June 24, Monday

The AMI QT Devotionals from June 24-30 are written by Pastor Andrew Kim at Tapestry Church.  Andrew, a graduate of Eternity Bible College, is currently attending Fuller Theological Seminary.  He and his wife Jessie recently welcomed their first child into the world.

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Empathy and Sympathy”: Which One Does Jesus Have for Us?

Exodus 39:1-7

“From the blue and purple and scarlet yarns they made finely woven garments, for ministering in the Holy Place. They made the holy garments for Aaron, as the Lord had commanded Moses. He made the ephod of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. And they hammered out gold leaf, and he cut it into threads to work into the blue and purple and the scarlet yarns, and into the fine twined linen, in skilled design. They made for the ephod attaching shoulder pieces, joined to it at its two edges. And the skillfully woven band on it was of one piece with it and made like it, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen, as the Lord had commanded Moses. They made the onyx stones, enclosed in settings of gold filigree, and engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel. And he set them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod to be stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel, as the Lord had commanded Moses.”

Social psychologist Brene Brown has recently become increasingly popular for her insights into topics like shame and vulnerability. As for me, I’ve benefited from her work on the difference between empathy and sympathy. For Brown, sympathy is often an unhelpful response to someone else’s suffering because it is essentially an act of feeling sorry for someone without connecting with that person in the place of pain. For example, sympathy responds to someone’s miscarriage with, “At least you know you can get pregnant.” Or to someone’s struggling marriage with, “At least you have a marriage.” At church a sympathetic response might look like cliché answers like, “Don’t worry, God has a plan in all of this.”  While these types of responses to people’s pains are our attempts at fixing the problem, according to Brown, they rarely make a situation better.

Empathy on the other hand is our desire not to solve the issue but to step into that person’s place of pain. It is to connect and identify with what they’re going through—to help the suffering person feel understood and heard. According to Brown’s research, it is the empathic response that actually brings healing and solace to the other. Simply put, identifying with a person’s concerns and issues has a profound impact when it comes to comforting those who are struggling.

In today’s passage, we are given a description of the ephod worn by the high priest. It details the different materials used to design the priest’s uniform. An interesting detail is found in verses 6-7, where it says that the names of the sons of Israel are engraved onto the stones that are on the ephod. This small detail speaks to the primary role of the high priest, which was to take the burdens and concerns of the people into the presence of God that resided in the temple. They were to intercede on behalf of the Israelites before God. They were called to care for their people.

Interestingly, in the book of Hebrews, Jesus is called the better high priest. There are numerous reasons as to why He is greater than an ordinary high priest, but one significant reason is that Jesus personally knew our struggles. The high priest would only be able to bring the concerns of their people secondhand. They had not experienced or were able to identify with all the problems that afflicted the people. But Hebrews 4:15 says, in referring to Jesus, “We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses.” In other words, Jesus has gone through the entire spectrum of sin’s impact on humanity; that is, he has experienced loneliness, rejection, death and betrayal—but without ever giving into temptations (i.e., sinning). Thus, we can be assured that Jesus can empathize with us, for he has readily stepped into our place of pain to be the source of our comfort.  And it is with that heart Jesus constantly intercedes on our behalf to the Father.

Let us, therefore, find comfort and healing in knowing that Jesus is the high priest who understands our pains, and is praying for us with intimate knowledge of our struggles!

Prayer: Father, we thank You for Your Son Jesus who had become flesh and stepped into our broken world. We thank You that we have a high priest who is intimately acquainted with our pain and intercedes on our behalf. Help me to find comfort and hope in this truth especially in difficult seasons. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 18


Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 26:36-46:  Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on.  See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Questions to Consider

  1. Why is Jesus so full of anguish in this story?
  2. What do you notice about Jesus that is unusual in this passage?
  3. What do you find comforting about this passage?

