Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from May 23-29 are written by Andy Kim. Andy, a graduate of Northwestern University, is about to complete his M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is currently serving as a staff at Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco, CA
Devotional Thoughts for Today
And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 26 “‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 27 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.
One of the greatest privileges I’ve had in my Christian journey was to share the gospel with a friend. The conversation initially started philosophically, centering on the evil of mankind. We explored some of the worst events in history along with those happening today and found no hope for mankind. I don’t know how or why, but we changed topics to the Bible—thank You, Jesus! I conjured up as many Bible stories a churched kid could remember, starting from the Gospels, sharing the accounts of Jesus and the manner in which He loved people. He was in utter disbelief and his only response was, “Tell me more. Tell me more about this Jesus.” These were the same stories that I heard repeatedly growing up, yet his reaction amazed me—it was as if he found a new treasure. He expressed great interest in the person of Jesus, his culture, and how Jesus talked to certain people—everything. If only every member in church could listen as attentively as my friend did, the church would have revival! It was then I realized just how dull my heart had become to God’s truth.
My point is this: in Hebrews, we read that the Word of God is living and active. So when we read it, does God’s truth convict us, resulting in actual changes? It is not that we need to be on the edge of our seats as we read through the book of Numbers, but the question remains: are our hearts alive to his Word? In this passage, Apostle Paul shows us that the hearts of the Roman Jews were dull to the truth. Charles Spurgeon warns us that “if this hardening work goes on, the day comes at last to such a man that the Word of God loses all effect upon him—whether he reads it or hears it, it ceases to be an accusing voice any longer; he rather finds a song of lullaby in it, and rocked in the cradle of his sin, he sleeps on to his own eternal ruin.” Yet we have reversed this reality by placing blame on boring preaching or lack of creativity of the Word. We end up pushing preachers to become story-filled entertainers rather than spirit-filled shepherds. The truth is that the preaching has not become mundane, but our hearts have.
Reflect back to the first time you encountered God. Remember when the Word spoke to you as opposed to you merely reading words on a page. My conversation with my friend climaxed when I told him that Jesus was inviting him into a relationship. He couldn’t believe that a God so good could love someone so capable of evil. He was amazed that it wasn’t too late. In the same way, it is never too late for us to return to our first love. May the words we hear, read, and sing revive our souls once again.
Lord, we repent and confess that our hearts have become dull. We confess that Your truth has in many ways lost its power and conviction over our lives. Please soften our hearts so that Your truth may speak life to our deadened hearts and point us toward the cross. Father, we thank You that Your grace always brings us back to You.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 54-55