November 19, Sunday

 

Today’s AMI QT Devotional provided by Jennifer Kim, a staff of Church of Southland, Anaheim, California. Jennifer, a graduate of Biola University, is current finishing up her M.Div. at Talbot School of Theology.

 

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“True Devotion”

Matthew 6:25-33

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clotheyou? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Acts 2:42: They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

About two weeks ago, the LA Dodgers competed against the Houston Astros in the 2017 MLB World Series. Of course, living in Southern California, this was a big deal and would frequently be the main topic of conversation among my friends. These two teams rivaled against each other in a long 7-game stretch—ultimately leading to the Astro’s first championship title in its franchise history. I am not much of a baseball fan (so there is no bias here), but I would have to say that for the Astros, winning the World Series was quite a notable accomplishment despite their many years of losses and setbacks.

But more than the games themselves, it has always been interesting watching… the fans. I remember on the day of the final game, I ventured to buy some snacks; so I dropped by the grocery store only to find it completely empty and desolate. There was no one there. As I continued to watch the games unfold, the fans were ready. The cheering and the screaming enthusiasm, all the matching sports paraphernalia, the occasional rioting, the air of pride that the fans hold and display for their beloved teams. In the midst of all the pandemonium, you can’t help but notice their devotion.

We are not unfamiliar with this. Whether it is our loved ones, career, dreams/passions, or even certain social causes, we are all devoted to something or someone. It is easy to identify what we are devoted to by simply looking at how we spend the bulk of our time, energy, and our resources. Andy Stanley, the senior pastor of North Point Community Church says, “The things that we worry about reflect our core devotions.” In other words, we worry about the things we really care about. These are the things that probably fill our minds throughout the day. However, many times these are good things in our lives, but it is only when they become the main thing at the expense of our devotion to God, our foundation becomes unstable. Our culture is becoming increasingly inundated with information that has little or no bearing in our spiritual life. The Enemy so wants us to become distracted and disengaged with the purposes of God. But in Acts 2:42 above, we see the apostles continuously devoting themselves to the Word, prayer, and fellowship with the saints.

The real question for us this morning is… What are we really devoted to? Is it God or something else? If He isn’t, may this be a fresh reminder for us to re-align our devotion to God and acknowledge Him before anything else today. Like the apostles, let us be greedy for the things of the Lord! Let us center our lives on God and build our foundation on the things that will not fade away.

Prayer: God, I confess that all things come from You and through You. Thank You for being the true source of everything that I need. Help me not to be distracted by the things of the world, but to set my eyes on You alone. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 19


Lunch Break Study

Luke 18:1-8
1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2 saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3 There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4 For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; 7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8 I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

Questions to Consider

  1. Why did the widow approach the judge?
  2. How did the judge respond to the widow?
  3. In light of this parable, what is God teaching us about prayer?

Notes

  1. The widow kept coming to the judge seeking justice. She wanted legal protection from her opponent (v. 3).
  2. The judge was unwilling at first, but he listened to the widow because of her tenacity and her persistence (v. 5).
  3. God is teaching us to pray at all times and to not lose heart. If even an unjust judge who has no respect for God or man is willing to listen to the widow, then how much more will a just God respond favorably to the appeal of His children? When we ask for the things that align to the purposes of God, He assures us to not give up because He will bring about His justice quickly.

Evening Reflection

We learned today that we ought to be tenacious for the things of the Lord. Take a moment to think about something that you really desire from Him. Don’t be afraid to ask! Pray that ultimately God would give you His perspective and wisdom in your asking.

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