Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from March 31-April 6 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), was recently married to Grace.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Acts 13:13-16, 26
Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.” So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: “Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen… to us has been sent the message of this salvation.”
In July of 2010, I was doing street evangelism with a small team on the campus of one of China’s largest universities. As we approached one of the main buildings, we noticed there was an English class going on. The principal of the English program was standing outside, so we introduced ourselves to him, as English speakers from America. After noticing our perfect English, the principal’s eyes lit up. “Would you go up on stage and share something with our students?” he asked in Chinese. (He didn’t speak English.) We were thrilled. Within minutes we were ushered onto the stage. A class of 1,000 students was interrupted for us to come up and share “something” in English!
So, of course, we shared the gospel, invited them to church service, and sang a praise song. At the end of our song, everyone clapped, including the principal, who had no idea of what had just happened. The students, however, all spoke and understood English! Later that evening, around ten students from that lecture hall showed up to the church service—and five of them accepted Christ that day! We were astonished at the platform that God had given us, especially at a Chinese University.
Paul must have felt a similar thing when the Jewish rulers (who were actually opposed to his message) invited him to share in the synagogue. Perhaps it was part of the plan all along; or maybe it came as a surprise. But what we know from this story is that Paul was present and available, and God opened the doors for the gospel to be shared through him. Are you present and available for God? Today, let’s stay on alert for open doors, even in the unlikeliest of places.
Father, You are always working around us. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit today. Keep our eyes open that we might join You in your work. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 17
Lunch Break Study
Read John 5:19-20: So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.”
Questions to Consider:
- According to the passage, how does Jesus decide what to do (and what not to do) throughout each day?
- How can Jesus have such an awareness of what the Father is doing?
- How can we live with this mindset?
- Jesus says that He is “limited” to doing only what He sees God the Father doing! To think of Jesus not acting autonomously may be a strange idea at first, but Jesus is basically saying that His entire ministry is not done by His own power/discernment, but rather, He just follows what He sees the Father doing.
- The obvious answer is, “Of course! He’s Jesus!” But the passage tells us that Jesus is aware because the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself is doing. Jesus can tell what God the Father is doing because He reveals His work to those He loves.
- Since we have been given the Holy Spirit, through Him, we can actually be aware of God’s work. As we grow in our knowledge of God’s Word, and deepen our relationship with His Spirit, we can increasingly live as Jesus lived: step-by-step with God!
How well do you submit? We don’t like to hear that word very much: submission. And yes, the word does carry some negative connotation in our day. But the beauty of our Triune God is in the joyous submission of the Father, Son, and Spirit, to one another. Likewise, the beauty of the church can only be fully realized when we are joyously submitted to Christ, and to one another! Submission is hard, but joyous submission is beautiful.