March 21, Tuesday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Doug Tritton, was first posted on February 16, 2016.  A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), Doug is the Lead Pastor of Grace Covenant Church Philadelphia. 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Seeking God’s Help When Feeling Nervous”

Acts 4:5-13

On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

When I was in middle school, I had to give a presentation in one of my classes—this was so frightening to me. Never before had I stood before a group of people to give a talk for more than a few seconds. Extremely nervous, I gave my presentation, but unable to really think about what I was saying. Afterwards, I remember my teacher asking me if I even breathed once during my presentation; apparently, I was so nervous that I could not even breathe! 

In this passage, Peter gave a “presentation” to the Jewish rulers. He had to give a testimony before the council concerning the ministry he had been doing. Peter might have been quite nervous, not sure what to say, worried about whether he could be clear, or if he would be persuasive. Perhaps, he, too, was so nervous that he could not even breathe!

But notice what the Bible says: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them….” Because he was filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter was able to talk before the council. Interestingly enough, the Greek word for spirit is also used for breath, so you could say that the Holy Spirit was Peter’s breath in that moment. While Peter may have been so nervous he could barely breathe, the Holy Spirit became his breath, giving him the words to speak.

Do you ever worry about sharing your faith and testifying about Jesus to others, whether to an individual or a group of people? Do not worry because the Holy Spirit will be your breath, and He will be your thoughts, giving you the words to speak. Though your physical breath may be lost in the moment, trust that your spiritual breath will continue to flow. Remember the words of that old song, “This is the air I breathe.” That is the Holy Spirit. He is the air you breathe and you will never be breathless. 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your Spirit! We would be lost without Your Spirit, but thank You that You have given us Your Spirit to dwell in us always. May we remember the power of Your Spirit, and that You are the one working in and through us. Have Your way, Lord! Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Numbers 2

Lunch Break Study  

Read Luke 12:11-12: And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why shouldn’t we be anxious when we need to defend our faith?
  2. How do we let the Spirit speak through us?
  3. Are there any situations in your own life where you need the Spirit to speak through you?


  1. We should be anxious if it were all up to us, but praise God that He gives us His Spirit to speak through us! So we need not be anxious when defending our faith, because the Spirit will speak through us.
  2. Unfortunately, there is no formula to this. Allowing the Spirit to speak through us is a matter of faith and trust – trusting that God is the One working through you. When our confidence is in ourselves, then we will have a difficult time hearing the Spirit, but when our confidence is in God, He will speak powerfully through us.
  3. Apply this to your life. Perhaps you want to share the gospel with a friend, but you are worried about it. Trust that God will speak through you in that moment. His Spirit is in you!

Evening Reflection

Tonight, take time to invite the Spirit to fill you. We need to be constantly filled by the Spirit, so pray that God will fill you once again so that in the hour of trial, He will take control of you and give you words to speak. 

March 20, Monday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on March 7, 2016.  Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia. 

Devotional Thoughts for this Morning

“Don’t You Even Have Eyes?”

Acts 7:1-2

“1 Then the high priest asked him, ‘Are these charges true?’ 2 To this he [Stephen] replied: ‘Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran . . .’ ”

“Don’t you even have any eyes?” It was an immature response from an immature person (I was maybe around nine or ten), but it came from a very real sense of frustration at a perceived injustice.  An adult had “accused” me of not closing the screen door properly when I came into the house, but I obviously had – if the person had any eyes, she could see for herself that it was closed.  I knew I was being a little out of line, but I thought that maybe when she saw that she was the one in the wrong, she’d see my frustration was justified and let it pass, maybe even laugh.  Unfortunately, some nuance was lost in translation in the bilingual household I was growing up in (apparently the adult heard the word for “eyes” as something more like “brains,” and apparently, in her culture, calling into question an adult’s possession of brains was a particularly disrespectful expression), and I got into huge trouble.  It wasn’t about the door anymore but what I’d said to an adult, at which I felt even more frustrated, because I hadn’t said “brains,” I’d said “eyes.”  It just ended up being a terrible, mixed-up, no good day.

