October 1, Sunday

REPOST  Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on October 1, 2016, is written by Pastor David Son who pastors the Thrive Church in Taipei.  He is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley (BA) and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.). Stay up to date with the church by following them here: https://www.instagram.com/thrivechurchtaipei/

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“A Very False Christ”

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.

There 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. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 19

September 30, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Christine Li, was first posted on August 13, 2016. Christine, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, serves as a deaconess at Remnant Church in Manhattan, New York.  

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“How Some People Plan Their Vacations”

John 6:24 

“So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.”

Recently, I met a visitor to our church, a lady from Belgium in town for the weekend.  As I chatted with her, I learned that she and her husband had specifically planned their vacation to attend Chris Tomlin’s Worship Night concert. Incredulous, I asked whether the concert was worth the trip. She affirmed that the trip was definitely worth it, as the concert was “very encouraging.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never planned any international trip for a mere weekend, let alone to just attend a concert! This couple came to the United States, traveling at least eight hours, to gather with other believers for a 1-2 hour concert. But to them, this was enough encouragement and blessing to warrant all that effort.

After Jesus’ miracle with the fish and loaves, the crowds were eager to see Jesus and more signs and wonders that He would perform. They were so interested to see more of Him that they could not just stay on the mountain and talk about yesterday’s miracles. They had to follow Him across the sea just for another taste of His glory.  While their motives turned out to be somewhat mixed (Jn. 6:26-30), we cannot help but marvel at their efforts to see Jesus.

I felt challenged after conversing with this sister in Christ to re-evaluate how I seek the Lord.  When I approach Him, does it happen conveniently between my habits and in my schedule? And do I wholeheartedly leave my world behind to know Him a little better?

To follow Him means that we will do whatever it takes to learn more about Him, see Him, and know Him. Let’s encourage each other to go meet Jesus with diligent and eager attention. We will never be disappointed when we draw near to Him.

Prayer: Lord, You are worthy of my best efforts. I confess that I do not always approach You with my full attention or a willingness to disrupt my schedule to be with You. Help me be hungrier for You, Lord, so that I will seek You with all my heart and find You. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 17-18

September 29, Friday

REPOST  Today’s AMI Devotional QT, first posted on September 29, 2017, is provided by Pastor Mark Chun through whom God founded the Radiance Christian Church (S.F.) in 2012. Mark, after stepping down as its Lead Pastor in January, is currently on a sabbatical.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“What Scripture Says About Work”

Genesis 2:4-9 (NIV)

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man w from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin j and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

I think it surprises some people that the Bible has so much to say about work and how relevant it is to us today—even after thousands of years.  From the very first pages of Genesis, we are told that God finished His work of creation and then rested on the seventh day. In most religious views of the world, work is something that is beneath the gods and reserved for lowly humans to undertake; but in the Christian worldview, God literally gets His hands dirty and forms man from the very dust.   And you can see from today’s passage that the very first thing that God does for man is to share His love for work with him.  Genesis 2:15 states, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”  What should be readily apparent is that this mandate was given to humanity before the Fall—that is, before the introduction of sin in the world.  This is important for many reasons, but the key theological lesson to be taken from this sequence of events is that work itself is not the curse.  Work, like everything else God created, is good but what has been cursed by sin is how man relates to work.  

Solomon, after a lifetime of striving and toil, comes to realize one of the most important truths in life: that work of all types is a gift from God.  If you can believe this at the bottom of your heart, life becomes less burdensome, more enjoyable, and certainly more fulfilling.  One of the worst feelings in life is the sense that your work doesn’t matter or that you are not being as productive as you can be.  How many of us feel good after wasting a day browsing the internet and putting off work that we should be taking care?  On the flip side, there is a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction in a job well done and knowing that your work is significant.  This is what Tim Keller writes about the importance of work in our lives: Without meaningful work we sense significant inner loss and emptiness.  People who are cut off from work because of physical or other reasons quickly discover how much they need work to thrive emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  

