February 20, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals for February 20-21 (new) are provided by Emerson Lin.  Emerson and his wife Annie (and their son) are serving as AMI missionaries in E. Asia.   

 

Devotional Thought for this Morning

“Promises Have Power”

Acts 1:6-11

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

A promise is such an interesting concept, because from an objective point of view, it is a group of words. Yet, when someone promises us something, we cling onto it with hope and excitement. When, as kids, our parents promised to buy us a toy on our birthday, or when our boss promises a promotion next year, we hold onto those words with great expectation. 

In this passage, Luke begins his second book with Jesus’ last moments with His disciples. Jesus had just spent 40 days with His disciples, speaking about the Kingdom of God, but because He knew at that very moment He was going to be taken away, He comforts His disciples with a promise of the Holy Spirit. With these words, the disciples return to Jerusalem waiting in great expectation. We learn in Acts 2 that they receive the Holy Spirit and were then empowered to share the gospel.

Like the disciples, we, as believers, all have the Holy Spirit living in us. It is not just something that exists in us, but Jesus promises us that the Holy Spirit comes with power to help us in our time of need. Here are some promises that Jesus tells us about the Holy Spirit:

  • The Holy Spirit is our Helper: “He will teach us all things and bring to your remembrance all that Jesus has said to us.” Whenever we are discouraged and a Bible verse pops in our mind or our friend comforts us, that is the Holy Spirit’s work! (John 14:16 & 26)
  • The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Truth, who makes it clear for us that Jesus is Lord. Without the Holy Spirit, we cannot know that Jesus is the Son of God (John 14:17).
  • The Holy Spirit provides us power to become a witness to our co-workers, friends, and family members. This power includes spiritual gifts such as healing, words of encouragement, words of knowledge, etc. This power is for the purposes of sharing the gospel (Act 1:8).

All of us are in different seasons of life: Some of us may need help, as we are struggling with our faith, or we may need help in sharing the gospel to loved ones. Whatever the circumstances, Jesus is reminding us that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us—He is there to help us and all we need to do is ask Him. 

What do you need help in? This morning, take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to be your Helper in this area. Let’s ask with faith and great expectation because Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will help us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the promises in the Bible. There are times where I struggle with believing them. However, help me to hope in them again and start by believing in the promise of the Holy Spirit. Right now, I’m struggling with (____).  Can you please help me? Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 19


Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 8:5-11: Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are some the outcomes of having our minds set on the Spirit (v. 6 and 8)?
  2. Can those who live in the realm of the flesh submit to God’s laws (v. 7)?
  3.  In your life, what are some ways you can be more mindful of the Spirit?

Notes

  1. To have our “mind set on” doesn’t simply mean think about the Spirit, but it means to live in the same lifestyle as the Spirit. When we live in accordance with the Spirit, we have life and peace. In addition, having our minds set on the Spirit is the only way to please God.
  2. If you do not have the Holy Spirit, you cannot submit to God’s law nor do you have the desire to follow them.
  3. Personal Reflection.

Evening Reflection

In John 14:16, Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will be our Helper. Oftentimes, when situations are difficult, we try to do things our own way. While it is not wrong to take action, we may neglect the Holy Spirit. This evening, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to be our help in our difficult situation.

February 19, Wednesday

Today’s AMI QT blog, originally posted on May 1, 2013, is written by Pastor Matt Ro, who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta.  

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Never Forgetting, Always Rejoicing”

Psalm 45:8-9 (ESV)

Your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; 9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Introduction: How often we forget—amid all the hustle and bustle of modern life—that our ultimate future is not to be found in this age but the age to come.  Today’s message will help us to turn our attention to the eternal glory that waits for us in the heavenlies. 

Psalm 45 is a Messianic wedding song and vv. 8-9 addresses the groom (Jesus) in the wedding.  We see a series of preparations. First, the groom has prepared himself with robes of “fragrant myrrh, aloes, and cassia,” which are also burial spices according to John 19:39 40:  

“Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.”  So then, what does it mean that the same spices are present at the wedding as well as at the burial?  The royal wedding is made possible by the way of death; somehow out of death comes this fragrant incense that makes the scene of the wedding so glorious. 

