August 26, Saturday

The AMI QT Devotionals for July 31-August 6 are provided by Christine Li.  Christine, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, currently lives and works in New York City.  She serves at Remnant Church in Manhattan.


“Firsthand, not Secondhand”

1 John 1:1-3

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— 2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

Last winter, I visited my family in Taiwan and finally met my first “nephew” (the son of my cousin). For the last five years, I had heard my cousins, aunts, and grandmother raving about him – he was clever, he was mischievous, he was extremely cute, etc. I had seen plenty of photos and heard many stories of his antics. One could say that I thought I knew what to expect upon meeting him. To my delight, he was all I had imagined and more. In the few short weeks, I got to know him better and was completely charmed by the end of my stay. It was one thing to have heard secondhand about him; it was quite different to see him in action, play with him, and build my own relationship with him.

One mark of Christ’s disciples was that they knew Him personally. The first disciples had the privilege of physically seeing and touching Jesus. He was not a story or legend – He was flesh and blood, and His life was opened up to them. They didn’t need other people’s observations or stories; they had known Him directly and personally.

For believers in this millennium, it is impossible for us to see Jesus in the flesh. But have we looked to have a personal relationship with Him? Or have we been content to just listen to what others are experiencing about Him? It is possible to read and know many wonderful things about Jesus, but it is quite another to go forth and seek Him out for yourself and see if He does indeed live up to your ideas of who He is.

Today’s, let’s not settle for just hearsay about who God is and be satisfied with secondhand knowledge from what others have studied, experienced, and sought in their lives. Let’s know His character for ourselves by going through His word and approaching Him in prayer. Have you heard testimony of God’s goodness and presence from others before? Let’s ask Him to make that our first-hand, concrete experience as well, for Him to give us a testimony that is trustworthy and personal.

Prayer: Father, we want to encounter You. We are not interested in having heard about You and secondhand information about who You are. We want to discover You fully for ourselves. Give us hearts that are hungry to know You personally, and show us that when we seek You, that we will indeed find You. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 14-15

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