Your ability to work is a gift from God and has the potential to help you flourish.  Unfortunately, many of us are not experiencing these blessings from our work.  Instead of work causing us to thrive, it is actually having the opposite effect, causing emotional damage, physical exhaustion, and spiritual stagnation.  Although all of us know the importance of work, this fact is actually more of a burden than a blessing, and for some, a major source of unhappiness.  So if work is a gift from God, why is it also a source of so much frustration?  It comes down to the fact that we often can have a sinful relationship with work.  We can fall into the trap of deriving our identity from our jobs or becoming workaholics, or conversely—becoming lazy.  Whatever the case may be, the solution to the problem of work is given to us by the apostle Paul in Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not human masters…”   

Prayer: Father, we thank You for the gift of work.  Help us to have the appropriate perspective regarding our jobs and careers, and that it would not become an ultimate priority but something we do for Your glory.  We confess that it is all too easy to simply work for ourselves or for our employers, forgetting that all our efforts should be directed towards the One who gave us the opportunity and the ability to accomplish fulfilling work. Today, at our places of work, may we be a good testimony of Your goodness by the way we engage with those around us.  Amen.  

Bible Reading for Today:  Joshua 16

Lunch Break Study

Read Colossians 3:22-4:1 (NIV): Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. 4:1Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven. 

Questions to Consider

  1. Is this passage advocating slavery or unjust employment practices?
  2. How should Christians relate to their employers?
  3. If you are a Christian employer, how should you relate to your workers?   


  1. This passage has often been used improperly to justify the practice of chattel slavery.  However, this form of forced slavery was not what Paul was alluding to.  In the Ancient Middle East, many people became indentured servants to pay back debt or deal with other financial hardships.  These verses were never meant to promote a stoic acceptance of unfair practices in the workplace.    
  2. This passage gives us great insight in terms of the attitude that we should have towards our employers.  We should work diligently, even when we are not under direct supervision and be sincere towards them.  In the end, a proper work ethic is derived from our reverence for God and the knowledge that we will be rewarded beyond our earthly paychecks if we work as unto the Lord.      
  3. I have sometimes witnessed Christians being poor managers, bosses, and employers.  This is a sinful waste of a wonderful opportunity to influence those whom God has entrusted into your care.  We are to treat our employees with equity, care, and compassion, because this is the way that our Master in heaven treats us.  

Evening Reflection 

It is so easy to dismiss our work as being insignificant.  When I was working in the corporate world, it was easy to say things like “another day, another dollar.”  As harmless as this may seem, it revealed a certain attitude that I had in my heart towards my job.  In the end, this showed a very low view of the work and opportunity that God had given me.  What is your attitude towards your job and your employer?   Are you able to rest at the end of the week, knowing that you have worked with all your heart?    

September 28, Thursday 

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on September 28, 2017, is provided by Pastor David Kwon who leads Journey Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.  David is a graduate of Drexel University (B.S.) and Columbia International University (M.Div.).

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The God Who Remembers”

Genesis 8:1

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark.

A few months ago, I read in the news about a family and their friends who went for a fun filled day at a local amusement park.  After experiencing many thrilling rides and enjoying the company of other friends and children, one of the parents realized that they had forgotten their child somewhere in the park!  After a frantic search, the young boy was found safely at the security office enjoying himself to ice cream and cotton candy.  I hope that as a parent that never happens in my life because one of the most despairing feelings is being forgotten.  

In today’s passage, we are told, “God remembered Noah and all the animals that were in the ark.” When Moses writes of the Lord “remembering,” he does not mean that God forgot about Noah. Wherever Scripture uses the phrase God remembered, it is the sense of God taking action on His promises. When God was about to destroy the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, He “remembered Abraham” and spared Lot on his behalf (Gen. 19:29).   When God remembers Noah in the ark, it points to God’s faithfulness. From our point of view, it may seem like God forgot. Perhaps He has been silent for a long while; but He will act on our behalf in His time. He remembers; He is faithful to those who are His.

