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
For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,
When I will effect a new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.”
This week, a friend asked me: “If God is at work, why can’t I see it? What is He doing in my life and in the lives of those around me, beyond the easily explainable and the seemingly mundane? If the Gospel is such good new and the Kingdom of God so glorious, why is it so hard to experience in unmistakable and undeniable ways?” As I reflected on my own struggles with similar concerns, I was reminded of a story I heard once. It went something like this:
A man and his son on a walk in the woods came to a bridge and crossed. The father went first. When he came to the other side he turned to his son and said sternly, “Drop down and shimmy on your belly.” The son did exactly what his father told him and crawled his way to the other side. When he made it across he asked his father why he’d told him to do such strange things. His father pointed at a huge snake that had dropped down from a tree branch extending above the bridge and explained that he’d spoken calmly so as to not unnecessarily alarm the child. The boy realized that if he had stopped to ask, “Why?” he would have been fatally bitten. But his trust in his father brought him safely to their destination.
God starts His message in the verses above by saying, “Look!” (vs. 8) God often clues us in on what He’s doing and where we’re headed (into a new covenant – which we’ll talk more about this weekend). But many of us miss out on experiencing in our personal lives the excitement and the goodness of the His plans because we don’t trust our Father enough to obey. We stop for too long demanding explanations, wander off the bridge all together doing our own thing, or follow faithfully for a while but realize how strange it all is and give up midway.
Obedience to the commands of God – even if we can’t yet connect all the dots –is what will enable us to experience the goodness of His promises.
Prayer: God, I know where I am going because You’ve left enough hints in scripture for me to know what to expect. In the times when I can’t see how it’s all coming together, help me obey You simply because I trust You and not just because I understand. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Colossians 1
Lunch Break Study
Psalm 34:8-14: Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. 11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
Questions to Consider
- According to the psalmist, how can we come to know the goodness of God and His plans?
- What are some of the promises given to us in this passage?
- What do vv. 12-14 teach us about how we should live?
- As is the case with food, we have to actually try things to see that they are good. As we obey God, as we try doing life His way, we’ll come to experience the goodness of His ways and see Him more in our lives.
- Those who take refuge in the Lord will be blessed. Those who fear the Lord have no lack (Ps. 23:1). Those who seek the Lord will not only be provided for, but they won’t be without any good thing. Those are pretty grand promises!
- To experience full and abundant life (that those who follow Christ are promised throughout the New Testament), we need to be obedient to the commands of God – both in what we say and what we do.
What are some ways that obedience to God has led you to a fuller experience of Him and His Kingdom? What, if any, are some areas in your life where you have failed to be obedient? Are you willing to make a commitment to obedience today? Spend sometime discussing these things with the Lord.