February 15, Monday

dougEditor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals for February 15-16 are provided by Doug Tritton.  Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary while working fulltime.  He is married to Cindy and they serve at Symphony Church in Boston. 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Acts 4:1-4

And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.

15In my current job, I work on the release of tech products. There is much momentum as we work on the hottest new trend and put great effort into launching the product; but then once we finish and release it, there is a lull. Since we are not in sales, we do not know right away how the product is doing in the market—and so all we can do is wait and see.

In some ways, this is what Peter and John may have been feeling. They had been ministering to people, Peter had just given a powerful sermon, but now they were sitting in prison, blind to what fruit that may have resulted from their ministry.

Yet, we as readers of the Bible know what happened: “many of those who had heard the word believed” (v.4). Though Peter and John were not aware of this at the time, God was at work, drawing thousands of people to Himself. What they needed to do was to simply wait and see what God was doing, because ultimately He was the One in control.

In our ministries, we need to remind ourselves who is in control. We often can get so result-oriented that we forget that God is the one who is at work, not us. And then we lose heart because we do not see immediate fruit. But instead of worrying—wait and see. Wait and see what fruit God is going to bring through your ministry. Wait and see how God is at work around you. Wait and see that our God is faithful to us.

Doing any sort of ministry is challenging—we want to see results. But God is in control and He is the One we need to trust. Today, let’s surrender our work, our ministries, and everything else to Him!

Prayer

Lord, thank You for being in control. So often we try to take control of our lives, orchestrating our own success, our own results, when really everything is in Your hands. Help us to surrender to You, to trust that You really are sovereign. Come and have Your way in our lives!

Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 45

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Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 127:1-2: Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why is it “vain” to build without God or watch over the city without God?
  2. How is sleep or rest a sign of trust?
  3. Are there any “houses” that you are building in vain? Reflect on how you trust God with these things.

Notes

  1. Remember the message of Ecclesiastes: anything done apart from God is vanity. All work, all pursuits are vanity when not done with God, because He is the one in control and He can easily disrupt our plans—just like He did at Babel!
  2. When we rest or sleep, we choose not to do some activity or task. While this could seem like laziness (and it sometimes can be!), choosing to rest instead of getting something done is showing that we trust God more than ourselves. Remember, “It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest”!
  3. Think carefully about this. Try to practically apply this truth in your life, trusting God to be in control of all your pursuits.

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Evening Reflection

Are you nervous about something coming up, or maybe worried about the results of something you are doing? Lay these things up to God and allow Him to bring you peace and comfort. Trust that though you may be sleeping, God is always at work around you, and He is the one in control.

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