Note: Today’s AMI QT Devotional is written by Pastor Jason Sato at OTR.
Devotional Thought for Today
Hebrews 9:1-5 (ESV): Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.  For a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place.  Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place,  having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.  Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
In modern times, art is often seen as a form of self-expression. The most important thing is to be “authentic” and to express oneself earnestly. Worship is often seen the same way. As long as we sing or serve with good intentions and genuine emotion, God should accept it happily. How we feel and what we desire to do for God becomes the primary focus.
The biblical witness regarding worship is shockingly different. God gives Moses incredibly detailed instructions for where and how the people are to worship. When Nadab and Abihu offer God “unauthorized fire” to the Lord in Leviticus 10, He consumes them! When a well-meaning Uzzah reaches out to steady the ark of God that was in the midst of worship, God strikes him down for his error. (In truth, it was due to the error of King David who should’ve known better than to use a cart to carry the ark; he ignored “the prescribed way”—1 Chron. 15:12-16)!
In these moments, God appears to be a petty, controlling deity. Doesn’t He know that it’s the thought that counts? According to our passage, for as long as there have been a people of God, there have been regulations for worship. God cannot be worshiped just any old way and this does not restrict us, it frees us. Worship has always been greater than anything the whims of man could conceive.
When God designs the worship, we are reminded that God is light itself and His very body is given for us. When God designs the worship, we are amazed that the Holy One of Israel would allow us to worship Him at all. When God designs the worship, we are more aware of God’s presence, provision, authority, and justice than our own. When God designs the worship, we are awed by the One who sits on a throne of mercy and is worshiped day and night by the saints and angels.
So, when we worship, instead of focusing on our feelings, or using smoke and lights to conjure up strange ambiance, let us wonder at the One who is set apart from us (holy) and who is beyond us (infinite, glorious). Let’s worship for the audience of One.
Prayer: Oh God, teach me how to worship You rightly. I want to join with the saints and angels of all ages and places to give You the glory You deserve. Give me ears to hear that I may honor You with what You ask, and that You might be lifted up.
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 1
Lunch Break Study
Read Revelation 7:9-12 (ESV): After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,  and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,  saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Question to Consider
- Who will worship the Lord in the Kingdom of God?
- What will they say in their worship?
- What will they do in their worship?
- A great multitude from every nation, tribe, and people. Also the angels, elders and four living creatures.
- They will declare God’s salvation (what He has done), His greatness (who He is), and what He deserves.
- They will stand with palm branches in their hands, they will cry out with a loud voice, and they will fall on their faces before the throne.
Reflect on your day. Were you able to take time to ask God how He wanted you to honor Him today? What makes it hard to hear the Lord? What makes it hard to obey when you hear? Take a moment to ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to honor God by hearing and obeying.