The AMI QT Devotionals from October 9-15 are provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego. Peter is a graduate of U.C. Riverside and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.). He and his wife Jessica have three very active children: Nathan, Abigail, and Jason.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“The Joy of Following Jesus”
The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”
Years ago, Jessica and I were ministering at a retreat, and we sensed that some of the people present wanted to get closer to the Lord; yet, they were hesitating. It was there that I identified one of the reasons why believers hesitate to follow Jesus fully (with one foot on the brake): They have this notion that should they wholeheartedly commit to Jesus, God will immediately send them packing as missionaries to the “ends of the earth,” where they will suffer miserably under harsh conditions.
C.S. Lewis described his own conversion with the admission that he was “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England” as God would demand everything from Lewis that had ever given him pleasures in life.
Genesis 12 begins a new chapter in the story of the Bible, a story of God’s redemption. God chooses Abram to build a nation, and through Israel, God would bring His Kingdom on earth. And it begins with the calling of Abram and Sarai to leave their country, people, and family. I assume that for Abram and Sarai, their relatives and their living circumstances were sources of comfort and happiness; yet, they would leave trusting in God’s promises.
Do you find yourself hesitating in your commitment to the Lord believing that He might take something away from you? Do you have a view of God that He’s out to lead you towards a life that is hard and without happiness?
Well, C.S. Lewis, as well as many others, have discovered that following Jesus have resulted in the very opposite to their assumptions. In fact, as Lewis followed Jesus, he was quite surprised by joy that was deeper than any momentary pleasures (Surprised by Joy). He discovered that true joy only results in knowing a Person and being devoted to Him.
May the Lord help all of us who still hesitate in following Him fully.
Prayer: Lord, I admit that I hesitate in my devotion to You because I’m afraid You might take things away from me. Help me to truly understand the love of the Father and the joy of following You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 2
Lunch Break Study
Read Heb. 12:1-3 (NIV): Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Questions to Consider
- How does the writer of Hebrews instruct the believers to continue in their faith?
- What motivated Jesus to endure the pain and suffering of the cross?
- He exhorts the believers to: throw off things that hinder us; to run the raced marked for us; to fix our eyes on Jesus; and to consider Christ who endured opposition.
- It was “for the joy set before him.” In other words, true joy awaited Him on the other side of the cross.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you throw off sins that so easily entangle you, so that you can continue to run the race marked for you and discover true joy that is found in Christ Jesus.