are too numerous to name when we look back over our lives should lead us to have hearts that are overflowing with thankfulness. I am even excited about what God has in store for the rest of my life because as I am rooted and built up in him, meaning still a work in progress, the best is yet to come. Remain encouraged and have a blessed day.
Over the Past several months Con Edison has been doing significant work throughout the city. This massive undertaking has been a nuisance, and cars had to be rerouted. There are police roadblocks and on occasion a minor traffic delay. There are signs placed to let the traffic know this is the direction of the detour to get you where you are going.
I thought about this detour occurring in my neighborhood as it relates to our thoughts taking a detour, and our minds are no longer guarded and fixed on Jesus. We start to reflect on the negative things that can be going on in and around our life. The enemies two greatest weapons are doubt and discouragement, and before you know it, if we are not careful, we can start arguing and fighting with people because we have been all up in our feelings. Placing unreasonable expectations of people who are unaware of our thoughts. Our minds can be the hardest battleground to fight for that is why we need to fix our thoughts on Jesus. The more our thoughts can be on Jesus, the less storage place for the enemy and more positive attributes for the kingdom of God.
The writing to the Hebrews lets us know that Christ is supreme, superior, and enough. We need nothing in addition to Jesus Christ. In this present day, a time of social media, we do not need to accumulate likes on Facebook. We do not need to concern ourselves with the passive or aggressiveness of man’s behavior, people who like us and those who do not, we need to fix our thoughts on Jesus. The mind is the first place the enemy attacks. The Lord will guard our hearts and minds and keep them pure if we give Christ the space that is needed, so we are unable to be devoured by the enemy’s weapons of mass destruction. How often do we have a hurricane of emotions in our mind? Also, if we are not careful, we act out. We say things we cannot take back; we make accusations that are unfounded. When something is disturbing to me, and the enemy is attacking, I saturate my mind with Jesus. The Bible reminds us in Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Isaiah 26:3 states You will keep in perfect peace those whose thoughts are steadfast because they trust in you. The great hymn of the Church “I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus,” how we start in the morning is how we should finish our day with our mind stayed on Jesus. There will be times in our life when our minds are rerouted; I encourage you to take the necessary steps through prayer and Gods word to fix your thoughts on Jesus. Stay encouraged.