Note: The AMI QT Devotionals for November 21-26 are provided by Pastor Yohan Lee of Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco, CA.
Devotional Thought for Today
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
Being a father of “suspicious” children helps me, in some small measure, understand why faith pleases the Lord, and conversely, why lack of faith is so annoying. I feel like I am constantly trying to convince my children that I am not completely incompetent, or that I have learned something in my life. The other day, my seven-year-old looks at me like I’m from Mars because I tried to convince him that the platypus, despite laying eggs, is a mammal. Apparently his first-grade teacher taught him that one of the characteristics of mammals is that they give birth to their young. Sometimes, I want to shout, “Your dad is smart too! I went to an Ivy League university!” Pathetic I know. (Editor’s note: I know what you mean!)
Another area in which my children’s distrust bugs me is whether I care for them. Sometimes, all four of them think that I am out to get them or spoil their fun, when in reality (God is my witness), my desire truly is to see their best interest. It could be something as simple as eating vegetables or doing homework, but my kids think that I force these things on them just to be mean. Yet they cannot truly understand how much I love them, probably until they have their own kids.
Faith is simple; it’s believing two things about God. First, that God is really really smart, and He knows more about everything than you know about anything. Second, God loves you, and He is for you, not against you. Every time we act in faith, we are showing our beliefs in those truths. Every time we display a lack of faith, we essentially deny His intelligence and/or His care. And if that annoys a guy like me—a guy who got “C’s” in college and wasn’t the most caring person in the world—imagine how it would make the creator of the universe, the One who sacrificed His Son on the cross to demonstrate His love for us, feel.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to trust in your wisdom and your love. If I lack belief, help me to overcome my unbelief. Thank you for your patience with me.
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 13
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 8:5-13: When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant,[c] ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
Questions to Consider
- What blessed the Lord about the centurion’s faith?
- How did the centurion’s life experiences impact his understanding of Christ?
- How do your life experiences encourage your faith?
- The centurion had the faith to take Jesus’ word as authoritative. For him, there was no difference between Christ’s command and his presence to execute his commands. That is another level of faith.
- The centurion understood authority; he himself was an authority. He knew Christ was of greater authority, so much so that sickness would have obeyed him.
- Hopefully, you have seen the Lord’s faithfulness in the past. This should fuel your faith to trust him more in the future.
Are there areas in your life where God is asking you to take greater steps of faith? If so, do you trust his wisdom over your life? Do you trust his love for you? How can you grow in each of these areas?