December 18, Friday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta, was originally posted on May 28, 2013.  Matt is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BS) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.). 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“A God Who Goes Before Us”

Psalm 68:1-3 (ESV): God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him! 2 As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away; as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God! 3 But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!

Psalm 68 is a song of military triumph.  It is a song of God’s mighty acts on behalf of His people.  Derek Kidner says, “The two main parts of the psalm celebrate, first, God’s victorious march from Egypt, with its culmination at Jerusalem (vv. 7-18), and secondly the power and majesty or His regime seen in the ascendancy of His people and the flow of worshippers and vassals to His footstool (vv. 19-31).”  

The beginning verse (v. 1) echoes the cry of God’s people as they set out from Sinai in Numbers 10:35 (And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, ‘Arise, O Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.’”)  It was there that God showed His favor by descending upon the tabernacle and its ark visibly in the form of the massive Shekinah glory, or cloud.  That cloud would rise up and move out ahead of the people when they were being instructed to march forward.  It would settle down over the tabernacle when they were to stop and camp.  

Literally, the psalmist is saying, “May God arise, my His enemies be scattered.”  We have a God who goes before us.  He gives comfort to the lonely, lifts up the downtrodden, and provides victory in the midst of our battles.  The highest glory of God is that He cares for us and surrounds us with Himself.  Today, find comfort in Him and call upon His presence to arise within our midst. 

Prayer:  Father, You give me strength and You provide for my every need.  You are worthy of my praise. I ask that You would go before me, protect me and remind me of the victory that I have in You.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Esther 5


Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 6:5-9 (ESV): Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are some differences between working for men versus working only for God?
  2. Our workplace ethic is praiseworthy when we appropriate the power of His Presence.  Do we have a tendency to strive in life and work to please others but disregard Him?  Take some time to examine your attitude towards work.  
  3. How would respond to this question: “Are you a people-pleaser?”  If so, why?  

Notes

  1. We often see work as being under a person’s direction.  Paul commands us to remember that work should be done unto God.  Our daily tasks become work that God has given us and we do it for Him.  This changes the focus of our motivation from a man-centered glory to a God-centered approach and glory.  Work can often become dull and boring, but when we work unto God knowing that the eye of the Lord is upon us, our work becomes our worship to God.
  2. Do we work hard only when others are watching?  It is easy to surf the web at work or extend our lunch break when the boss is not around to observe.  But what a difference it makes when, as Christians, we want to be faithful to the Lord.  He is the most important “eye” that watches over us.  
  3. Do we want to be a people-pleaser?  In the name of trying to move up the ladder, we can have a double heart, lacking undivided devotion to the Lord, which ultimately will lead to failure and emptiness.  Paul says that we are to obey our earthly masters in singleness of heart, doing the will of God from the heart.  What is the will of God?  Our work.  The work we do as well as the relationships with co-workers, is doing the will of God.  

Evening Reflection

Prayer for this evening: Father, I live before You. There is no area of my life that is not subject to Your gaze and to Your judgment. Help me to correct what is wrong in my own work in the light of God’s word.  Amen.

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