Notes

  1. Jesus understands that soon He will be crucified and will have to bear the wrath of God on behalf of sinful humanity. The deepest source of pain and fear is that part of this process entails being forsaken by the Father with whom He has been in perfect and eternal communion.
  2. Jesus has always seemed calm and collected throughout the gospel narratives. No matter what the issue or pressures He felt, it seemed as if He had everything under control. For the first time, we see Jesus deeply affected by what’s ahead; so much so that He is asking the Father if there was another way to fulfill His mission; and in other accounts He is sweating blood. The humanity of Jesus is clearly demonstrated in this passage.
  3. Personal

Evening Reflection

In the midst of God’s own grief and sorrow, we see God with us and believe that he is able somehow to take up our burdens upon himself and deliver us from our despair. He is not distant from our pain. He understands our suffering because Jesus Christ – God in human flesh – suffered.” – Trevin Wax

June 23, Sunday

Todays’ Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend is written by Pastor Ryun Chang.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Hey, the Holy Spirit is not a Thing—He is a Person.”

John 14:26

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he [ekeinos, not ekeino] will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

America has given birth to two fast-growing religious groups: One is the Mormon Church and the other, the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  And it is the latter group that has clearly shown the intricate relationship between the Trinity and the Holy Spirit; that is to say, if the Holy Spirit is not upheld as a person, then, there goes the Trinity.

Admittedly, even some evangelicals (if they are honest) doubt the validity of the Trinity because they have a problem with the personhood of the Holy Spirit. Once, as mentioned in yesterday’s blog, a believer said to me, “If the concept of the Trinity is THAT important to our salvation, how come we rarely talk about it? We talk a lot about the Gospel, the Bible, Deity of Jesus, and living a holy life, but we rarely talk about the importance of the Trinity.” One reason is because many evangelicals don’t think much of the Spirit–part of the Triune God–that is, his work and constitution.  Jehovah’s Witnesses certainly don’t; in fact, they view the Holy Spirit as a force or energy (referred to as “it” in their own translation), particularly considering that the Greek word for spirit, pneuma, is in the neuter (referring to genderless things).  Subsequently, neither do they believe in the Trinity.

However, since several neuter Greek nouns refer to people (e.g., teknon means child; paidion means infant), such objection merely shows the Jehovah Witnesses’ ignorance of the New Testament Greek.  Moreover, in John 14:26, when John uses a pronoun to refer to the Holy Spirit, the masculine pronoun ekeinos (meaning “he”) is used instead of the neuter pronoun ekeino (“it”).  (I hope that explanation didn’t put you to sleep!)  

The alleged Christian groups that do not uphold essential doctrines of the historic Christian faith, such as the Trinity, are called cults and Jehovah’s Witnesses would fall under that category.  In speaking to them in love, sharing this insight from Greek can help them to see what they are missing out on by not inviting the person of the Holy Spirit to help them in times of trouble!

As for us, although we may not believe like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, in a functional sense, we may not be too different from them since we neither seek nor incorporate the presence of the Spirit in our lives, including in our worship, prayer and when we study Scripture.  And we rarely ask the Spirit to fill us before leaving home for work or school or taking kids to school. Do it today. Don’t leave home without being filled by him!

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, fill me today! May I live a life that is empowered by you and your power so that I may glorify the Triune God through what I say and do everyday! Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 17.

June 22, Saturday

Todays’ Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend is written by Pastor Ryun Chang.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“How Come the Church Says Hardly Anything about the Trinity”

2 Corinthians 13:14

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you (2 Cor. 13:14)

When was the last time you heard a sermon on the Trinity?  I would bet that you don’t really remember.

While back, one brother wondered out loud, saying: “If the concept of the Trinity is THAT important to our salvation, how come we rarely talk about it? We talk a lot about the Gospel, the Bible, Deity of Jesus, and living a holy life, but we rarely talk about the importance of the Trinity.”  This assessment, of course, is quite true even though the Trinity is found in the core doctrinal statement of every evangelical church and seminary (including AMI).

So why are we so reticent on this matter?  Perhaps we affirm doctrines that we don’t really believe or care to truly understand because we’ve become intellectually lazy. While that may be true for some, one real reason for our reticence has to do with the difficulty in comprehending the concept that posits, “God is both three and one at the same time but not in the same sense” (Geisler 2003:29).  Say what?

One of the earliest attempts to make it more understandable to the human mind is called Sabellianism, which held that “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three modes or aspects of God, much as the sun is bright, hot and round” (Latourette 1975:144).  This view (a.k.a., modalism) was not received well because, while the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible, its concept is rather clear, and it is not modalism.  

