October 1, Saturday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from September 26-October 2 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, who is a teacher.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 19:4-16

Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.” From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

1There is a man living in Brazil who calls himself Inri Christo. Taking his first name from the acronym written on the cross of Jesus, “INRI,” and his last name, meaning “Christ,” he believes himself to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. While fasting in Santiago, Chile, in 1979, Inri claims to have heard a voice, saying, “I am your father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” It was at this moment that he realized his divinity.  Subsequently, Inri has acquired somewhat of a following, and continues to make appearances around Brazil as a spiritual leader.

Take a moment and soak this in: How can someone have the audacity to claim to be the Son of God? Not only is he lost in his blasphemous delusion, he has also misled many people who actually believe his nonsense.  If I ever meet Inri, I would surely give him a piece of my mind.

But if you think about it, two thousand years ago, a man from Nazareth, named Jesus, claimed to be the Son of God. If we put this in perspective, it’s not hard to see why the Pharisees, chief priests, and scribes wanted to have Jesus killed: He was claiming to be God! Over the past weeks, we have been looking at the life and ministry of Jesus through the Gospel of John. After reading, we must come to a decision for ourselves. Was He a phony like Inri Christo? Or, is He truly the genuine Son of God?

In our passage today, Pontius Pilate found himself at this very crossroads. We can tell that in his interactions with Jesus, it began to dawn on Pilate that this was no ordinary man.  But since the Jewish leaders were pressuring him hard, Pilate had a choice to make, and at the end of the day he chose to remain passive.  While he wasn’t the one yelling, “Crucify Him,” he ultimately decided that it was too risky to intervene, and as a result, lose his posh job; so, he handed Jesus over to be crucified.

There are people all around us today who scoff at the notion that Jesus was God. For those of us who do follow Him, this is the question we must ask and answer, not just once for salvation, but each day as we follow Him. Are we going to live today as if Jesus is truly the Son of God? Or will we take the passive route that Pilate took?

Prayer

Lord, we know that it isn’t by our own strength or wisdom that we came to know you, but rather, in your grace, you knew us first. We repent for all the days we have spent taking the passive route, living as if You didn’t exist. We remind ourselves today of your Lordship over our lives. Come and be our King.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 4

September 30, Friday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from September 26-October 2 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, who is a teacher.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 19:1-3

Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.

 

30In the ancient Roman military, crowns were a symbol of honor. There were various crowns, symbolizing various feats and achievements of valor. Crowns were always given by someone of a higher-ranking office, to a lower-ranking one. For example, the Caesar might bestow a crown upon one of the generals in his army. Or a commander might place a crown on one of his subservient soldiers. However, there was one scenario when common soldiers would place a crown atop a higher-ranking officer. When the actions of a commander/general had saved an entire army, a “grass crown” was twisted together and presented to him by the very army he had saved. It was considered the highest honor in the Roman military.

How ironically fitting that a crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords, by the very ones He had come to save! When we look upon the suffering of Jesus, beneath the mockery and humiliation, we can see the beauty of the Gospel. The good news that our God is the kind of God who would endure such shame, if it meant that his beloved people might be saved.

Take some time today to meditate on the sacrifice of Jesus, who endured the cross to save the very ones who crucified Him. There is truly no one like our God!

Prayer

Lord, we are amazed at your love for us. Thank you for being the kind of God that you are. Thank you for suffering, and ultimately dying on a cross, to rescue us. We honor you and worship you today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 3

QT Page Break3

Lunch Break Study 

Hebrews 12:3-8

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,

nor be weary when reproved by him.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Questions to Consider:

  1. In this passage, how does the author of Hebrews reframe our struggle with sin?
  2. How can we have the strength to endure trials and temptation?
  3. According to the author of Hebrews what would a life without discipline indicate?

Notes:

  1. The author of Hebrews describes our struggle with sin as God’s discipline over His children. From context we can infer that the “struggle” that these early Christians were going through was related to persecution for their faith. But the author also mentions holiness and sexual immorality in the following verses. Whether it is a struggle to stand up in our faith, or it is a struggle to pursue holiness, we are encouraged to see our struggle as God’s work in disciplining us, because we are his beloved children.
  2. The author encourages us to “Consider [Jesus] who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” He endured sin, and ultimately defeated it, so that we would not grow weary or fainthearted! When we remember that Jesus has conquered the power of sin, we find strength to continue fighting.
  3. A life without discipline. A life without struggle. An easy, comfortable, smooth-sailing life… according to the author of Hebrews, indicates that we are illegitimate children, and not true children of God. Because God disciplines those He loves.