What does this mean for us?  First, we can have hope that God is faithful to His promises.  His love is constant, His forgiveness is unconditional; He is a Father who provides for us, and He is strong and mighty to save.  These are just a few of the promises made in Scripture that the Lord has declared to us.  Second, we are never forgotten.  The Cross reminds us that we are eternally His and even though He may seem silent in moments of our lives, He has never forgotten about us; it should encourage us that He is constantly working for our good.  

Take sometime this morning and remember the unwavering promises of God for your life.  Have hope and be encouraged that He stays the same – yesterday, today and forevermore.  

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 15

Lunch Break Study

Read Luke 19:1-10: He entered Jericho and was passing through.2 And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.3 And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature.4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way.5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”6 So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.7 And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”8 And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What do we see about Zacchaeus?
  2. Why do you think Zacchaeus changed so dramatically?
  3. What do we learn about Jesus?


  1. We see that Zacchaeus was quite wealthy, but he was searching for something more or something entirely different.  That is the reason why he was so determined to see Jesus and what He really offered.
  2. He realized that Jesus was the Savior and that He offered abundant life.  Zacchaeus received Jesus joyfully and repented of his sin which resulted him giving away half of his goods to the poor.  His life was transformed which is what happens when we encounter the risen Jesus.
  3. The Lord knew Zacchaeus and called him by name.  In the midst of a large crowd He knew what Zacchaeus needed.  That is the same for us today.

Evening Reflection

Spend some time remembering the promises of God.    Thank Jesus for his kindness and faithfulness in your life today.  

September 27, Wednesday

Devotional Thought for This Morning 

“Seeing Gray in a World of Black & White,” or is it “Seeing Black & White in a Gray World”?

Romans 14:5-8a, 10, 12 (ESV)

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. . ..

10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. . .. 12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

I first saw the image of the infamous duck/rabbit in a book touting the merits of postmodernism, a worldview that sees the world as ambiguous, as shades of gray; unsurprisingly, the book saw the picture as not a duck or rabbit but both.  The other image shows a world of black and white, colors that represent an unambiguous world with absolute objective truths and values where things often cannot be true simultaneously.  One or the other must be true or false. 

How do you see the world?  Most of us reading this blog see the world as black and white. You may protest, but if your answer to “Is Jesus the only way to salvation?” is “yes” (Acts 4:12; Jn. 14:6), then you do.  Nonetheless, today’s passage indicates that not all issues are that clear.  These are called “disputable” matters and believers are instructed to treat two or more opposing positions as equally rational. In the church in Rome, the two disputable matters were, first, whether to eat kosher (the traditional Jews said “no” while the liberated ones said “yes”), and second, whether to observe certain Jewish holy days.  Paul then reminds the believers, each having formed a position based on his or her own conviction, not to belittle or despise those with whom they disagree; ultimately, it is God who will judge them all and the views they hold.

What about social issues?  While the scriptural positions on matters such as abortion (Ps. 139:13-4) and homosexuality (Rom. 1:26-7; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10) may seem quite clear, the recent election highlighted several social issues that are not clearly delineated in Scripture.  Two election issues that riled up many Americans were President-elect Donald Trump’s stances on “illegal immigration” and the inflow of Muslim refugees.  Certainly, dismissing Trump’s generalization that “illegal immigrants are killing thousands of people” is easy, but is it xenophobic to oppose illegal immigration itself?  It is good that we understand Muslim Americans who feel threatened by Trump’s proposal to create a Muslim registry, but is it Islamophobic to desire better security measures to discourage some Muslims in the US from becoming violently radicalized and keeping the radicalized ones from entering America?  

How should Christians think concerning these matters?  Should we care?  Yes, of course, for there are over 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the US, half of whom come from Mexico; there are over 2.6 million Muslims in the States (2010) whose population is expected to more than double by 2030. 

