August 11, Thursday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for August 8-14 are provided by Christine Li. Christine graduated from University of Pennsylvania and currently lives and works in New York City. She attends Remnant Church in Manhattan.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 6:5-6

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

11George Mueller, the evangelist famous for his ministry to orphans, left a legacy of hundreds of recorded answers to prayer. One story in particular sticks out: On a morning after being informed that there was no breakfast food available, Mueller had the three hundred orphans take their seats at the dining tables. He led them to say grace, believing that even though there was nothing available, God would not let His children go hungry that morning.

Soon after, a baker came by, having been woken up in the middle of the night and feeling convicted that God wanted him to send bread that morning. Not long after, a milkman knocked; his cart had broken down in front of the orphanage, and he thought he should send in cans of milk to lighten the load while his cart was being fixed.

Oftentimes, God will present us with an impossible task; we will lack the resources, the ability, the time, the energy. This happens, even as we are going around doing work that we believe God has called us to do. The disciples must have felt frequently frustrated as they followed Jesus. Wherever they went, they seemed to always lack resources for the jobs they were responsible for.

What do we do when we feel like we are being overwhelmed with an impossible task in front of us? It is tempting to throw in the towel, despair, and give up altogether. But, let’s not give up hope when faced with the impossible. God Himself is asking us where we will turn to.

Let’s remember that our Father commands the entire world and lacks nothing. God is intending to show us how He will provide. As we are faced with our limitations and confess that we do not have a way out, He who loves us will surely send us what we need.

Prayer: Father, help me to trust You even when it feels like an impossible task is in front of me. Thank You for reminding me that I am wholly dependent on You. Help me to trust that all the resources of the world are at Your fingertips. Please show me again that Your provision is not only timely but also abundant.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 138

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Lunch Break Study 

Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Questions to Consider

  1. This passage is an exhortation from the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church to give generously. Paul addresses one of the reasons the church may be tempted to not give. What is it, and what is his response?
  2. Here, God’s provision and our generosity seem to be linked. How could this be the case?
  3. Paul encourages the church to give, but he also reminds them that God supplies the seed and increases the harvest. Why then, do we continue to give? Let’s reflect on our reason for giving, and whether we are being as generous as we can.

Notes

  1. One hindrance to generous giving is the fear that we will ultimately end up lacking. Paul reminds the church that God is able to bless them abundantly, so that, at all times, the church will be able to give generously.
  2. It is important to remember that the favor we receive in this life is not meant to be a harvest reaped for ourselves. Instead, God blesses us abundantly so that we may be generous with our lives.
  3. God does not need our help in creating any harvest, but He gives us the opportunity to join us in His work. Although Paul says initially that those who sow sparingly reap sparingly, he also hints that our giving does not dictate the harvest. God can increase and multiply the harvest – our limitations are never His limitations. What we get is a front row seat to seeing how God can do much out of the very little we bring.

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Evening Reflection  

Are there places where you can be more generous but are too fearful to give? Let’s approach Him and ask to be reminded that He is the one who gives abundantly so that we can freely give to others.

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