Being accused of anything is never a good feeling; being falsely accused is all the worse.  The immediate instinct is to rise up in indignation at the injustice, defend oneself, attack right back.  Stephen, however, did none of these things.  When he was being falsely accused of blasphemy and the high priest asks him if this is true, Stephen, “a man full of God’s grace” (v. 8) and wisdom (vv. 3, 10), begins talking about Abraham and Mesopotamia and ends up making an eloquent defense – not of himself, but of Jesus Christ.  

How do we respond when we feel unjustly accused?  When a supervisor asks us where a report is that we actually handed in a week ago but he misplaced?  Can we resist becoming defensive of ourselves and have a more Christ-centered attitude when we face such situations?  


Lord Jesus, when I face false accusations or misunderstandings, help me to have maintaining my witness for you be my primary concern, over and above defending myself or proving others wrong.  For your name’s sake, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Numbers 1

Lunch Break Study 

Though we’ve already meditated today about having a godly response when being falsely accused, what about when the charge someone brings against us is true?

Read Proverbs 9:8: “Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.” 

Questions to Consider

1. Why do you think a mocker would respond to rebuke in this way?

2. What about the wise person?  Why would he or she respond in the opposite way?

3. How do we respond to rebuke or correction?  Defensively or graciously?


1. Those who mock others often put others down to feel better about themselves.  A word of rebuke threatens their sense of self-worth, and they cannot truly receive it.  The one who tries to rebuke someone who is not ready to receive it may just end up losing the relationship.

2. Wise people can separate their self-worth from their mistakes or character flaws.  Because they do not feel their value as a person is threatened when a corrective word is given, they can receive it constructively and love the one who loves them enough to rebuke.

Evening Reflection

Were you able to respond graciously to others’ estimations of you today?  If you faced any false accusations, bring the hurt, frustration and anger to Jesus, the bearer of the ultimate false accusation (=the sins of the world).  He understands.

March 19, Sunday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Jabez Yeo who is now a friend of AMI, was first posted on May 16, 2016.  He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (B.S.) and Columbia International University where he studied Islam (M.A.). 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Justin Who Became a Martyr”

Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.  15 What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted. 16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. 18For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Have you ever sought meaning in life’s philosophies or in the world’s wisdom? One person who did but was eventually disillusioned by his search was Justin Martyr. Justin, born in the early 2nd century A.D., attempted to find fulfillment in the Greek philosophy of Stoicism. Unconvinced, he then cycled through the teachings of different philosophers but was never completely satisfied. Around A.D. 130, conversations with an elderly believer led Justin Martyr to surrender his life to Jesus—and he experienced a powerful life transformation!

Around the same time, the heresy of Gnosticism was becoming rampant in the early church. In a nutshell, the Gnostics believed that the material world was unimportant, and that physical bodies were prisons trapping the human spirit, which they considered to be the “spark of God.” Thus, they proposed that Christ had not become incarnate but had only appeared to be human in order to rescue stray “sparks” of God’s being that were trapped in human bodies. Since its inception, Gnosticism has spawned heretical beliefs, including the elevation of the soul to divinity that have echoed throughout history, especially in the recent New Age movement. 

Utilizing his past experience in Greek philosophy, Justin Martyr countered the claims of Gnosticism thoroughly in his writings. In particular, Justin Martyr delved into the concept of the Logos—God’s pre-existent spirit who became incarnate in Jesus Christ. He explained, “just as fire comes from fire without diminishing the original source, so Christ as the universal Logos pre-existed as God’s Son.”  Justin Martyr then wrote Syntagma, which established him as the most important 2nd century apologist in the eyes of many, as it was the first major anti-Gnostic writing by an orthodox Christian.

