Youth Sunday 3.30.2014

Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Luke 10:27)

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

Week 1 (3.9-3.15)–“Preparing our Hearts”

1 Samuel 16

New International Version (NIV)

Samuel Anoints David

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

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 to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

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?”

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.

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

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.”

Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had 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.


Assignment for this week:

1. Read the above story once a day everyday this week. So, you will have read this passage 7 times by this Sunday (3.16).


2. Then answer the following questions one at a time each day:


Q. What does Saul’s part of the story teach you about serving God?

A. Saul was chosen by God, but rejected in the end. This is a tragedy. Maybe being chosen to serve God and others is a privilege, not a right. What can I do to be more deserving of God’s trust and privilege to serve our community?–Jeremy



Q. What does Samuel’s part of the story teach you about serving God?

A. Samuel followed God wherever he was led to go. Samuel must have felt sad that the first king he anointed and blessed did not live up to the task. Sometimes the fruits of our labor may be disappointing, but God will bring blessing to those who remain faithful through it all. What is something we choose to be faithful to no matter what the outcome may seem like?–Jeremy



Q. What does Jesse’s words and actions teach you about serving God?

A. Jesse did only what he thought was the custom of his time. When Samuel came by, he had his older sons to pass by Samuel starting with the oldest. Little did he know, Jesse’s youngest had the potential and calling to be the ruler of Israel. Sometimes we don’t know what we have under our own roof until we see them through God’s eyes. I wonder what hidden resources or whose hidden talents Bethany has under her roof that we have overlooked? –Jeremy



Q. Who is “Eliab” (David’s oldest brother) in your life?

A. Eliab for me is that someone I want to become because the person has everything that others admire. Eliab in my life is perhaps that master teacher I want to be because he or she has what it takes to do the job better than I. Eliab in my life is perhaps that youth minister I want to be because he or she has better credentials and experience in ministry. Yet, I should be careful not to look at their outward accomplishments only, but take care to discern their hearts also. Some are blessed with both–golden heart and success. I am praying that God’s discerning spirit will allow me to know who that person is so that I may follow in their footsteps.–Jeremy



Q. What do you think David’s older brothers felt as Samuel passed them by?

A. I am sure that the older brothers must have felt nervous. They knew who Samuel was, and what it meant to be chosen by Samuel. A quiet nomadic town was about to get the biggest news hand-delivered to them by God’s prophet. I’m sure jealousy may have been there, but what a moment it must have been to be examined by Samuel for kingship! May we never be found wanting when the opportunity of a lifetime comes to serve God. Yet, may we also be reminded that we should be ready to support and build up–not tear down in jealousy–those of us who are called to do greater things in God’s kingdom.



Q.What was David’s place and role in his family?

A. David’s role in his family was to take care of his family’s sheep while his brothers were being considered for something more important. Being the last in a long line of brothers must have meant that he was rarely looked up to for anything. At the same time, I wonder if David learned the first lesson in serving God–that we need to be humble. This isn’t just another classic underdog-rises-to-the-top kind of story arc, but rather a story of grace and shocking love of God that lifts a boy through the social ceiling he was not meant to break through. What do you think?



Q. David was in charge of taking care of his family’s sheep. Who or What are “your sheep?”

A. Sometimes this is the hardest thing to admit. Deep down, we know that God has given us seemingly small tasks that we need to be faithful with, but because they are seemingly small, we often neglect the importance of the task at hand. I think our sheep are something or someone we need to take care of now and today even though there is no obvious glory or glamour in it.


3. Write down your thoughts for as short or long as you want and bring them to our meeting on Sunday (3.16)

I will post my thoughts here each day to help you think through these questions this week.


May God give you understanding and prayerful heart as you meditate on these words this week.

With love,