Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals from Feb. 1-7 are provided by Cami King. Cami, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, is about to complete her M.Div. at Gordon- Conwell Theological Seminary. She is currently serving as a staff member at Journey Community Church in Raleigh.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“A job is a vocation only if someone else calls you to do it for them rather than for yourself. And so our work can be a calling only if it is reimagined as a mission of service to something beyond merely our own interests.” (Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Plan for the World).
Paul spends a lot of time in the beginning of this letter legitimizing his gospel message and the authority with which He preaches it. Apparently, that authority was being questioned by those influencing his readers, and Paul wanted to set the record straight – that his message and authority are from God alone. Although none of us has quite the same mission as Paul, as we are not Apostles, we are all on mission for the Lord. Wherever we are and in all that we do, we have been led by God to that place and been given Good News to share with those around us.
In a season of summer vacations for many and summer mission trips in AMI, it’s important to remember in whose authority we go about and do all that we do. Every move we make in the world, we make as ambassadors of Christ, in the various capacities and giftings He’s given us. We are not merely sent out by AMI and in the authority of our church leaders to do whatever they have for us to do in missions. We are sent out by the Lord to make Him known and accomplish His will in the power and authority of His Spirit. Likewise, when we go on summer vacation, head off to do a summer internship, leave for business trips, go to work, study in school, or whatever the case may be, we are not only sent out in the authority of our school or our company but in the authority of God and in the name of Jesus, to be His ambassador in the world.
This is an empowering, yet sobering reality. Will we choose to see our lives as mission and our work as calling today? And will we wield the authority and power of God at work in us to accomplish His purposes in the world?
Prayer: Lord, help me to be on mission for you. As I go to [fill in the blank] today, help me to do so in your power and authority to accomplish Your purposes. Help me to be sensitive to Your Spirit within. Thank you for choosing me to be Your ambassador to the world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 57
Lunch Break Study
Read Colossians 3:15-17: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Questions to Consider:
1. What does Paul command his readers to do in verses 15-16? Which of these strikes you most as an area in need of surrender and obedience to God in your life? How might you practically do that today?
2. What does it mean to “do it all in the name of the Lord”? Think about your day yesterday. What would it have meant for you to do whatever you did “in the name of the Lord”? How can you walk in this truth today?
3. Paul’s words are given in the context of an exhortation toward love and unity in the Church. Why is this important and how might this encourage you as you operate as an ambassador in the world today?
1. Paul essentially challenges the church to have peace, thanksgiving, gratitude, and an indwelling presence and working of the word of God among them. Some of us may need more peace – to surrender our cares to the Lord and walk in the truth of His provision and sovereignty. Others of us may need to be more thankful and grateful to the Lord – with less complaining, discontentment, and bitterness. And still others of us may need to focus on the message of Christ – the Good News of God’s love for us and others that calls us to an abundant life in submission to and relationship with Him. Spend some time thinking about what practical steps you can take towards one of these ends.
2. One Christian commentator put it this way: “We should say all words and practice all deeds in harmony with the revelation of Jesus Christ, namely, under His authority and as His followers… When faced with a question about what the Christian should do, Paul taught that we should simply ask ourselves what conduct would be appropriate for one identified with Christ. ‘What would Jesus do?’” (Dr. Thomas L. Constable) Send some time in personal reflection, considering how operating in the power of God and for the sake of Christ might affect you in day-to-day life.
3. This serves as a reminder that we are on mission together. Elsewhere, scripture says that our love for one another will identify us as His (John 13:35). We are not alone as God’s ambassadors in the world, but we have a whole family partnering with us, supporting us, and challenging us.
“Our daily work can be a calling only if it is reconceived as God’s assignment to serve others.” (Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Plan for the World)
What are some ways God is calling you to serve others? Who are the specific people you can serve through your daily work? What are some ways you can serve them? Spend some time reflecting on these things with the Lord in prayer.