Ultimately, Justin was arrested for his faith and was ordered by Roman authorities to denounce his belief in God. Refusing to do so, Justin was then executed and surnamed “Martyr,” as he gave his life for what he considered to be “true philosophy.” As Christians today, may we also find our true satisfaction, not in the world’s wisdom, but in God’s eternal truth.  

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being the Way, the Truth and the Life. Help me to find ultimate meaning in Your Word, and may it spur me to lead a life that is pleasing to You. May I not trust in my own intellect or in the world’s wisdom, but help me to place my hope in Your truth, even though my mind cannot completely comprehend it. Lord Jesus, as my Good Shepherd, lead me in the paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. In Your Name I pray.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Esther 10

March 18, Saturday

REPOSTToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Cami King—now a friend of AMI—was first posted on March 21, 2015.  Cami served faithfully as a staff at several AMI churches in the past.  

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

What Gives Us the Right to Speak into Another Person’s Life?”

Acts 3:11-16

 While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

A well-known Christian apologist writes: “I recall on one campus some years ago finishing a tough series of meetings. On the day I was departing from that city, my host mentioned to me that he had brought his neighbor, a medical doctor, to the last meeting. ‘She is a skeptic through and through,’ he said. ‘Would you like to know what her response was to your presentation last night?’ he asked. Knowing full well that I had no choice, I answered rather eagerly in the affirmative. This was his reply of sentiments: ‘Powerful… simply powerful… I wonder what he’s like in his private life.’ That was her one-line response to a three-hour evening. In short, the entire weight of the argument rested, for her, on the coherence between the argument and the enfleshing of the argument. The reasoning was not good enough. The practical impact in the private life of the reasoned was the final test.” 

What gives us the right to speak into another person’s life? As someone in full-time ministry, I’ve had to ask this question quite a bit regarding people within the church. But what about people outside the Christian community? In our politically correct, tolerant society, it can feel not only inappropriate, but down right rude to speak (let alone preach) into someone else’s life – particularly if our words are unsolicited and potentially offensive. So how do we get a foot in the door and a listening ear? How do we get license to speak the Gospel to the outside world? In our passage for today, Peter and John’s healing of the paralytic man gave them the platform from which to speak. It was the Spirit at work in them, as they simply lived a faithful life of worship and devotion, that granted them the attention of the outside word. 

As the story above illustrates, more so than our well-formed arguments and eloquent words, the message of the Gospel is taken seriously when the people who preach it live a life that is harmonious with the message they preach. Our lives are a better testimony than our words. Many of us never find ourselves needing to be ready to give an answer for the hope we have (1 Peter 3:15) because no one ever asks. May our lives bear witness to the goodness of God and give us a platform from which to share His good news. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, make my life a living witness to your goodness. May I live in such a way that others want to know more about the hope I have in You. And when I’m given the platform to speak, may I proclaim your truth in the power of your Spirit, to the glory of Your name. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Esther 8-9

March 17, Friday

REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 8, 2016.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Who Has Done a Better Job Obeying the Great Commission: Church or Coca-Cola?”

Acts 1:8 (a.k.a., The Great Commission according to Luke) 

“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.”

Matt. 28:19-20 (a.k.a., The Great Commission according to Matthew)

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. . . .”

A recent Mexican Coca-Cola ad produced a storm of controversy because of its insensitivity toward indigenous people.  The commercial begins with sad natives “mop[ing] around a hillside feeling rejected by society.  Then a group of young white hipsters turn up to save them, with the aid of coolers full of Coke and a Christmas tree. . . . The indigenous people can only smile in wondering gratitude.”  Having seen it myself (and laughing), the brain behind this ad is probably looking for a new job.  

But at least tip your hat to Coca-Cola for executing its version of the “Great Commission” better than the church.  Having served in Mexico as a missionary for over a decade, I visited these hillside villages located in steep mountains, and you can be sure that Coca-Cola got there, more often than not, before missionaries.  

