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
But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
A pastor was aboard a plane on an international flight on his way to speak at a mission’s conference. Seated next to him was a woman with whom he quickly made acquaintance. During the flight, the plane underwent an intense bout of turbulence, and the pastor could see out of the corner of his eye that every time the plane shook, the woman tensed up. As the turbulence got worse, the woman began to break out in cold sweat as she exhaled anxious groans. Noticing her increasing distress, the pastor turned to her and said, “Don’t worry, we will not die today!” “How can you be sure?” she replied in a shaky voice. With a small grin the pastor responded, “Because I’m on the plane.”
While the above may have been a humorous statement primarily intended to loosen nerves, there is some truth to that notion. God has a purpose for each of us that nothing, not even death, can deter. In our passage today, Paul should have died. When a crowd gathers around you, hurls stones at you, and then drags you outside the city, you’re supposed to be dead. In fact, the crowds thought Paul was dead! Yet when the disciples came, “he rose up and entered the city!” Then the next day, he continued on to preach the gospel and made many disciples. Subsequently, he RETURNS to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch. This is either the behavior of a madman—or a man on a mission.
Once in a while, especially during stressful times, I think to myself, I wish I could just be in heaven now. What I’m really saying is, I’m tired of the mundane, burdensome, seemingly meaningless stuff that I’m doing. Perhaps you’ve said this or thought this to yourself at times. But the truth is, if God didn’t have a plan to use you here on this earth, you’d already be in heaven! As heaven-bound Christians, what purpose would there be to remain on this earth, other than to be used by God in some way while we’re here? Whether you’re in an exciting season of your life, or in a mundane one, or a downright stressful one, take some time today to remind yourself of this truth: God still wants to do something through you here on this earth. The fact that you still have breath in your lungs is the proof of it!
Lord, I am Your vessel. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and awaken a kingdom-minded vision within me. Help me to see my actions as they fit into Your purposes. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 22