Sunday 19 July
"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."
[Parents might like to use this resource: Heart of Longing].
What is your favourite place in the world?
Draw a picture of it and, around the picture, write the reasons why you love it so much.
For the person writing Psalm 84, their favourite place in the entire world was the temple in Jerusalem. They could even say, "One day in the courtyards of your temple is better than a thousand days anywhere else" (v10, ICB). Why? Because in the Old Testament that's where people would go to meet God.
In the New Testament, God's presence doesn't fill a particular building (like a church building) but instead...
1. Jesus Christ was God's temple on earth in the past (John 2:19) - if we want to meet God, we must go to him.
2. Christians are a temple in the present (1 Peter 2:5) - God lives in Christians by his Holy Spirit, so we have God's presence and people should be able to meet God through us.
3. Heaven is the ultimate temple in the future (Rev. 21:22) - one day there will be a new creation where God himself lives and Christians will live with him forever.
We should be longing for heaven like the writer longed for the temple.
And along the way we get a taste of heaven, of God's presence, when we enjoy Jesus or meet with other Christians.
Do you look forward to heaven?
We will live with God forever and it will be way better even than our favourite place on earth!
PRAY: "Dear Lord, we want to know you better and we can hardly wait for the day when we will be with you in heaven. In the meantime, as we go through life, please would you help us to keep relying on Jesus and other Christians and that you that you promise to be with us to the end of the age. In Jesus name, Amen.