Editor’s Note: The AMI Quiet Times for March 30-April 5 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian of Symphony Church.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Samuel 17:41-47
And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance.43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
On this battlefield, the Israelites were cowering because of this giant, the mighty warrior Goliath, and the army of Philistines behind him. And as the Israelites looked at the battle in front of them, they were fearful and hopeless because they had no chance against such a great foe.
We face battles in our lives all the time, and often these situations look hopeless: How can we deal with family problems? How can we possible get out debt? How can we possibly manage all of the different things going on in our lives? What do we do about the burdens in our lives? And how can we overcome the sin and darkness in our hearts? What hope do we have?
David’s hope in this situation (and our hope) is that… the battle is the Lord’s. Like us, David went into this battle with absolutely no chance on his own. Goliath scoffed at him because he was just a little kid with a wooden stick and some rocks, coming at a mighty warrior armed with sword, spear and javelin. But as David approached the giant, he did not fear because he knew this was not his battle to fight, but that God himself would win the day and that it is the Lord who saves. Our salvation comes from God, who makes our battles His battles.
This Passion Week, let’s remember and celebrate what our Lord Jesus did for us. He himself walked the road to Calvary, took the cross, bore our sins on it, shedding His blood for us. Why? Because the battle is the Lord’s—our God made our battles his battles.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for taking my burdens on the cross. On my own, I have no hope to face all of the battles and burdens in my life, but I can walk forward in confidence and faith because I know that my battles belong to You, for you are the God of my salvation. Thank you, Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 34
Lunch Break Study
Matthew 11:28-30: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Questions to Consider
- What kind of rest does Jesus offer us? How does the cross of Jesus Christ give us rest?
- Why do we as Christians still feel burdened and heavy laden at times?
- Reflect on burdens that you are you holding on to. How does the rest of Jesus help you?
- The rest that Jesus offers us is a rest for our souls. He’s not talking about a physical rest but a spiritual one. Because Jesus took the cross for our sins, he did the work that we could not do in atoning for our sins, thereby taking the burden of our sins off of us. Jesus offers us rest because when we depend upon him, we no longer have any burden to earn our own righteousness or salvation.
- We get weary and heavy laden as Christians when we stop depending on Jesus and put this burden back on our own shoulders.
- Personal application question.
As you have been reflecting on what Jesus has done for us through this Passion Week, how do you feel about the burdens and struggles that you are facing in your life? Are you experiencing the rest that Jesus offers us? Take some time to journal and remind yourself that the battle is the Lord’s.