July 25, Monday

yohanEditor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from April 11 to 17 are provided by Pastor Yohan of Radiance Christian Church, San Francisco.  Yohan graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Cairn University, where he studied theology.  He is married to Mandie, and they have four children: Maggie, Jonathan, Abigail and Simon.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 3:8

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

25In high school and college, I never had periods where I “fell away,” nor do I have fantastic stories of my BC (before Christ) days.  Even in college, I didn’t drink, never went to frat parties, smoked or used drugs; and because girls were not that interested in me, I didn’t get into too much trouble there, either.  I’m pleased to report that from my teenage years through my twenties—and even now—I   was/am pretty boring.  Of course, I didn’t start that way.  I know it sounds silly, but even young kids can be bad, and that was me.  Before my twelfth birthday, I had already been in multiple fights, busted for shoplifting (twice), and set the record for cumulative hours of detention at school (I’m not even sharing the stuff I’m truly ashamed of either).  I didn’t know it at the time, but the trajectory of my life was pointing the wrong way. I truly believe that I was only a few years away from getting into drugs and a slew of bigger problems.  Thankfully, the grace of God was (and is) upon me, as I moved to a different neighborhood, state, school, and eventually started going to church regularly.  Every once in a while, I will search for some of my old teachers from elementary school on Facebook.  I’d love to connect with them and tell them that I turned out all right—I’m sure they’d be shocked to learn that I am a pastor.

When Jesus said that the Spirit of God was like the wind—that  you feel it’s effects, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going—He was talking about people.  More specifically, God’s work in people.  I think we all have people in our lives who have surprised and blessed us by how God has changed their lives.  Unfortunately, we also all have people who we wish would “wake up” and get their faith and lives in order.  Truth be told, we are saddened because when we think about such people, we doubt if they will ever accept Christ into their lives.  If that is you and if you are on the verge of giving up on someone, please remember there are hundreds of thousands of people who were “further away from God” than twelve- year-old me.  Remember the fantastic testimonies about how Jesus came into their lives, some of which border on the unbelievable.  So don’t lose heart, because the Spirit may be moving now; and like the wind, you don’t know where it comes from or where (or when) it will go.

This morning, let Jesus’ truth remind you to hope in God for others again.  Please do not stop hoping for that sibling or parent; please do not stop loving that co-worker; please do not stop sharing with that childhood friend; and most importantly, please do not stop praying to our merciful Savior.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, this morning I pray for __________ (fill in the blank).  I know he/she feels hopeless in my eyes; forgive my lack of faith.  Please show him/her Your love and sacrifice.  Show him/her the truth.  Help me to be a witness and to hope.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 119:129-176

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Lunch Break Study

Read Isaiah 55:8-13: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.

Questions to Consider

  1. What truth can we gather from verses 8-9? How does such an understanding impact your life?
  2. What truth can we gather from verses 10-11? How does such an understanding impact your life?
  3. What can we learn about God from this piece of prophecy? Does this encourage you?

Notes

  1. Sometimes we forget that God isn’t just a little smarter than us or just slightly more insightful than us—He is infinitely smarter and has infinite understanding. This thought should encourage us to trust Him, especially in times when we are clueless.
  2. God has a purpose in everything He does and commands. Moreover, His plans and purposes do not fail.  Once again, this should encourage us to trust God.
  3. Isaiah 55 represents the Lord’s invitation for His people to repent and come back to Him. Ultimately, we see a God who would rather display mercy than judgement.  God’s desire is to bless, not punish.

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Evening Reflection  

The theme for today is that God is working, even when we do not see it or understand it.  Have there been events or people in your life that have caused discouragement, because you cannot understand or see God in them?  If so, don’t look at yourself; look to God.  See His infinite wisdom, power, and goodness.

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