September 2, Friday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals for this week are provided by Pastor Jason Sato.  He and his family are currently serving in Cincinnati, OH.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 11:17-27

2Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. [18] Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, [19] and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. [20] So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. [21] Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. [22] But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” [23] Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” [24] Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” [25] Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, [26] and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” [27] She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

In the novel The Kite Runner, two childhood friends are divided by one boy’s guilt.  His friend was brutally assaulted by other boys.  He actually could have done something, and he knows that only his selfishness and fear kept him from helping his friend.

When Martha approaches her Lord after her brother has died, she knows that Jesus could have done something.  Though she had pleaded with Him to come, He did not.  Martha could have been overcome with bitterness.

In Over the Rhine, our church children experience many things that they do not understand.  Why do fathers or mothers leave?  Why do beloved uncles and cousins get shot?  Why do “good” people go to jail, while “bad” people do whatever they want?  We, too, have our questions and are confused by what the Lord allows in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

Martha has questions, she is heartbroken, but she still believes in Jesus – that He is “the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world” (v. 27).  She does not know why Jesus delayed.  She does not know that Jesus will resurrect Lazarus in a few moments.  But she does know, that Jesus loved Lazarus deeply.  And she knows that He loves her (John 11:3, 5).

God may not answer many of our questions in this lifetime, but He does answer the most important question: Does Jesus love you?  His answer is “Yes,” enough to give His body and His blood for you.

Prayer: Oh Lord, our hearts break when we consider how sin has ruined our world and injured us and those we love.  In our confusion, may we cling to You that much more.  Lord Jesus, we do not always know what You are doing, but may we be confident that You have proven Your love for us by dying for us while we were still sinners.  May we trust that the Lord of all will set things right.

Bible Reading for Today: Luke 12

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Lunch Break Study 

Read John 6:56, 60, 66-9 (ESV): Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him…[60] When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?”[66] After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. [67] So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” [68] Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, [69] and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

Question to Consider

  1. Why did many of Jesus’s disciples stop following Him?
  2. Did the twelve face different challenges than the other disciples?
  3. Why did the Twelve continue to follow Jesus?

Notes

  1. Jesus said things that were offensive and difficult for them to understand.
  2. No, they were probably equally offended and confused as those who stopped following Jesus.
  3. Regardless of the challenges of following Jesus, the disciples felt they must continue to follow Him since He possessed the words of eternal life and was the Holy One of God.

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Evening Reflection  

Reflect upon your day.  Was there anything confusing or hard to understand?  Invite the Good Shepherd to take care of you and give you faith to trust Him in this area.

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