Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from May 9-15 are provided by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church (Raleigh). David, a graduate of Drexel University and Columbia International University (M.Div.) is married to Helen (“Pie”) and they have three beautiful daughters (Cara, Phoebe, and Ruth).
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Now three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2 And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews laid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, 3 asking as a favor against Paul that he summon him to Jerusalem—because they were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. 4 Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. 5 “So,” said he, “let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him. 6 After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7 When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him that they could not prove.”
To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in Heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is “The Governor among the nations”, setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is Sovereign is to declare that He is the “Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Such is the God of the Bible. -A. W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God
The word “sovereign” is common in Christian circles today. But what is not as common are believers who are so convinced of God’s absolute sovereignty that their lives bear a marked difference. As believers, if we understood and trusted in God’s sovereignty, it would gives us greater hope, peace and security as we live out God’s mission in our lives.
The Sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control, and that nothing happens without His direction or permission. As we read today’s passage, it is evident that Paul trusted in God’s sovereignty as he was going through his trial to defend his faith. Paul was now facing the new Governor Festus and many commentators say that though he was a good administrator, his main flaw was that he wanted the approval of people too much, which is why he kept Paul under his authority. He would not make his own decision on releasing Paul, fearing that he would disappoint the chief priests and religious leaders. The author, Luke, writes that they could not prove the charges against him, which was a disregard of the Law and treason (v.7). Even in this unfair situation, Paul still trusted that God was working for his good and had a purpose for him.
As you examine your own life, do you trust in God’s sovereignty as you strive to obey Him? Maybe you do not understand why certain events or relationships are going the way they are, but in the midst of it, are you trusting that God absolutely knows what He’s doing for His glory and for your good even though it maybe painful? Pray that you would surrender and trust Him as you begin your day.
Prayer: Lord, help me to trust in Your sovereignty today. I want to look to You as my source of strength and joy because of Your perfect rule over my life. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 35
Lunch Break Study
Read James 4:13-16
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
Questions to Consider
- What’s the main point James wants to get across to his readers?
- How should we view our lives from what the passage says?
- What does this mean for you?
- We are not in control of our own lives and if we think we are – we are being prideful. To think, “I am the ruler of my life, I am the king of my own life, I will be sovereign in my own life,” means that we are arrogant in the eyes of God.
- We should view our own lives with humility, knowing that God is in control of even how long we will live on this Earth. Our lives are just like a midst – here one minute and gone the next. It should lead us to a state of surrender, knowing that every detail of our life is under His sovereignty.
- Personal application.
What area in your life do you need to have greater trust in? Spend time lifting up those areas specifically in prayer, and ask that you would be surrendered to His sovereignty.