The AMI QT Devotionals from June 12-18 are written by Pastor Andrew Kim at Tapestry Church. Andrew, a graduate of Eternity Bible College, is currently attending Fuller Theological Seminary. He and Jessie were married in 2014.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
“Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
Power is a precious commodity, especially in these strange times. We live in a turbulent cultural climate where political extremism, terrorism, and ideological wars run rampant throughout the world. And as tensions rise across political and racial lines, various groups have attempted to push their agendas through a show of power—whether in the form of violence or by slandering the “other.” The more power you have, the more you’re able to undermine your enemies. Power is also used in a similar manner on a micro scale. We often use the power we’ve gained from our education, socioeconomic status, and experience in order to gain a step ahead of our competition—to build up our own resumes and get us one step closer to fulfilling the American Dream. We have images of powerful CEO’s, executives, and political figures who line their own pockets at the expense of those less fortunate. For these reasons, power is often associated with abuse. As a result, the idea of power comes with much baggage, since it often manifests itself in forms that leave at least one party broken and destroyed.
We find a very different picture of power in our passage for today. Here in Revelation 5:1-8, John finds himself in the throne room where he sees a scroll in the right hand of God, but there is no one to open it. However, one of the elders proclaim that there is one who is worthy: The Lion of the tribe of Judah! This is where it gets interesting. In verse 5, John hears that it is the Lion of Judah who is worthy to open it, but he sees in verse 6 “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.” In other words, he hears a title that exudes power but sees a slain Lamb who symbolizes death and weakness. It seems that God is redefining power. How do we know this? The slain Lamb is none other than Jesus Himself, who achieved victory over sin and death, not by a show of force but through weakness and death. In the gospel, we find power manifested through Jesus in a manner that brought life rather than destruction—it uplifted the broken and even His enemies.
In similar ways, we all possess a certain degree of power. How do you use your education, your wealth, and your status? Do you use it to only further your own goals at the expense of others, or do you bring life? Let us use the power we have in a manner that reflects the slain Lamb whose power gave us life and joy!
Prayer: Father, I have a propensity to use the resources and the power You’ve given me for my own selfish ambitions. Help me to use all that You have given me for the good of others and especially to bring about Your kingdom on this earth! Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Romans 7
LUNCH BREAK STUDY
Read 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. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, calamities,. For when I am weak, then I am strong”
Questions to Consider
- Why does Paul boast all the more gladly in his weaknesses?
- How can Paul be content with his weaknesses?
- Reflect on a time when God your weaknesses for His kingdom?
- He rejoices in his weaknesses because it allows the power of Christ to rest upon him. In some ways, God can use us more in our weaknesses because it causes us to depend on Christ more than our own strength and abilities.
- Paul understands that it is especially in his weakness that more of God’s power is manifested. Although difficult, he knows that true strength is experienced in coming face to face with his weakness.
- Personal response.
So much of our day is spent on focusing on how to maximize our own welfare with the resources we have. However, God calls us to use all that we possess for the sake of others and especially those who are in need. Let us reflect on how we can use our God-given blessings for the sake of His kingdom.