March 14, Monday

charlesEditor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from March 14-20 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry Church, Los Angeles.  Charles, a graduate of UC Riverside and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, and they have three children: Chloe, Noah, and Camden, who was recently born.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Acts 9:1-9

Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. [4] And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

14I was arrested once in my lifetime. Before I knew Christ, I was in the throes of my youthful rebellion when I was picked up by the police for shoplifting at the local mall. I had been stealing for a long time, so when I was finally arrested, it was definitely “a long time coming.”

On his way to Damascus, Saul too, was apprehended by God. A great light from heaven, which Saul would have recognized as the glory of God, accompanied the words of Jesus. Jesus told Saul that persecuting the church was tantamount to fighting God himself. Saul thought he was doing the will of God, but God in His mercy, stopped him from continuing down that destructive path.

Do you remember when you were stopped by the Lord? He does it in a lot of different ways for different people. Some are overcome by the guilt of sin, and they call on the Lord, asking Him to save them from it, while with others, God allows them to smash into a brick wall in life before they see the light and call on the Lord for help. Very often, God will show us through failures and disappointments that we need correction in our life course.

This is because we do not very often call on God when things are going well in our lives. We usually have to hit rock bottom before we are willing to look up for help. It’s only when we humbly acknowledge we cannot do it on our own that God is able to come and help us. If it takes several hard knocks in life to produce humility, then God will allow that to happen for the greater good!

Paul saw the light, and He saw the errors of his way. How about you today? Do you sense God is trying to get your attention? Do you feel the Lord is trying to change the direction you are going? If so, turn to Him in repentance today!

Bible Reading for Today: Nahum 2

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Lunch Break Study

Read Philippians 3:12-21 (ESV): Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. [13] Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. [15] Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. [16] Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

[17] Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. [18] For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. [19] Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. [20] But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, [21] who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Questions to Consider

  1. Paul’s life is purposeful, for he constantly aims toward a heavenly goal, but in verse 14, says he has not reached that goal. What is the prize of reaching that goal?
  2. Paul calls the Philippians to imitate him. What does this mean?
  3. Are you able to say “imitate me as I imitate Christ” to somebody today?

Notes

  1. The prize is the fullness of blessings and rewards in the age to come, more specifically, being in perfect fellowship with Christ forever.
  2. Paul is not saying the Philippians are to focus on him per se but rather for them to join him in humble, radical dependence on Christ.
  3. Personal Response.

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Evening Reflection

“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” –C.S. Lewis

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