The First 15

Monday December 12, 2022

by Thomas Mitchell

Today is Monday, December 12 and this week continues our journey through the Advent season as we name Jesus as the King of the human heart.

Scripture Reading

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 the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

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. 1 Samuel 16:7, 12b-13a


In 1 Samuel 16, Samuel the prophet receives instruction from the Lord to seek out the new king to lead his people. This king was to be chosen from the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. In Samuel’s search for kingly qualities, God spoke. “Do not consider his appearance or his height.” While Samuel instinctively looked first at the outward appearance, God looked to the heart.

David is remembered as a man after God’s own heart. However, we know David’s behavior throughout scripture is nowhere near perfect. We remember his lust, adultery, and murder. Once again, we’re reminded that Jesus’ family tree is full of real people who draw us back to gratitude for God’s grace that meets us where we are.

So, what attributes did David display that made him noteworthy as a man whose heart was after God’s? He was a worshiper– his focus on praise of God fills the book of Psalms which have stood as the song book of the people of God for millennia. David knew he was loved. He knew how to repent. He knew he was nothing without the presence of God. He was humble. He sought to obey God over the trajectory of his lifetime.

God is never after our perfection– he is after our hearts. Like David, God will use the small, foolish things of this world, those people that break the norm of what a leader should look like and lead from a heart devoted to God. Jesus comes to us as an infant– with the heart of a King. Who would have thought that an infant would make great kings tremble; that a child would shake the very foundations of hell? When the hands are moved by a heart after God, there is no end to what God can accomplish through us.

Have you ever looked at the outward appearance of others, comparing yourself to them and falling short of your own inward expectations of yourself? If God looks on the heart, instead of the outward appearance, what is he seeing in your heart this Advent season?

Closing Prayer

Jesus, you are the king of my heart– and you rule with love. Thank you for your love that transforms me. Thank you for your wisdom that guides me. This Advent, I say again, there is no one in heaven or on earth that I desire more than you. Give me a heart like David, like Jesus– that pursues you above all else. Amen.

Songs of the Season

Listen and sing along with us to songs that will shape our Advent season. Today we will sing “King of My Heart” by John Mark and Sarah McMillan which you can find here. Subscribe to our Spotify playlist featuring all of our Songs for the Season here.

First 15 through the season of Advent is adapted from Roots: Advent and the Family Story of Jesus available through Seedbed. If you or your small group are interested in using this resource for your Advent study, you can find more information here or send an email to

The First 15

Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.