Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from July 24 – 31 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
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
In a recent commercial promoting the low-light camera feature on the Samsung Galaxy S7, advertisers made the claim that, “All the best stuff happens in the dark.” They gave these examples: dancing happens in the dark, people are younger and better looking in the dark, food becomes more expensive and romantic in the dark, and my personal favorite, “If you are well below average-looking, your only chance of kissing an attractive person is in the dark.” Obviously, the commercial was meant to be comical, but it does hit on some truth; namely, that we enjoy the literal darkness because we can hide in it, and our imperfections are not as pronounced.
But here is another problem with darkness (or lack of light) — it hides true beauty. Think of all the beautiful places that you’ve been to: beaches, mountains, Hawaii, Yosemite, New England in the fall, the Grand Canyon, etc. You want to visit these places in the daytime, because the light reveals their beauty. In low lighting, you may see forms and shapes, but you cannot pick out the details that make these places breathtaking.
Spiritually speaking, living in the fear of being exposed and hiding in the darkness is a terrible and disfiguring way to live; on the other hand, living in the light of the truth is beautiful and freeing. People who live with a big secret—such as drug addiction, adultery, or involvement in an illegal business, etc.—are always weighed down by the fear of being caught. And they cannot be healed or be free until they confess and disclose their sins. The beauty of being made in the image of God and being a child of God is hidden by the darkness they are trying to hide their sins in. Only after allowing the light to reign can their beauty be revealed.
Is there something in your life that you are keeping in the dark? Is that secret bringing you into the dark as well? Does it need to be confessed and brought to life? Won’t you consider sharing it with someone?
Heavenly Father, I want to live in the complete radiance of Your light. Help me to confess any hidden sins and seek forgiveness, restoration, and renewal. Remind me that Your light is always good.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 121
Lunch Break Study
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Questions to Consider
- What was the psalmist trying to convey about God in this Psalm?
- How does the psalmist highlight the characteristics of God’s protection?
- This Psalm (especially vv. 6-7) implies that no harm will befall a child of God. What does that mean?
- The psalmist praises the Lord as our guardian or protector.
- In verses 3-4, we see that God is ever-vigilant in His protection—there is never a time when we have escaped His watch, and He never sleeps. God protects us from harm (vv. 6-7) and has a plan for us. He watches over our lives, both our coming and going, now and forever (vv. 7-8).
- The psalmist is not saying that bad things will never happen to God’s children. History tells us that many Christians are persecuted and have been killed for their faith. But what we need to understand is that God’s protective hand and care does not leave His children; meaning, those who suffer are not abandoned by God or out of His loving will. So we must see our sufferings as given by God and have the grace to ask, “What is God trying to accomplish in this suffering?”
This morning we talked about getting out of the darkness; and in the afternoon Psalm 121 talked about the ever-vigilant care of the Lord. Believe it or not, these two ideas are not unrelated, for the statement that “God sees everything about me,” is true. In Psalm 121, we see that this is a beautiful and comforting idea (if you generally live in the light). However, if we are trying to hide in the darkness, this can be a terribly uncomfortable idea for us. In your life, how do you react to the idea that God sees everything about you?