Help us grow in strength, grace, glory

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, August 6, 2015

Today’s scripture reading:

The writer longed to get away from the bustling world to meet God inside his dwelling place, his holy Temple. We can meet God anywhere, at any time. But we know that going into a church building can help us step aside from the busy mainstream of life so we can quietly meditate and pray. We find joy and strength not only the prayers, music, lessons, and sermons but also in fellowshipping with other believers in a special place.

The pilgrimage to the Temple passed through the barren Valley of Weeping. No specific valley has been identified. The “weeping” may have been a symbolic reference to the times of struggles and tears through which people must pass on their way to meet God. Growing strong in God’s presence is often preceded by a journey through barren places in our lives. The person who loves to spend time with God will see his or her adversity as an opportunity to re-experience God’s faithfulness. If you are walking through your own Valley of Weeping today, be sure your pilgrimage leads toward God, not away from him.

God does not promise to give us everything we think is good, but he will not withhold what is permanently good. He will give us the means to walk along his paths, but we must do the walking. When we obey him, he will not hold anything back that will help us serve him. (NLT)

Psalm 84:1-12 – How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home there, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young–at a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God! How happy are those who can live in your house, always singing your praises.

Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains! They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.

O Lord God Almighty, hear my prayer. Listen, O God of Israel.

O God, look with favor upon the king, our protector! Have mercy on the one you have anointed.

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the Lord withhold from those who do what is right. O Lord Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.

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How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! — Psalm 84:1 (NRSV)

Walt Garrett (Arkansas) titled his story “A LOVELY PLACE;” here is a portion of Walt’s story:

“One morning as I took a break from my duties at the church building, I read the verse quoted above in the devotional book. I began to look around at the beautiful sanctuary where I was sitting. The colors of the stained glass seemed more vivid than usual, and the dark paneling reflected a rich gleam. Surely I was in God’s home! But the devotional book continued with a prayer that seemed to be calling me to go out into the forgotten places of the world. . .

“If we follow Jesus, we will go where Jesus goes. We will be in his presence and dwell with him, regardless of the location. . . When we follow Jesus, we can find that God dwells in places we never expected.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – In what “forgotten” place am I called to reflect God’s love?

Prayer: Dear God of all, guide us to the places where we usually don’t go, and help us to love the people we usually don’t love.

Prayer Focus: PEOPLE LIVING IN POVERTY

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

SPIRITUAL GROWTH: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/spiritual-growth/

SERVICE, SERVING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/service-serving/

PRAYER: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/prayer/

FAITH: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/faith/

HOLY SPIRIT: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/holy-spirit/

BELIEVE, BELIEF: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/believe-belief/

MIRACLES, MIRACLE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/miracles-miracle/

CALL: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/call/

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/

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