Across the board, American churches pay great lip service to missions but do little themselves about it.  If our priority is revealed by the saying, “Put your money where your mouth is,” we haven’t done much.   One statistic shows such a discrepancy: “On the average, for every dollar that gets put into the offering plate in the U. S., 96 cents go right back to the American Christian culture. . . . [T]he remaining 4 cents [is] for the Great Commission task” (Bob Sjogren).  

So, before blasting Coca-Cola for its condescending message of “Stop worrying; the gringos are here,” we should take a page out of its playbook and take our “product” (the gospel) “to the ends of the earth.”  And we have nothing to be ashamed of; while cola, full of sugar, isn’t good for health, the “living water” (Jn. 4:11) that Christ gives comes with this guarantee: “Everyone who drinks this water (i.e., any pleasurable thing that the world offers) will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.”

In 2023, will you be more active in sharing your faith?  Pray for boldness; read a book on evangelism; build relationships and look for a good time to illustrate the superiority of the living water over its cheap substitutes.  

Prayer: Forgive me, Father, for domesticating You as a territorial God who is only concerned with people who look like me.  God, because You sent your Son to redeem all the nations, help me to engage in missions with the right concept and motivation.  May I be compelled by the same love You have for every tribe, language and people and nation.   Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Esther 7

Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 67:1-2: May God (Elohiym) be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—
2 so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

Numbers 6:23-6:  Tell Aaron and his sons, “This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

24 ‘The Lord (Jehovah) bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace,’”

Rev. 5:9: And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals,
because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

Rev. 7:9-10: After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

Question to Consider

1. Evidently, in Ps. 67:1-2 King David reiterates the Aaronic blessing found in Num. 6:23-6 but makes, under the Spirit’s inspiration, one change.  What is it?

2. In light of Rev. 5:9, what does it mean that David changed the name of God in Ps. 67?

3. Ultimately, what does God desire to see in heaven?  Should that be important to us? Is that important to you?


1. David changed the name of God from Jehovah, a personal name used by the Israelites to refer to Yahweh, to Elohiym, a name used when the focus is on the relationship between God and all nations. 

2. David is broadening the scope of God’s redemptive plan, that is, God’s blessing is not only for Israel but for the nations; and in time, Christ would come to die for people “from every tribe and language and people and nation.”

3. God desires that the representatives from “every nation, tribe, people and language” worship Him as well as the Lamb, that is, Christ.  Since Jesus purchased with his blood men from each tribe and nation, God rightfully expects them to participate in the great heavenly worship.  And this should be important to us, which means we need to figure out how to join in the effort to redeem the nations.  

Evening Reflection

We hardly need to leave America to do transcultural ministry (a.k.a., missions) since so many foreigners are in our universities and workplaces.  If we are comfortable with socializing with people like us, then think about all the people around you who aren’t. Reach out to them, beginning with saying hello and then going from there, all in the spirit of Acts 1:8.  This should be a serious priority!  Reach out to people of different race and class.

March 16, Thursday 

REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on March 17, 2016.  Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Appearance Can Be Deceiving”

Acts 10:1-8 

A devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.

As far as anyone could tell, the young man looked like he was a brilliant doctor, with all the right certifications indicating that he had fulfilled the rigorous requirements necessary to practice his medicine. Each day he went to work in a lab coat and a stethoscope around his neck, ready to assist anyone who happened to cross his path—but appearances can be deceiving. This was no doctor at all, but he was an 18-year-old Florida teen pretending to be a doctor. Just last month, Malachi Love-Robinson of the state of Florida was arrested for practicing medicine without a license. 

Appearance can be deceiving indeed. And its danger lies in the deception of confusing form for substance. We find this to be true in the story of Cornelius, a Gentile who served as a centurion in the city of Caesarea for the Roman Empire. But we also learn that he was a man who feared God. Of all the deities in this Roman city, he chose to have a deep respect and reverence for the God of Israel. Not only that, Cornelius gave generously to the people who were in need, and he was also said to be a man of prayer.  

