April 24, Monday

 The AMI QT Devotionals from April 24-30 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian, who serves as the Fenway site pastor of Symphony Church in Boston.  Shan, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Jenny; and they are the proud parents of their first baby Tyler.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

“Longing”

2 Corinthians 5:1-2

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling

We are always longing for something greater or better. When we’re kids, we long to grow up, be bigger and taller.  When we’re in school, we long to finish and graduate so that we can do something meaningful (or at least get a real job). When we’re working, we long for a better job or better pay, or if nothing else, a great vacation.  Even in the mundane things of life, we long for something better. Smartphones are even designed to make us long and wait for a new next text or notification and, of course— the next smartphone.  You could say that we are created with this longing for something greater.

Of course it’s important for us to seek contentment, as Paul says that he learned to be content in all circumstances (Philippians 4:11). We should be content and thankful in everything because God is a giver of good gifts and has given us every spiritual blessing; but at the same time, we have to remember that this is not our home.  So we should not feel bad if there is dissatisfaction in our hearts and still long for something greater, because we were created to desire for something greater than what we have here, knowing that this world is not our home.

Our dissatisfaction only becomes a problem when the things we are longing for are way too small in comparison to what God has in store for us. We yearn for better relationships, better status in life, more possessions, more vacations, etc. These are not necessarily bad goals and dreams, but they are immeasurably inferior to the house in heaven, the eternal life that God has for us with Him in heaven.  It is okay for us to keep striving for something better in our lives, but we must remember that the only path to true satisfaction, contentment and joy is when we long for our home in heaven. Let us strive, then, to not be content with where we are, but let us long for the eternal home we have with God in heaven!

Prayer: Jesus, I thank You because You have prepared a place for me in the Father’s house. While I am thankful for all of the ways that You have blessed me, I pray that I will yearn and long for heaven and eternal life with You this day.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Leviticus 17


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Revelation 21:1-4: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Questions to Consider

  1. How would you describe heaven, based on this passage?
  2. What makes heaven a place to be longed for?
  3. How can you long for heaven this day?

Notes

  1. The adjective repeated three times in this passage is “new.” Heaven is described as a place where everything is new and fresh again, and the former things have passed away. We also see that it’s described like a bride adorned for her husband, so heaven is a place of beauty and joy as well.  It has to be a place of joy, since there is no more mourning, crying nor pain.
  2. We should long for heaven not only because it is a place of joy, but because it is there that God will be with us; He will dwell with us forever. It is because God is in heaven that we should long to be there.
  3. Personal reflection question.

EVENING REFLECTION

Think about your day today, and consider what was most important to you. Were you seeking satisfaction and contentment from earthly things, or were you seeking and longing for your eternal home in heaven with God?  Whatever your answer is, take some time to reflect on heaven, and what an eternity with our God will be like.

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