The assertation that there are three distinctive individuals in the Trinity is clearly attested when Jesus was being baptized by John.  Matthew writes, “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt. 4:16-7). What’s readily seen here is the Son, the Spirit and the Father, respectively, visibly present in this singular moment.

Now, the truth be told, one person in the Trinity who is often neglected by evangelicals is the Holy Spirit. When speaking of the Holy Spirit’s role in the Trinity, especially his role of as “merely” reminding us of the teachings of Christ (Jn. 14:26), we tend to lessen his importance. That’s a mistake.  

Do you know who raised Jesus from the dead? It was the Holy Spirit, who is the source of power; and the Spirit’s presence was powerfully at display on the day of Pentecost as people received power when the Holy Spirit came on them (Acts 1:8).  The apostle Paul describes this as “[God’s] incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of [God’s] mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead” (Eph. 1:19). Yes, without the power of the Holy Spirit working mightily on behalf of a lifeless body of Christ, there would have been no resurrection.

So, don’t treat the Holy Spirit as if He is a third wheel—He is every bit as divine as the Father and the Son. Thus, the Holy Spirit should be held up as an object of our praise and adoration, together with the Son and the Father in the Trinity.  And ask the Holy Spirit to fill you today to lead a more meaningful and fruitful life.

Prayer: Dear God, please forgive me for not respecting and not adoring the Holy Spirit.  O Spirit, fill me up today so that I can lead a more meaningful and fruitful life.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 15-16.

June 21, Friday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was originally posted on June 20, 2014.

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Wasted Opportunities”

1 Timothy 4:14-16 (ESV)

Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. [15] Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. [16] Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

One of the more difficult things to watch as a pastor is how some of the most gifted and talented Christians make no effort to use what God has given them to edify and build up the body of Christ. For years, they come to church, week in and week out, only consuming and enjoying the services of others. Their gifts and talents are often reserved for the weekdays, when these people are at work, building their career and making a living for themselves.  

Paul directs Timothy not to neglect his spiritual gift. “Neglect” refers to when people do not give fitting attention to their gifts. And when we fail to appropriate our gifts for the body of Christ, we fail to use our talents and gifts for their ultimate purpose, which is to build up the body of Christ; when we don’t use our gifts, the body of Christ suffers—fewer ministries take place and less people are blessed in the church. Paul is addressing Timothy as a pastor, but the principle applies to all Christians and any of the ministry gifts they operate with.

So let’s ask the question, “How are you doing in recognizing and using your spiritual gift(s) to build up the body of Christ?” Are you laboring as hard in your church as you are for your career or school? Do you have the same ambition to excel in using your God-given skills to help and encourage the church?

Prayer: Lord, I want to use the gifts and abilities you have given me to help build your church. The church is the answer to the problems of the world. Help me to build into that which will last for eternity.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 14


Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-12: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; [5] and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; [6] and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. [7] To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. [8] For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, [9] to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, [10] to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. [11] All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

Questions to Consider

  1. In this passage, Paul tells the Corinthians that there is “One” and “many”. What does he mean by these terms?
  2. What makes these various abilities gifts?
  3. What is your spiritual gift? Could you honestly say that you are using your spiritual gift to build up the body of Christ?

Notes

  1. The One is the Spirit, while the many or diverse is the gifts. This shows us how the Spirit of God gives varied gifts to His church.  
  2. Because they are apportioned by the Spirit of God as He wills.
  3. Perhaps it’s teaching, perhaps it’s serving. If you are not using your gifts to build up the body of Christ, your talents and abilities are not being used fully as God intended when He gave them to you.

Evening Reflection

As you come to the end of another day, consider how you have helped strengthen the Church that Jesus died for. Think of one way you intend to use your abilities and gifts to build up the body of Christ.