While illegal immigration and keeping radicalized Muslim refugees from entering the US may be a law and order matter to politicians, we must also bring our hearts into such issues—that is to say that understanding intellectual as well as emotional matters in such controversies are both important.  Having lived in Mexico for a decade and preached in several Hispanic churches in America, I have friends in Mexico who were deported, losing everything in the process; I’ve shared meals with illegal immigrants in the States who live in constant fear; I even stayed an entire week with a lonesome family in Mexico without a household father because he had long left home in search of a job in America.  As for Muslims, I have travelled to several Islamic countries multiple times, which has led me to sometimes disagree with those who say Muslims are particularly more violent.  All I saw were regular people busy making a living, presumably in order to put food on the table for their kids.

As we explore these and other matters as part of January devotionals, I hope you give some serious thought and prayer to such things and perhaps even begin a dialogue with unauthorized immigrants and Muslims in your neighborhood.   The world is changing; thus, it’s imperative that we respond biblically and compassionately—armed with God’s eternal truth, led by the Spirit, and undergirded by the love of Christ. 

Prayer: Father, as our nation is going through many tumultuous changes, please help us, the believers, to be clear minded and not “think” only emotionally.  Please help us to be wise and cogent when it comes to thinking about social issues.  And help us to love and respect those with whom we disagree.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 14

Lunch Break Study

Read John 16:33 (ESV):“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.”

Mt. 10:34: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Heb. 11:6a: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists.”

Ps. 14:1a: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”

1 Cor. 13:9-10: “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” (I agree with John MacArthur who sees “the perfect” as heaven.)

Questions to Consider

1. Which pair of the above passages is a matter of both/and, that is, statements which appear to be contradictory but are to be accepted as equally true? 

2. Which pair of the above passages is a matter of either/or, that is, if one is true, then its opposite is necessarily false?

3. Based on 1 Cor. 13:9-10, should we believe that our own view is always right while those of others are not?


1. Both John 16:33 that says in Jesus we may have peace (since his atoning death appeased God’s wrath aimed at sinners—Rom. 5:1), and Matthew 10:34 that says Jesus came to gives us a sword  (i.e., “God opposes the proud”—James 4:6), are to be accepted as equally valid. 

2. While Hebrews 11:6 that says, “God exists” is to be accepted, its opposite, “There is no God,” is to be rejected as invalid.  Note that the more essential an issue, the Scriptures pronounce that a matter of either/or.

3. We must realize that while living on earth, our knowledge is limited by human finiteness and sinfulness.  We know some things but not everything, and what we think we know is not always accurate or complete.  Stay humble.

Evening Reflection

Before turning in the night, ask God for a compassionate heart toward those who live in fear (and not just illegal immigrants or Muslims).  If you are that person, remember that “perfect love drives out fear” (1 Jn. 4:18) and God’s love for you is perfect.

Ask God for wisdom to really grapple with these disputable social issues.  Make a request to the Lord for a right attitude that does not unfairly judge those with whom you disagree over disputable matters.  Remember what the apostle Paul says under the Spirit’s inspiration: “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Rom. 15:7).

September 26, Tuesday

REPOST  Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on September 26, 2017, is provided by Hee Jung Lee.  Hee Jung, a graduate of Biblical Theological Seminary, serves at Catalyst Agape Church (New Jersey) along with her husband Pastor Sam Lee. They have four beautiful daughters. 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Just a glimpse”

Matthew 5:8 

Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.

Jonah 1:1

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. …

Very recently, my family—along with many friends— watched a play called “Jonah,” at Sight and Sound Theater in Pennsylvania. Now Jonah is not necessarily a Bible figure that I personally admired, because he did not come across as one who was after God’s heart, like David, Daniel, and Nehemiah. However, as I watched the play, I began to relate with this character more than I had when reading through the book of Jonah. 

In the play, the story goes that Jonah had not heard from the Lord in 17 years. He was a prophet of that time, which means that God’s people relied on him as a messenger of God—to be God’s voice for them. To their dismay, the Lord had not given him a word for a long period. God was silent. So, Jonah in his earnest desire to hear from the Lord seeks Him every day, devoting himself to God in his room. Then one day, the moment came when, finally, the Lord speaks to Jonah. In his initial moment of encounter with the Lord (as highlighted in the play), he is ecstatic beyond words and marvelously delighted (although he eventually realizes what God is asking of him to do). 