QT Page Break3

Evening Reflection  

Jesus is our sympathetic high priest (Heb 4:15). That means that whatever hardships we are going through, even when we feel like no one else quite understands… Jesus understands. May you find peace in that truth tonight.

September 29, Thursday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from September 26-October 2 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, who is a teacher.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 18:39-40

But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

29“Barabbas was a robber.” That’s all we know about Barabbas. Scripture has nothing positive to say about this man. It is safe to say that Barabbas was considered the scum of society at that time. A notorious prisoner (Matt 27:16), most likely destined to see the inside of a jail cell for the rest of his days. But one day, the crowd began to chant his name. “Barabbas! Barabbas!” Hearing the commotion, Barabbas must have thought the worst… that his execution day had come sooner than he anticipated. But as the soldiers who dragged him out began to unshackle his limbs, it dawned on Barabbas. He was being freed. Impossible! There was no hope of freedom left for him! How was this happening? As he moved about freely for the first time in ages, perhaps he caught a glimpse of the other prisoner, the man named Jesus. I wonder if Barabbas knew at that moment, that he had been the first of many for whom Jesus would die.

The Bible doesn’t tell us much about Barabbas, but we know that Jesus took his place. We know that because of Jesus, this undeserved sinner was given life again. We also know his name means “son of the father” (bar = son of, abba = father).

In a profound way, Barabbas represents all of us who believe in Jesus. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And now we have become sons/daughters of the Father. Spend some time today thanking Jesus for taking our place!

Prayer

Lord, we thank you that you suffered and died for us while we were still sinners, unaware of your great love for us.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 2

QT Page Break3

Lunch Break Study 

Romans 5:6-8

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Questions to Consider:

  1. How did God show his love for us?
  2. What is unusual/different about the timing of God’s love?

Notes:

  1. God showed (demonstrated) His love for us when Jesus died for us, while we were still sinners. In other words, Jesus’ death on the cross is God’s ultimate act of love for us.
  2. For most, love doesn’t exist (or last very long) unless it is a two-way street. Typically, love is the last stage in the maturation of a relationship. First we make acquaintances, then a few of those become friends, from there even fewer eventually make it into our inner circle, those whom we call “loved ones”. But God starts the relationship with love! Before we became “friends” of God, and even before we made our acquaintance with Him… He loved us, and died for us. What does it look like for you to display this kind of love towards others?

QT Page Break3

Evening Reflection  

The Hebrew word for compassion shares the same root as the word “womb”. The idea is that a pregnant woman already loves her baby. Even if she hasn’t seen, heard, or held the baby yet, she would give her life for it. This love of a mother over the baby in her womb is a dim reflection of God’s love over us. Read this verse and spend some time reflecting on God’s great love over us:

Can a woman forget her nursing child,

that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?

Even these may forget,

yet I will not forget you.

Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;

your walls are continually before me.

Isaiah 49:15-16

September 28, Wednesday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from September 26-October 2 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, who is a teacher.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 18:28-32

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 

28Of all the mistakes I’ve made so far in my life, the one I’m most ashamed of occurred during my senior year of high school. A friend of mine had just accepted Christ and he started coming out to my youth group. But one day, when I found out that he smoked cigarettes and furthermore sold cigarettes to the underclassmen, I distinctly remember telling him, “If you’re going to keep smoking, and selling cigarettes to the freshmen, don’t bother calling yourself Christian!” Oh, how the heavens must have wept when I said what I said. I wish I could go back and undo those words, because since that day, my friend stopped attending church. Ironically, I thought I was being righteous, but in my self-righteousness, I had neglected the most important thing—the gospel. I was so caught up in following the “rules,” that I missed the whole point of what Jesus did on the cross.