June 20, Thursday

Devotional Thought for Today

“Father’s Love”

Matthew 7:9-11

Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

I think some of you may know of a group called BTS.  To say my 10-year daughter is a huge fan would be an understatement.  If you saw all the posters in her room you would understand. Recently, I had the opportunity to take my daughter to their concert at the Rose Bowl with 80,000 other screaming fans.  Believe me when I say this – it was not my 1st, 2nd, or even 50th choice of things I wanted to do on a Saturday evening.  However, because I was “lucky” enough to be asked by a good friend if my daughter would like to go, I had a choice to make.  I choose to put a smile on my daughter’s face and went with her to the concert. It’s a memory she will never forget and I was able to earn some solid points in the “good dad” column.

As I reflect upon today’s passage I am reminded of how much our Heavenly Father truly loves us.  His love for us is unconditional and He does not hold back anything back. Because He loves us so, He not only gives, He knows how to give to us. A father would not give his children something that is harmful; he gives his children what they ask for.  How much more would our Heavenly Father do for us? It cannot even be compared. In His time and in His way, our Heavenly Father pours out His love for us and gives us what we need. The ultimate proof of His love is found in John 3:16.  He sent His one and only son so that we may have eternal life.

I was so willing to give my daughter something that would make her happy, even though it was something I really did not want to do.  However, that fails in comparison to what our Heaven Father gave and gives us. In Him, we find the truest expression of unconditional love.  In His love for us He gives us what we ask for—but not everything we ask for. Just like little children who ask for foolish things, sometimes our requests can be foolish.  In the “no” we see God’s wisdom and love for us. As His children, He delights in giving us all that is good and all that is lasting. In His wisdom He does not give us our foolish requests.  That, my friends, is a true demonstration of love.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me the way You do.  In Your love I find comfort, security and peace. I pray that I would be reminded of that love today and that I would be mindful that in Your “no” Your love truly shines through because You know what is best for me.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 13


Lunch Break Study

Read Luke 15:20-24: So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is significant about his father running to him?
  2. Why did his father put on his best robe, give him a ring, and have him where sandals?
  3. Really consider how much your Heavenly Father loves you.  How does that make you feel?

Notes

  1. It is important to know that once the son decided to return the father, the father’s actions took over.  It is the father’s love that covers all. He waited for his son to return and when his son returned, it was the father that ran to him, hugged him, kissed him.  It truly a demonstration of the Father’s heart.
  2. The robe signifies the son’s cleansing from his life while he was away, the ring symbolizes the covenant relationship between the father and son, and the sandals represent that he is free to come and go with no strings attached.  His is once again the father’s son and not a slave in the house.
  3. Personal reflection.

Evening Refection

To fully grasp how much our Heavenly Father truly loves can be beyond our scope of understanding.  Take some time to put it into perspective and recall moments when you experienced the full love of our Heavenly Father.

June 19, Wednesday

The AMI QT devotionals for June 18-19 are provided Joe Suh who serves as a pastor intern at the Church of Southland (Anaheim, California). Joe, who was a practicing attorney in the area of civil litigation, is currently enrolled at Talbot School of Theology. He and his wife Betty have been blessed with two beautiful children.  

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“Forged in Fire”

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Being “forged in fire” means that you have been battle-tested and have come out stronger because of what you have been through.  The ability to withstand the pressure of difficult situations and come out the other side generally makes us stronger. This is why in sports it is better to have a proven veteran lead your team rather than a rookie fresh out of college.  The experience that comes from adversity and struggle is invaluable, and cannot be taught. It is something you have to go through and actually experience. Reading about it or hearing it in a lecture may give you some head knowledge; however, until you struggle through and then process pressure, there can be no true understanding or strengthening.  

Job was a person that truly understood suffering.  However, he understood that he would be tested, he would endure, and in the end, come out as gold. Job 23:10  Job was patient, he showed perseverance and in the end God blessed him with twice as much as he had before.

It seems counterintuitive to “rejoice in our sufferings”.  Why would anyone celebrate the difficulties of life? Generally, I think the human instinct is to avoid suffering and to try to live a life free from it.  However, as Apostle Paul writes, we should rejoice in it! It is a good thing when we go through suffering. When we are in the midst of suffering, it is definitely a perspective that we do not see.  

But Paul reminds us that through the suffering we are forged in the fire.  Our suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.  This is a process that we will all go through and we must all endure to get to hope, a hope which does not shame because of the love that is poured into us.  We all need hope in our lives. Hope keeps us going and hope lifts us when we have nothing left.

