READ: 1 Kings 7-8
THINK: What comes to mind when you consider God's presence? Do you think of a place like your church, or a feeling like you may have during an intense worship service? Perhaps you think of a certain setting, like a majestic mountain range that reflects the beauty of God's creations. The fact is that God's presence can't be confined to a man-made structure, as if He waits there to meet you a few times a week. Neither is God's presence limited to times when you have an emotional sense that He's there. God presence stretches far beyond anything in creation. The universe itself cannot contain God's presence. He is in all places at all times. And yet, God chooses to take up residence in a very specific place-in the hearts and lives of those who love Him and entrust their lives to Him. These are the true temples of God's Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), through which He reveals His presence to the world.
RESPOND: What is "the ark of the LORD'S covenant," what did it contain and what did it represent? (See 8:1 note.) What was the Tent of Meeting? (See 8:4 note.) What happened after the ark was placed in the temple, and what is significant about this occurrence? (See 8:11 note.) How did the completion of the temple fulfill God's promise (8:17- 20)? What did it mean that God would dwell in the temple, and how is this similar to His presence among Christians today who gather to worship Him? (See 8:13 note.) With whom does God keep His covenant (8:23)? What desire and awareness did Solomon express when he asked, "But will God really dwell on earth?"? (See 8:27 note.) Where is God's true dwelling place in relation to those who know and love Him? What did God mean when He said, "My Name shall be there..."? (See 8:29 note.) What kinds of things could happen to the people if they disregarded God (8:33,35,37)? What would people need to do in these cases, and what did Solomon ask God to do (8:30,34,36,39,- 50)? (See 8:39 note.) How could the people experience God's continued blessing (8:61)?
PRAY: Give God thanks for His constant presence and for the fact that He dwells in you by His Spirit as you continually entrust your life to Him. Ask God to help you live with a constant awareness of His presence.
ACT: Go throughout the day with a constant and intense awareness of God's presence surrounding you and within you, guiding you where He wants you to go and empowering you to do what He wants you to do. Allow God's presence to inspire in you a supernatural peace, faith, boldness and power.
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