The AMI QT devotionals for February 13-19 are provided by Christine Li. Christine graduated from University of Pennsylvania and currently lives and works in New York City. She attends Remnant Church in Manhattan.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY
Whose Side Are You On?
1 Corinthians 3:5-8
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
Among my group of friends in middle school, we had some real battle lines drawn for two pop stars we admired. Not only would we endlessly proclaim how talented and wonderful our guy was, but we would try to take down the enemy, giving ourselves reasons to talk the rival singer down. We made our allegiance so intense that it felt sacrilegious to think anything positive about the other singer. To this day, when I find myself bobbing my head to a throwback song by him, I still feel a little strange.
Isn’t it a human tendency to rally around specific groups of individuals? We have our favorite artists, writers, entertainers, shows – and when we find that someone has an opposite preference, we are inclined to definitely prove our choice to be better. But within the Christian context, I have to admit that I am still guilty of the same tendencies. Under this guise of a holy pursuit, I still try to elevate my choice of preferred speaker, worship artist, writer, etc. over others’. More often than not, our desire to justify our choices only breeds disunity and dampens our ability to encourage others in spiritual growth.
Paul and Apollos were effective workers, and both men had the same vision to build the kingdom of God. However, their ministries, attracting different people, were divided because their “followers” could not reconcile their preferences. The same teaching is for us today. Whenever we settle our eyes on the “face” or the “leader” of a group, we take our eyes off the One who created and sustains it. All the people we know and hear of are indeed instruments for His kingdom, but they are the wrong ones to rally around.
Let’s re-fix our eyes on God once again. The variety of people who glorify God should be celebrated, not scorned. Our God is worthy to be praised with such variation of talent, temperament, and style. When we admire or look at leaders, let’s look past them to see God moving and growing. And when we serve, let us strive to make sure that others’ eyes are turned away from us and onto Him.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for forgetting who gets all the glory and honor. Remind me that the focus is You, not the person who is trying to build Your kingdom. In me, Lord, let my life be a means of clarifying who You are to others, not a means of obscuring You. May others ultimately not remember me but be pointed towards You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Song of Songs 2
LUNCH BREAK STUDY
Read Luke 10:17-20: The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.
Questions to Consider
- Jesus gave the seventy-two their mission and had told them of the power they would have already. When they return marveling, why does He reiterate again what their power is?
- Why does Jesus tell them that they should re-orient their excitement here? Let’s take some time to reflect on what, of our spiritual lives, we marvel over.
- Jesus is also suggesting here that they should not be so surprised. The authority that He has given them is full of power.
- Jesus is suggesting here that, while seeing great and mighty works of God is interesting, what should be most fascinating for these disciples is their reconciliation to God. The work that Jesus will do to reconcile men to God is worth the greatest celebration of all. It is the most marvelous thing we will encounter.
Isn’t it so easy to settle our eyes and ears on the men and women we see rather than God Himself? Let’s take some time to practice looking for God rather than men and women. As we practice this habit, we will be able to truly affirm what God is doing in all of His servants.