May 24, Wednesday

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

“Holy and Awesome is He”

Revelation 1:9-20 (ESV):

I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see Jesus face to face? There was a popular song in the early 2000’s by MercyMe called “I Can Only Imagine” that poses this very question. What would it be like to see Jesus face to face? What would we do in His presence? In today’s passage, we see that John is terrified and falls at His feet as though dead. This is not a unique reaction, as many others who saw Jesus face to face on this earth fell down in fear and trembling. Take a moment to re-read the description that John gives Jesus. Imagine if you were in John’s shoes: how would you react? I believe the sheer vastness and awesomeness of our Lord would compel us to also fall down in fear.

I’ve often wondered what it means to have an appropriate fear of God. In 1 John 4:18, he mentions that there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. Shouldn’t we cast aside fear, then, when approaching God? Just as there is godly grief and worldly grief, I believe there is godly fear and worldly fear as well. Godly fear is reverence and awe, an understanding of His holiness, justice, and righteousness. Worldly fear is the fear that will be felt by those who have not chosen to repent, as this fear has to do with punishment. As believers, we know that we no longer need to be scared of punishment, because Jesus has taken our punishment on Himself. However, we are still to approach God with this godly fear—reverence and awe as we approach Him in worship.

As for our Sunday corporate worship, do we come to church with that fear of the Lord? Or do we casually roll in late and give Him a time limit for how long we will pay attention? When we pray or attend prayer meetings, do we humbly approach Him with our petitions and our adoration? Or do we make demands and express our disappointments of “unanswered prayer requests”? Proverbs 9:10 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. May we be a people who are full of wisdom, approaching Him with awesome fear and reverence!

Prayer: Father God, fill me with the holy fear that I ought to have while I live my life. As I bring true worship to You, may I do so with the right attitude and the right posture. You are mighty, glorious, and worthy to be praised. Amen!

Bible Reading for Today: Deuteronomy 19


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Daniel 10:2-9 (ESV): In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris) I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed,[b] and I retained no strength. Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground.

Question to Consider

  1. What is the description of the man? How is it similar to John’s vision of Jesus?
  2. What was the reaction of Daniel and the men who were with him?
  3. How do we react when we are in the presence of God?

Notes

  1. The man was clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold. His body was like beryl (a certain emerald-like gem). His face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude. This was identical to what John saw (although described slightly differently).
  2. The men went to go hide themselves, even though they didn’t see the vision, but there was a great fear that came upon them. As for Daniel, he fell to the ground face down as one who had lost all strength within him.
  3. Personal reflection.

EVENING REFLECTION

“God is not now any holier than He ever was. And He never was holier than now. He did not get His holiness from anyone nor from anywhere. He is Himself the Holiness. He is the All-Holy, the Holy One; He is holiness itself, beyond the power of thought to grasp or of word to express, beyond the power of all praise.” – A. W. Tozer. What does God’s holiness mean to you?

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