We also get a look at the place that has been prepared: “From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad”: The words bring about an imagery of glory and majesty beyond description.  There is a sense in which this place is being prepared for us now in heaven (John 14:2). The palace will be filled with music and we will be joined by a company of rejoicing saints.

And we also catch a glimpse of the bride that is prepared: “At your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.” The Lord is preparing the church for a shared life together.  He clothes us in righteous gold dress. We, the bride, are ready to join him.  The blessings and privileges of Christ are given to us. This psalm reminds us of the joy that comes from our union with Christ. 

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for the joy of being united to You.  Thank You for the riches that we receive at the cost of Your Son’s sacrifice.  Help me to live as one who is rich in Christ. To know the comfort, joy, and peace that comes from being in Christ.  I look forward to that day that the apostle John speaks about in Revelation 1:7 when he says, Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him.  Even so. Amen.” 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 18


Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 1:1-2 (ESV): Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why does Paul have reason to rejoice?
  2. Why does the church have reason to rejoice?
  3. How can our lives be characterized by God’s gifts of grace and peace?

Notes

  1. Paul calls himself “an apostle . . . by the will of God.”  Apostles were ones who were sent with a message and it was deeply etched into Paul’s identity.  Remember what Paul set out to do in Damascus? He was the arch enemy of Christians. Remember that he had authority to persecute Christians. But now, Paul is rejoicing not only because  he was given God’s abundant grace but he was set apart by God as an Apostle as well. Paul celebrates that his right standing before God and his apostleship came completely by the will of God, not based on credentials.
  2. The church has reason to rejoice because God has given us a great privilege through Jesus Christ.  What Paul has in mind when he says “faithful in Christ Jesus” is that these believers were steadfast in exercising their faith; in other words, their faith was very much alive and active in the present. Ask yourself, “Am I currently exercising faith in the work of Christ alone on my behalf?”  The saints in Paul’s mind were those who were consistent in their Christian walk.  They were not “here today and gone tomorrow,” but could be counted upon, and relied upon for the long haul.  
  3. We see Paul’s greeting to these believers: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  The two great heritages of the Christian are grace and peace, which God desires to extend to His children.

By grace the Lord means unmerited favor that you do not deserve.  You receive this favor to which you have no right to in any way. By grace the Lord means that He desires the Church to receive favor to which they are completely unworthy to receive. God also desires to give His Church peace. God’s peace is not simply an end to hostility but showing love toward His former enemies in Christ. Because we are recipients of grace and peace, we must extend those virtues to others.  Is there someone that you are having a difficult time with? Apply the Golden Rule to your life (Do unto others as God has done unto you).


Evening Reflection

Think about the many reasons you have to rejoice.  Often, we can allow circumstances to dictate our emotions.  Spend some time journaling why we have reasons to rejoice in Christ and thanking God for His many blessings.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for these truths that have changed the history of the world. Help me to rejoice in, and to lay hold of Your provision, and to be a responsive instrument in Your hand.  Thank You for the joy that we can have in our calling as workers and children of God.

February 18, Tuesday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI, who has served as a staff at several AMI churches in the past.  He and his wife Mandie have four adorable children: Simon, Maggie, Jonathan and Abigail. 

 

Devotional Thought for this Morning

“Not Only Pray Together but to Play as Well”

Psalm 133:1-3

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

The other night, when my children should have been in bed, I heard them upstairs giggling and goofing around, so I sent my wife to up to put an end to the “monkey business.”  About five minutes later, she comes down and tells me that the kids were using crayons and the light from a candle to make shadow puppets against a wall. It was not a big deal, but while playing they got some color on the wall.  A little irritated, I asked my wife why she hadn’t punished them for marking up the wall. Her response: “Those rare moments when they are playing well together; you just have to enjoy them when they come.” So true.  