In a similar way, we should live in such singular pursuit of God, longing to experience and see God. Just one glimpse of God’s glory or one word from Him is like a refreshing drop of water to a thirsty soul. It refreshes life in us and revives us to purposefulness; it deeply satisfies, taking away restlessness and discontentment. Someone asked me recently at a meeting if I am always consumed with wanting an encounter with God; and if I am honest with myself, the answer is probably yes! This is not because I believe that God is far, by any means. I know that His very Spirit lives in me, but there is an unrelenting hunger and cry to have the eyes to see God. There should be a cry in our souls that we will be purified in order that all of Christ will shine and be so evident. This is the true blessedness of life: to have the purity of heart to see God ever so present and actively engaging among us. 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, how lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord! I love Your presence and You are everything that my soul really needs. Thank You for loving me so richly. Please purify every part of me in order that Christ might shine through me, bringing myself and others into deeper encounters with You. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 13

Lunch Break Study

Read John 1:14: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

Mark 4:18: And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

Questions to consider

1. Recall the last moments that you encountered God through His Word, prayer, presence, or experience.

2. What are some things in your heart that may be keeping you from being able to see God?

3. What are the things and desires that has been consuming you lately?


1. Every relationship has a history that is shared, though some may be longer than others. It is helpful to call to mind key moments that you have shared with the Lord as it enriches your relationship. 

2.. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any impurities in your heart that prevent you from seeing God (i.e., unbelief, unforgiveness, cynicism, etc.), and ask Him to cleanse you. 

3. If God is not on the forefront of our longings, then this means that there are competing things. Ask the Lord to show you the things that may be competing for your passion and heart. Read Matthew 22:37.

Evening Reflection

This morning, we began by reflecting on desiring purity of heart in order to see more of God in our lives. In the light of this sharing, how were you able to see God today?

September 25, Monday

REPOST  Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provide by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on April 3, 2017.  Peter is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.). 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Preaching the Gospel…to Yourself”

1 Cor. 15:1-2

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Are you a snoozer, or are you the type of person who gets up at the first beep of your alarm? And once you’re finally out of bed, what is your morning routine? Yes, we groom ourselves, brush our teeth, change our clothes, etc., but besides those routines, what are the thoughts that fill your mind each morning? Do you wake up with a sense of gratitude for another new day? Or do you find yourself hoping for the day to pass before it has even begun? 

This morning, I woke up knowing that I had tons of things to take care of: get the kids ready for school, prepare for meetings, reply to emails, browse through the news and current events, set appointments to meet with people, just to name a few. When it comes to my thought-life, that seems to me my morning routine. Each morning, it’s as though we have a “to-do-list” app in our minds that just opens up, reminding us of everything that needs to get done for that day. Some days, it can be overwhelming for many of us. 

But what if each day began with the reminder that you are loved by God, fully forgiven through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Spirit of God so that you live out the purposes of God each new day? What if your day began with the reminder that you are part of a family of God that cares for you? What if every morning you were reminded that God invites you to His Kingdom works and that your life is full of meaning? What if there was a reminder that no matter what you might face today, you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus? 

Paul reminds the Corinthian church of the “good news” that he had preached time and time again. It’s the gospel that saved them, and because it was so easy to forget it, he reminds them again. 

A popular pastor once admitted that he preaches the gospel to himself everyday. Not a day passes where he does not “remind” himself of the good news of Jesus Christ. Take a few moments now to preach this good news to yourself. 

Paul Tripp said, “No one is more influential in your life than you are. Because no one talks to you more than you do.” You’re probably going to say a lot of things to yourself today. Let’s make one of those things you say to yourself today be a reminder of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Prayer: Lord, Your gospel has saved me from death into life. Thank You for Your sacrifice and Your love for me. Continue to remind me that I do not live my life alone nor aimlessly. Thank You for a new life, a new purpose, a new family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 12

Lunch Break Study  

Read Matt 25:1-13 (NIV): At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’  7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the significance of the bridegroom returning at midnight in this parable? 
  2. In your own words, what does it mean to “keep watch” for Christ? 
  3. As each new day comes and goes, do you find yourself becoming more like the wise virgin who is ready or more like the foolish virgin?  


