Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from Aug. 15-21 are provided by Cami King. Cami, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is about to complete her M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary. She is currently serving as a staff at Journey Community Church in Raleigh.
Devotional Thought for Today
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
I wonder how often we miss what God is up to in the world because we make quick judgments about the way things are, and how we think things should be. Or, better yet, how often we fail to see God in another person for the same reasons. Jesus was up to something amazing in Judea – God himself became man and was saving the world, albeit unassumingly. But because Jesus wasn’t doing the expected or moving in what they judged as God-like ways, many people totally missed it.
Recently, I was in a seminar and shown a picture of what could, at best, be called abstract art (at worst, a hot jumbled mess). The speaker promised that there was an animal in the picture and asked if anyone could find it. We looked and looked and one by one exclaimed, “I see it!” But some in the group just couldn’t see it. So he gave clues (“This is the animals nose. Does that help anyone? It’s a farm animal that you’re looking for. Do you see it now?”). After some time, everyone found the cow hidden in the picture. And once we saw the cow, it was impossible to un-see it. It was no longer “abstract art” but instead a very unique picture of a cow.
Life can often look like a hot jumbled mess… and people can too. But if we take the time to look long enough, we can find something pretty spectacular in the midst of that apparent mess. The old ladies in my church growing up used to always say, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” I think His ways seem mysterious to us because our eyes don’t always see clearly, and we don’t always understand what’s really going on. We only see a hot jumbled mess and are shocked when beauty suddenly emerges from the ashes.
Whether it’s a circumstance or a person in our life, may we take a long hard look today, aided by the wisdom of the Spirit within, to see more clearly and begin to understand what God is up to.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please give me eyes to see. May I not rely on my own evaluations of circumstances and people, but may I patiently discern Your righteous judgments instead. In Jesus’ name.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 145
Lunch Break Study
Read the following passage through a few times, meditatively.
Romans 8:26-39: In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, northings present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Questions to Consider:
- What are some promises given to believers in these verses?
- How do these promises align with your assessment of your present reality? Spend some time encouraging yourself through these promises. It may help to restate them to yourself in the following way – “The Holy Spirit helps me when I’m weak.” “God is freely giving me all things.” Etc.). Ask God to help you see your present reality through the lens of these promises.
- The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. // The Holy Spirit is praying for us according to God’s good plan for us. // All things will work for our good. // We will be conformed to be like Jesus. // God is for us! // God will freely give us all things. // Christ is praying for us too. // We are more than conquerors no matter what comes our way. // Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Was there a specific promise from today’s Lunch Break Study that was particularly encouraging for you? Consider writing it down and placing it somewhere you’ll see it regularly. Spend some time thanking God for His promises and His loving care for you in every season.