Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from July 11-15 are provided by Tina Hsu, who is currently serving as a preaching-intern in East Asia. Tina is a graduate of Biola University and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for Today
Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?
One of the easiest words to resist, or even despise, is when our parents or a person in authority sets up rules and says, “I tell you this for your good” or “I tell you this because I care for you.” Naturally, in our sinful nature, we want to be autonomous, independent, and the judge of right and wrong. Similarly, our hearts, when ignorant of God says, “I know the best for myself.” Scripture helps us to see that God’s commands are not burdensome or joy-killers. They don’t rob us of freedom. They are actually for our good. God’s Word helps us to live in our new freedom in Christ and to walk into His blessings and promises.
In this morning’s passage, God instructs Israel through Moses to devote themselves to His words and commands, so that they may victoriously go in to possess the land God had promised to their forefathers. God exhorts and instructs for their good. He desires them to inherit His promise in His way and by His power. Ever since coming out of Egypt, the Israelites had many episodes of straying from God and doubting Him, including the time they worshipped the golden calf. It was important for Israel to learn to keep the Lord’s commandments, so that they could enter and possess the land through listening to God’s voice, instruction, and ways. The more they trust and keep God’s Word, the less they will fear crossing the Jordan and driving out nations that are stronger and greater than them. Though God’s commands required devotion and obedience, His commandments were for their good and for their future inheritance.
In light of this, let’s reflect about how God’s convictions and commands are for our good. What is God calling you to obey today, and how do you think your obedience will be for your good?
Prayer: Dear God, help me to trust that Your commandments are not burdensome. Instead, they are for my good. Train my ears and tune my heart to follow Your ways, so that I can experience Your promises and blessings in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 107
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 5:24-27: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
Questions to Consider
- What is Jesus implying by using imagery of the house, rock, sand, wind, flood, and rain?
- What is the Jesus’ main exhortation to us in this passage?
- Why do you think Jesus calls his teachings/commands a rock? How has God’s word been a “rock” in your life recently?
- By using the imagery of wind, flood, and rain, Jesus is implying that trials, hardships, and difficult times will come. The righteous, those who are God’s children by faith, are not exempt from facing trials. The house represents our life and personhood. The rock represents Jesus’ teaching, whereas sand represents man’s own ways.
- He is exhorting us to hear and obey His words, because those who live life (or build his/her life) according to God’s ways are able to remain steady and strong even though trials and hardships are overwhelming and difficult.
- Personal Response.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). What do you live by? What do you crave for?