May 23, Tuesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from May 22-28 are written by Phillip Chen, college pastor intern at Church of Southland. Philip, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, is currently studying at Talbot School of Theology.  He is married to Esther.  

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

“Our Eternal God”

Revelation 1:4-8 (ESV):

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

When I was in college, I loved to plan for the future. Rather than just thinking about it, I took it to another level: I made an Excel sheet with major milestones that I would accomplish as I reached certain ages—such as when I would get married and when I would have my first child. Whereas most people try to have a 5-year plan or a 10-year plan, I decided to—just for fun—plan the rest of my life out. I look back and chuckle at my naïve and immature self because I understand now that I can’t plan out my life so neatly— it won’t ever work out the way I plan it. As I came to this realization, another realization came to mind – God has a plan, and His plan always comes to fruition.

I think we often forget that God is eternal, and with His eternal nature, there is an eternal plan. He is not subject to random chance—things don’t happen sporadically without purpose. During the time when apostle John and many Christians were undergoing intense persecution, I’m sure they often wondered, Is there a purpose, is there a reason for all of this suffering? Is there hope for the future?

When we stop to think about the eternal nature of God, what significance should that have in our lives? Personally, I am reminded that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves; and that I am a minor character in a story that is still continuing to unfold in the way that the Author of this story has determined.  It’s easy for us to forget that there is a plan set in motion from the beginning. Sometimes we just feel like life is the way it is because it’s by random chance or by coincidence, thinking that we do things as a reaction to others and circumstances. Yet we must remember that the eternal nature of our God (who is not created but the Creator) means that He has dominion and control over all. There is a God-ordained progression that human history is following: Things aren’t just happening randomly, but things are falling into place. Political leaders are not vying for power and bringing empires into prominence, but God’s plans and purposes are coming into place.

As we read through the book of Revelation, may we take comfort in the fact that our God is an eternal God. Not only has He shown us what has happened from the beginning, but He has told us what will happen in the end. As we go through joyful seasons and painful seasons, we can be rest assured that He has promised a wonderful end. He will make all things new. He will wipe away every tear. He will remove every form of mourning, crying, and pain. Sin and death shall be no more!

Prayer: Father God, though life may seem so volatile at times, thank You that You have reassured us that You are sovereign. We might not understand what You are doing at times, but we trust in your faithfulness and in your goodness. Thank you that you have already promised that you will be making all things new. Thank you for the hope that we have in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Deuteronomy 18


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Job 38:4-7 (ESV): Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, 7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
**For better context, read Job 38-41

Question to Consider

  1. What is the context of this passage?
  2. How does God choose to respond to Job?
  3. What is your response as you think of God’s eternal nature?

Notes

  1. Job has been going through intense suffering—losing all of his wealth, his relationships, and his health. He questions why God allows this evil to happen in his life, but God is silent for most of this book, until the very end when He responds to Job.
  2. God never answers why all of this happened has to Job, but He does remind Job that He is eternal and His ways are higher than Job’s ways, His thoughts are higher than Job’s thoughts. He doesn’t explain Himself, but rather points Job to the understanding of God’s eternal nature.
  3. Personal reflection.

EVENING REFLECTION

When was the last time you thought about how your life fits into God’s plan, rather than how your life fits into your own plans? Tonight, spend some time asking God how you are to fit into His eternal plan.

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