The AMI QT Devotionals July 17-23 are written by David Son, who serves as the college pastor at Symphony Church in Boston. David, a graduate of UC Berkeley (B.S.) and Gordon-Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace who teaches at a public school.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
The Gospel is Every Meal
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?
My grandmother lives in the rural countryside of Korea. Miles of rice paddies lie in each direction of her humble home. During high school, I had the opportunity to live with her for the better part of a week. I was thrilled, because on the first evening, she cooked the most amazing Korean food for me: rice, kimchi, soup, and fish. I went to bed utterly satisfied. The next morning I woke up to a breakfast table that looked strangely familiar: rice, kimchi, soup, and fish. But it wasn’t leftovers; it was the same food, cooked fresh. Slightly confused, I shrugged it off because the meal was certainly good enough to enjoy for a second time. And then lunch rolled around, and believe it or not, it was the same food. Cooked fresh. Again! Your suspicions are correct, nearly every single meal at my grandmother’s house consisted of virtually the exact same things. However, I did not complain, for two reasons: First of all, the food was absolutely delicious. But secondly, I realized that this is how my grandmother eats all the time! This woman had learned to enjoy and savor the same meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, day after day, for decades.
My own taste buds are wired to want new, different, exotic things. For many of us, food is exciting only as long as it keeps changing. But our spiritual food must not be like this. In our passage today, Paul rebukes the Galatian church because although they had started their faith journey in the gospel, for some reason they kept adding different things to it, straying away from the true gospel in favor of other spiritual trends. We too can often fall into this trap when we view the gospel merely as spiritual “baby food.” With this mindset, we think that as Christians mature, they outgrow their need for the gospel and graduate onto more mature things.
But Paul completely refutes this notion. In the book of Galatians, Paul is basically saying that the gospel is not merely the baby food of Christianity, but the gospel is every single meal! In other words, the gospel is necessary at every level of growth. We will never outgrow our need for the gospel, because even when we become the most mature versions of ourselves, we are still in need of the grace of God in the blood of Christ. Spend some time this morning remembering the gospel, and re-confessing our need for it.
Prayer: Jesus, we need You. Every hour we need you. As much as we needed You on the day of our salvation, we need You today. Today, help me to live in light of the Gospel. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Joshua 18
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 51:7-12: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Questions to Consider
- What does the psalmist (David) seem to be asking for in this psalm?
- What kind of joy is David seeking from the Lord?
- Typically, we experience joy when good things are happening around us. How is this kind of joy different?
- David uses many supplicatory verbs in this Psalm: purge me, wash me, create in me, cast me not away. He seems to be asking for forgiveness for his sins and renewal of his heart. The heading of this Psalm informs us that David wrote this after Nathan had rebuked him for his sin of adultery with Bathsheba.
- David asks of God, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation.”
- Typically, joy has to do with good things happening to us and around us – when we get a promotion, or good grades, or acceptance into med school, etc. On the other hand, “joy of salvation” is not based on our circumstances, but it’s a joy that is sourced in God’s faithfulness. At the time of writing this Psalm, David was not in a good situation, yet he cries out for God to restore the “joy of salvation” to him. Even in the worst situations, we have a source of joy that is not dependent upon our circumstances. We can always rejoice in the faithfulness of our God, who has saved us and will continue to save us.
There are many earthly things that make us rejoice. When was the last time you rejoiced in God’s faithfulness? This evening, regardless of how your day or week has been going, spend some time rejoicing in Him.