By all appearances, Cornelius was a man of God who had the characteristics of true faith. But the truth is, Cornelius fell short; and apart from the gracious visitation of an angel and the timely visit of Peter, Cornelius would still be lost to the world and his religion. 

In a sense, Cornelius represents the best of what religion has to offer, but it can only take us so far. Cornelius shows us how apart from an encounter with the living God and receiving the grace of God, all of our doings are ultimately useless and unsatisfying. We need to meet Jesus, as this is how we begin a relationship with God. It is also how we continue to sustain ourselves in our faith. We are to meet the Lord again and again. 

Have you had an encounter with God? Are you making an effort to continue meeting Him this day? As you take time to examine Cornelius’ life, look at the depths of your own heart this morning and earnestly seek to meet the living God. 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, come and meet me this hour! I want to experience You anew. Remind me again how apart from Your gracious visit, I am lost in my own goodness. Come and meet me today! In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Esther 6

Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 1:1-6: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; [2] but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. [3] He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. [4] The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. [5] Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; [6] for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Questions to Consider 

1. According to the first two verses, what makes for a truly happy person?  

2. In this short Psalm, there is a clear contrast between the one who follows God and the wicked who do not? What is the consequence of the wicked? 

3. The one who meets the Lord “is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (verse 3). In what way will you meet the Lord today aside from doing this Quiet Time Devotional? 


1. The one who walks in the way of God and delights in Him.  

2. The wicked stands to be judged and will ultimately perish. 

3. Personal Response.

Evening Reflection

“We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.” – Francis Chan

March 15, Wednesday

REPOST Today’s AMI Devotional Quiet Time, provided by Christine Li, was first posted on April 20, 2016. Christine, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, serves as a deaconess at Remnant Church in Manhattan, New York.  

Devotional Thought for This Morning


Acts 18: 9-11 

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

Fear is an exceptionally powerful motivator in our lives. There might be smaller worries that create momentary fear, such as accidentally dropping a smartphone down a chute, which makes me cringe every time I enter an elevator. Or there are some fears that are so powerful that they cause us to entirely change our lifestyle – for example, one of my friends from college gave up eating certain foods altogether because of one particularly bad experience with food poisoning. 

Fears are, in some way, wired into us to protect us. So it would have been very natural, therefore, for the apostle Paul, to tone down his ministry out of fear. Just when He began devoting Himself full-time to work in Corinth, he faced physical abuse and resistance to the gospel from the Jewish people, his primary audience. It is interesting that God proactively meets Paul in a dream here; God already knows and can address directly all of Paul’s fears – that he could be attacked, or that his ministry could fail. It seems that after this dream encounter, Paul was able to continue his ministry comfortably. 

We may not be doing the same kind of work as Paul or encountering the same type of opposition, but we also face similar fears: of failure, of ridicule, of having nothing, of disappointment. These fears have the potential to derail us from living faithfully or keep us from sharing our faith with others. The only antidote to fear in our lives is fresh assurance of God’s love and provision. Only then will we be able to press onwards. 

What kinds of reservations keep you from following God fully and being a witness? If you know them, don’t be ashamed to bring them forward in prayer. God already knows our doubts and concerns, is addressing them, and will gently answer them with His perfect love that drives out all fear.

Prayer: Father, I need You! I can be so faithless and fearful. Meet me with Your perfect love and strike out the fear from my heart. Help me trust that when I admit my weaknesses, Your strength will be more evident in my life. Show me that You are stronger, better, and truer than all the fears.

Bible Reading for Today: Esther 5

Lunch Break Study

Read Mark 9:20-29: So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Questions to Consider

1. At the sight of Jesus, the evil spirit throws the boy into a convulsion. Why then does Jesus take the time to delay healing and ask for a full account of the boy’s trouble?

2. Let us think about the honest prayer from the father: “I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!” How can this encourage us when we face similar crises of faith?


1. Jesus rests on the situation so that the father may testify fully and also reveal the condition of his faith. The long years of sickness and near-death experiences have resigned the father to hopelessness; he dares not hope for healing.

