July 18, Monday

joshEditor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from July 18-24 are provided by Pastor Joshua Kim of Church of Southland.  Joshua, a graduate of Emory University and Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.), serves as the pastor of Access group (singles).  He was recently married to Christina.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 1:1-3, 14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. . . . 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

18It was freshman year, first semester Philosophy 100 class. I was sitting there half nervous/half curious about what was in store for me, because I had heard countless stories of people denouncing their faith while studying philosophy. It was in the midst of this tension that an unexpected connection was made: logos. Many know that logos is the Greek word for word. What we may not realize is that this term represents more than the words that we read or speak. It describes a transcendent wisdom that orders the world accordingly. When these philosophers looked out in the world and saw how everything was ordered, to them, the only rational explanation was a Divine Wisdom that held all things together.

In the beginning was the Logos… are the first words John writes to both hellenized Jews and Gentiles who are familiar with the weightiness of this word. It describes a Jesus that not only is concurrent with God but is God. And much like the held beliefs of the ancients, all things came about through Him and nothing came about apart from Him. John is claiming that Jesus is that Divine Wisdom that holds all things together, the Logos.

Even if we may not fully grasp this concept of the Logos, ask yourself, “Is Jesus this transcendent in my life?” We often think of the pictures we see hung up in church, the gorgeous Jesus with the nicely trimmed beard and flowing hair, holding a little lamb in His arms. We love those old songs that claim Jesus as our best friend. And although these things are true, perhaps we’ve lost a sense of the transcendence of Jesus? Even the pagan philosophers of old who did not know Jehovah knew that there was something out there who was greater than what our minds could ever comprehend.

Is Jesus transcendent in your life? Take a moment and allow the greatness of Jesus to flood your heart with awe and wonder. He is the answer, the beginning of all things.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that you are indeed our greatest friend who laid down Your life for us. I also thank You that You are so much greater than anything I could ever comprehend—greater than my wisdom, my perspective, my strength. Allow my perspective of life on this day to be transformed by gazing at a God that is truly great. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 113

QT Page Break3

Lunch Break Study

Read Colossians 1.15-20:  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Questions to Consider

  1. Highlight or jot down all the words that are used to describe Christ in this passage. What kind of picture of Christ is Paul drawing?
  2. What does it mean when Paul writes that in everything [Christ] might be preeminent (verse 18, ESV)?
  3. Having established the greatness of Christ, Paul writes that it is through this Christ that we have our reconciliation with God. How does understanding Christ’s preeminence enrich your understanding of salvation?

Notes

  1. “image of the invisible God” “firstborn of all creation” “by him all things were created” “all things were created through him and for him” “before all things” “in him all things hold together” “the head of the body, the church” “the beginning” “firstborn from the dead” “preeminent””all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” “reconcile to himself all things” / [answers may vary] Paul is painting a picture of Christ where not only is He above all things, but He is at the center of all things; all things are by Him and for Him.
  2. The dictionary defines the word preeminent as surpassing all others; very distinguished in some way. Looking at the language closely, there is a sense of intentionality, that Christ’s preeminence in all things is how God has established things, and in this, all other things are made right.
  3. Personal response.

QT Page Break3

Evening Reflection  

As today’s theme was about the transcendence of Christ, in what ways were you reminded of Christ’s greatness today? In what ways have you seen the negative consequences of situations (whether in your life or in the life of others) where Christ is not preeminent? Take some time to journal your thoughts.

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