If you have more than one child, you probably have a little more insight into why the Lord finds it “good and pleasant” when His children live together in unity.  That being said, you don’t need to have children to understand the importance of unity within the church. In John 13:34-35, Christ tells us that this world will know that we are His disciples by the way we love one another.   Did you ever think that the manner in which you treat others in the church could also be a powerful witness for Christ to an unbelieving world? Maybe this is because the world is also looking for a place where they are loved and accepted despite their sinfulness?  

The Psalmist also uses the analogies of anointing oil and the blessings of dew that would water the earth to describe unity of God’s people.  While the meaning of these analogies may be ambiguous, have you ever considered that anointing and blessings can come from a united body, or is the concept too impossible to be realized?  

This morning, pray about your relationships within the church.  I am sure you have good friendships, but if there are strained relationships, is there something you can do to make them right?  Lastly, consider how many people you are lukewarm about; remember unity in Christ is not indifference.

Prayer: Lord, help us not only to pray together but play as well, that is, to have a genuine fellowship with one another in the spirt of unity and love.  May such unity begin at home, then to church as well as to the place we work or study. May we remember our call to follow the great unifier between God and man: The Lord Jesus Christ. Aman.   

Bible Reading for Today:  Isaiah 17


Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Corinthians 12:15-25: Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why is diversity important to the church?
  2. Why is pride and division so ridiculous?
  3. Why did God arrange the body as he did?

Notes

  1. Just as each part of the body has a special and unique purpose and function (foot, hand, ear, eye, etc.), each person in the body of Christ has a unique skill set and gifting that enables the church to function.  Not one part of the body or person is complete in and of himself; but together, the body with its diverse blend of skills and giftings, can become a complete church.
  2. Paul’s illustration is apt because it shows how ridiculous it would be for the head to say to the feet or hands, “I don’t know you.”  But sometimes, isn’t it true that many of us act like “lone rangers”? We don’t ask others for help when we need it, wisdom when we lack it, or admonishment when we need it. 
  3. God wants us to have equal concern for each other, suffering when one suffers, and rejoicing when one rejoices (12:25-26).  So in the body of Christ, there should be no rivalry or jealousy.  

Evening Reflection

What are some of the unique ways that God has gifted you?  How can you use your gifts to edify the body? Are you jealous or upset with someone in the church?  What steps will you take to reach unity and love? Are you ready to receive the anointing and blessing that come when brothers are united?

February 17, Monday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is prepared by Pastor Ryun Chang who is the AMI’s Teaching Pastor.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“A Vulnerable God”

Psalms 16:4b

“The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods.”

Unlike how sex outside the marriage is typically portrayed on television shows, no sin devastates a married person more than marital infidelity.  It deeply hurts the person who has been betrayed. 

Ironically, some Old Testament prophets used the imagery of adultery to depict idolatry, or, as the psalmist says, “running after other gods.”  Contrary to some who think that the imagery of Christ as the husband of his church (Eph. 5:23) is a new theological concept, God the Father, in the Old Testament, already depicted Himself as the husband to the Israelites, for Jeremiah 3:14 says, Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband.”  What is so unbelievable about this is how the God of universe made Himself so vulnerable to show that our unfaithfulness hurt Him.  Once, He said to the unfaithful Israel, “You adulterous wife!  You prefer strangers to your own husband” (Ez. 16:32). Through the prophet Hosea whose wife was unfaithful to him, God declared, “I will no longer show love to the house of Israel” (Hosea 1:6a).

In a marriage, when things get in the way of truly loving each other (e.g., rarely spending time together, not resolving previous arguments, hurtful comments, etc.), something unhealthy, even sinful—including adultery—may occur.  It’s no different in our relationships with God.  A prolonged time away from spending time with God (e.g., corporate worship, praying and reading God’s word at home) makes yielding to next temptations that much easier.  And when we keep allowing ourselves to fall into temptations—which constitutes sin and all sins, in some sense, are idolatry (i.e., choosing something or someone other than God)—our sorrows will increase and it grieves God as well (Gn. 6:6). 

