August 26, Friday

emersonEditor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from August 25-26 are provided by Emerson Lin. Emerson, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, serves as a staff at Kairos Christian Church, while studying at Talbot School of Theology. He and Annie got married earlier this year.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 9:35-41

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

26Have you ever played the game Pictionary? It is where one teammate draws a picture and the other teammates try to guess the word the drawing is intended to represent. Anything can be drawn except numbers or letters, and the drawer cannot use verbal clues about the subject being depicted. Your entire team must guess as many pictures as possible within one minute.

If you have played this game enough times, you start to realize that your teammates will start rapidly shouting random words that may not be even related to the drawing. However, as the picture becomes more clear, your teammates’ guesses become more accurate.

In continuation of this narrative, the Pharisees are furious at the young man’s allegiance to Jesus. As a result, they throw him out of the synagogue. Jesus goes to find the young man and asks him, “Do you believe in the Son of man?” As Jesus reveals His identity as the Messiah, He gets two very different responses.

If you read from the beginning of the chapter to the end, we see the progression of the beggar’s view of Jesus. He first describes Jesus as a man (v. 11), then as a prophet (v. 17), and then finally as the Messiah (v. 38). The beggar’s physical healing leads to a healing of spiritual blindness. It was as if Jesus drew the final stroke in his life, and the young man saw who Jesus truly was in his life. Ultimately, he falls down and worships Jesus.

As for the Pharisees, the reality of Jesus becomes less clear in their lives. They claim that Jesus is not from God (v. 16), then they persecute those following Jesus (v. 22), and then they claim Jesus is a sinner (v. 24). They were spiritually blind.

Sometimes, we have a hard time growing deeper in our worship to the Lord. We may not be spiritually blind like the Pharisees, but we get distracted from fixing our eyes upon Jesus. When the beggar understood who Jesus was, he engaged in a posture of worship. When we’re distracted from the revelation of who Jesus is, it becomes harder to engage. If you’re having a difficult time worshipping the Lord, ask yourself this: Are there things in your life distracting you? Take some time to ask the Lord.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for healing me of my spiritual blindness, so that I can clearly see who You truly are. I pray that every aspect of my life would bring worship unto You. If there are any things in my life contending for my worship to You, please bring them out in the light. Lord, You deserve ALL my worship. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Luke 4

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Lunch Break Study 

Read Psalm 95:1-11: Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice, 8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, 9 where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

Questions to Consider

  1. What two acts of worship is the author inviting us to do in this chapter (v. 1 & 6)
  2. Describe the different characteristic of our God in verses 4-5 and verse 7.
  3. What do verses 8-11 warn us about? In what ways do these warnings help you in your life of worship?

Notes

  1. The author is extending an invitation to sing for the joy of the Lord and shout. In verse 6, he is calling us to bow down and kneel.
  2. Verses 3-5 describe God as a mighty ruler, while verse 7 describes the tenderness of God as a shepherd.
  3. They are warnings to remind their readers to not commit the same mistakes as their ancestors.

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Evening Reflection  

In light of today’s theme on worship, is there anything in your life that distracts your heart from worship? Consider examining each aspect of your life and write down things that you feel are hindering you from fully worshipping the Lord. I encourage you to pray through each of the things you’ve written down.

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