Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotional for today is provided by Doug Tritton. Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary while working fulltime. He is married to Cindy and they serve at Symphony Church in Boston. (Also, they just became parents! Congratulations!)
Devotional Thought for Today
I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
What would cause you to fall away from the faith? That may seem like an unanswerable question to many of you, but sometimes it is good for us to ask ourselves that. Are there holes in your faith? Blind spots you’ve been ignoring? Any lack of trust? Do I really trust Jesus with my entire life?
For the early church, the threat of persecution and even death were common reasons for people to fall away from the faith. Maybe those are not real threats in our lives today, but there are other threats bombarding us day after day – the media, culture, and maybe even family – things that could be opposed to God and pull us away from Him. It’s hard to go through a single day without being reminded that this world is in many ways opposed to God.
How do we stand up against such hostility in this world? Well, this passage has the answer for us! Jesus says, “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.” The Word of God! We can withstand the pressures and hostility of the world by guarding our hearts in God’s Word. In His Word, we see promise after promise of His faithfulness to us, a faithfulness that is impenetrable by this world. Today, let’s feast our hearts on God’s Word, on His promises of love and faithfulness towards us, so that when we do face hostility, those threats will seem nothing in comparison to God’s great love for us.
Lord, help me to trust in Your promises. This world often distracts me, causing me to turn my eyes from You, but help me to keep my eyes fixed on You this day, knowing that You are always faithful to me, so that I may withstand the hostility of the world. Give me strength this day to keep fighting the good fight of faith.
Lunch Break Study
Read Isaiah 43:1-3a: But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Questions to Consider
- Why does God say we should not fear?
- Where and when will God be with us?
- How can we face the trials of this life?
- In this passage, God tells His people to not fear because He has redeemed us; and more than that, He has called us by name, and He has called us His own. We belong to God, and since as, this passage says, He is our creator, we know that He can protect us.
- If we belong to God, He is always with us – anytime and anywhere. This passage highlights that when go through trials – through water, rivers, fire, or flame – He will be with us. There is a special way in which trials help us to know God’s sweet and enduring presence in our lives, even though His presence is always with us regardless of whether we are in a season of trial or not.
- The Lord, the Holy One, is our Savior. Reflect on that a bit. If the Lord of everything is with us, then there is no trial that can ever be too difficult for us. So how do we face trials in this life? We remember God’s promise that He is always with us, through it all!
Tonight, reflect on God’s promise that He is always with you. Perhaps you are going through some trial or difficult season; give space for God to speak to you and remind you that He is with you, and He will see you through this trial.