For thus saith the Lord
unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
— Amos 5:4-5 (KJV)
Thoughts on Today's Verse...
Do you "go to church"? I hope not! Don't get me wrong; I'm not advocating you skip worship and fellowship this Sunday! We're told not to forsake gathering together as believers (Hebrews 10:25). But when we assemble as a body of believers, we gather together for encouragement and meeting with God (1 Corinthians 14). We're not GOING to church; we ARE the church! (The New Testament never used the word church to refer to a building!) God warned his people in Old Testament times that simply going to the places of worship and going through the motions was worthless. As much as they valued these holy places — Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba — they needed to seek the Lord to find genuine life! I believe that is precisely what God would have us do. And as we seek him together, we get to share fellowship, comfort, and encouragement with each other. As we do, we discover life with him!
Holy and loving Father, as I face this week's struggles, it is comforting to know I am never away from your loving presence. I love those times when I meet with other believers in your presence, and our worship is powerful and encouraging. While I know you are always with us when we gather together, sometimes my heart, life circumstances, and relationship issues derail my awareness of your presence. This week, dear Father, I pray for our worship assembly to be vibrant and powerful. I pray for your presence to be palpably near. I pray that you will be honored by what we do to encourage each other and praise you. Please use this day to draw us near to you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Monday, September 18, 2023
About This Devotional
Today's Verse is a free daily devotional that includes a Bible verse, thought and prayer.
The Thoughts and Prayer on Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.