  1. No one knows the moment when the Lord is coming. There is a need of being prepared at all times for the coming of the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
  2. In light of the authority of Jesus and the truth of His Word, we need to ask ourselves, “Am I ready for His return?” Even if Jesus doesn’t return today, we may take our last breath in the coming hours. We must, therefore, be prepared to meet God. 
  3. Personal response.

Evening Reflection

What can you do tomorrow morning as you awake to remind yourself of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Make a concrete plan, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you as you wake up tomorrow morning to a new day. 

September 24, Sunday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on July 31, 2016, is provided by Pastor Yohan Lee.  He is a friend of AMI who in the past has served as a staff at several AMI churches. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“A Lesson About Power and Authority I Learned as a Parent”

John 4:46-54

So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

In my parenting career, I have tried just about every tactic to get my children to listen to me:  I have asked nicely; I have yelled; I have pleaded; I have threatened; I have bribed; I have punished; I have over-punished; I have shown grace; I have tried time-out; I have tried Korean time-out; I have spanked; I have counted 1-2-3; I have taken away privileges; I have banished them to rooms; I have banished them early to bed—the list goes on and on.  And yet I find myself constantly having to repeat myself.  It has gotten so bad that I find myself repeating even to my wife, simply because I am so used to having to say things multiple times before they are carried out: “Honey, could you get me some water?  I would really like some water, please.”  You know what I lack?  I lack authority in my household.  When I speak, no one trembles in fear of my power or instinctively obey because they know that I am correct and righteous.  

Christian theologians will often describe the difference between power and authority as such: Power is the ability to influence or control people, outcomes, or events; whereas, authority is the recognition of that power by others.  Authority needs power to back it; and without power, authority can be empty.  However, without authority, a powerful person becomes a bully.  In my household, I am undoubtedly more powerful than all of my children—meaning, that I can, by brute force, make them do whatever I wish.  However, until they see that I love them and know better than they, they will never recognize my authority and willingly do what I wish.  

As a person with little recognized authority, I appreciate both the power and the authority of Christ, and how He wields both.  In today’s passage, we see that Jesus had the power to heal the official’s son from distance, as He was about a day’s travel away.  Jesus speaks and sickness flees.  In other passages in the Bible, we see that nature and even demons obey His word.  Jesus is powerful, and all things in creation recognize His authority—all things, except people.  For whatever reason, God has given His people the option to recognize and submit to His authority or not to submit.  Christ is not going to be “a spiritual bully.” We have to follow Him willingly.  I don’t know how that thought makes you feel, but I hope that this day, you will choose to live under His power and authority and submit to Him.  

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know that You hold all things in Your hand.  You say that heaven is Your throne and the earth is Your footstool; there is no place that can contain Your greatness.  Yet You choose to live in the hearts of Your people.  Help me to follow You, not because I am powerless against You, but because I see You are good and know all things.  Help me to fully surrender to You.  Amen.

Bible Reading for TodayJoshua 11 

September 23, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Joanna Tzen, was first posted on August 6, 2016.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Our Worries”

John 6:5-9

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” 

This passage of Jesus feeding the five thousand is familiar to many of us, which is also chronicled in Matthew 14 and Mark 6. Matthew 14:14 tells us that Jesus had compassion for the crowd, but Mark 6:34 adds that it was because they were like sheep without a shepherd. From reading this chapter (John 10), we can see how the sheep responded to the teachings of the Good Shepherd. As a result of His compassion, Jesus stayed to teach the crowds, but at the end of a long day, He also wanted to provide for their physical needs. When He asks Philip to provide, Philip is incredulous and immediately calculates the cost—even though he knows Jesus is with him and is able to work miracles. However, a small boy pipes up that he has food, even though it can maybe feed only one small family.