2. The father’s prayer of confession mirrors our own gap between our knowledge of God and our true experience with that knowledge. Despite our lack of faith, however, God is constantly, graciously moving in more powerful ways than we ask or seek. No matter what hopeless situation we think we are facing, let us approach Him and ask for faith to believe that He can overcome the struggles we have.

Evening Reflection

Fear and unbelief keep us from fully living out the rich and free lives that God intends for us. Did you catch yourself motivated by fear rather than faith today? Let’s pray over the circumstances or people that make us fearful and unable to take God at His word. We may not immediately be able to overcome the fear tomorrow, but God will slowly give you the strength to overcome. 

March 14, Tuesday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on May 24, 2016, is provided by Andy Kim who is the Lead Pastor of Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco. Andy is a graduate of Northwestern University (B.S.) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.). 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“What Scares Me the Most”

Acts 27:21-22

Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22 Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.

Car accidents scare me—especially ones that involve rain. My friend describes it as the most helpless moment in his life: He turned the wheel left and right, but the car refused to listen. After hitting a dry patch, the car flipped and rolled on a busy highway. Here’s the kicker: he came out with a small scratch on his head, while the car was completely totaled. In fact, the people that were behind him were a doctor and nurse –they stood watching in shock.  Praise the Lord! 

This helpless scene is what I imagine when I read this passage. Paul was right—they shouldn’t have gone. The storm reached its peak and any sense of direction or control was lost. They threw over cargo and supplies, along with it their hopes of surviving. Oftentimes, life takes us down a path of flipping and rolling, creating only chaos and uncertainty. Trials and temptations strip us of our hopes and values, as we give up the very things we hold on to so dearly. However, as fire refines gold by removing its impurities, trials refine our character by removing our false securities – that we might find our hope and faith in Him alone. 

The men find themselves at the mercy of Paul’s words, but we look to someone greater: Jesus rises to promise us life and to never leave nor forsake us. Timothy Keller put it like this: “Suffering can refine us rather than destroy us because God himself walks with us in the fire.” Though we are crushed, persecuted, and in times, tossed by the waves, we will not be destroyed for He is with us. Just as Paul assures the men that not a single hair will be lost, Jesus commands us to not be afraid. May we remember this, for it is He who is doing a work in us, and that work is indeed good! 

Prayer: Father, thank You that You promise to be with me, both through green pastures and the valleys of shadow and death. I confess that I am prone to wander, especially during difficult times. During times of trials, may You give me the strength to endure, and may You refine me so that I may become more like You. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Esther 4

Lunch Break Study

Read James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Questions to Consider

  1. How should we respond to trials and temptations in our lives?
  2. Why should we endure such testing?
  3. How do you naturally respond to trials in your life? 


  1. In the original text, the phrase “pure joy” translates to “all joy.” James writes in a time of religious persecution, and many times those who followed Christ found themselves being unfairly treated. Trials come in the form of situations out of our control to ultimately test our faith. Some scholars even argue that James is referring to an eschatological joy in the return of Jesus. Regardless, we are to take joy in suffering, for it is both temporary and a work that He is doing in us.
  2. While perseverance is a fruit of being tested, it cannot be the end goal. Warren Wiersbe writes that God’s purpose in trials is to perfect our character and develop our maturity in Christ. James does not say “if” but “when” we go through trials to show that as believers, we cannot escape suffering. However, it is evident through the lives of others in the Scriptures that suffering is for a divine purpose that He only knows. In many cases trials are the prerequisite for God’s will being furthered in our lives. 
  3. Many of us turn to other vices or people of this world to escape, but God invites us to face our trials by His strength.  

Evening Reflection

In John 15, Jesus says that we are His branches, and that He prunes us so that we may bear fruit. What are the areas in your life that He is pruning? Spend some time asking God to give you a teachable heart to make you more like Him. May He give you the strength to endure through trials and temptations so that you may be more complete in Him.  

