August 17, Monday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT devotionals from August 17-23 are provided by Pastor Yohan Lee of Radiance Christian Church (S.F.).

Devotional Thoughts for Today

2 Kings 8:1-6

Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Arise, and depart with your household, and sojourn wherever you can, for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come upon the land for seven years.” 2 So the woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God. She went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. 3 And at the end of the seven years, when the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, she went to appeal to the king for her house and her land. 4 Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5 And while he was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, together with all the produce of the fields from the day that she left the land until now.”

17How do you view coincidences? Do you see them as good or bad fortune, or do you see them as God intervening in your life? Several years back, I had a very small incident in my life that got me thinking about this question. I was in seminary and on one night I was finishing up a paper. The paper was due the next day around 6:00 pm, and I was done around midnight the night before, so I had plenty of time. I decided to submit it that evening, but for whatever reason the school’s system for uploading documents electronically was down. The next morning when I woke up, I decided to look over my work one more time before submitting it. It was a good thing I did that because not only I hadn’t proofread it but I forgot to finish my last paragraph. Needless to say, I was glad that I was not able to submit my paper the night before. I later found out that my school’s system for electronic submissions shuts down for several hours each night; that is why I was unable to make my original submission. In the grand scheme of life, the grade I got on a paper in seminary is not that important, but at the same time, I still felt the Lord’s incredible care in this whole incident. The truth is that it would have annoyed me to no end to have gotten a “B” on a paper simply because I forgot to proofread. Through these little coincidences, I realized that our God is not “so big” and “too” important to bless his children in even little ways. Some of us think that God is in only willing to act in huge life events, but I think we need to learn to see his care in everyday moments. We also have to choose to see him working in big and small “coincidences”.

If you recall, we were first introduced to this Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4, where this previously childless woman is not only given a son, but years after his birth, this son is brought back to life after dying from a mysterious head injury. Now several years later, after she had deserted her homeland in order to survive a famine, she found herself in the precarious position of having to beg for her lands back from the king. Now, if you were the king, would you be favorably disposed to giving the land back to this woman, who deserted your country during the rough times, but was now coming back when things got better? I wouldn’t! Of course, God was not going to allow this Shunammite woman to lose everything. So he sent Gehazi, the former aid to Elisha to the king to tell stories of his former master’s exploits, and right as Gehazi tells the story of the Shunammite woman whose son was raised from the dead, in she walks. Crazy coincidence? Or was God once again watching out for this Shunammite woman? I hope you can cultivate the faith to see things as the later, not only for the Shunammite woman, but yourself as well.

Prayer

Lord, give me the faith to see that You are constantly working and moving in great and small ways. Help me to trust in Your sovereign plan and to believe that You are good. Help me to see Your presence in my life today.

Bible Reading for Today: Ephesians 3

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Lunch Break Study

Psalm 139:1-16:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

   you discern my thoughts from afar.

3 You search out my path and my lying down

   and are acquainted with all my ways.

4 Even before a word is on my tongue,

   behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

5 You hem me in, behind and before,

   and lay your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

   it is high; I cannot attain it

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?

   Or where shall I flee from your presence?

8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

 If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

9 If I take the wings of the morning

   and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 even there your hand shall lead me,

   and your right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

   and the light about me be night,”

12 even the darkness is not dark to you;

   the night is bright as the day,

   for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;

   you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]

Wonderful are your works;

   my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you,

when I was being made in secret,

   intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;

in your book were written, every one of them,

   the days that were formed for me,

   when as yet there was none of them.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the theme of verses 1-6? How is this supposed to encourage or bless you?
  2. What is the theme of verses 7-12? How is this supposed to encourage or bless you?
  3. What is the theme of verses 13-16? How is this supposed to encourage or bless you?

Notes

  1. In verses 1-6, the psalmist points to the Lord’s intimate knowledge of him, and to a lesser extent, the Lord’s knowledge of all that he has and will do. It’s comforting to know that God knows every good and bad thing we have done, and He still loves us and knows what is ahead of us.
  2. Verses 7-12 point toward the fact that we can never escape the Lord’s presence. Or to put it more positively, we are never out of the Lord’s sight or reach.
  3. Verses 13-16 show us that we were carefully crafted by the Lord. He is our Maker, and we are His precious children.

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 Evening Reflection

Did you feel the Lord’s care and presence over your life today? Did you see Him work in either a small way or big way? Does such love and care motivate you to tell others and serve the Lord?

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