Are you presently not walking with God the way you should?  Don’t make additional commitments to God (as in, “Lord, from now on I will daily pray one hour and read five chapters of the Bible), at least not at first. Instead, go somewhere quiet and meditate on a vulnerable God who, after saying, “I will no longer show love,” says in the next breath, “Yet I will show love” (Hosea 1:7).  Of course, God’s promise to renew His love for the wayward Israelites was fulfilled when His Son willingly died on the cross to pay for the penalty of our sins. It is in Christ God’s best for us is clearly articulated.  Yes, it’s truly amazing how the God of this universe would make Himself so vulnerable to express His love for us. 

So, start the renewing of your walk with God with an understanding of the Father’s infinite love for you.  Out of that deeper understanding of God’s love, repent, pray and read His word.

Prayer: God, I confess that I’ve gone after other lovers, maybe for an hour, or sometimes weeks at a time.  Instead of spending time with You in prayer and Your word, I used that time to pursue other things; forgive me. Help me to remember the sacrifice of Your Son, to never take Your love for granted.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 16


Lunch Break Study

Read Colossians 3:5 (ESV): Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Haggai 1:5-11: Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes. 7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. 9 You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.”

Questions to Consider

  1. Idolatry is defined as greed because that’s why Israel worshiped the rain god Baal and the fertility godAshtoreth.  So why did Israel run after other gods (Joel 2:19)?
  2. What was another cause that led Israel to seek other lovers, that is, more powerful nations2 (2 Chr. 16:1-10)?
  3. What will be the outcome of a life in which God is neglected while pursuing after other things (Hag. 1:5-11; Eccl. 6:2-3)?

Notes

  1. Once the Israelites settled in the Promised Land, they had to till the land to make a living.  In time, they learned from the Canaanites, who were more experienced farmers, that to ensure a good harvest, they needed to placate the local gods who controlled the climate (Baal) and fertility (Ashtoreth, also known as god of love and war).  Even though God promised to satisfy them, the Israelites worshiped other gods because they wanted more than God’s provision, which is greed.
  2. When Israel, while under attack, sought to form alliances with neighboring pagan nations, God considered that as “marital unfaithfulness.”  Just as God wanted Israel to depend on Him for everything at all times, He wants us to lean on Him, in prayer and in doing the right things.
  3. First, the inability to enjoy what we have; second, what we bring home is blown away by unexpected expenses.

Evening Reflection

How the time goes so fast; it’s already time for bed.  How was your relationship with the LORD today? Did you enjoy Him?

February 16, Sunday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on June 21, 2013, is written by Pastor Young Kim who leads Grace Covenant Church in Philadelphia.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“We Win!”

Proverbs 21:30, 31 (NIV 1984)

“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”

Who will win at the end? Remember, we win because Jesus has won; we cannot lose because Jesus has defeated Satan, death and sin.  He rescued us to Himself. We really need to see the reality of what the Bible declares; that we stand in the plane of victory and that is why we can be on the road of victory.  We have entered a deadly war and there will be many difficulties we must overcome. The enemy is fierce, but we are on the right side with Christ.  

The question we need to ask is not what we want, but what does God want?  It is not about how I can be successful, but about how I can please Jesus.   Remember what the Proverbs writer states, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”  Paul said it this way in Roman 8: What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, take on the day and all its many challenges, by placing your trust in God who “gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57). 

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you have a plan for me.  I thank you that your redemptive plan had me in mind. Protect my heart from the foolishness of this world. I pray that I will walk with You all the days of my life. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 15

February 15, Saturday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on October 13, 2013, is written by Pastor Sam Lee who leads Catalyst Agape Church in Northern New Jersey.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Not Working Harder, but Being More Faithful”

Matthew 25:24-25

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’” 

This passage can easily be interpreted that the Parable of the Talent is a lesson on hard work, that when we work hard, practice daily, and discipline ourselves, God will reward us. Working hard is certainly valuable, and we all should work hard, but I don’t think this passage is talking about that. Here, the master tells the servant with the one talent that he didn’t even have to work hard; he could have just deposited the talent.  The problem was something else. The problem with the servant with the one talent is not lack of hard work, but rather, a lack of faithfulness. 

