The AMI QT Blogs from June 5-11 are provided by Tina Hsu. Tina, a graduate of Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.) has just returned from E. Asia, where she served as a missionary for two years. Currently, she serves at Church of Southland and Kairos International University.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
“Incomparable and Personal Love of God”
Revelation 3:10-11 (ESV)
“Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.”
One thing I enjoy doing in my church community is listening to older women of faith share about their spiritual markers in life. Their testimonies show me how God met them in a personal and intimate way when they faced trials and seasons of wilderness. I would also hear some share about their thoughts during seasons of waiting: “I know God will do so and so because He told me… He promised me…” I was always really encouraged and challenged by how close they were to God and how God spoke to them in such a personal way—like a father to a child. It made me desire all the more to draw close to God to hear His words and promises for my life. This is the same theme I see in the relationship between the Philadelphia church and God.
God dearly loves this church because they display enduring faithfulness to His name in the midst of persecution, seizing opportunities to proclaim His name. They are small in number but their tenacity of faith is great. God personally promises the church that He will preserve them during the hour of trial that everyone on earth will face at the end times. He will do it because He is so pleased with their faithfulness to Him. God exhorts them to finish the unique path that they have been given – “hold fast what you have” – and they will receive a crown that is specifically prepared for them.
In the Bible, there are promises of God that extend to all children of God, but there are also promises that God gives personally to certain people or a certain church—and this displays how personal our God is. His personal promise gives the hearer hope to finish well. God’s love is not likened to a loving parent who cuts a cake into equal slices so that no child will feel partiality. His love is not distributed into small pieces for each child or church; rather, His love is whole, infinite, and unique towards each person, spurring each person on to live according His perfect will and plan. What would it look like for you to pursue a relationship with God similar to that of the Philadelphians?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I praise You and thank You for Your faithfulness to me! Teach me and strengthen me to have patience endurance, that I may express my love to You through the act of perseverance. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Romans 2
LUNCH BREAK STUDY
Read Jeremiah 31:1-3: “At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus says the Lord, ‘The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”
Questions to Consider
- What is the historical context of this passage?
- What is evident about God’s love in this passage?
- In what circumstances have you experienced God’s everlasting and tangible love? Do you hunger to experience God’s everlasting love today? What hinders you?
- God is speaking to Israel through the prophet Jeremiah. The people of Israel and Judah had been in exile for many years as a result of their unfaithfulness to God during the years of living in the Promised Land. God is speaking to them about His enduring faithfulness to those who looked to Him during the years of exile.
- Israel experienced a greater depth of God’s love during the times of wilderness and mistakes. God’s love is unwavering and everlasting. His faithfulness is enduring because of who He is and is not shaken by our actions, whether good or bad.
- Personal reflection.
Before going to sleep, be reminded of this truth about our awesome and unfathomable God: “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you (Isaiah 54:10). Now, sleep on that!