I am the sort of person who worries often and calculates; so I can relate with Philip when he looks at the circumstances or mountains more than the One who moves the mountains (Matt. 17:20). It is not that counting the cost is bad, as Jesus does urge us to count the cost of being disciples (Luke 14:25-33). However, when we offer what we have, like the young boy did, we trust with a child-like dependence and faith that Jesus can make the impossible possible.

If you are like me and Philip, maybe you can ask the Lord to help you see which mountains He wants you to depend on Him to move. If you know a Philip, maybe you can pray and encourage that person to have a child-like faith and know that Jesus can be trusted.

Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for my lack of faith, and help me to see how You are trustworthy. As today is a new day, filled with new mercies (Lam. 3:22-23), I pray that Your Holy Spirit will enable me to better remember Your character and promises.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 9-10

September 22, Friday

REPOST  Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on December 30, 2016, is provided by Pastor Joshua Kim. Joshua, a graduate of Emory University, Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Talbot Theological Seminary (Th.M.), is the Lead Pastor of Upper Room Seattle church.  

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“You Thought Jude was Talking About False Teachers?”

Jude 12-13, 16

These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever… 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

This passage describes the character of these false teachers who have infiltrated the church: “shepherds feeding themselves,” “following their own sinful desires,” and even “showing favoritism to gain advantage”—revealing how they are driven by self-promotion and benefit. Such people lack substance and are useless to the community. They are ungrateful people, grumbling and not content with what they have been given.  The church is called to contend on behalf of the faith against such people. 

But in reality, this description can sometimes describe us. How many times have we grumbled because we thought that we deserved something we can’t have?  How can we have so much yet feel so discontented about what we don’t have? In fact, there is a picture on the internet that comes around every Thanksgiving that reads: 

I think what is incredible about the Scripture here is that it does two things with one passage: In one sense, the passage warns us of why these false teachers must be addressed, revealing the true nature of these bad characters, thus helping the church to recognize them for who they truly are. But at the same time, this passage puts our grumbling, our discontentment, our lack of thanksgiving, our using of other people for our own benefit into perspective. It shows us how these things in our hearts reveal the true evil intent of our character.

Yes, we are called to contend for the faith and to guard and fight for the purity of the church. But we also must take the words of Jesus Christ seriously: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8.7)—it is both/and. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your word that is indeed sharper than a double-edged sword. We thank You that through the power of the Holy Spirit, You correct our often skewed perspectives, which ultimately shows our wrong view of You. We want to yield to Your truth carefully so that we do not unnecessarily harm others or harm ourselves in the process. Teach us Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 8

Lunch Break Study  

Read Numbers 16:1-11 (This is one of the accounts that Jude refers to in this passage): Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent[a] 2 and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. 3 They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?” 4 When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. 5 Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. 6 You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers 7 and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!”8 Moses also said to Korah, “Now listen, you Levites! 9 Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? 10 He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too. 11 It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?”

Questions to Consider

  1. Take a moment to summarize what’s going on in the passage. Why was Korah, Dathan, and Abiram so upset with Moses and Aaron?
  2. What do we learn about the reality of our grumbling and complaining?
  3. Take a moment to read verses 31-35. How serious does God take this offense? How is God wanting to address your heart at this moment?


  1. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rise up with 250 men amongst the people to rebel against Moses and Aaron. Korah grumbles at the fact that Moses is in a position of power over the congregation. Korah, himself being a Levite, had special duties (see v. 9-10) and yet didn’t see how his own calling was special as well. 
  2. In v. 11, we learn that our complaints and grumblings are ultimately directed towards God who is in control of all things.
  3. Personal response. Note the severity of God’s response to Korah—meaning, God takes our grumbling and complaining very seriously.

Evening Reflection

As you have reflected on how often we grumble and are discontented, I pray that it has led you to recognize that we are actually directing these complaints against God. Let us be reminded of all the ways that God has provided for us and has orchestrated our life. What are some of these things that you are grateful for? Take a moment to jot down these things, and pray a prayer of thanksgiving over them.