If it is about hard work, we lose motivation depending on what we have. If you were the one who got five talents, you would be much more motivated to work hard, while if you received just one talent, it would seem so unfair, and might do the same thing, hiding it in the ground. But if it is about faithfulness, than it would not depend on who got more and who got less. As a matter of fact, faithfulness is really shown in the little things and not in the big things. 

In front of many people, we can act all holy and spiritually mature, but true faithfulness is shown in the little things. Is there holiness and spiritual maturity when no one is looking? We can talk about how we will support the church and missions financially when we get rich, but are we being faithful with the little money we have today? We can talk about loving the people in Africa, but are we able to love our wife, our child, and the church members today?

Let’s not wait to be faithful. We don’t have to wait until we go on a short-term missions. We don’t have to wait for the right sermon or wait for someone else to change. We can practice faithfulness right now.

Prayer: Lord, help me not to be the servant with the one talent who did not see the great value of the talent.  Help me to see things that are valuable in my life, because they came from You, and appreciate them and use them to yield eternal fruits for Your kingdom.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 13-14

February 14, Friday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was originally posted on May 30, 2014.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Spiritual Battles That We Must Win”

Jude 1:17-23

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Jude was leading and serving a congregation that was going through some difficult times. These difficulties were stirred by ungodly people, the “scoffers,” who diverted the believers away from the Lord towards ungodly desires. Inevitably, this brought division to a young church. So Jude warns his friends not to remain passive, but to deliberately build up their faith by continually praying in the Holy Spirit and keep themselves in God’s love. 

Do you at times find yourself falling into ungodly desires? Easily being led astray from the love of the Father and feeling defeated by the temptations of the enemy? Know that the spiritual battle to lead our hearts away from the Lord is intense; the enemy will take every chance he gets to pull us away from our faith in the Lord. Therefore, Jude makes it clear that in order to stay in the loving presence of the Father, you must pray. 

It is always through prayer that a believer overcomes the ungodly desires. The spiritual battles that we face were never meant to be fought alone. Through prayer, we invite the Holy Spirit to fill us with power from above so that our faith remains firm. It is through prayer that we are reminded of God’s immense love for us as His children. It is through prayer that we become transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Tragic results await those who simply do not pray. But to those who remain attentive in prayer, the reward is a holy faith in the Lord.  

Prayer: Lord, help me in my prayer life. Help me to establish both a heart for and a habit of prayer that will deepen my faith in you and keep me from falling towards ungodly desires. I admit that this is difficult and I need your Holy Spirit to help me. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 12


Lunch Break Study  

Read Luke 11:1-4: One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

Questions to Consider 

  1. What do the disciples ask for Jesus on this particular day? 
  2. Do the words, “Father, hallowed be your name…” provide you with a sense of intimacy or a sense of awe or both?
  3. As you consider this prayer, are there people who you need to forgive? 

Notes  

  1. It’s notable that while the disciples learned many things from Jesus, this was the one time where the disciples make a request about a particular topic: prayer. 
  2. The address of God as Father is important, since it focuses on the intimate relationship God has with his children. Jesus’ introduction of such intimacy in prayer is not entirely unprecedented in Judaism, but it certainly is unusual in the context of prayer. Disciples should feel close to God, since they are part of his family. But intimacy does not do away with respect; thus, the prayer’s first statement is Hallowed be your name.The disciple approaches God with the recognition that God is holy—that is, “set apart” and unique. There is none like him, and no one has the authority he possesses. This note of submission is the prayer’s heartbeat.
  3. To forgive another person is an act of faith. The feelings of forgiveness will follow later. Take time to forgive and bless those who may have hurt you.  

Evening Reflection

Do you believe that if you ask the Holy Spirit to help you in establishing a consistent prayer life that he would help you? Spend some time asking for his help in this area.