March 9, Tuesday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor David Kwon who heads Journey Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, was first posted on June  10, 2014.  He is a graduate of Drexel University (BS) and Columbia International University (M.Div.).

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The Posture of Prayer”

1 Timothy 2:8-15

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; [9] likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, [10] but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. [11] Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. [12] I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. [13] For Adam was formed first, then Eve; [14] and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. [15] Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

When Paul says he wants men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, he does not mean that only men should pray. In some churches, this verse has been misunderstood, and so they allow only men to pray in public or to lead the congregation in prayer.  So what is Paul saying in these verses? He is not saying that only men should pray, but that when we (men and women) pray in every place, we should do so in two ways: lifting up holy hands and without anger or quarreling in their hearts. Paul’s concern here is not who prays, but how one prays.

The first instruction is that men should lift up holy hands. That was the usual posture of prayer, derived largely from the Jewish synagogues, where the Jews prayed while standing with their arms lifted up and led the congregation that way. The reference to “holy hands” reminds us of Psalm 24, in which those who wish to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in his holy place must have “clean hands and a pure heart.”  Here, Paul uses the outward sign for the inward reality, for our hands indicate a pure heart.  This is a figure of speech that means that these actions, symbolized by the hands, should be righteous actions. These are people who ought to have a record of rightful behavior, who are recognized as honest, and whose actions reflect their faith. 

As we spend time with the Lord this morning, pray for a purity of heart as you seek Him.  Pray that what you do outwardly would reflect your inward devotion.  Let’s ask that our “lifting of hands” in prayer and worship would reflect a clean heart that Jesus desires.  

Prayer: Lord, as I come to you this morning, please give me clean hands and a pure heart.  Help me to repent of any sins that might hinder my worship with you today.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 26


Lunch Break Study 

Read Psalm 24:1-10: The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, [2] for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. [3] Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? [4] He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. [5] He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. [6] Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah [7] Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. [8] Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty,the LORD, mighty in battle! [9] Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. [10] Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah

Questions to Consider 

  1. How does the psalmist describe the Lord in these verses?
  2. According to verse 4, what is required to approach the Holy Place of God?  Why do you think that is?
  3. Do we have any idols (anything that is false) that may be hindering our worship?  If so, ask Jesus for a devoted heart to Him alone.

Notes

  1. A God who is strong and mighty 
  2. The Lord expects purity and singleness of heart from all who seek his presence (Matt. 5:8). Purity of “hands” and “heart” is the condition of living before God in accordance with his precepts and out of the desire of his heart. Appearance of holiness is not enough, because the “clean hands” are expressive of “a pure heart.” The one who has “clean hands” is “innocent” of wrongdoing and readily asks for forgiveness when he has sinned against God.  The godly person does not dishonor the Lord’s name by idolatry or by falsehood.  They are “pure” and not “false” (or hypocritical).
  3. Personal response

Evening Reflection

Purity of heart is a continual battle when it comes to our Christian lives.  That is why prayer and repentance are so essential when it comes to pursuing this kind of heart.  Let’s continue to ask for “clean hands and a pure heart” in our everyday walk with Christ.

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