Editor’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
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Take one quick look at the headlines, and you will find yourself wondering how to take in all the things that are going on in the world today. As a Christian, where are you to stand on things like who to vote for in the elections, how we are to view the various “_______ lives matter” movements, and the list goes on. It’s often hard to find proper methods of measuring whether or not you are being faithful to what the Lord commands of us.
But one thing that is clear from today’s devotional passage is that darkness does not comprehend the Light. In this introductory section of the Gospel of John, one of the themes being developed is that the Word that became flesh will ultimately be rejected. John is preparing his readers for what is to come—the reality that we took the life of the very One who came to give us life.
As followers of the Light, we too must accept this reality: the darkness does not comprehend the Light. We will face rejection. Not that we go out searching for conflict or rejection, but in our striving to be faithful to the Light, this will naturally lead us to butt heads with those who do not know Him.
I often find myself complaining about why life seems to go in two opposing directions, or why my thoughts and words are sometimes met with contempt. Obviously, there are times, due to my immaturity or tactlessness, that it is deserved. However, there are times in my attempt to be faithful to who Jesus is and what He desires for my life that conflict should be expected. Rejection should be expected. Mockery should be expected.
As you wrestle with what it means to live for Him on this day, be sensitive to the ways that your faithfulness to Him might lead you to dissonance with those who do not know Him. Be comforted in those moments that you might be more on the right path than if everyone in the world accepts you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for coming in flesh to be betrayed by the very people You came to save. Thank You for facing my rejection. Thank You for being the Light that overcame my darkness. As I seek to follow You, may I remember that no student is above his teacher. May Your acceptance be so much greater than the world’s rejection. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 114
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 10:26-33 (Context: This passage is found within Jesus’ commissioning of the twelve apostles. He warns them of the impending rejection and persecution that they are to face.)
So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Questions to Consider
- How does Jesus describe the reality in which we live when we follow Him?
- What is Jesus’ command to us in the midst of such opposition?
- How are you responding to Jesus’ words? Do you find them comforting or disturbing? Why do you think that is?
- Jesus describes a reality in which His disciples are sheep sent out among wolves who will persecute, mock, bring false witness against them, hated by all for His Name’s sake. Jesus says that this should be expected for believers who go out in obedience.
- Two commands can be taken from this passage. One, be wise and blameless (v.16), and two, do not fear (v. 19, 26). However, both reveal the same reality: the Holy Spirit is with you, both for wisdom and for courage.
- Personal response.
As you have thought about how much this world stands in opposition to the ways of God, in what ways are you drawn to pray for this world? In what ways—family, occupation, ministry, etc.—do you feel like you are more like the world than like Jesus? As you journal your thoughts, lift up a prayer of repentance, asking the Lord to purify your heart.