Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals from Feb. 1-7 are provided by Cami King. Cami, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is about to complete her M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary. She is currently serving as a staff at Journey Community Church in Raleigh.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’ 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
My journey into Christian faith consisted largely of wrestling with the truth and trustworthiness of Scripture. One of my dearest resources during that time was my dad who graciously spent inordinate amounts of time answering my questions and helping me process my thoughts. One phrase I’d constantly repeat in our conversations was, “Yes, but how do you know that?” I wanted to understand how he had become so persuaded that what Scripture was saying was true. How could he be certain? Among the slew of things that bolstered his assurance were the prophesies. I remember reading a compilation of promises and prophesies of God from the Old Testament listed beside accounts of their fulfillment (both in Scripture and in the life of the Church). It didn’t convince me at the time, but I remember one day when it clicked. I was amazed. One prophesy come true I could chalk up to coincidence, maybe even two or three. But after a while, it would have taken more blind faith to believe it was mere coincidence that aligned so many Old Testament prophesies with New Testament realities.
It’s not often as modern day Christians that we appeal to the Old Testament the way Peter did in the passage above. We, after all, are much more familiar with New Testament Scripture than the Old Testament stories Peter’s listeners would have know so well. But through the power and insight of the Holy Spirit, Peter is able to make connections between the words of David centuries prior and the events they’d themselves witnessed in the person of Jesus – and through this his listeners could “know for certain” that Jesus was the Christ. The Jesus Storybook Bible (a retelling of the Biblical narrative for children) explains well that the Bible is ultimately a Story – a story of a God of love and how He rescues His people. As we search pages of Scripture for truth for the day and insight for living, let us do so remembering the whole story, and may it (as a collective witness) grant us certainty of God’s love and salvation.
Prayer: “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations;” (Psalm 119:90) As I read and internalize your word today, may your Holy Spirit grant me confidence in your faithfulness and certainty of your love for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 29
Lunch Break Study
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Questions to Consider:
- What is the object of the great cloud’s witness? (In other words, what is it that the saints of old bear witness to?) How does this encourage you?
- Re-read the latter portion of verse 1 with emphasis added – “and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (emphasis mine). How does that influence the way we understand what the Hebrew writer is saying to us.
- Why is it so important to look to Jesus in the context of the Hebrew writer’s exhortation to the Church?
- Ultimately, they are witnesses of the faithfulness of God. If we turn back to chapter 11 (affectionately known as the “Hall of Faith”), we are confronted with story after story of people who put their faith in a God who we’ve now seen fulfill His words of promise to them. We should be stirred by their faith, yes, but all the more by the object of their faith – the God who kept His word.
- It’s easy to focus on the cloud of witnesses and marvel at the great things God has done in the past. But one important portion of this text is the exhortation to run with faithful endurance because there is a race set before us. The saints gone before us ran their race, and now we have to run ours. God is still at work, writing His story of faithfulness. We have a specific work to do in our specific time and place in history. The question, then, is, are we willing to join the cloud and complete our leg of the race?
- Jesus is the ultimate word on God’s faithfulness. Not only is He the fulfillment of so many of God’s promises from the Old Testament, but His life, death, and resurrection are the ultimate expression of God’s love for us. As we join the cloud of witnesses, we do so with a greater revelation of just how trustworthy God is and with a greater certainty because of all He has done than those who went before us.
What are the specific promises of God that you’ve seen fulfilled in your life? Can you recall specific prayers that He’s answered? Spend time thanking God for His faithfulness. Are there promises you’re still waiting to see fulfilled? Are there areas in your life where you are still awaiting the salvation of the Lord? Offer those to God anew, declaring your trust in His faithfulness as demonstrated throughout history.