Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from Dec. 14-16 are written by Andrew Kim who is an intern at Radiance Christian Church (S.F.).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
She shall pursue her lovers but not overtake them, and she shall seek them but shall not find them. Then she shall say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.’ 8 And she did not know that it was I [the Lord] who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.
Have you ever had someone take credit for your hard work? I’m sure all of us have stories where we did all the work, put in the hours and the effort, but someone else unrightfully took all the glory. The worst part is when the other is valued for work that we did. Surely it wasn’t a good feeling and thus perhaps we can understand God’s anger in this passage a little better. The Israelites have done two things: they attributed the blessings from God to their idols, but more importantly robbed God of His glory. How often do we find ourselves following in the same footsteps? Some of us attribute it to luck or even coincidence. Some of us think we deserve it because we’re the ones who put the work in. In all this we put pride in ourselves and forget it was God who has brought us this far, and placed us here. Rather than having hearts of gratitude, we develop hearts of consumerism, constantly wanting more and failing to discern between our needs with our wants. John Calvin consequently describes our neglect as, “thrusting God from his preeminence, and insult his glory.” As the year is coming to an end and we celebrate Christmas, let us give thanks and glory to God for all that he has done for us. Let us give credit where credit is due.
Father, I give you glory and thanks for all the things in my life both the good and the bad. I repent of all the ways in which I have fallen short of giving you praise and put my value in worthless things. Help me to have a heart of gratitude so that in all things you may be glorified.
Bible Reading for Today: Ecclesiastes 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 1:21-23: 21
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Questions to Consider
- What is Paul saying about the Romans? What is he saying about what it means to “know God?”
- What are the consequences of knowing God improperly?
- What was the result of their foolish thinking? What are the things in our life that we exchange for His glory?
- The Romans were aware of God and had some knowledge about him, possibly his ‘eternal power’ and ‘divine nature (verse 20).’ However, Paul is saying that a true knowledge of God will lead to praise and thanksgiving.
- We begin to rely on futile thoughts that lead to nothing, but more importantly our hearts become darkened and desensitized towards God.
- Rather than worshipping God, they rejected him and turned to idolatry. They followed after created things rather than the creator, giving glory to things of no value.
Spend some time reflecting on where you are today: your career, family, friends, and even the small things in life. Rather than praying about your needs or wants, spend some time praying simply thanking Him for his goodness.