December 1, Friday

The AMI QT Devotionals for November 27 to December 3 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 Power of Words”

Genesis 24:5-8

The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.”

Since the age of four, Cheryl Pruitt used to hang around her father’s country store; and each day, the milkman would arrive at the store and would greet Cheryl the same way: “How’s my little Miss America?” Many years later, Cheryl Pruitt went on to actually become the 1980 Miss America. The power that words can have is profound—even simple words from a neighborhood milkman! How much more powerful are the words of God in transforming our lives?

Around age 80 was when Abraham received the word from God, “To your offspring I will give this land,” in Genesis 15. Here in our passage (Gen 24), Abraham is around 140 years old; and we see that he is still clinging faithfully to this promise! In fact, not only does Abraham remember the promise from 60 years ago, it seems that his entire life had been lived out through the lens of that promise.  When it came time for his son, Isaac, to find a wife, Abraham gave his servant clear instructions to go back to Abraham’s home country to find a woman. But there was one command that Abraham gave that was even more important than finding a wife for his son: it was that Isaac would remain in the Promised Land—no matter what.

For Abraham, the promises of God had effectively shaped his entire life. His decision to leave Ur of Chaldeans, his decision to live in Canaan as a sojourner, his willingness to offer up his son as a sacrifice, his command for his posterity to remain in Canaan—all of these hinged upon Abraham’s faith in the promises of God.

Oftentimes, our decisions are fueled by logic (what makes the most sense?), or by self-interest (what creates the most ideal situation for me?), or by convenience (what is the least complicated thing to do?). What would it look like if we started living one day at a time, with a decision-making process that hinges completely on God’s Word?

Prayer: God, help us to be shaped by Your Word. May we not simply be hearers, but rather doers of it. As we go through this day, open our eyes to see the opportunities to walk according to Your promises. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 32


Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 119:9-16: How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!

With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.  In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes;

I will not forget your word.

Questions to Consider

  1. What topic does the psalmist address in every sentence of this Psalm?
  2. According to the psalmist, what can we do to protect the purity of our ways?
  3. According to the psalmist, who is responsible for our reading/understanding of the Word?

Notes

  1. In every line of this Psalm, the psalmist talks about God’s Word (commandments, statutes, rules of your mouth, your testimonies, etc.).
  2. The psalmist says, twice, that the way to walk in purity involves storing God’s word in our hearts. On first thought, there may not seem to be a direct connection between reading the Bible and not sinning, but the truth is, what we fill ourselves with is what comes out, and what we find delight in will shape our character.
  3. This Psalm mostly says, “I will…” but it also says, “let me not wander…” and “teach me your statutes”—which means that reading and understanding Scripture takes both our personal effort AND the divine help of God. So, let us not grow lazy in pursuing Him in Scripture, and let us also not grow complacent in thinking we can read the Word without the help of the Holy Spirit.

Evening Reflection

In our world, every subsequent generation has gotten faster and more efficient in all that we do. To slow a task down when we can do it fast is unthinkable. Yet, reading God’s Word is often neither fast nor efficient. Like all relationships, the quality of our intimacy depends on whether we are able to slow down and communicate with each other. This evening, spend some time slowing down your mind and heart for the sake of spending quality time with the Lord.

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