UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta, was originally posted on May 22, 2013. Matt is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BS) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
Satisfying our Hunger and Thirst
Psalm 63:1 (ESV)
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? What will satisfy your hunger and thirst? The following is how David dealt with it, when he felt utterly abandoned.
Psalm 63 indicates that it was written when David was in the desert of Judah. He was either fleeing from King Saul or from his son Absalom. Probably that latter since he refers to himself in v. 11 as the king (but he was not yet king when he was fleeing from Saul).
Separated from God’s sanctuary in Jerusalem, David is longing for the presence of God. Verse 1 is the heartbeat of our relationship with God. David sees himself as thirsting for God as a man might thirst in the desert where there is no water. C.S. Lewis wrote this regarding his reflection of Psalm 63: “These poets knew far less reason than we for loving God. They did not know that he offered them eternal joy; still less that he would die to win it for them. Yet, they express a longing for him, for His mere presence. They long to live all their days in the temple. Their longing to go up to Jerusalem and appear before the presence of God is like a physical thirst. Lacking that encounter with him, their souls are parched like a waterless countryside.”
This hunger for God must be found today. It isn’t the things that we do for God, but the hunger for God that matters the most. Are we seeking satisfaction in other things? Are we cultivating His presence? There is no better way to start each day than by earnestly seeking god’s face through personal Bible Study, meditation, and prayer.
Prayer: Father, fill my heart with a longing for You. It is Your presence that I hunger for. Forgive me for seeking my relief for hunger in the things that do not satisfy. I pledge today to pursue You and Your will through Your word. I want to rest in Your presence and grace. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 30
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 5:1-2(ESV): Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Questions to Consider
- What is the command in v. 1? What do you think that means?
- What aspect of “walking in love” does Paul point us towards in v. 2? Or, in what ways did Christ walk in love?
- This passage in Ephesians calls us to follow Christ’s example and walk in love, but it is important to note that he begins by saying “as beloved children.” Spend five minutes today thinking how much God loves you (ask Him for a revelation of how much He enjoys you) and see if it does not awaken and unlock your heart to love Him more.
- Paul bluntly tells us that we must be imitators of God. The word for imitators in Greek means to mimic. He is telling us to follow the pattern or example of God. A simple translation would be “be godlike.” That doesn’t mean we can be God. Only He has attributes reserved for Himself. There can be only one God. But to be godlike means to reflect Him in our lives. To be godly is the means to be godlike. What will you be like if you are godlike? Is there strength that you need to live out? Is there a change in the object of happiness that you need to seek? Will we be wise and kind?
- Through all the works of God, there is one main focus: He redeems. To walk in love as Christ loved us means that we love sacrificially and redemptively. We must be willing to love in a way that reflects Christ’s love for us. This means that if we are to be godly, we must be selfless and consider the needs of others even above our own needs. It is through this sacrificial love that the world will be attracted to Christ. Ask yourself today, “Am I walking in love towards others as Christ walked in love for me?” That is the greatest way that we can godly, or to be imitators of God. We must learn to live to the fullest of humanity, to learn how to love, to heal, and to restore and bring together things that are scattered and fragmented.
- The greatest two commandments found in Matthew 22:37-40 (love God with all heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor) are intrinsically tied. It is only as we gain a revelation of the depth of His love, that we are able to truly walk in the way of love, loving God, and loving others.
Prayer: Father, help me to be godly. Teach me to the wonder and satisfaction of godlikeness. May this desire for godlikeness begin with an understanding of your love for me and then spill out to love towards others. Amen.