Love and Be Loved
Almighty God, look in love upon me. I am on a journey, reaching towards You.
Read Psalm 84:1-12
 For the director of music. According to gittith. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.  Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.  Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.  Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.  As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.  They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.  Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.  Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.  Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.  LORD Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy is it better to dwell in God's house, rather than man's (4)?
This psalm reveals what a right relationship between God and his people (us) looks like. First, God is the “Lord Almighty” (1,3,8, and 12). “Lord” suggests authority over us, while “Almighty” indicates unmatched power. In a right relationship, God is the center of our existence. An atheist friend of mine reckons that this sounds like an insecure God flexing his muscles. But notice the response of God’s people: Love! A soul yearning, heart and flesh crying out, sounds like the actions of a lover (2). The psalmist goes on to describe those who intentionally set out to search for a deeper relationship with God (5). From the time they commence the journey, they find nourishment, refreshment and increasing strength (6,7). Nothing else in the world compares to being in a right relationship with God (10). God is active in his relationship with us. No one finds lifelong strength in a fantasy. We have a relationship with a living God (2) who provides safety for his weakest creation (3) and will provide a place for us with light, warmth and protection (11)! All that is required of us is trust (12).
When was the last time you really counted your blessings? Make a list of all that the Lord means to you, and then “praise him” (4).
Father, have mercy on me, a sinner. I come without excuses praying for mercy and more of Your gracious, redeeming love.
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