We created a 5-day devotional guide for our Meant for Good series!
The hope for this guide is simple:
1. That our church will use this as a tool to personally study God’s word and seek to meditate on and apply what they heard on Sunday throughout their week.
2. That this will promote conversation and encouragement among our families, friends, neighbors and groups as we meditate on Scripture together.
The instructions are also simple:
1. Do the study for the day you are on and don’t worry about catching up so that you will be able to be studying the same thing as the rest of our church.
2. Pray first and ask God to speak to you through his Word and expect that he will do it.
3. Write your answers down in a journal or notebook. When we write things down we engage much more intentionally.
4. These devotions are made to take less than 15 minutes or up to 45 depending on how much you dig into the verses.
5. Talk about what God is showing you with your friends and family, and pray for one another so that we can “be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:24)
Monday | Psalm 84:1–2
Psalm 84 starts out with a palpable desire for and delight in God, but it doesn’t stop there. For the Psalmists, it is not enough for them to merely feel this emotion. At the end of verse 2, they express their desire and delight in actual worship. Worship involves physically expressing something of the glory of God back to him.
1. Our concept of worship can be formed by our upbringing and church culture. When you think of true worship, what ideas and pictures come to mind?
2. The end of verse 2 says, “my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.” What picture comes to mind when you think about someone worshipping like this?
3. There are three areas of worship that this verse talks about: the voice (my heart sings), the body (my flesh sings), and the emotions (sings for joy). What does your worship look like in these three areas?
4. What keeps you from expressing worship more than you do right now in these three areas?
5. Sometimes worship flows naturally from our hearts, and other times we express worship when we don’t feel it. Spend some time now asking God to give you the courage and faith to express worship whether you feel it or not.
Tuesday | Psalm 84:3–4, Luke 10:38–42
This Psalm was written by the Sons of Korah, who worked day and night at the temple. They were constantly around the presence of God and this created in them a joy and satisfaction in God. We see in verse 4 that the first thing about the “Blessed” person is that they are close to God.
1. Have you ever experienced a season where you were filled with joy and satisfaction in God’s presence?
2. Read Luke 10:38–42. This story is extremely pertinent to the culture in which we live where we are constantly pulled to a never-ending busyness. What things in your life pull you away from personal time in God’s presence?
3. What do those things say about the priorities of your heart and where you believe you will find joy?
4. What might it look like in the schedule of this week to prioritize nearness to God?
5. Jesus died for you, he removed the sin that separated you from God, which means you have instant access to the presence of God at any and every point in your day. Spend time meditating on this and pray that God will give you a cognizance of his presence with you.
Wednesday | Psalm 84:5–7, 2 Corinthians 4:16–18
Valley of Baca means “Valley of desert or weeping.” The thought that the desert times in our lives, the times of mourning and sorrow, or the times of pain and loss could be times of satisfaction and strength can seem totally unrealistic. How is this possible? The Psalmists tell us it is possible because our strength is in the Lord and we remember where we are headed.
1. Is there an area in your life right now where you are in what feels like a desert valley? If so, take a moment to reflect on what’s going on.
2. What do you look to for deliverance when you go through hard seasons? (The things that you say, “if only ________, then I would be okay.”)
3. What is it about that _________ that feels like it would bring you joy?
4. Read 2 Corinthians 4:16–18. What does this passage say about where we should look in hard seasons?
5. By actively looking ahead to the “eternal weight of glory” we are taking God at his word that this really will lift us from our discouragement and sorrow. What does it look like for you to do this today?
6. Spend some time thinking about the “eternal weight of glory” that we will experience with God for eternity. Pray and ask God to help you fix your eyes on where you are going rather than on this earth.
Thursday | Psalm 84:10, John 12:25
The next thing that the Psalmists show us is that even though strength is found in looking where we are going, we can experience joy in the Lord right now on earth. In Psalm 84:10, they express a genuine longing for the presence of God over and above the greatest joys this world can offer without God.
1. Take inventory of your heart. What are some of the things you look forward to most in life?
2. Read Psalm 84:10. Is it hard to imagine looking forward to worship and time with God more than these things?
3. As we saw on Tuesday, the Sons of Korah cultivated a longing for God by being in his presence. In the same way, desire for God must be cultivated in our hearts. What might it look like to cultivate this desire for God in your heart?
4. The biggest way to cultivate this desire is prayer. At its core, desire for God is a gift from God and we must ask God for is. Pray now and ask God to increase your desire for him.
Friday | Psalm 84:11–12, Psalm 145:8–9, Romans 8:32
This last mark of a blessed person from this passage is that the blessed person trusts in the goodness of God. This is easy to say but extremely difficult to live, particularly when life doesn’t feel good. Sometimes we can get so used to saying “God is good” that we don’t realize that our hearts quit believing it a long time ago. But whether we believe it today or not, it is true. God is good.
1. What are some things that have happened to you or others recently that have made it hard to trust in the goodness of God?
2. Read Psalm 145:8–9. Look at this description of God. What words or phrases here are hard to believe when you look at your life and the world around you?
3. What does this say about how you define what is good? How is God’s definition of goodness different than our definition of goodness?
4. Read Psalm 34:8. This verse can almost seem over spiritual, but when you think that everything good in this life comes from God and is meant to point us back to God as the Giver and the ultimate good, it begins to make sense. What are some ways that you can begin to enjoy the goodness of God in all of life?
5. God is certainly good to all, but Psalm 84:11 specifies a particular goodness to “those who walk uprightly.” If that’s the end of the story, then no one qualifies, but it’s not. When we receive Jesus, we exchange our sinful record for his righteousness. That means we now qualify to be his children, recipients of his special goodness and grace. Spend some time now and thank God for making you his child.
Download the devotional guide here: