November 10, Thursday

Note: The AMI QT devotionals from November 7-12 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

Hebrews 7:23-28

Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer.4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.

10In his book Disappointment with God, Philip Yancey summarizes C.S. Lewis’ theory of “transposition” in which he explores the human tendency to overemphasize natural realties (because they are the ones we can see and most readily understand) over and against spiritual ones, even to the point of reducing our human experience solely to natural realities with little or no consideration for their spiritual components.

Yancey explains, “Lewis suggested the analogy of a beam of light in a dark toolshed. When he first entered a shed, he saw a beam and looked at the luminous band of brightness filled with floating specs of dust. But when he moved over to the beam and looked along it, he gained a very different perspective. Suddenly he saw not the beam, but, framed in the window of the shed, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 93 million miles away, the sun. Looking at the beam and looking along the beam are quite different.

We are experts when it comes to looking at the beam. We reduce our experiences and circumstances to the natural realm – what we can see with our eyes and process with our own reasoning and wisdom. And, in so doing, we find ourselves relying on those things for answers and understanding. Yet, there is another realm – the spiritual realm. And in it, we have a high priest who is enthroned at the right Hand of God Almighty in power and majesty. One who is ministering on our behalf. One who has made atonement for our sins and affords us access to God Himself (the source of all that is life). And (at the risk of sounding like a broken record this week) One who is bringing forth a perfect Kingdom and an awesome plan of redemption for the whole world.

May we challenge ourselves to resist our tendency toward reduction (based on what we can see as we merely look at the things going on around us) and instead depend on the Holy Spirit within to give us His understanding and a fuller perspective as we move through life today.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your word commands me to trust in You with all my heart, relying not on my own understanding. Give me grace to obey. Grant me Your perspective as I look out on the world today. May I see as You see and respond in a life of worship to You.

Bible Reading for Today: Malachi 4

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Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 6:10-18: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,  

Questions to Consider

  1. What does Paul remind us in verse 12? What are some areas in your life where you may have lost sight of this truth?
  2. What does Paul command us to do in this passage? What are some ways you can do this today?
  3. Paul’s final words deal with the importance of prayer. What is the connection between praying and remaining alert?

Notes

  1. Paul reminds us that our war is not against flesh and blood. In other words, we are not merely battling against other people, but there is much more going on in the spiritual realm and ultimately there is a battle going on for souls and hearts. Spend time reflecting on areas of your life where this truth needs to sink in.
  2. Paul gives quite a few commands in this passage. First, he tells us to find our strength and confidence in God and His strength (not our own). Then he tells us to put on the full armor of God, with all its many components. Are you standing strong in God’s strength and might or another kind of strength? What parts of your armor need attention today?
  3. Prayer is what enables us to be alert because it grants us a pipeline to the One who sees all things and knows all things. Without prayer we are unable to have the perspective we need to live in wisdom.

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Evening Reflection

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” (C.S. Lewis, This Weight of Glory)

Spending time thinking about spiritual things not only gives us a truer perspective on what’s happening around us but it also grants us hope for what is to come. What are some ways you’ve settled for less than what God has in store for you? Spend some time thinking of eternal life and building anticipation for the great gift God is offering to each of us.

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