March 11, Friday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from March 7-13 are provided by Kate Moon.  Kate has been serving the Lord in E. Asia for nearly 15 years. 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Acts 7:59-60, 8:4-8:  While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.

11I didn’t understand the hurry many Asian parents seemed to be in to get their children married off until someone explained to me that in this culture, parents don’t feel like their job is done until they see their children married and settled down.  A majority of American parents may feel it their responsibility to get their children through high school at least; for Asian parents, getting their children married was the stage they were responsible for seeing through.  Once they did, they could say, “It is finished,” (i.e., be “done” with parenting).

What about for spiritual parenting?  When is a spiritual parent’s job “done?”  What would it mean to see spiritual parenting responsibly through to the end as we engage in this work that we are all called by Jesus to do, namely making disciples of all nations?

In today’s descriptions of Stephen and Philip, we see Jesus’ image.  Stephen died the way Jesus died: asking God to forgive those who persecuted him.  Philip worked the way Jesus worked: traveling, speaking, healing and driving out demons (Matthew 4:23; Mark 1:39).  Yet neither Stephen nor Philip were one of the Twelve.  They were both, actually, among the Seven who had been chosen by the Twelve to help with the ministry to the widows (Acts 6:5); they were disciples of the Disciples.  The spiritual grandchildren of Jesus.  He must have been so proud.

Often when we think about mentoring others, we think about training them to do what we do, but our job is actually not really done until we see them reproducing, training others to do what they can now do.  These days, as I engage in this work, I find myself relating somewhat to those parents asking, “So, have you found anyone, yet?” as I ask people whether they’ve found anyone to love, even if it’s just one person, to love into the family of God and continue loving to the point of seeing them loving others.  I’m eager to see spiritual grandchildren.  How about you?

Prayer

Dear Jesus, help me to be a good spiritual parent today, teaching Your children well, helping them learn to help others.  Help me to be faithful to the Jesus I’ve seen in my mentors, and may Your image be faithfully passed down to the next generations, that others may continue to see You in them.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 20

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Lunch Break Study

Read and study the following passages:

Deuteronomy 4:9: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

Deuteronomy 11:18-19: Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Joel 1:3-4: Tell your sons about it, And let your sons tell their sons, And their sons the next generation.  What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; And what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten; And what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten . . . .

Psalms 78:4: We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.

Questions to Consider

  1. What did God command His people to pass on to their children in Deuteronomy?
  2. What themes from Deuteronomy 4:9 are echoed in Joel 1:3? What is the specific context in Joel?
  3. What element does Psalms 78:4 emphasize in terms of telling what God has done? What should be one focus when we are talking about God to the next generations?

Notes

  1. Their experiences of God (“the things your eyes have seen” 4:9) and His words (including instructions and commands) (11:18).
  2. They are to tell of what God has done and keep passing down the stories from one generation to the next. The context is God’s judgment (an invasion of locusts).  It is not only salvation that is to be remembered; God’s judgments are also to be remembered as warnings.
  3. As they tell the stories, they are to be told from a perspective of praising God. As we tell the next generations of what God has done, one thing to be mindful of is that we are to be raising up the next generation of worshippers.

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Evening Reflection

Is there any way in which I’ve experienced God today that I need to hold on to and remember? To pass down to the next generation to the praise and glory of His name?

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