January 29, Friday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for today are provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (Ph.D.) who is the AMI Teaching Pastor.  He and Insil have been married for 28+ years and they have three children: Christy (teacher), Joshua (grad student) and Justin (college freshman).  They live in Philadelphia.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Acts 2:29-30

[Apostle Peter’s sermon] Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.

Jeremiah 36:29-30

Also tell Jehoiakim king of Judah, “This is what the Lord says: You burned that scroll and said, ‘Why did you write on it that the king of Babylon would certainly come and destroy this land and wipe from it both man and beast?’” 30 Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: “He will have no one to sit on the throne of David; his body will be thrown out and exposed to the heat by day and the frost by night.”

29What’s the point of the virgin birth?  Some say that since the original sin is transmitted through the father, if Jesus had been conceived in a natural manner, He could’ve been neither perfect nor sinless.  Paul probably would have disagreed since he wrote, “Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner” (1 Tim. 2:14).  While we can debate this point to no end, there is another compelling reason why the virgin birth was absolutely necessary.

God’s promise to place one of David’s descendants on his throne—that is, Jesus, the final king of Israel—meant that Christ had to come from the royal lineage of David; King Jehoiakim, who came later, bore that lineage.  Now, when Jehoiakim burned the scroll containing God’s word (Jer. 36:27), God swore that none of his descendents “will sit on the throne of David.”  The problem with that is, while Jesus, the king of Israel, must come from the royal linage of David, He cannot come from Jehoiakim, who is part of that royal lineage.

God resolved that quandary in the following manner.  Evidently, the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew and Luke are different.  Matthew states that Jacob was the father of Joseph (1:16), while Luke says that it was Heli (Lk. 3:23).  Actually, both genealogies are similar up to David.  Matthew lists Solomon after David after which all the succeeding kings of Judah are mentioned; Joseph is of this royal line.  Luke, on the other hand, mentions Nathan after David, who was Solomon’s brother; this is Mary’s line.   So, through Matthew’s royal genealogy, Jesus is declared as the legal heir of David; but since it was a virgin birth, Jesus was not a literal descendent of David or Jehoiakim.  In that manner, God’s curse against Jehoiakim was kept.  But by making Mary—a descendent of David—the mother of Jesus, God made sure that Jesus is from David’s line.  That’s how God kept both promises at the same time—through the virgin birth.

Remember, God is faithful and His words and promises are to be trusted.  If you have been discouraged, the road to recovery begins with recognizing this very truth.  Be patient and trust in our God.

Prayer

Lord, I sing praises unto Your holy and wonderful Name.  How marvelous are the precious words and promises of God!  They never fail.  I put my trust and hope in You and Your eternal truth.  May I never depart from reading, studying and meditating on the Scripture!  I love You Lord.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 25

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Lunch Break Study

Read Phil. 1:21-6:  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know  which to choose. 23 But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24 yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that your proud confidence in me may abound in Christ Jesus through my coming to you again.

2 Cor. 1:8: For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life;

Read 1 Cor. 10:13:No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

2 Thess. 3:2-4:And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”

2 Cor. 5:7:For we live by faith, not by sight.”

Question to Consider

  1. In what ways does God demonstrate His faithfulness toward us?
  2. What is the biggest obstacle that keeps us from trusting God?
  3. If we really believe in God’s faithfulness (I hope so), then, how would we live differently?

Notes

  1. God shows his faithfulness by providing the means so that we do not fall into temptations. Whether we take advantage of it is up to us.  The Lord also promises to strengthen and protect us when the enemy and his cohorts attack us.
  2. I think one critical factor is our unwillingness to be patient and allow God to move according to His time. Since we want something instantaneous and quick, we move by sight, not by faith.
  3. We would be more daring and risk-taking (i.e., Peter walking out of the boat while the rest stayed in it). We would patiently wait until God moves according to His time instead of us taking actions.

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Evening Reflection

We learned this morning that the virgin birth is really about God’s faithfulness to His promises.  Often we find ourselves in difficult situations where we desperately need hope.  But instead of turning to God, we turn to people, substances and/or mindless entertainment.  Before we wrap up this day, let us turn to the Lord.  Be silent and meditate on His goodness, faithfulness and amazing love towards us.

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