UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta, is an updated version of his blog originally posted on May 27, 2013. Matt is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BS) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“What Is There to Dislike About Short-Term Mission Trip?”
Psalm 67:1-7 (ESV)
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah 2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah 5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. 7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
Introduction: Have you been on a short-term mission trip? Did you like what you experienced in a foreign land? Well, what is there to dislike? Seeing cool things, meeting new people, tasting different cuisines, and hearing exotic tunes. Right! Now, answer this question: why should we do missions? If you aren’t sure, then pay close attention to today’s morning devotional.
This psalm is often referred to as a missions psalm. Alexander Maclaren writes:
“It has a clear anticipation of the universal spread of the knowledge of God, in its firm grasp of the thought that the Church has its blessings in order to the evangelization of the world, and in its intensity of longing that from all the ends of the earth a shout of praise may go up to the God who has sent some rays of his light into them all, and committed to his people the task of carrying a brighter illumination to every land.”
In v. 1, we see the Aaronic blessing of Numbers 6. Here, a shining face implies favor and a friendly, warm personal relationship. The implication is that God Himself is what the people of God are after. But this extends into a desire for all nations (Gentile salvation) to know God (v. 2). God’s blessing is to be upon the nations (vv. 3-5) and His desire is to reveal His Word through His people. God desires worship and praise from all people. It is the church’s responsibility to be a blessing in the light of having received God’s blessing (vv. 6-7); and in that future day, multitudes from all the nations of the earth will be praising God with us.
Why are we here? Amazingly, God chooses to use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. In the New Testament, through some of the disciples (Peter and the apostle Paul) God revealed that salvation was for all mankind, not just for the Jews. This psalm was written around the time that David was king or shortly thereafter, yet, even here we see this truth introduced: Let the peoples praise you, O God; let ALL the peoples praise you! Psalm 67 ends: God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him! God has left us here to be a witness of God’s great love and salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Salvation is for all the nations!
Prayer: Father, use me as a witness and testimony to everyone I come across today. May my family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, sales clerks see Your face shining upon me.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 5
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 6:1-4 (ESV): Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Questions to Consider
- How does the idea of submission from Ephesians 5 extend into chapter 6?
- What is the role of fathers/mothers in this text?
- Examine your relationship with your children/parents today. Is it one of submission, honoring, and nurturing?
- The relationship between children and parents is just one of the many submission relationships in Paul’s teachings (Eph. 5:21-6:9). He exhorts children to obey their parents in the Lord, with the perspective that in the Lord they are no longer darkness but children of light. Paul’s reference to the Ten Commandments, in this regard, goes to show the continual use of the law in the life of believers (as a guide of righteousness and holiness). The result of such obedience is none other than blessings from the Lord.
- Although Paul does not mention mothers, they still have a responsibility and role in the upbringing of their children. Paul simply focuses on the fathers since they are the head of the household and therefore have the main responsibility. Paul’s exhortation to the fathers to refrain from provoking their children to anger suggests that this is a common temptation for fathers. Instead, the kind of love we practice toward our children should be instructive (“bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”). The word for instruction is “putting” the Lord’s words in the mind.
- Personal response
Join me in offering this prayer to the Father:
“Dear God, thank You that You are the perfect Father for my life. Help me to honor my parents in the same way that I honor You. Help me to raise my children up in the instruction and training of the Lord. Help me to refrain from provoking my children to anger or rebellion by allowing my personal emotions to bleed into how I interact with my children. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.