May 19, Friday

The AMI QT Devotionals from May 15-21 are provided by Pastor Barry Kang, who heads Symphony Church in Boston.  Barry, a graduate of Stanford University and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Sunny (an amazing worship leader, chef and math wizard).  They are the proud parents of Caleb and Micah.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

“What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Humble yourself and God will exalt you (James 4:10); the first shall be last (Matthew 20:16); free from sin, slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18); live through dying (John 12:24); lose life to find it (Matthew 10:39); when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Cor. 12:10)—the New Testament has many seeming paradoxes.  Culturally and societally speaking, they don’t always make sense, but spiritually—they make all the sense in the world.

So how does weakness lead to strength?  It might be helpful to think of the glass of a light-bulb.  The glass is very thin, fragile, and easily shattered, but precisely because of that fragility, it is transparent (or translucent), which allows for the light to shine more brightly.  Similarly, when we are strong, we obscure the work of God and we receive the glory.  Also, we depend on God less; we pray less and God answers fewer prayers.  When we are fragile, the strength of God is more clearly shown in us, so God receives the glory.  We depend on God more; we pray more and God answers our prayers more.  One is life without God; the other is life with God.  One is a life of earning; the other is a life of grace.  Culturally and societally, it may not make sense, but spiritually, we know which is better.

Prayer: Father, what an awesome thought it is that You can be strong in us.  Lord, help us to surrender our strengths to You and embrace our weakness and dependence on You.  We don’t want to live a life independent of You.  We want to see Your power coursing through our lives as we depend on You.  Be glorified in us this day!  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Deuteronomy 13


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Isaiah 40:27-31: 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Questions to Consider

  1. Based on this passage, what seems to be the basis for finding strength in God?
  2. To whom does God give power and strength?
  3. Looking at v.31, how do we find strength in God?

Notes

  1. 28 says that “the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” God is the creator of everything! This means there is unlimited strength in Him, strength that we, as created beings, cannot even comprehend!
  2. 29 says, “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might, he increases strength.” Those who are weak, worn-out, weary, broken – these are the ones to whom God gives His strength and power.
  3. We wait on Him! This means we do not trust in our own strength, our own skills and decisions; rather, we let God be God in our lives, since He is the Creator of everything. It’s His strength we need in our lives, not our own!

EVENING REFLECTION

Tonight, let’s ask God for more of His strength. Ask Him to reveal any area of your life where you are relying solely on yourself, and pray for God’s strength over that area. Let His grace and strength be enough for you!

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