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Daily Devotional 1 Samuel 16: 1-13

What makes a great leader? Many people choose leaders because they “look the part” or “had the most success.” However, according to the Scriptures, the mark of a great leader goes much deeper. God taught this lesson to His prophet Samuel when he was tasked with anointing the new leader of Israel.

People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

1 SAMUEL 16:7

God sent Samuel to Bethlehem, to the home of Jesse, saying: “I have chosen one of his sons to be king” (v. 1). Samuel determined to find someone worthy of the challenge. He knew that King Saul was not the type to pack up his bags and go off quietly into the night. Saul had a colossal frame and an even more significant presence (1 Sam. 9:2).

Once he arrived at Jesse’s home and met his seven sons, Samuel was impressed. He probably thought, “Surely among these young men is the perfect candidate to unseat King Saul” (vv. 8–10). However, as he evaluated each son, Samuel was not convinced. God taught Samuel not to look at the external appearance, because great leaders go deeper than what can be seen. “People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (v. 7).

But there was one more son, the youngest. Saul would anoint David as God’s chosen one, and “the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully” upon him (v. 13). The LORD chose David to lead because He knew David would lead from the heart (v. 12). What does that mean? Leading from the heart means that the Lord’s purpose becomes your purpose. Though he would not lead a perfect life, David took responsibility for his actions and learned how to trust God with his whole heart.

>> You may not feel like a leader, but God looks beyond your external traits or credentials. He is searching deeper than that; He is looking at your heart. Rest assured that if God chooses to use you, He will help you fulfill the role.

Pray with Us

Our pride, fear, and selfishness struggle against our desire to please You. We know that every good and perfect thing is from You (James 1:17), so we ask You to purify our hearts. May Your goodness outshine our failings.

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