I wonder if the Pharisees and officers recognized the tragic irony of their actions. These men were so caught up in following the “rules” of God, that they couldn’t even recognize God when He showed up. They preferred to maintain the image of cleanliness, while executing the Lord of Lords.

How important to you is the image of cleanliness? How gracious are you when someone doesn’t quite fit your description of what a Christian should look like?

Prayer: Lord, we repent of all the times when we’ve placed rules above the gospel. Teach us to obey faithfully without becoming self-righteous. Teach us to pursue holiness without forgetting mercy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 1

QT Page Break3

Lunch Break Study 

Read Luke 5:27-32: After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.

And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” 

Questions to Consider:

  1. Why were the Pharisees and scribes grumbling at Jesus?
  2. How does Jesus respond?
  3. What does Jesus’ response tell us about His ministry?

Notes:

  1. The Pharisees and scribes grumbled because Jesus, being a Rabbi, was not supposed to associate with “sinners,” such as tax collectors, much less invite them to become His disciples.
  2. Jesus says, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” This is contrary to tradition. In those times, Rabbis would only select the cream of the crop from among the students of God’s Word. Candidates for discipleship under any other Rabbi were required to have extensive knowledge/memorization of Scripture. Furthermore, they had to be virtually blameless according to the law. Jesus, on the other hand, came for the sick and the sinners.
  3. Jesus’ response tells us two truths, two sides of the same coin. First, it tells us that He has come to minister to sinners. In His ministry we see that He welcomes tax collectors, prostitutes, women, men, children— people of all kinds. But there is one type of person that never comes to Jesus: the self-righteous—those who think they are already well. Ironically, these are the ones who need Jesus the most, but they are too self-righteous to come.

QT Page Break3

Evening Reflection  

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5b).

Of all the sins we should be afraid of committing, pride may be the most dangerous. When we are caught in any other sin, the Spirit can convict us and lead us to humility and repentance. But the proud heart resists conviction; it resists humility and repentance. Tonight, do a spot check and ask the Holy Spirit to squash any residue of pride that exists within us.

September 27, Tuesday

david-sonEditor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from September 26-October 2 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, who is a teacher.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 18:15-18, 25-27 

Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself… Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. 

27What do we do when our God seems silent? Simon Peter was certainly a bold man when Jesus was walking on water and casting out demons. In fact, moments before this passage, Peter was the one who whipped out his sword, prepared to take on a squadron of soldiers. But seeing His captured Lord—the Son of God—remain silent, submissive, and seemingly powerless, like a lamb about to be slain… we find Peter without an ounce of boldness.

If we’re honest, Peter’s dilemma is nothing new to us. When we experience the power of our God, it is easy to be bold for Him. At retreats, on the mission field, at Sunday service, we have no problem standing up for our Lord. But would you agree that it becomes exponentially harder to muster up that boldness when we are not surrounded by visible evidences of God’s power? In our workplaces, in our classrooms, or maybe among our families/friends, when we can’t quite understand what God is doing, and why He seems to be so silent, it’s hard to be bold. Of course in hindsight, we know that in the midst of Jesus’ silence that God was executing His most powerful work yet. But when we are in the midst of the silence of God, we can all imagine being in Peter’s shoes.

But there is a critical difference between Simon Peter in this passage, and those of us following Christ today. We have a huge advantage over Peter because we have something (or someone, rather) that Peter at that point had yet to receive: the Holy Spirit! In fact, the story of Peter does not end here. Later, in the book of Acts, Peter becomes an even bolder man than he was before, when he receives the Holy Spirit.

What do we do when our God seems silent? We ask the Holy Spirit to give us the strength and boldness to stand firm. Today, will you ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with boldness, even if God seems to be silent at the moment?

Prayer

Holy Spirit, we ask for greater faith—a faith that believes before seeing with our eyes; a faith that knows that You are doing a powerful work, even in what may seem like silence to us. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 16

QT Page Break3

Lunch Break Study 

Acts 4:23-31

When [Peter and John] were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth set themselves,

and the rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What kinds of struggles did the early Christians face?
  2. In the midst of the threats, what do the believers pray for?
  3. What happens after they pray?

