January 7, Tuesday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor Mark Chun of Radiance Christian Church in S.F., was originally posted on March 12, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“What the Raiders of the Lost Ark Forgot to their Detriment”

Psalms 24:7-10

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle!  9 Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.  10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory! Selah 

In ancient Israel, the Ark of the Covenant represented the glory of God and was taken with the army into battle.  After each victory, the ark was brought back to Jerusalem with great celebration and a triumphant procession.  

This psalm describes the entrance of the ark into the city as it made its way back to the sacred place in the temple.  More than just being a symbolic relic, the ark represented a real manifestation of God’s presence and power. This is why the treasure hunters in the old movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, died as they tried to open the long lost ark.  They didn’t take into account that this was no ordinary artifact but that the actual glory of God rested within. 

For the nation of Israel, the ark was meant to serve as a constant reminder that God is their ultimate king who goes before them in battle and whose presence is the source of their strength.  Today, the same principle applies to us. We can only achieve victory in our lives as we depend on the presence of God to go before us.  

How are you depending on the presence of God in your daily life?  Are you living in the power of God? Meditate on the God’s glory.    

Prayer: Lord, we confess that we don’t always seek Your presence in our lives. We often depend upon our own strength and wisdom instead of seeking your power.  We want to be desperate for Your presence in all that we do and learn how to celebrate and honor You in both our private and corporate times of worship.  May You show us Your glory and bring about times of refreshing and revival.  

Bible Reading for Today: John 8 (Luke 21)


Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Samuel 4:19-22 (ESV): Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant, about to give birth. And when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. 20 And about the time of her death the women attending her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. 21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed[b] from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

Questions to Consider

  1. Who spoke these words and why?  (1 Samuel 4:19)
  2. Why was the ark of God captured?  (1 Samuel 2:22)
  3. Is it possible for the New Testament believer to lose the presence of God?  

Note

  1. The prophet Eli’s daughter-in-law spoke these words as she heard news that the ark of God had been captured by the Philistines and both her husband and father-in-law had died in the battle.  She proceeded to name her newborn son, Ichabod or the glory has departed.  
  2. The ark was captured in large part to Eli’s unwillingness to deal with the sins of his two sons, Phineas and Hophni, who stole from the temple and committed indecent acts with the women who were serving at the entrance of the tent of meeting.   
  3. Although, the New Testament believers have the promise that God will always be with us, we still are capable of grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit, thereby separating ourselves from the glory of God.  (Ephesians 4:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Evening Reflection

Peter Wagner, former professor at Fuller Theological Seminary, is famous for stating that the Holy Spirit could leave many churches in America and they would never know the difference.  Today, God’s glory is made evident through the work of the Holy Spirit. To lose the Holy Spirit is to lose the very glory of God in our churches. That is a sad and frightening thought and one that should bring us to our knees in prayer.  

How have you glorified God today?  Write down any thoughts of praise and thanksgiving for who God is and what he has done in your life.

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