July 22, Friday

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 2.8-11

And [Jesus] said to them, Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So [the servants] took it to him. 9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, 10 and said to him, Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

22I was on a flight early in the morning, and all I wanted was some sleep before I landed. Being a “larger-than-the-average” Asian man, the worst thing on a plane is to sit next to another “larger-than-the-average” person. The gentleman who sat next to me was this “larger-than-the-average” dude. He looked like a bouncer that stands in front of clubs. Turns out he was a bouncer that stands in front of clubs. I just wanted to sleep, but God kept pressing me to talk to him.

It seemed crazy to think that this guy would even want to talk to me. But in a pathetic attempt at small talk, I joked, “They should really have sizing charts so that big guys like us don’t end up next to each other.” He responded with a half grunt/half laugh. By the end of the flight, two “larger-than-the-average” men were sitting there in tears because of how faithful God was in their lives.

In the passage, we see a group of servants in the midst of a wine-crisis. We today cannot grasp the cultural magnitude of running out of wine at a wedding ceremony, but it was serious. Then this man named Jesus responds to the crisis by having them take water, fill up the ceremonial waterpots, and then take some of that same water to the headwaiter. You can imagine what the servants are thinking: “Is this a joke? This is crazy!” But can you imagine the awe that fell upon these servants (John emphasizes that only the servants knew where the wine came from) as they heard the headwaiter’s praise of the wine?

Our complimentary water bottles didn’t turn into wine. But God definitely amazed us in that plane. And despite the fact that it was all His doing, for some reason He shared the credit with me. My new friend thanked me for encouraging him. He thanked ME. I didn’t do anything. In fact, I resisted wanting to do anything. And yet God allowed me to be the recipient of his thanks on behalf of Him, much like the bridegroom at the wedding.

In what ways is God inviting you to join Him in His work today? The reality is that He doesn’t need us, but what He does want is for us to share in the joy of that work. Will you respond to that invitation today?

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You want to share the joy of Your work with me. Forgive me for taking Your invitation as an obligation. I want to enter into the Master’s joy! Give me the grace to not only recognize Your invitation, but the grace to be able to walk in obedience to it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 117

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Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 25:19-23: After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!

Questions to Consider

  1. What do you notice about the master’s response to the one who brought back five more talents versus the one who brought back two more talents? What do you learn about the master based on his response?
  2. What is the reward for the faithful servants?
  3. If you have time, read the interaction between the last servant and the master (verse. 24-28). In what ways are our responses like that of this servant, and what does this mean in terms of our relationship with God?

Notes

  1. The response of the master is exactly the same, which shows us that the amount that they brought back isn’t necessarily what matters to the master. It can be assumed that if the last servant had brought back one other talent, the response would be the same.
  2. The reward of the faithful servants is to enter into the joy of the master, to enjoy and celebrate the same things that the master enjoys and celebrates.
  3. Personal response. Note that the last servant did not understand who or what the master was doing. He didn’t see it as an invitation; rather, a burdensome task.

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Evening Reflection  

In what ways do you feel like God invited you to His work today? How did you respond to these invitations? What have you learned about God through this process? What have you learned about yourself? Take some time to jot down your thoughts.

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