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
“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
Many of us grew up being taught that no sin is worse than any other – in the sense that hatred in heart and murder in body both played a part in nailing Jesus to the cross for the salvation of the world. But if you’re like me, there are times when you feel much worse about some of your transgressions and failures than others. There are ways we fall short that are bearable for us, we can carry our sins before God and receive grace and forgiveness. But there are those dark and painful moments when we fall so far short of God’s glory, our own expectations of ourselves, and the disconnect between who we should be and who we are appears so vast, that it’s utterly crippling and we find ourselves in despair.
In the passage above, Peter spoke to a group of people who were personally implicated in the crucifixion of Jesus – and not in the abstract way that many of us see our own hand in the matter –but they were there, approving, jeering, and crucifying the Messiah. What utter despair they must have felt as they listened to Peter’s cryptic words, and they began to see clearly for the first time just what they had done. Yet even in the face of what was likely their lowest moment before the Lord, they are each invited to repent – not condemned, but invited to turn back to God and receive grace and forgiveness. And even though we may surprise ourselves with the depths of our depravity, God is not surprised, and He still bids us come because He has made a way for us to wholeness and righteousness.
Regardless of what we’re facing today, may we be reminded that our God already knows the ways we will transgress Him. He knows more intimately than we do the mystery of our hearts and the depths of our depravity. Yet He still bids us come. He still extends grace. He has already made a way for us to move from our shortcomings and sin into righteousness and wholeness through His Son Jesus Christ. All we have to do is turn.
Prayer: Gracious God, forgive me for my sins today. I bring before You my brokenness and receive your grace. Help me to take comfort in knowing that You knew every mistake I’d make before I made it and planned a way to make things right. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 36