UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by then (2013) staff of Remnant Westside Church in Manhattan, was first posted on September 3, 2013. It has been updated.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“What We Really Desire”
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah
During the pandemic, as we have spent much of our time at home to socially distance ourselves from others, what have you been doing (besides having to stare at a computer screen all day)? What have you been clamoring or desiring? Can you honestly say that you have drawn yourself closer to the Lord (James 4:8)?
In this Psalm, the writer expresses his overwhelming emotions concerning the temple and his desire to be in God’s presence. This intense yearning permeates his whole being: mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical, which leads to worship. The Psalmist knows that the best place to be—the most blessed place—is in the presence of God. In the Old Testament times, this meant a pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem, but in light of Christ’s work on the cross, we are now the temple of God, where the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Every day and every moment is an opportunity to be in God’s presence, and we are invited to freely enter into His presence.
The Psalmist declares that the presence of God is the most blessed place to be and we should yearn for that, yet we find ourselves time and time again distracted or falling into temptation. This Psalm is an invitation and encouragement to desire the blessing of being in the presence of God.
What are you yearning for this day? Are there any other desires that overpower that desire for more of God? This morning, God is asking us to lay down our desires for the lesser things and grow in our desire for His presence. He is asking us to remember that His presence far outshines everything else.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to hunger and thirst for You. Lord, give me the strength and urgency to reprioritize my life so that seeking You becomes the first thing in my life. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Chronicles 18
Lunch Break Study
Read Philippians 1:3-5: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
Questions to Consider
- Do you know where Paul was when he penned his letter to the church in Philippi?
- Based on this passage, how would you characterize Paul’s relationship with the Philippian believers?
- The word partnership is the Greek word koinonia, which is more commonly translated as fellowship. How does Paul’s use of koinonia affect your perspective on what Christian fellowship should be? How is God convicting you regarding the manner in which you fellowship with other Christians?
- In addition to the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul also wrote Ephesians, Colossians and Philemon while on house arrest in Rome (59-61AD).
- Remember that the apostle Paul is writing a personal letter to the people of Philippi, showing his love and affection for the people and the church; he’s downright gushing!
- Personal response.
“Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6).
Dear God, what part of my life do You need to address? If I claim to live in You, how do I need to change so that I would walk as Jesus did? When You say that everyone who has this hope in You purifies himself, what do I need to change in order share in your holiness?