It is never easy to go through suffering. However, we must keep the right perspective and know that God has a plan for our lives.  Through the most difficult times, the most tragic sufferings, our loving Father carries us through and uses all that is challenging and difficult to plant seeds in our lives that produce the sweetest of fruit.  I am a better man because of the suffering I have endured, and to suffer for Christ is truly a blessing…even if we do not immediately see it.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to have the right perspective on life and not deviate from the right path towards You. When pain and suffering come in my life, remind me of the sufferings of Christ and be grateful that I don’t have to face the consequences of my sin because of Jesus. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 12


Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Peter 4:12-19: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the “fiery ordeal” they are experiencing?
  2. How do we truly suffer with Jesus?
  3. What suffering(s) have you had to endure for the sake of Jesus?

Notes

  1. The “fiery ordeal” is imagery for the refiner’s fire.  It is to be tested, refined, strengthened and purified.  This is not something that is unusual or strange, but is part of being a believer.  In order to draw closer to Jesus and live a life that glorifies Him, we ought to experience the “fiery ordeal” and become more Christ-like.  The more we are purified, the more we draw closer to Him.
  2. We suffer without shame.  The interesting thing is that the world may see it as foolish to suffer with Jesus; however, to suffer with Jesus is what we all should be doing.  We live our lives by the world’s standards and we seek to chase its dreams with our flesh. However, it should be the other way around. To suffer with Jesus is to surrender to His will and way.
  3. Personal reflection.

Evening Reflection

I do not believe that suffering is something we would intentionally embark upon in our lives.  Yet, at some point, because of the circumstances of our lives, we all go through it. Take a moment to reflect on a time in your life when you were truly struggling and suffering.  Pray through it and identify how our Heavenly Father carried you through it. It is always a good reminder to know that through it all, He is there for us.

June 18, Tuesday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional by Andy Kim was originally posted on December 14, 2015.

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Hosea 1:2-3

When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you suddenly became famous and made your debut?  Who would be there and what would you be doing? Messing up would not be an option since your precious reputation is on the line.

Well, for Hosea his first debut as a prophet involved scandalously marrying a promiscuous woman who would forever tarnish his reputation. Not what you would have in mind as the perfect debut by any means. Some scholars argue that this story is a metaphorical vision, but nowhere in the rest of the book do we see evidence of this. Reformed commentator John Calvin argues, “It is, in short, an exhibition… placed, as it were, before their eyes in a visible form”—meaning, God is actually calling Hosea to do the unthinkable. The decision to marry her would tarnish his reputation, honor, and even his family line. Why would anybody choose to go through with something like this? It was simple: the Lord said to go, and Hosea did.

I’m sure Hosea had some questions and weighed the costs of his obedience. But for Hosea, obeying God was worth more than his reputation, his comfort, and even more than his own understanding of the situation. Can you imagine if the Word of God had that much authority on your life? Hosea did not know that his marriage would resemble the marriage that Christ would have with His people.  Jesus in the same way would display the greatest act of obedience at the cost of his life to save us.

So today, be mindful of showing the love of Christ to that coworker, fellow student or spouse who, perhaps, isn’t behaving as badly as Gomer, but is pretty annoying nonetheless.  Pray first.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for sacrificing Your life for us. May we learn to trust and obey in Your Word alone. Speak to us today and may we have the ears to listen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 11


Lunch Break Study

Read James 1:22-25: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is James emphasizing in this passage?
  2. How are we deceived?
  3. What is the purpose of His Word?

Notes

  1. Simply hearing the Word through sermons and our daily QT’s is futile if we are not putting the Word into action. As disciples of Christ, we are called to outwardly respond to his Word in our lives.
  2. It’s like looking in a mirror and seeing all the blemishes but doing nothing to fix them because of distractions.
  3. Only the Word of God provides a true reflection of who we are and who we are called to be. In this freedom and obedience to His word, we are then spiritually blessed.

Evening Reflection

As you pray and meditate on His Word, how is He speaking to you today? Are you responding to His Word in obedience? Do you take heart to His Word and put them into action? Take some time to reflect.