Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from August 24-30 are provided by Kate Moon who serves as a missionary in E. Asia.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
2 Kings 13:4-5: Then Jehoahaz sought the LORD’s favor, and the LORD listened to him, for he saw how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. The LORD provided a deliverer for Israel, and they escaped from the power of Aram.
Jehoahaz had been leading the nation in evil practices, and the oppression was a situation allowed by God because of their disobedience (vv. 2-3). So God had no particular reason to grant His favor when Jehoahaz sought it; they had done nothing to earn or deserve it. And yet He granted it all the same.
What does favor look like? I was once on a flight where the attendants were especially attentive to me but seemed almost to not even see the person sitting next to me. When there was only one blanket left, I got the last one and he had to go without. When there was a last cup of water on the tray, they offered it to me and then actually skipped him when they came back to finish passing out the water, starting the row behind us. When they accidentally spilled Coke on the one blanket left that I had been using, they somehow found a magic cupboard on the plane where there was another blanket after all. I was so favored that I could get a second blanket even when theoretically there should have been no more blankets. Technically, if they had found it earlier, this would have been his blanket. I’d never met these attendants before in my life; there was no reason for them to be nicer to me than the person sitting next to me. And yet it felt like such a clear distinction was being made between the two of us; one favored, the other not—at least in my mind as I was having this personal little mini-epiphany (to his credit, the person sitting next to me didn’t seem to be feeling particularly slighted). But through this experience, God was speaking to me.
For no particular reason, other than that He has chosen us, He hears us when we cry. No matter how wicked or rebellious we have been up to that point, when we repent and turn to Him, He looks on us with mercy in His eyes and delivers us from our self-inflicted misery. This is our God.
Lord, I am humbled when I think of how You’ve chosen me. And yet how I wish that others around me could also experience Your kindness. Would you have mercy and deliver them, too? In Jesus’ name I pray.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 9:1-3: I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people . . ..
Questions to Consider
- What does Paul (the author) feel when he thinks about his people (v. 2)?
- Why is his heart so troubled (v. 3)?
- What heart does his “almost” wish express (v. 3)? How do we feel when we think about people close to us who don’t know Christ?
- He feels great sorrow, continually conflicted within, and great burden.
- His people are cursed and cut off from Christ because they have rejected the gospel.
- How much he wants to share Christ with his people; how not content he is just to be saved himself. Like a child who’s received a special treat but wants so much for his brothers and sisters to have it, too, he’s almost willing to give his own away; but if he did, it would defeat the purpose as his desire is that they all share in this same wonderful experience together.
What evidences were there of God’s favor in my life today? Was I able to share it with any others? Take a moment to pray for those you’d most like to share this Christian life with.