Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 7, 2015

“keep seeking the things above”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Samuel Chapter 9.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+9&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“3  Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take now with you one of the servants, and arise, go search for the donkeys.”  4 He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them.  Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there.  Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.

5 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, and let us return, or else my father will cease to be concerned about the donkeys and will become anxious for us.”  6 He said to him, “Behold now, there is a man of God in this city, and the man is held in honor;  all that he says surely comes true.  Now let us go there, perhaps he can tell us about our journey on which we have set out.”

“15 Now a day before Saul’s coming, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel saying, 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel;  and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines.  For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me.”  17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said to him, “Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you!  This one shall rule over My people.”  18 Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.”  19 Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer.  Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is on your mind.  20 As for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found.  And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel?  Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?”  21 Saul replied, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin?  Why then do you speak to me in this way?”

22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who were invited, who were about thirty men.  23 Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion that I gave you, concerning which I said to you, ‘Set it aside.’” 24 Then the cook took up the leg with what was on it and set it before Saul.  And Samuel said, “Here is what has been reserved!  Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept for you until the appointed time, since I said I have invited the people.”  So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

25 When they came down from the high place into the city, Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof.  26 And they arose early;  and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, “Get up, that I may send you away.”  So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street.  27 As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Say to the servant that he might go ahead of us and pass on, but you remain standing now, that I may proclaim the word of God to you.”  1 Samuel Chapter 9:  Verses 3-6 and 15-27.

———————–

Saul was only looking for his father’s donkeys.  Samuel was looking for Israel’s first king.

Like Saul, we go through life focused so many times on so many minor things, but there is so much more in store for us.

On Easter, I thought a lot about my special Easter devotion, particularly the resurrection of the body.  “But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;  but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:54-57.

I like that focus on the future.  I like that focus on “the things above”.

When I was in my early 20’s, I also thought about the future.  I remember considering whether to go to law school closer to my home in Michigan (in the Chicago area) or in Florida.  I thought about how many people up north work hard their entire life just to be able to retire in Florida.  I thought:  “Why not get started with my work in Florida, so that I can live in Florida most of my life?!”

When I was in my late 40’s, I also thought about the future.  I remember thinking that I am not going to retire when I turn 65.  I planned on following my Dad’s example and working into my 70s if I could.  I would taper down the number of hours that I would work each week, but I would continue working as many years past 65 as I could.

When I was in my early 50s, I also thought about the future.  I remember worrying about being in a nursing home like my father who suffered from Alzheimer’s for years before his death.  But then, I saw what great care my Dad received from Hospice and I thought:  “There are people out there who really love taking care of the elderly and are genuinely so nice to them.”  I never worried again about being in a nursing home.

Also, in my early 50’s, I began to write these daily devotions.  I remember thinking that although there are a lot of good things that I can do, I don’t have time to do them all.  I need to choose the best thing for me to do.

And now, I am thinking about the resurrection of the body.

In summary, we may need to look for the donkeys in our life.  But, we should also think about the future.  Most importantly, we should set our mind on things above.  “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”  Colossians 3:1-4.

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