REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta, was originally posted on May 21, 2013. Matt is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BS) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
Psalm 62:1-4; 11-12 (ESV)
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. 3 How long will all of you attack a man to batter him, like a leaning wall, a tottering fence? 4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position. They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah . . . 11 Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, 12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work.
Do you ever feel like an endangered species? Like no one else is around or can understand you? When we are discouraged, depressed, or threatened, we sometimes feel that we too are one of the endangered species and that we are soon going to be wiped out or forgotten.
That is how David feels in this Psalm. He is surrounded by enemies and they are trying to push him over and eviscerate him. Yet, in spite of the hostility, David is not worried about them but rather places his trust in God. In vv. 1-4, it is hard to see in the English text, but three times the Hebrew word alone” or “only” is mentioned. David is emphasizing that God is his only object of faith and trust. That is why he is so confident. Alexander Maclaren, a commentator on the psalms, captures this by saying, “That one word [only] is the record of conflict and the trophy of the psalmist’s victory.” Do we find our trust and victory only in God or do we trust in other things, including ourselves?
The last two verses (11-12) teach us two things about God: first, that God is strong; and second, that God is loving. V. 11 tells us that God was continuingly revealing Himself to David. God was revealing that He is strong, that is, sovereign over history, including the events in David’s life. Also, that God is loving (v. 12) even in these apparently contradictory things. The word David uses is hesed, which refers to God’s faithful covenants with his people. God is a covenant-keeping God.
As we reflect on God’s power, love, and “only-ness”, we acknowledge that rest can be found in God as He is the one able to protect us. He is more than able; He is our fortress.
Prayer: Father, only You can uphold me with Your powerful hand and perfect steadfast love. Help me not to fear, knowing that You are the God who covers me with the shadow of Your wings. You are the God who rules the universe, holds the devil in secret chains, and rules over the wicked. Thank You, Father, that You hear me and that You delight in Your children. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Chronicles 26
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 4:22-32 (ESV): “To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Questions to Consider
- What do you think it means to “put off your old self”?
- The phrase “deceitful desires” literally means “deceitful lusts.” What does Paul’s strong use of the word “desire/lust” reveal to us about the corruption of life that comes from these wrong attitudes?
- What do you think it means to “put on the new self”?
- Read vv. 25-32. Are there any of these ways of our old self that we need to recognize and reject? Identify some areas of your old self that need to come under the submission of the Holy Spirit.
- Putting off the old and putting on the new begins with the recognition that even as Christians, there is a remnant of the old life within us. Paul teaches us that we recognize and reject these false assumptions and patterns within us that come from the life before we met Christ. It is not merely deeds, but he talks about outlooks and attitudes. These things must be rejected. The idea is similar to taking off old, dirty clothes and putting on new, clean clothes. We must reject the assumptions that have caused us trouble – putting them off.
- The word “lust” is generally understood today as one with sexual connotations. But this word is much broader than that. It means any urge or basic drive that is controlling us. Deceitful desires are constantly coming at us as we react to various situations.
- Putting on the new life requires being made new in the attitude of our minds. When we believe in Jesus and receive Him as our Lord and Savior, we are renewed in the attitude of our minds. The new self is in the likeness of God; it is the life of God; the image of Jesus; His life lived in us. We can “put on” that attitude because Christ lives in us.
- Personal response
Prayer for the evening: Father, help me to understand and put into practice this great principle of putting off the old self and putting on the new. Thank You that I am a new creation and the life of Christ is now in me. Amen.