March 6, Friday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, originally posted on May 9, 2013, is written by Pastor Matt Ro, who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta.  

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The Difference between the Wicked and the Righteous: Whom Do You Want to Please?”

Psalm 52:1-4, 8-9 (ESV)

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day. 2 Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit. 3 You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah 4 You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue . . . 8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.  I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. 9 I will thank you forever, because you have done it.  I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.

The introduction (vv. 1-4) references Doeg the Edomite, who incited Saul to order the killing of the priests.  In fact, Doeg was the accomplice who struck down 85 priests and destroyed the town of Nob. So, David is talking about the wickedness of Doeg and how he will face God’s righteous judgment. 

However, the verses above (vv. 8-9) give a contrasting portrait of the righteousness of David.  It gives us a look at what the proper attitude of the righteous should be, using David himself as an example.  Though he did not always live up to that righteous standard, at the time he wrote this, he could say that he was “like a green olive tree in the house of God.”  An olive tree tends to last better than most trees and is valuable in its ability to produce yearly crop.  

According to Psalm 1, there is a contrast between the wicked and the righteous. David believed that God was in control of all things and that evil would be judged and righteousness would be rewarded in the end, even if evil seemed to be prevailing at that moment.  In light of this, David does three things in this text: First, he praises God; second, he trusts God for the future; third, he testifies of these truths to others.

So, let’s not live like Doeg who did all that killing to please a man, namely, King Saul (1 Sam. 22:18-19); rather, let’s live like David who praised, trusted and testified because he wanted to please God.

Prayer:  Father, like David, we praise You and trust You for Your steadfast love.  Help me to trust You when I see evil prevailing around me. Your character of justice will manifest in due time.   I want to be like that “tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all he does, he prospers.” Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Isaiah 36


Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 2:19-22: So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Questions to Consider

  1. Paul says that when we are united with Christ, we are no longer strangers and aliens.  What does it mean that we are “fellow citizens of God?” What are the unique privileges and resources available to those who are citizens in God’s kingdom and members of His household?
  2. What does it mean that we are “fellow members of God’s household?”
  3. How does vv. 20-22 stress the closeness of the members of God’s household?
  4. Cliques and racism are problems in most places.  Examine if you are in conflict with other believers of the body of Christ.  How should our oneness change the way that we interact with others?

Note

  1. We have entered a new kingdom, meaning we have a new citizenship, under a new authority, as well as new privileges. Just as being an American citizen comes all its privileges and protection, we are protected under the care of the King.  We have access to the infinite wisdom of God and His plan for our lives.  God invites us to call upon the resources that we have as kingdom citizens.
  2. The moment we are saved, we immediately become members of God’s own intimate family. In real life, a child of the authority would always outrank a general or a vice president.  For instance, if one of President Obama’s daughters has an urgent situation and knocks on the President’s Oval Office door, she has immediate access to the head of the country.  We have access to a Father who has ultimate authority and power in the affairs of the world.  It also means that we are placed in a family with brothers and sisters in Christ.  There is a concern for the entire family (body of Christ).  We must learn to love each other on the basis of our membership within the same spiritual family.
  3. Verses 20-21, Paul goes on further by saying we are in a close relationship.  A building might be considered a cold and impersonal way to compare our relationship within our spiritual family.  But what he is saying is that in the structure of the building, we fit tightly together as stones or bricks cemented side by side.  If the building materials were separated, the building would crumble.  This reveals the intimate nature of our relationship within the household of God.
  4. Personal response

Evening Reflection

Think about your best friend.  You probably spend a good deal of time hanging out, talking, and just having fun with this person.  Imagine that you got into an argument with this friend, and afterward, you de-friended him on Facebook and deleted his number from your contacts.  But one day, your friend apologizes and asks for your forgiveness. You talk about it and start spending time together, forgetting what has happened.  That is reconciliation. In a similar way, we are reconciled with God through Christ. Spend some time journaling ways in which this “reconciliation” has impacted our families, relationships at work as well as in the church. 

Prayer:  Father, help me to remember that in times of difficulty I have privileges and resources that many have never claimed.  Help me to live in the fullness of the provision You have made for me—not as a servant but as a child of the living God.  Thank you for the brothers and sisters that you have placed alongside of me. Help me to live as one who strengthens the family of God.  Amen.

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