November 20, Friday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals from Nov. 16-22 are provided by Pastor Jason Sato of Over the-Rhine Church (Cincinnati).

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Nehemiah 12:45-46 (ESV)

And they performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the command of David and his son Solomon. [46] For long ago in the days of David and Asaph there were directors of the singers, and there were songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 

20When my wife and I were planning our wedding, there were many details to take care of – the food, the decorations, the invitations, the music, etc.  Our wedding day came, and many things that had been given a great deal of attention suddenly became less important.   Of course, we enjoyed the different aspects of the day, but in the end, neither a place nor a schedule was nearly as important as a person.

Israel has restored the temple, the city wall, the covenant, the law, the sacrifices, the priests and the singers.  But one thing is conspicuously missing in this restored kingdom – the King!

In chapter 12, King David is mentioned multiple times.  The Levites and singers are organized by David (v. 24, 36).  Their service and worship unto the Lord were commanded by David (v. 45-46).  Jerusalem is the city of David and the palace is the house of David (v. 37).

As Israel considers the restoration of Jerusalem, they look back to the greatest king in their history, but they also look forward.  God had promised David an eternal King who would come from his lineage.

So, as much as the people of God rejoice in a restored city and temple, incredible worship, and the establishment of godly institutions, they long for the coming King— the very Son of God.  As much as we rejoice in the blessings of God, in His work in our churches, in the events and services, where is our longing for King Jesus?

The Scriptures tell us that one day we will no longer see Jesus as through a mirror dimly, but we will see Him face to face (1 Cor. 13:12).  Would nothing else satisfy our hearts!

Prayer

Oh Lord, strip away all other distractions and goals.  May Your gifts and so many other good things never take Your place in my heart.  May every victory in You and every blessing grow my longing to be with You forever.

 Bible Reading for Today: Phil. 1

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Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 84:10-12 (ESV):

            [10] For a day in your courts is better

                        than a thousand elsewhere.

            I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

                        than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

            [11] For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

                        the LORD bestows favor and honor.

            No good thing does he withhold

                        from those who walk uprightly.

            [12] O LORD of hosts,

                        blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Question to Consider

  1. What is a day in the courts of God better than?
  2. If we are doorkeepers in the house of God and avoid the tents of the wicked, what may we lose?
  3. Yet why is dwelling in the house of the Lord so good?

Notes

  1. One day in God’s courts is better than a thousand anywhere else – better than a thousand days on vacation, at our dream job, or at home with our families (v. 10).
  2. As servants, we may lose our pride and our control. Avoiding the tents of the wicked may cost us temporary “blessings” in this life like wealth, reputation, or power.
  3. Because God withholds no good thing from His people (v. 11). Therefore, we miss nothing and enjoy everything that is good in the presence of God.

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Evening Reflection

Take a moment to think about your day.  What activities increased your longing for the presence of God?  What activities dulled your longing?

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