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 6:11-14: Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.” So Solomon built the house and finished it.
When I read this passage while writing this devotional, I thought about skipping it. I thought to myself, this does not really show grace. This passage seems to imply that we need to obey God before He comes to us, that we need to earn His presence. But as I reflected on this, I realized, that is certainly not the case.
God’s grace was already at work. He was the one who rescued Israel from Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land. He protected them from invaders during the time of the Judges and gave them a king when they asked for one. God was always giving and giving towards the people of Israel.
So by the time God asks Solomon to follow His statutes, God had already given grace upon grace to the people of Israel. What really is happening here is that God’s grace had opened up a way for His people to know Him more, through obedience. When we obey God, we know Him better because obedience opens our heart to Him more. God has already shown grace; we see that on the cross. But in response to that grace, we obey and thus we come to know God even better. His presence becomes sweeter, and our intimacy with Him grows.
Obedience should not be seen as a chore; rather, it’s a means to know God more. God gives us grace, over and over and over again. How will you respond to that grace?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving grace. Who am I to deserve that grace You displayed on the cross? Yet still You died for me. May my heart yearn to know You more because of what You have done for me. May my heart be willing to obey You in response to what You have done for me. You gave it all for me; help me to now give my life to You.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 3
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 John 5:3-4: For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Questions to Consider
- How do we show our love for God?
- Why will God’s commands not be burdensome?
- What is the role of faith in this?
- Love for God is shown through obedience to Him. We do not blindly follow God’s commands, but rather follow them as overflow of our love for God. When we love someone, we do anything to please that person. We can please God by following Him and obeying His commands.
- God’s commands will not be burdensome because through Christ, we overcome the world! It is God who works in us to obey through the power of the Holy Spirit who comes to us when we are born anew. Praise God that He is the one working through us!
- It all starts with faith! Faith is what leads to the new birth which brings the Holy Spirit who enables us to overcome the world. If we try to obey God without faith, we are deluding ourselves. Our ability to follow God is 100% dependent on the faith we have in Christ.
Take time to repent for any ways in which you have not obeyed God. Think through things God may have asked you to do that you did not do. Pray for the faith to obey, even if it may seem costly. Pray for strength to live a life of obedience to God.