Old Testament Reading: Genesis 49 & 50
Psalms Reading: Psalm 27
New Testament Reading: Matthew 26
(Sorry, if you didn’t receive this earlier today – it seems to have appeared on wordpress and facebook this morning, but not to the email list…Or, sorry if you DID receive it earlier this morning and this is now a repeat.)
If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
For some of you, the answer might be a trip to a neat destination (Ireland seems pretty awesome). For others, it might be to finally marry that person of your dreams. Maybe you would ask to have children one day, or for your current children to have successful lives. If you’re in some financial difficulty, like so many are, maybe you’d wish to just be debt-free. None of those things are bad of course! However, they aren’t the most important thing; and thankfully, you don’t need to have a magic genie in a bottle to acquire the most important thing. It is readily available to each and every believer right now.
In Psalm 27, the author (likely not David due to his references to the Temple) states that the only desire he is seeking after is to be in the presence of YHWH in His holy temple. For the author, God’s presence was the most precious gift one could ask for; it surpassed all the greatness to be found on earth. For in God’s presence, one can finally be at rest and peace (see Psalm 23), and receive the forgiveness of sins that all of us long for (see Psalm 25). Being in God’s presence is everything; and thankfully, it is readily available to us.
In the New Testament, Jesus says that “wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst” (Matthew 18:20), and wherever Jesus is found, God’s presence is found, too (see John 1:14; 14:9). If you truly want to experience God’s presence today, the greatest gift that you could ever experience in this life, it is available with other believers. When we gather together to worship, to serve, or even to eat a meal, the presence of God is there. We feel closest to God when we are surrounded by our brothers and sisters in the faith, gathering together in Jesus’ name. And while you can pray to God in private by yourself, you will never experience His powerful glory if you remain alone; we need to prioritize time together as believers (Hebrews 10:25). We were not designed to be alone (Genesis 2:18), but to enjoy fellowship with each other.
Brothers and sisters, come and join with your fellow Christians today and this week. There is no greater gift on earth than what you can experience there.
- What verse from Psalm 27 would be a good one to have on your refrigerator and in your heart this week? Make it so.
- What are the benefits of being together with your Christian brothers and sisters? List as many as you can. In what ways can you make more opportunities and time to do this more and more?
- What do you learn of God in your reading today?