March 13, Monday

REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on March 14, 2016.  Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The Day I Got Arrested”

Acts 9:1-9

Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. [4] And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

I was arrested once in my lifetime. Before I knew Christ, I was in the throes of my youthful rebellion when I was picked up by the police for shoplifting at the local mall. I had been stealing for a long time, so when I was finally arrested, it was definitely “a long time coming.” 

On his way to Damascus, Saul too, was apprehended by God. A great light from heaven, which Saul would have recognized as the glory of God, accompanied the words of Jesus. Jesus told Saul that persecuting the church was tantamount to fighting God himself. Saul thought he was doing the will of God, but God in His mercy, stopped him from continuing down that destructive path.

Do you remember when you were stopped by the Lord? He does it in a lot of different ways for different people. Some are overcome by the guilt of sin, and they call on the Lord, asking Him to save them from it, while with others, God allows them to smash into a brick wall in life before they see the light and call on the Lord for help. Very often, God will show us through failures and disappointments that we need correction in our life course. 

This is because we do not very often call on God when things are going well in our lives. We usually have to hit rock bottom before we are willing to look up for help. It’s only when we humbly acknowledge we cannot do it on our own that God is able to come and help us. If it takes several hard knocks in life to produce humility, then God will allow that to happen for the greater good!

Paul saw the light, and He saw the errors of his way. How about you today? Do you sense God is trying to get your attention? Do you feel the Lord is trying to change the direction you are going? If so, turn to Him in repentance today! 

Bible Reading for Today: Esther 3

Lunch Break Study

Read Philippians 3:12-21 (ESV): Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. [13] Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. [15] Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. [16] Only let us hold true to what we have attained.[17] Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. [18] For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. [19] Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. [20] But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, [21] who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Questions to Consider 

1. Paul’s life is purposeful, for he constantly aims toward a heavenly goal, but in verse 14, says he has not reached that goal. What is the prize of reaching that goal? 

2. Paul calls the Philippians to imitate him. What does this mean? 

3. Are you able to say “imitate me as I imitate Christ” to somebody today? 


1. The prize is the fullness of blessings and rewards in the age to come, more specifically, being in perfect fellowship with Christ forever.

2. Paul is not saying the Philippians are to focus on him per se but rather for them to join him in humble, radical dependence on Christ.

3. Personal Response.

Evening Reflection

“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” –C.S. Lewis 

March 12, Sunday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Doug Tritton, was first posted on May 8, 2016.  A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), Doug is the Lead Pastor of Grace Covenant Church, Philadelphia.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Take Courage”

Acts 23:11

The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”

 “Take courage”—what great words! I feel like God says that a lot to me: “Do not worry, just trust.” But how easy it is to allow our minds to spin off into fear and anxiety, to imagine every possible terrible situation that could happen us, and to think that there is no way out of this or that present difficulty.

In today’s passage, Paul was in custody. He had just been on trial and had been led out of an angry mob, out from danger where he could have been torn to pieces by the mob. I can imagine how anxious he must have been! But God reminded him: “Take courage.” We have a God who is in control; and there is no situation out of His control. As tough as that is to believe at times, God wants us to remember that He is the One in control – always.

I do not know about you, but for me, Sundays can be an anxious day. The day starts with anxiousness about church and making sure I complete all my duties. And then after church my mind turns to the soon-to-come work week, and I worry about the work I probably need to have completed before Monday comes. Yet, there is no better day than Sunday to reflect on the sovereignty of God. He is in control, not me. Perhaps today, you can listen for the voice of God saying, “Take courage. Do not worry. Trust me. I will carry you through this week. You are mine.” Let’s begin this upcoming week reminding ourselves that we are God’s and He is in control!

Prayer: Lord, I give You control. Though I am worried about many things, help me to trust You. Your burden is light and your yoke is easy, so let me come to You and find rest for my anxious soul. Let Your peace lift me out of fear and worry so that I may rest in You this day.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Esther 2