July 20, Wednesday

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

John 1:15, 20-23

John testified about Him and cried out, saying, This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ.” 21 They asked him, What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, No.” 22 Then they said to him, Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

20I was meeting a college student at a Starbucks. He had struggled with his faith early on but recently started to deepen his relationship with the Lord. In the midst of prepping for his dental school admission test (DAT), he wanted to share something that God had been teaching him through his studies. He said, “I’m starting to understand what Paul meant that we are a body. A body functions rightly when all the parts of the body, all the cells play the role that they are designed for.” I nodded in agreement. “But do you know what happens when a cell does whatever it wants to or grows in a wrong way?” he asked. “Cancer.”

Although none of us would ever consider claiming to be the Christ, I wonder if our actions would beg to differ. It astounds me to see the kind of humility John displayed in today’s passage. All these people came to him, ready to be baptized and to follow him… ready to make him a big deal. And yet we see his humble response to them. But where does this humility come from? We can see it in his response:

“I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

We see someone who understood his place in the redemptive history of God. He understood that he was called to prepare the way of the coming Christ. He understood that God had placed him in this situation at this moment for that very purpose. And he obeyed.

I sometimes wonder if in my ministry, I make myself to be Christ more than the one who prepares the way for Christ. It sounds so ridiculous that I would ever consider that I am more important than Christ, but perhaps my actions or decisions show something different. Are there ways in your life where you have become a more important character in the story of life than Christ? How do you understand your God-given role in His redemptive history? Are you walking in obedience to that masterful plot?

Prayer: Lord, You are the Author and Perfecter of my faith. I confess that I am no longer the center of my story. It is no longer about me because of what Jesus has done. Help me to understand the role I am to play in Your great story of redemption. To that, I humbly surrender. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 115

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Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Corinthians 12:14-20: For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

Questions to Consider

  1. What connection is Paul making in discussing how the body functions and how a church should function?
  2. In light of this message, what does it mean for each body part (the individual)?
  3. Whether you know what role or part you play in the church, how does today’s devotional passages change your perspective on your life?

Notes

  1. Paul masterfully demonstrates how God has orchestrated every member of a church to work together, each part uniquely and specifically, to make the whole function, much like how one body has many parts.
  2. For the individual, this means that she should value the unique purpose God has placed on her life, but at the same time, recognize that her unique value does not trump the value of other members who have different purposes.
  3. Personal response.

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Evening Reflection  

As you reflected on the idea that God has uniquely called you to play a part in His redemptive narrative, how would you say that you are doing? Are you able to see that your life is a part of a bigger story? In what ways have you taken on the role of Christ in your own life by making it all about yourself? Take some time to journal and, if need be, repent before God.

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