July 11, Tuesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from July 11-12 are provided by Emerson Lin.  Emerson, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, serves as a staff at Kairos Christian Church, while studying at Talbot School of Theology.  He is married to Annie.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

“Fighting Spiritual Amnesia”

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

In 2014, Psychology Today came out with an article titled “7 Ways Facebook is bad for our mental health,” arguing that the website can make people feel like their lives aren’t as exciting as everyone else’s or even leading us to envy our friends’ successes.[1] While all of these are true, one thing I believe Facebook does well is that it helps us to remember things. Many of us, if not all, rely on Facebook to remember our friends’ birthdays and it helps us remember our past by saving old photos. When used wisely, it can be a very useful tool.

In this passage, Paul is correcting the Corinthian church because they have abused the Lord’s table. Some believers eat without waiting for other members to arrive, preventing late members from partaking in the meal. In addition, others get drunk from the wine at the table. To combat this, Paul then recounts the narrative of the Last Supper.

Many of us have read or heard this passage hundreds of times when our pastors prepare the sacraments. Clearly, the Scriptures tell us that the sacraments help us to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. However, what stuck out to me was the word “whenever” in verses 25 and 26. Why is this word so important?

The word holds importance not because Jesus expects us to perform His rituals on a constant basis, but He knows that we are prone to forgetting His faithfulness. When we do, we may end up like the Israelites—desiring idols and wickedness. Of course, the grace of Jesus always welcomes us back! Pastor Sam Storms of Bridgeway Church says, “Spiritual amnesia leads to apathy, which can invariably lead to apostasy”; while remembrance is not the only method of preserving our faith, it is an important one. Scripture is filled with accounts of God calling His people, both Israelites and Christians, to fight spiritual amnesia by remembering His faithfulness in our lives.

What are some spiritual markers in your life that help you remember the Lord’s faithfulness? How often do you think about them? When we forget about the Lord’s faithfulness, we must use such spiritual markers to remind us of Him. Take some time to reflect on what the Lord has done in your life. As you think, thank God for each moment which you recall.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your constant reminder to remember Your faithfulness. You know that we are prone to forget your word, but You have given us spiritual markers and sacraments to remember Your faithfulness. Thank You for your amazing grace!

[1] Kenrick, Douglas T. “7 Ways Facebook Is Bad for Your Mental Health.” Psychology Today. April 11, 2014. Accessed July 09, 2017. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sex-murder-and-the-meaning-life/201404/7-ways-facebook-is-bad-your-mental-health.

Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 9


Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 77:7-12: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? 8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” 10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: he years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. 11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What emotion is the Psalmist going through? (v.7-9)
  2. How does the Psalmist fight this emotion? (v. 10-12)
  3. Why do you think the Psalmist uses the future tense in verse 10-12?

Notes

  1. The psalmist’s prayers are filled with sorrow and depression. He feels that God has completely abandoned him.
  2. The important phrase to notice is in verse 10: “Then I thought.” The psalmist realizes that remembering the Lord is the key to getting himself out of apathy.
  3. The psalmist uses the future tense to show that he is still in sorrow and depression. The future tense thus shows us that he is plotting out a strategy in his mind of how to conquer his distress.

Evening Reflection

In light of today’s sharing on remembrance, were there any events today that you can record as a spiritual marker? If not, take some time to revisit the spiritual markers you jotted down this morning.

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