Editor’s Note: The AMI Quiet Time Devotionals from December 27-31 are provided by Pastor (intern) Andrew Kim who serves at Tapestry Church (Los Angeles).
*The 2016 AMI QT Devotionals will begin tomorrow with a series of reflections based on Acts. See you then! Pastor Ryun
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
With the end of the year quickly approaching, many of us have already begun making resolutions. Whether it’s to hit the gym or do more for our careers, we’re all eager to make good on our new commitments. But I want to encourage you to slow down, because too many of us are quick to plan out our lives on our own. We only seem to invite God to bless our new plans rather than to shape them. But this shouldn’t surprise us. We live in a time where the self is king. It is the self who possesses all authority to determine its own path; and to suggest otherwise is an affront to the unspoken laws of our culture. For this reason, we’ve grown accustomed to planning our lives however we see fit. But the psalmist shows us a better way.
What I love most about this passage is the psalmist’s hunger for guidance. It’s almost as if he refuses to act or plan until God provides the next steps. In other words, it’s not about setting forth his own agendas but more about receiving them from God. He humbly recognizes that his own wisdom is not enough; that he desperately needs God to lead him to the right paths.
I pray that we would all take on this posture. It’s imperative that we recognize our lack of wisdom, and allow God to shape our goals and ambitions for the New Year. If living for the kingdom is our main objective in life, we must go before the King to receive His guidance. If our desire is to follow Christ, let us ask Him where He’s going so that we’re on the same path. I believe that beginning the year in this manner will lead us to be more like Jesus by the end of it!
God, just like the psalmist, this is also my prayer: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me.” I want this New Year to be shaped and led by You. Allow my heart to desire the things of You, rather than seeking out my own wants and needs, so that this year would be all about You and what You’re doing in the world around me!
Bible Reading for Today: Philippians 4
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Peter 1:3-7: His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
Questions to consider
- What has God granted to us?
- Why should we make every effort?
- How can this passage shape your goals for the New Year?
- God has granted to us everything that we need to live a life of godliness. Many of us feel as though we lack so much when it comes to working on our character. However, Peter says that God have given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Here, he’s alluding to the Holy Spirit, for he says that we “become partakers of the divine nature.” And what else do we need than the power that raised Christ from the dead?
- We should make every effort to supplement our faith with the characteristics listed above. We should desire things like virtue, knowledge, and self-control. Peter says that we should strive after these things, even though it seems difficult, because God has equipped us with everything we need to succeed. Hopefully, this encourages you!
- Personal response.
I remember one pastor telling us that the one question he frequently asks himself is, “What does faithfulness to God look like for me?” He wrestles with this question in regards to the present and the future. Take some time to pray through this question. What does it look like to be faithful to God in your life, especially in the upcoming year?