November 18, Friday

Note: The AMI QT Devotionals for November 17-18 are provided by Doug Tritton, who is now a full-time staff at Symphony Church in Boston.  Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary.  He is married to Cindy; in fact, they just became parents!

Devotional Thought for Today

Hebrews 9:24-28

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

18When I first became a Christian in college, I had a faulty understanding of forgiveness. I thought it was conditional—meaning, I thought if I missed a sin to repent of, I would not be forgiven of that sin. So I lived in fear, thinking I had to repent from each sin I committed. This was quite a burden I carried! But then, God showed me just how deep His grace is. It took two years, but eventually I understood that I was eternally forgiven and justified before God; and even more, I was now called righteous! If only I had grasped that earlier.

This passage shows us this reality through this powerful verse: “he has appeared once for all.” Once for all. And that is why Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.” He really meant this. It is finished—not partially finished, not just His part finished and now it’s our part; no, it is fully finished. Even though I am sinful, I am eternally forgiven in Christ. What a relief; what a freeing reality! Still, we should repent from our sins, as the Bible commands, but let us remember that our repentance doesn’t save us– it is Christ who saves, once for all.

Now that we are forgiven, we are called to wait eagerly for Him, the One who saves us once for all. Let our hearts be crying out for Him—crying out to meet the One who freely gave it all for us: “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Let us wait with joy, for our Savior is coming!

Prayer: Lord, thank You that You offered Yourself once for all. You took the full burden of our salvation; You took it all upon Yourself. Thank You for Your eternal saving power. Let me not ever feel like there is any burden on me, because You said, “It is finished.” Though the world oftentimes feels heavy to me, help me to know that You carry my burdens. And help me to have hope, because You are coming!

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 5

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Lunch Break Study

Read 1 John 1:5-10: This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Questions to Consider

  1. What do you think it means to walk in the light?
  2. What happens if we confess our sins?
  3. What is the consequence of denying or ignoring our sin?

Notes

  1. It can be easy to think that walking in the light means we have to live without sin. But this passage also says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves….” So walking in the light is more about walking in relationship with God, knowing that He is the One who forgives us.
  2. God shows us His faithfulness by forgiving us. And more than that, He cleanses us from ALL unrighteousness. Remember, repentance is not only about receiving forgiveness for each sin, but about receiving forgiveness for all sins, and acknowledging that God alone can save.
  3. We make ourselves liars and the word of God is not in us. We are all sinners – this passage is clear about that. God is now calling us to bring our sin to Him, knowing that He alone is the source of forgiveness and new life.

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Evening Reflection

Tonight, let’s spend some time in repentance. But let this repentance bring freedom and joy, because Christ saves, once for all. From repentance, let’s go to sleep in the relief that Christ is the One who carried, still carries, and will always carry our burdens.

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