Editor’s Note: The AMI devotionals from Nov. 9-11 are written by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church (S. D.).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the teacher to give attention to the words of the Law.
Whose voice is the most important voice in your life that you’d actually give attention to the person’s words?
My 7-year-old son is playing in his first season of flag-football, and he plays the safety position. As soon as the ball crosses the line of scrimmage, he makes a beeline to the ball carrier and goes hard after the flag. Almost always, he comes up with the flag. Last week, he made a play for the running back but missed the flag; instead, he ended up grabbing at the shorts of the running back, inadvertently tripping him on the play. No one was hurt. Now mind you, these are 6 and 7- year-olds, so any type of fall by the kids is deemed as rough play by the officials. So the referee threw the yellow flag and assessed the penalized yardage for “rough play.” The coach of the other team starts yelling from the sidelines, “Is that how you teach your players to play? Then I’m going to teach my players to start tackling!!”
You can imagine: there was a bit of drama afterwards, but nothing terrible. On our way home from the game, my son starts crying, telling us that he wants to quit football because he felt so bad that he could have hurt another player; and he couldn’t understand why the other coach said those things and was yelling at him. We tried to tell him that the other coach was rather a poor sport and affirmed him that everyone noted that it was an accident. But given that he has a sensitive temperament, he continued to cry. So when we got home, his mom and I held him in our arms and firmly said to him, “The most important thing you need to hear is what your mom and dad are saying. We are proud of how hard you play. And your entire team and your coach are so proud of how hard you play.” He finally calmed down as he heard what I was saying.
That incident illustrates what often happens in our lives. We tend to pay much attention to the voice of the world that entices us or insults us; or we hear the voice of the enemy that lies to us, or even our own voice can be our own worst enemy where we criticize ourselves. In the meantime, sadly, we drown out the voice of our Father who sings over us (Zeph. 3:17).
Today, may you “give attention to the words” of the Father as He speak into your life.
Lord, help me to hear Your voice over all of the voices that go through my ears. Teach me to distinguish Your voice so that I may live according to Your good and perfect will. Grant to me the ears to hear Your voice today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 John 1
Lunch Break Study
1 Sam. 3:1-10
The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.4 Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Questions to Consider
- Why didn’t Samuel recognize the voice of the Lord immediately?
- How was Eli able to help Samuel give attention to the voice of the Lord?
- Do you have a person that is able to assist you in giving careful attention to the voice of the Lord?
- Not only was the word of the Lord rare in those days (v. 1), but the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to Samuel (v. 7).
- Eli was a mentor to Samuel who recognized that the Lord was calling Samuel. Eli taught Samuel to respond appropriately to the Lord’s voice.
- Personal response.
Have some things been spoken to you that have wounded you? Spend some time asking God to mend your heart. Ask God to speak His words into your heart.