Old Testament Reading: Deuteronomy 15 & 16
* Psalms Reading: Psalm 84
New Testament: Galatians Intro below
We are currently looking for a new house. We love where we are now, but we’re outgrowing our space and ready to raise our family with more room! We have toured SEVERAL houses, put in offers for a few, and yet still have nothing to show. I’m looking for a house that fits my needs, or at least one that I can alter (without too much cost) that will give me happiness in a home. I would say right now, I am yearning for a house. There have been moments where I have even shed a tear of disappointment, frustration, and sadness over ‘losing’ a house that was never mine. There are times where there is intense emotion behind my desire for a dwelling place.
God sure has a funny way of teaching me lessons… He really likes to teach me especially while I am trying to teach others. When I signed up for this week of devotions, I hadn’t even met with a realtor. Now, as I type up this message, I just spent three days stressing over what amount to offer on a house only to be rejected without a counter within hours and I opened up my Bible to “Longing for God’s House”… ironic, huh? So now, here I am reminding you but reminding me that the house I should be longing for is the house of God (Psalm 84:2). My heart is aching for a space to call home, and yet I am ignoring the promise of a dwelling place of the LORD of Hosts (v. 1). I’m out here struggling to feel “happy” with my current circumstance, but I have forgotten that I can reside in the house of an Almighty God and I should be praising Him CONTINUALLY (v.4)!
We are told God gives grace and glory; that he doesn’t withhold the good from those who live with integrity (v.11). I have been so focused on seeking out something for myself rather than focusing on how I am living and trusting God to show me the good He is providing.
Maybe you aren’t looking for a physical home right now, but I bet you are searching and yearning for something. Maybe it’s a promotion at work, a hand to hold, a new car, to finish school, peace for your mental health, anything. Everyone in some capacity is seeking “happiness”. Are you looking in the right place?
Hello! I am Sarah (Blanchard) Johnson. My husband and I just welcomed little Eli in August of 2022 and we are LOVING being parents, although we miss some sleep too… We live in Minnesota and attend Pine Grove Bible Church; I have a heart for missions and would love to talk to you about it!
Questions for Reflection:
This Psalm gives us four ways to be happy:
1. Reside in God’s house
2. Praise God continually
3. Get your Strength from God
4. Trust in the LORD of Hosts
Which area do you need to focus on to feel happy? Is there more than one?
I found one verse especially that caught my eye in how God reveals Himself… Which verses did you find?
LORD of Hosts, I pray today for myself and others, that we put our energy into longing for your house. I pray that we live our lives with integrity so we can experience your good things. I pray those seeking happiness find it through trusting in you. God, thank you for all you are and all that you do in our lives each day. We praise you for the promise of a perfect dwelling place to come. In your son’s name, Amen.
And, in preparation for starting the book/letter of Galatians tomorrow in our New Testament reading, here’s Steve with our…
Introduction to Galatians
Paul wrote the book of Galatians to the churches in Galatia. Paul was very direct in addressing their turning away from the gospel. In 1:6, Paul says, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel…” This was obviously a serious problem, since Paul then went on to say in 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!”
You’ll find out in Chapter 3 that their problem was that they were trying to be justified by observing the law. Paul argued that justification comes through faith in Jesus alone, not by works performed according to the law.
Paul also pointed out that as far as Christ is concerned, there is no distinction between Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female – all are one in Christ. Paul then went on to say that if they belong to Christ, then they are Abraham’s descendants, and heirs according to the promises to Abraham. This applies to us today, as well.
Paul defined the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He also pointed out that they (and we) should live by the Spirit, and not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
In 6:7-8, Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
The book of Galatians is just as relevant to us today as it was to the original audience when it was written. As you read it, consider how this letter applies to you today.