Notes:

  1. Peter and John had just been arrested for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, that He had died and risen. Both the Bible and historical accounts affirm that the early Christians faced societal persecution: Herod, Pilate, Gentiles, Jews, and essentially the whole city was antagonistic towards the followers of Jesus and towards the gospel.
  2. First, they worship God and acknowledge His sovereignty. Then, they ask for boldness to continue speaking God’s Word. Finally, they ask for God to continue healing, doing signs and wonders through the name of Jesus.
  3. The place is shaken, and they are all filled with the Holy Spirit; then they continued to speak the word of God with boldness. Our society today is generally becoming increasingly hostile towards Christians. In the midst of this, let us continually ask for the boldness to speak God’s Word as He moves in power.

QT Page Break3

Evening Reflection  

Spend some time this evening praying for the person in your life who you think is the least likely to come to know the Lord. Remind yourself that he/she is created in the image of God, and ask God to soften this person’s heart to the work of the Spirit.

September 26, Monday

david-sonEditor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from September 26-October 2 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, who is a teacher.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 18:1-8

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go. 

28In the movie “The Lion King,” the villainous Scar and his band of hyenas are only afraid of one thing: Mufasa. In fact, the mere mention of his name is enough to make them shudder. Even after Mufasa is dead, Scar bans the name Mufasa from being uttered. Why? Because there was power in that name. At the end of the film, Mufasa’s son, Simba, returns bearing the authority of his father, to defeat Scar and his minions. Of course, that’s just a children’s story, but the principle behind the story remains true.

In passage’s today, a small army of soldiers, armed with weapons, makes their way to arrest Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane. Upon being found by them, Jesus asks, “Whom do you seek?” Jesus, when told that they were looking for Jesus of Nazareth, declares His identity, saying, “I Am he” (ego eimi). At these mere words, the soldiers collapse and fall to the ground. Why? A closer look will reveal that these are not just any words, but Jesus is declaring Himself to be equal to the Great I AM (Ex. 3:13-4)—Yahweh. The Hebrew verb hayah, used in Exodus 3:13-14 to refer to Yahweh as “I Am” (meaning “to be”), is translated in Septuagint (the first Hebrew Bible in Greek) as ego eimi (“I Am”); ego eimi, then, is applied to Jesus in the New Testament. Although Jesus’ intention was to surrender Himself, the mere mention of the name of God—His name—caused the soldiers to fall to the ground.

As you go through this day, remember that because you are His son/daughter, you have power in the name of Jesus to overcome temptation, trials, and works of the enemy. Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” May this be your prayer today!

Prayer: Lord, You are our source of strength and power to overcome the enemy. Help us to stand firm today. Teach us not to lean on our experience, abilities, or even our own righteousness, but instead to lean on You. We pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 15

QT Page Break3

Lunch Break Study 

Read: Acts 19:11-20: And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What does this passage teach us about the source of power?
  2. Why did the sons of Sceva fail in their ministry?
  3. How did the believers react?

Notes:

  1. The passage makes it clear that the source of power is God, not Paul, not the handkerchiefs, or aprons, not even invoking the name of Jesus. The first verse says, “God was doing extraordinary miracles….”
  2. The sons of Sceva used Jesus’ name as an incantation, thinking that uttering certain words in a certain order might invoke power. But the evil spirits know the real from fake. They knew there was no real power behind the sons of Sceva because the Spirit of Christ was not actually within them.
  3. The believers reacted by fearing the Lord, confessing, repenting, and burning their bridges to old sinful practices. And the name of Jesus was extolled. Although what happened to the sons of Sceva was tragic, the response of the believers is correct. Instead of speaking ill of the sons of Sceva, they recognized the seriousness of their own sinful ways and repented. Likewise, when we hear tragic news today of people in ministry falling/failing, we must have the humility to confess and repent for ourselves.

QT Page Break3

Evening Reflection  

Today we talked about how powerful Jesus is, but also how He humbled himself and submitted Himself to being arrested. Spend some time this evening asking God for either boldness or humility. If you tend to be meek, ask God to fill you with boldness through the Holy Spirit. And if you tend to be bold by nature, ask God to fill you with humility through the Holy Spirit.

September 25, Sunday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotional for today is provided by Doug Tritton.  Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary while working fulltime.  He is married to Cindy and they serve at Symphony Church in Boston.  (Also, they just became parents!  Congratulations!)

