February 3, Monday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by the then (2013) staff of Remnant Westside Church in Manhattan, was first posted on September 12, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Worshiping the Lord Wherever I Am”

Psalm 87:1-3

On the holy mount stands the city he founded; 2 the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. 3 Glorious things of you are spoken, O city of God. Selah

In the Old Testament times, Jerusalem played a significant role, for the temple of God resided in this city. Also, many of the kings of Israel ruled from this city, making it the center of Judah. People would make pilgrimages here, sometimes annually. It is not a far stretch to say that it played a central role for the people of Israel. Yet, more than the role it played in the lives of the people, what we see is the psalmist pointing to God’s heart for this city. The physical Jerusalem pointed to the spiritual Zion, which was a place of God’s presence; this was where God met and revealed Himself to His people.  For the psalmist, his love for Jerusalem overflowed from God’s delight for the city. This was the place where God established his temple as a place of worship and encounter with God for the people. 

For us who are in Christ, we know that wherever we may be and whenever the time, we always have access to God (Rom. 5:1). Through Jesus, as seen in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, there is a paradigm shift from worshiping the Lord at the temple, to worshiping him in spirit and in truth.  As the psalmist exalts Jerusalem because of the Lord’s delight to meet with his people in that city, it is an encouragement to for us to delight in the Lord in worship whether it be in our cubicles, classrooms, our apartments, or the city God has placed us in, because these are places to encounter and worship God. 

This morning, God is reminding you of how glorious it is to be in a place where his presence can be made manifest. He is calling you to encounter and worship Him in the place where He founded and delights in. Just as the physical Jerusalem pointed to Zion, the spiritual reality, where you are, here and now, can be a place where the spiritual reality of God can be established.

Prayer: Dear God, no matter where I am today, remind me to worship You.  Whether loudly or quietly may I shout or whisper my expression of gratitude unto You in response to Your amazing grace expressed in Your Son Christ.  Amen.    

Bible Reading for Today: Romans 16


Lunch Break Study

Read Philippians 2:5-7: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

Paul continues to address matters of the mind and attitude, culminating in this exhortation to have the mind of Christ.

By the way, because verses 5-11 have a poetic quality to them, many scholars believe that it was an early hymn. For this reason, many translations (including NIV and NLT but not ESV) set it in an indented text.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the relationship between the mind of God and the incarnation of Christ?
  2. What do we often forget when only the fact that our salvation in Christ is totally free is stressed?
  3. What does “he emptied himself” imply?

Notes

  1. The mind of Christ (v.5) led to this radical change of Christ’s relationship to the world. He was in very nature God (v.6), yet took up the form of a servant (v.7).
  2. Sometimes, we get so enamored by the fact that our salvation in Christ is totally free that we fail to acknowledge how costly it was to God—the price He paid to redeem us is incalculable.
  3. He “emptied himself” refers to this idea that Christ was entirely poured out or spent in this process of taking the form of a servant.

Evening Reflection

Psalm 16:11: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Lord, how you desire that I experience and enjoy your glory! You want me to enter your gates with thanksgiving (which means that I have been invited) and to come into your courts with praise.  Just as you gave Moses the privilege to access your presence, I have the same promise, for you have said, “In your presence is fullness of joy!”

God, I will not live in a pessimistic, cynical, and defeatist attitude, despairing over this world. You invite me to fellowship with you, whether it be working on perplexing challenges or in loving others, I am encouraged that I can do it with you, for you have said that I can accomplish great things in you, and I will!  You invite me to sit at your right hand where there are lasting pleasures, and to begin living this moment in my true identity as your child.

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