(Second after Pentecost) SUNDAY, June 19
1 Kings 8:22-27
Following Pentecost, we read of Solomon’s dedication of the Temple where he asks, “But can God actually dwell on earth? If the heaven of heavens cannot contain you, how can this house?” (v. 27). Pentecost provides the incredible and comforting answer: God dwells in our houses of worship because the Holy Spirit has made it possible. And God dwells within us through Christ our Lord! The Father and Son make their home in us through the Holy Spirit and transform our bodies into his holy temple: “In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God” (Ephesians 2:21-22). The King of kings dwells within us. We carry God in our comings and goings. We carry him into our homes, our churches, our schools, and workplaces. Because he dwells within us, our bodies are altars transforming each space we inhabit into places of worship.
O Lord, maker of heaven and earth, dwell so fully within me that your presence is felt and seen in every interaction. In Jesus’s name, amen.
He Answers with Fire
MONDAY, June 20
1 Kings 18:20-29
“The God who answers with fire, let him be God!” (v. 24).
My freshman year of college I was tormented by a recurring nightmare in which human-sized bats with glowing red eyes swooped at me from every direction to push me off a narrow path. I would awake in a sweat, full of questions. Like the people of Israel, I was vacillating between various opinions about God. Is he real? Do I worship Buddha or Allah or Baal? One night I awoke to a thundering voice: “Consider Christ.” In obedience I tentatively attended a little church. That evening, midway through worship, I became aware of my sinfulness and Christ’s holiness. Fire fell upon my conscience. I fell to my knees and received Christ. Fire entered my heart—the fire of repentance, truth, and love for Jesus Christ.
Are you wavering? No need to rant or rave. Just ask God to answer your cries with fire. We know not how it will come, but fire will come.
O Lord Jesus, send the fire of your holy presence now and bring cleansing, conviction, and consecration! In your name I pray, amen.
Repairing the Altar
TUESDAY, June 21
1 Kings 18:30-39
The altar was the place of sacrifice, where life-carrying blood covered death-carrying sin. Here the holy God met with unholy people to cover us with amazing love. The altar in Elijah’s day was in disarray, polluted by foreign gods and filthy practices. It was time to repair it!
The repair began with an invitation: “Come here to me.” When we invite people to draw near and hear God’s Word, we repair the altar. Elijah rebuilt the altar with 12 stones, one for each tribe, as reminders of God’s covenant promises. When we recall God’s faithfulness and rehearse his promises, we repair the altar. In a time of drought, Elijah soaked the altar. Water represents both the Spirit and our tears. When we weep over our sin and ask the Spirit to abound, we repair the altar. Finally, we repair the altar when we pray: “Hear me, O Lord, so this people may know that you are God and that you are turning their hearts back to you” (v. 37).
Lord Jesus, help us invite people to draw near, to rehearse your promises, to rely on your Spirit, to repent of our sin, that all may know you are God. Amen.
WEDNESDAY, June 22
There is power in a song. When Jehoshaphat faced a horde, the Lord told him to put singers on the front lines. As they sang that God is good and his love endures forever, their enemies turned on one another and the battle was won (2 Chronicles 20). When David was distraught, depressed, or in despair, he sang: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:11)
Let us be people who S.I.N.G.:
Spontaneously—The moment joy and thanksgiving enter the heart, sing it aloud!
In times of trouble—Praise will ambush the enemy and usher us into God’s presence, where there is “strength and splendor” (v. 6).
Not holding back—Shout! Twirl! Clap! Dance! “For he is great and greatly to be praised” (v. 4).
Glory—“Declare his glory among the nations, his wonders among all peoples!” (v. 3).
Lord Jesus, you are worthy of my praise! Help me to sing spontaneously, in a time of trouble, not holding back, glorying in your goodness! amen.
Servant of Christ
THURSDAY, June 23
Paul once lived for human praise. A Jew of Jews boasting in his heritage and history, he was so enslaved to fear that he delighted persecuting followers of “The Way.” Until he met Christ. Then Paul found nothing to boast in except Christ and him crucified.
I would like to be free of people-pleasing. How did Paul get there? He saw himself as one sent by Christ (v. 1). He saw himself as one set free by Christ (v. 4). He saw himself as a servant of Christ (v. 10). He saw himself as a preacher of Christ (v. 11) And he saw himself as one instructed by Christ (v. 12). Jesus is central to Paul’s identity and purpose. The One who chose him, called him, and commissioned him is the one who loved him, freed him, and saved him. The love of this Friend and Savior is all that matters.
Lord Jesus, wean me off my driving need for the approval of humans, and work in me the great satisfaction of being your servant living for your praise! amen.
FRIDAY, June 24
This passage tells us that it pleases God to reveal his Son to us (NRSV) and it pleases God to reveal his Son in us (KJV/NIV). How wonderful that the King of the universe delights in introducing the lost, the violent, the misguided, the hateful to Jesus Christ his Son. He turns enmity into friendship. The lost are found. Sinners become treasured possessions. And this brings God pleasure! Our God is infinitely satisfied when his Son’s grace and truth are displayed through people who once demonstrated nothing but disobedience and various forms of death. Paul the persecutor becomes Paul the proclaimer of good news! Paul the zealot for human-centric traditions becomes Paul the passionate for Christ-centric truth. When God is pleased, God is also glorified: “‘The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they glorified God because of me” (vv. 23-24). How I long for God to be on display in me!
O Lord, may it please you to keep revealing Jesus to me and in me so I may be deeply satisfied and you may be glorified because of me. amen.
SATURDAY, June 25
Have you ever wondered how to give God glory? Glory can be such an abstract idea, but it simply means “weight” or “value/worth.” To give God glory is to declare and demonstrate his worth. When we offer up breathless wonder at his creation, we glorify the Creator. When we tremble in fear and awe at the prospect of judgment by a righteous God, we glorify our Judge. When we rejoice with gratitude for our salvation, we glorify our Savior. When we eagerly anticipate his return and delight in his sovereign rule, we glorify the King of kings. When we obey his commands because they give us life, we glorify our Lord. Each beautiful title of our God elicits a different response, but at the heart of it all we are invited to be satisfied in him and by him. When God is the source of our joy, peace, hope, love, wisdom, strength, purpose, being, fullness, grounding, freedom, and healing, we are bringing him glory!
Lord Jesus, I long to worship you in the splendor of holiness and give you the glory due your Name. Let me find all my satisfaction in you. amen.