Devotional Thought for Today

John 17:24-26

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

25When you receive glory, it’s hard to keep it in. You want to show everyone! When my daughter Audrey was born, I wanted to show her to everyone. I wanted everyone to know about her and share in this new glory I had in my life – the joy of being a father.

Jesus received the ultimate glory – the glory of the Father. But Jesus does not just want to hoard this glory for Himself; He wants others to share in this glory, to experience this joy He had in His relationship with the Father. That’s why He says, “I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me.” Jesus desires His people to be with Him to share in His glory, to share in His joy.

Really, there is no better place to be than with Jesus. His glory overflowing and joy overflowing and love overflowing – it is greater than anything this world has to offer. Why would we want to be anywhere apart from Him? He is eager to share His glory with us so that we may receive the same love that God the Father has for His Son. Let’s remember this desire of Jesus, this longing of His heart for His people to be with Him, to share in His glory and to share in the Father’s love; and let’s draw near to Him and experience this abounding love He is ready to pour out on us.

Prayer

Jesus, thank You for sharing Your glory with me. Thank You for allowing me to partake in the Father’s love. Let me never forget this desire of Yours for me to be with You, so help me to be near to You today. There is no better place to be than with You.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 14

September 24, Saturday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotional for today is provided by Doug Tritton.  Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary while working fulltime.  He is married to Cindy and they serve at Symphony Church in Boston.  (Also, they just became parents!  Congratulations!)

Devotional Thought for Today

John 17:9-11

“I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”

24aWhen I was in college, I went on a summer missions trip to Uganda. While there, there was a time when I was feeling a little down, and I came across one of the notes a prayer partner wrote for me. While reading this note, I felt God tell me that there were people praying for me. This lifted my spirits greatly, and in that moment, I knew that there really was power in prayer. When people pray for you, you are changed. Prayer has power and it does make a difference.

24bLooking at this passage for today, we see that Jesus is praying for us. Isn’t that astonishing?! The Lord of the universe, the One who created everything, prays for us. He says He is praying for those whom the Father has given to Him, meaning those who believe in Him. And what does He ask in His prayer? He prays for us to be kept in the Father’s Name—basically, to be kept in faith.

As I said before, there is power in prayer and it does make a difference in our lives. And how much more when Jesus prays for us! In this passage when Jesus was praying, He knew us, He knew you; He knew who the Father would bring to Him. And He prayed for us to be kept in His name. How amazing is that! When you are feeling weak in your faith or unsure of your salvation, remember that Jesus prayed and is praying for you. He is interceding on your behalf because He wants you to remain in His Name. Let the prayer of Jesus give you strength in times of weakness!

Prayer

Jesus, thank You for being the One who intercedes for me. Without You, I would lose strength, lose heart, but I know You are the One holding me close. Help me to keep abiding in You, to not let go. Give me strength to keep running after You.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 12-13

 

September 23, Friday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotional for today is provided by Doug Tritton.  Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary while working fulltime.  He is married to Cindy and they serve at Symphony Church in Boston.  (Also, they just became parents!  Congratulations!)

Devotional Thought for Today

John 17:1-3

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

23How do I get to heaven? What is the secret to eternal life? What do I need to do!?

For many people seeking eternal life, their focus and attention is all wrong. They simply have a desire to live forever (i.e. not die), so they want to know the secret, the magic elixir. With this mindset, it’s like we are looking for the fountain of youth, thinking it is something we can attain once we know how. But eternal life is not about living forever, nor is it something that we simply can attain on our own.

This passage very clearly states what eternal life actually is. It’s not living forever, though that is a by-product of it, nor is it a fountain of youth that we can simply find—but eternal life is knowing God and His Son Jesus. Eternal life is about having a relationship with God through Jesus. Through this relationship we will live forever with Him, but the focus is not on us living forever; the focus is on being with Christ forever. He is our King who will reign in His Kingdom forever, and when we know Him, we enter into this eternal Kingdom.

Throughout the ages, people have been looking for the secret to everlasting life. Thankfully, the answer is not a secret; rather, it is good news to be shared with all people. Knowing Jesus Christ is eternal life and He wants to be known. Let’s dwell on Him and remember that our relationship with Him is the one thing that shall forever endure! And more than that, let’s make this good news known to all people!

