August 20, Saturday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from Aug. 15-21 are provided by Cami King.  Cami, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, has recently completed her M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary.  She is currently serving as a staff at Journey Community Church in Raleigh. 

Devotional Thought for Today

John 8:31-32

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

20There are many images used in Scripture to describe the Christians’ relationship with God. To name a few, we are children, priests, salt and light. But one of the most important is that of a disciple. A disciple is a student – one who not only believes in but also learns from, follows, and obeys his/her teacher. All throughout the New Testament, we are called to be disciples of Jesus. But how many of us are answering that call?

In an article written for the C.S. Lewis Institute, pastor and author Timothy Keller explains what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus.  First, it means “setting a new priority” – Jesus is of first importance in our lives and we, forsaking all others, follow Him no matter the cost. Often times we want Jesus as our Savior, but not our Lord. We want to be saved from hell, but still want to do things our own way. But, “Jesus is Lord because he’s savior [and] He’s Savior because He’s Lord.” Keller explains that attempting to split the two is as nonsensical as inviting a friend named Barbara Boyd into your home but insisting that only Barbara come in, while Boyd remains outside. Furthermore, it’s silly for us to treat the God who created and sustains the universe as a personal assistant.  Second, discipleship means “finding a new identity.” Keller explains: “Discipleship is not just a matter of bending your will to Jesus’ will; it’s melting your heart into a whole new shape.” We are literally transformed as we follow Christ – our desires change, our thoughts change, and we change along the way. And finally, this is all possible because discipleship means “living a new mercy.” Look back over the years, and you will see that when people want to atone for their sins and be forgiven, they put a sacrifice on the altar and burn it with fire! There’s something inside us that intuitively says, “That can’t be enough to put away sins.” That’s right. All those fires were pointing to this fire [God’s judgment of Jesus in our place on the cross]…[that] came down on Jesus Christ. He came to take it. He came to bear it.

This is what it means to be a disciple. But are we living this way – with Christ as supreme priority (not work, family, comfort, etc.), being transformed into Christ’s likeness (when others see us, they see Him), and living in the fullness of the forgiveness of sin (not in guilt, shame, or reckless sinfulness)? Will you answer the call? Will you continue in the way of discipleship? May you experience the abundant life and freedom promised to all those who follow Him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, my life is Yours. I am your disciple. Possess me completely. Teach me to surrender all I am and all I have and transform me to be more like You, in light of Your abundant grace and mercy. Thank You for forgiving my sins and making me new. In Your name.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 148-149

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