Today: Psalms 84:1-7; Romans 1:1-17; 2 Kings 23; 2 Kings 24:1-7

Psalms 84

“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.” Psalm 84:1-2

What does your soul yearn for? What are you passionate about? Is it God? It can be. Your relationship with God can be the most precious, meaningful part of your life. True relationship with God is like no other relationship. It is communion with the Almighty God who is powerful enough to create the entire universe out of nothing, yet knows each one of us personally, loves each of us intimately. How is that even possible? It is true! It is the most fantastic miracle!

I long to spend time seeking God’s face, in His glorious presence, overpowered by the Holy Spirit that actually dwells within my very soul. This is what it means to dwell in His house. Those of us who spend time there, in that magical place within our souls, are ever praising Him. He is our strength. Our hearts are set on Him. More than anything else, we long to grow closer to Him.

God’s Word is my foundation. It is the solid rock I stand on. But my prayer time, that time that I am alone, in God’s presence… that’s where the victory is. That’s where the joy is. That is where peace resides within my soul. Praise You, Jesus!

Romans 1

We left Paul at the end of Acts under house arrest in Rome. During the two years he was there, Paul preached the gospel of Christ to all the multitudes who came to see him there.

The Book of Romans is Paul’s letter to the Gentile Christians in Rome. He wrote it BEFORE he was brought there as a prisoner, during his traveling missionary years before he was arrested in Jerusalem.

Paul began his letter declaring his prayerful devotion to the Roman Christians and how he longed to visit them. He had no idea that in a few short years he would be stuck there under house arrest! Paul explained that he had planned to visit Rome many times but had been prevented from doing so. God evidently had a different plan!

Romans is Paul’s most significant letter. In it, he presents a thorough explanation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

2 Kings 23

“Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did — with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the law of Moses.” 2 Kings 23:25

King Josiah was Judah’s last chance. Josiah deep cleaned the wickedness out of Judah as it had never been cleansed before. He removed ALL the idols, ALL the false temples, altars, shrines, and prophets. He removed ALL the high places. He even removed the mediums, spiritists, and household idols.

He renewed the Mosaic covenant with God “to follow the LORD and keep His commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul.” (v.3) (This is a covenant WE should renew as well, in our own lives, families, and churches.)

Josiah worked hard to rid all of the evil from Judah. But all of his cleansing was not enough to clean the hearts of the people. Immediately after Josiah’s death, they were back to their evil ways. And God finally allowed Judah to be destroyed.