January 13, Saturday

The AMI QT Devotionals for January 8-14 are provided by Tina Hsu. Tina, a graduate of Biola University and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.), currently serves as a staff at the Church of Southland, Anaheim, California.

 

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

While serving in China, I was given the daunting—yet privileged—task of preaching on Sundays on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. Before going to China, I remember God telling me that His call for me to serve overseas is an invitation to serve Him in my weakness; and if I was willing to dive into this discomfort, then I could go ahead and commit to going. Though I didn’t know specifically what I would dive myself into, His voice gave me the strength to trust that He would be with me in my discomfort.

When I started to preach, I felt like all my weaknesses were on display, because my Mandarin level at that time was equivalent to an elementary school kid: I would repeat the same four phrases during prayer and ministry time because I was very limited in my vocabulary. But through this season of my life, I learned to battle against obsessing what others may think of me and to pray that I would simply speak what God wants to say.

On one Sunday afternoon, two members from the welcoming team shared that the message I spoke that morning was very helpful to the non-Christian newcomers who attended our church that day, and that it opened them up to conversations about faith. Among the two members who encouraged me was a brother who added, “It is because your Chinese is not that good, but your simplified language and phrasing seemed just right for hearers who are new to faith and the Bible.” For public speakers, it is never sweet to hear that our speech has deficiencies, but under God’s grace, I received the brother’s words as encouragement from God; and the three of us just enjoyed recapping how that Sunday’s ministry went. I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be—in my weakness, and I was immensely blessed that He used me for His works. In light of Paul’s testimony in this morning’s passage, let us reflect what areas of “being used in our weakness” God is inviting us into, and ask the Lord to work mightily through our obedience.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You for choosing a weak and ordinary vessel like me for Your kingdom work. I pray that You would continue to shine Your light and touch other people’s lives through me. Help me to remain in You and continue to cultivate a servant’s heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Romans 14-15

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