Editor’s Note: The AMI Devotionals from June 15-21 are provided by Doug Tritton of Symphony Church, Boston.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Kings 5:3-5: You know that David my father could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor misfortune. And so I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to David my father, “Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.”
King David’s reign was far from peaceful and he certainly had little time to rest, being constantly harassed by his many enemies. Upon his death, David’s son Solomon inherited a kingdom that finally had attained a fair amount of peace. Yet, rather than just sitting back and relaxing in this time of ease, Solomon set to work building the temple, a task ordained by God.
What is challenging about this passage is that Solomon gave up leisure to focus on building the temple. How difficult that is! So often in my own life, when I find myself in a season of ease and peace, I turn immediately to distractions like Netflix or Hulu, binge-watching shows for hours on end, thinking that I am taking advantage of this extra free time. This is no different than the servant who buried his talent in the ground in the parable of the talents (see Matt. 25:14-30). Periods of ease are gifts from God for the sake of investing into His Kingdom.
How would our lives look differently if we invested our times of rest into Kingdom-building activities? Perhaps we could utilize those times to go deeper in our personal Bible Study. Or maybe we could use the time to build stronger relationships with brothers and sisters in the church. There is a multitude of activities that we could do that would be more impactful and more fruitful than spending time on the couch (as appealing as the couch may be).
What do we do in periods of relative ease? How do we spend our free time? Are we building up the new temple of God, the Church, or we squandering it in leisure? While there is certainly nothing wrong with a little bit of leisure, often the best times to sow for the Kingdom are the times of peace in our lives.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for placing me in Your Kingdom and giving me a new purpose. I pray that I may value my place in Your Kingdom and not waste it on vain pursuits. May my eyes ever be on You and not on this world. May Your Kingdom come and will be done in my life.
Bible Reading for Today: Philippians 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 5:15-17: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Questions to Consider:
- What are some things you do that may be unwise with your time? What are some things you could do that would be wise with your time?
- What does Paul mean when he says that the “days are evil”?
- How can one understand “what the will of the Lord is”? Why is this contrasted with foolishness?
- There are many, many things that are unwise! As discussed previously, binge-watching television shows is a great example. But anything that distracts us from the reality of God’s Kingdom could be unwise. Wise things would be reading the Word, praying, spending time in fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, evangelizing, and a whole host of other activities that promote sanctification in our lives.
- The days are evil because we live in a world that is so often against God. We face temptations every day, but God calls us to look past this world and to see the hope of the Kingdom. Remember, Jesus said each day will bring trouble (Matt. 6:34), but our aim is to seek first His Kingdom.
- What a difficult question! But the only way to truly know God’s will is to know God; thus our time ought to be devoted to knowing Him more. This is true wisdom: to know God. Foolishness is ignoring God and thinking we can still understand His will. Before attempting anything for God, we ought to start with first knowing Him more.
Evaluate how you spent your time today. Do you feel like you wasted your time or do you feel like it was invested into the Kingdom of God? Remember that God gives grace and His mercies are new every morning. Pray for the strength and resolve to seek first the Kingdom of God tomorrow.