Prayer

Jesus, thank You that You are eternal life. Thank You for making Yourself known to me. Without You, there is only death and despair, but with You, there is life—everlasting life! Help me to keep my focus on You, knowing You are the One constant, the One who will never change—neither in this life or the one to come!

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 11

QT Page Break3

Lunch Break Study 

Read 1 John 2:23-25: No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us—eternal life.

Questions to Consider

  1. What happens when we confess Jesus?
  2. What is the promise that God makes to us?
  3. How can you abide in Jesus?

Notes

  1. When we confess Jesus, we receive the Father, for Jesus is the only way to the Father (see John 14:6). Without knowing Jesus, we cannot know God, because God has made Himself known to us through Jesus. That is why knowing Jesus is necessary!
  2. Eternal life is the promise of God to us. Romans 6:23 tells us that eternal life is the gift of God in Christ. As we read in John earlier, Jesus is eternal life, so Jesus is the gift of God the Father to us, and He is the promise of God. Jesus is the One promised since the very beginning!
  3. Usually abiding means “to live or dwell” in something, so to abide in Jesus is to live in Him, to make your whole life about Him. As you abide in Jesus, you are abiding in eternal life now. People often think of eternal life as something experienced after death, but in reality, we abide in eternal life now as we abide in Jesus.

QT Page Break3

Evening Reflection  

Reflect on Jesus being eternal life, that by having a relationship with Him right now, you are living eternal life right now. Let the peace of that reality give you rest tonight.

September 22, Thursday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotional for today is provided by Doug Tritton.  Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary while working fulltime.  He is married to Cindy and they serve at Symphony Church in Boston.  (Also, they just became parents!  Congratulations!)

Devotional Thought for Today

John 16:33

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

22There will be many, many times in life when we will feel overwhelmed. Right now, with a new baby plus work and seminary, I have been feeling quite overwhelmed at times. So how do we cope when we feel like this? How can we persevere through these feelings of just being in over our heads?

Jesus was one who should have been very overwhelmed. He had a rigorous preaching calendar, traveling from town to town to teach in various synagogues; plus, He was being called on constantly to heal people afflicted with various maladies. And through it all, He stayed focused on His primary mission—to go to the cross and die. Certainly that seems like an overwhelming life!

In this passage, Jesus is speaking to His disciples for the last time the night before the crucifixion. They are worried, and rightly so, since Jesus just told them that He is leaving them! What are they to do? And what are we to do?

Jesus says, “Take heart.” How do we take heart? We know that He overcame the world; this means that we likewise can overcome the world through Him, through His victory. When those feelings of being overwhelmed fill our minds, we can find hope and peace through the One who overcame it all. He overcame so that we can overcome. Let’s trust in Him, our overcoming Savior!

Prayer

Lord, thank You for overcoming the world. I know the battle is already won and You are victorious. Help me to stand in Your victory and not let the world overwhelm me. Let Your strength be given to me so that I may persevere through the tribulations this world throws at me. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 10

QT Page Break3

Lunch Break Study 

Read 1 John 5:4-5: For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Questions to Consider

  1. Who overcomes the world?
  2. Why is faith the victory that overcame the world?
  3. In what ways are you lacking faith that Jesus can overcome the tribulations in your life?

Notes

  1. Those who have been born of God overcome the world. The passage then clarifies this by saying that the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God overcomes the world. So we can see that believing in Jesus causes us to be born of God and thus enables us to overcome the world.
  2. Jesus is the victorious one. Through Jesus’ victory, faith is possible. Thus, faith is the victory that enables us to take part in this overcoming victory that Jesus accomplished. Overcoming the world is only possible through faith in Jesus, the One who overcame for us!
  3. Take time to reflect on this question. Is Jesus your victory in every area of your life, or only some areas? Jesus’ victory is meant to be experienced in every sphere of our lives.

QT Page Break3

Evening Reflection  

Take time to reflect on the victory Jesus accomplished on the cross and through His resurrection. Now reflect on the tribulations you may be facing in your life, the things causing you to feel overwhelmed. Ask Jesus to help you to be victorious in those areas you are feeling overwhelmed.