The AMI QT Devotionals from November 20-26 are provided by Pastor Joshua Kim of Church of Southland. Joshua, a graduate of Emory University and Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.), serves as the pastor of Access group (singles). He is married to Christina.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.
My honest confession is that one of the hardest parts of ministry is that there are often no tangible measurements for success. Is a successful ministry measured by how many people come on Sundays? How much tithing and offering a church brings in? Is it by the number of baptisms or how many are in attendance in your small groups? Perhaps to some extent, but none of these are perfect measurements. But you can see why in such a context, it can become a temptation to rely on these things to get some level of measuring how well things are going. But what could follow, if not carefully checked and brought before the Lord, is a culture within the church where performance is always measured. And this can happen in our individual spiritual lives as well.
Our spirituality can easily become twisted into thinking that certain acts entitle us to positions or blessings in life. And this is what we could read into today’s passage. Because Abraham was obedient, because Abraham was willing to sacrifice even his one and only son, God rewards Abraham with blessings. But if you carefully look at what God will bless Abraham with, aren’t these things what God has already promised to Abraham? Is this not the details of the covenant already established back in Genesis 15?
Our obedience to God does not earn God’s blessings; they allow us to walk in God’s blessings. Our obedience to God transforms us to become the vessel that can hold God’s blessings. In the end, it is God’s grace towards us that we are able to experience His blessings. One thing we must always hold in our hearts and mind is this truth: God’s unchanging disposition is to bless.
On this Sabbath day, find rest in the fact that our God is a God who blesses. And may our hearts respond in worship of a God who loves undeserving creatures like us.
Prayer: Father, thank You for this story. There are many things that’s hard to understand, but it points us to the kind of relationship You had built with Abraham that led him to this point. It was You who initiated it, and it was You who sustained it. And I believe You want that same kind of relationship with me. As I learn to walk with You, may the purposes of God be fulfilled in my life as I walk in intimate relationship with You. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 27