Psalm 27:4 NIV One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
“This one thing, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord, the splendor of his holiness… it’s enough to satisfy all the days of our lives. You could spend a lifetime gazing upon this beauty and glory… and still want more. When we behold God, as he truly is, a passion for him arises in our entire being (soul, mind, body)… a passion for his greatness, an enthusiasm for his perfection, his character… we could spend a lifetime taking it in and not get bored, it would never become predictable, dreary, or old. Passion comes from beholding an object of supreme worth, and that is Jesus Christ. As we behold the Lord and recognize his supreme worth, passions arise… not just fleeting emotions but a steadfastness of soul, a gravity of being, a weightiness to our existence, a passion that lasts a lifetime, that endures any hardship, a flame that can’t be snuffed out.” (P. Jason)
Let’s close by praying, “Lord, I confess that you are the greatest treasure in my life, you are worth all my attention, time and energy. Lord, I draw near you today! Give me a renewed passion rooted in your eternal love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “One Thing” by Hillsong Worship (click here).
Psalm 42:5 NIV Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
“The lack of immediate change in the psalmist’s feelings doesn’t mean his struggle with his emotions is pointless… Here in this psalm it simply means that he is human, and that the world around him must change at a significant level for his significant emotions to change… God has given us emotions and feelings that are actually designed not to change unless what we love changes or what is happening in the situation or the person we love changes for God’s glory and good. One author put it this way: ‘The bottom line is simple: because emotions flow out of what we care about most, our emotions can’t and shouldn’t change apart from a change in what we care about (or a change in the wellbeing of what we care about).’ When our hearts are seeking God’s purposes and plan, then hold on because they will want to see change. We will be affected by what God is doing and changing. And that may be first and foremost in us.” (P. Tim)
Let’s pray, “Lord, may my deepest cares and priorities be rooted in your purposes and plans for my life. May my emotions ever more flow from the ways of your heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “Psalm 139 (Far Too Wonderful)” by Shane and Shane (click here).
Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
“This promise of Ezekiel is that the Lord was going to do more than give the people a stone tablet with his words in them for them to follow. Instead, the Lord was going to go straight into the hearts of the people, and remove from them the very cause for their unfaithfulness—which was their stony hearts… Where God had once written upon stone tablets, he was now going to remove those “hearts of stone”—the complaint of God’s word being far from them and NOT who they were, and in its place put hearts of flesh, where God will place his Holy Spirit, to move the people to follow and obey the ways of the Lord. God’s word is near us because the Lord has written his words of love, healing, salvation, righteousness upon our very hearts with his own finger! Therefore, obeying and following the Lord is who we ARE through and through!” (P. Gus)
Let’s close in prayer: “Father, thank you for changing my heart of stone to a heart of flesh that is obedient and responsive to you. Lead me to proclaim your love and faithfulness today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “Dry Bones (God Is Here)” by Worship Central (click here).
Matthew 18:1-5 (NIV) 1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
“This little child – is what is great in God’s kingdom… And unless we come as children – small and humble and dependent, we cannot come in. We – who are in God’s kingdom are his little ones… This is the inside-out and right-side-up economy of the kingdom of God… We come like children, those who have nothing – other than faith in the One who does it all. We come not trusting in our own abilities or greatness, but like a child – depending upon the greatness and resources of our God. This is the only way to come in – by faith… This is how the Father sees us as we come in. We are his little ones. To him, we are his children.” (Brenda Rapp)
Let’s close in prayer today by praying, “Father, thank you for inviting me to be your child. Give me a heart of faith today, that loves you and those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.“
Let’s close by singing, “Build My Life” by Housefires (click here).
Let’s read aloud together the following passage and prayer:
Isaiah 40:27-31 NIV 27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Thank you, Father, that you intended your people to find true rest in you. I confess the ways that I search for rest elsewhere, and I confess that you are my true hiding place, where my soul is refreshed. Jesus, you are my Good Shepherd. Lead me again to still waters, and along the right path. Empower and strengthen my life, that I may run tirelessly in your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Let’s close by singing, “Waiting Here For You” by Passion (click here).