REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on December 28, 2013. Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“How Can We Express Our Respect for and Trust in God?”
Psalm 147:1-3, 10-20
Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! 2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds . . . 10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; 11 the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love . . . 15 He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16 He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. 17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? 18 He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. 19 He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. 20 He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the Lord.
To put it simply, we could say this psalm contains two main themes: God’s people delighting in him, and God delighting in his people.
It should be easy for God’s people to delight in Him. He is almighty and powerful yet loving, compassionate and kind. For His people to praise Him, they just need to be reminded of who He is and what He has done – hence this psalm.
The second matter, however, poses more of a challenge, for although God is always worthy of being delighted in, it is not always the case with human beings. What would it take for me to be delightful to God today? Verse 11 says that He “delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” In other words, God delights in those who respect and trust Him, but how do we, as human beings, express this?
It is not an accident that a good portion of the next part of the psalm is dedicated to describing His word (vv. 15-20). Interestingly, when God commands nature, it has no choice but to respond (vv. 15-18); when God reveals His word to His people (v. 19), there is no similar description of what happens immediately afterwards. It highlights how out of all of his creations, human beings are the only ones with free will to obey or disobey.
So how do we express our respect and trust? By obeying His word. When we choose to obey, it shows that we recognize who God is, that we respect Him as the creator of the universe, but also that we are responding to His love. Because He has demonstrated His love towards us, we trust Him, believing that His commands are for our good. We, therefore, obey Him.
What am I going to do today with this amazing privilege that God has given me, this freedom to choose whether to obey and honor Him or disobey and reject His love? Use this psalm to remind you of His goodness and love, and let His love motivate your obedience this day.
Prayer: Lord, truly you are worthy of my praise. How good you have been to me, how loving. You have been my healer, restorer, provider and protector. How can I not place my hope and trust in you? May I be a delight to you this day. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Micah 4
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 John 2:5-6: But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Read John 14:23-24, 30-3: Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” 30 “I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”
Questions to Consider
- From the verses above, what is the relationship between loving God and obeying his word?
- In 1 John 2:6, what do you think John meant by living “as Jesus did?” How do the verses from John 14 shed further light on this question?
- What is my attitude towards obeying God? Is it like Christ’s? Is there something God is commanding me to do that I need to obey, exactly? What could it cost me?
- The one who truly loves God will obey God’s word.
- Living “as Jesus did” means loving God the Father and obeying his commands, exactly, at times even to the point of great personal cost (in John 14:30-31, Jesus is referring to what he was about to face on the cross).
- Often our attitudes towards obeying God are casual, i.e., “If I just obey him in general, it should be good enough.” How different this is from Jesus who sought to obey God “exactly.” We are also willing to obey as long as it does not cause us too much inconvenience. How different this is from Jesus who sought to obey God even at a great cost.
Though sometimes obeying exactly is costly, remember also what was accomplished through the price Jesus paid – the salvation of the world – and let that be an encouragement. When God asks us to do something, it is not an empty request, especially if he asks us to do it at a cost.
Did I make an effort to obey God exactly today? Did I pay a price? Take comfort in imagining what God could be doing through your sacrifice and thinking of his delight in you.