March 12, Monday

The AMI QT Devotionals from March 11-13 are provided by Mei Lan Thallman.  Mei Lan is originally from Taiwan and a graduate of Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary (M.A.) in Kentucky.  She is the wife of Pastor Kirt, who serves at Grace Covenant Church (Philadelphia).  They have two children, Nate (14) and Naomi (12).

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Underdog Champions”

Hebrews 12:1-3

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.

Super Bowl 2018 marked the history of Philadelphia for winning its very first Super Bowl championship. This memorable win had a dramatic story of its own.  The Philadelphia Eagles was the underdog team who fought their way up as the season progressed. Two games prior to the NFL championship, their star quarterback, Carson Wentz, tore his ACL and joined mounting casualties of injured key players out of the season.  At the Super Bowl, they played against the legendary five-time reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots and their super undefeated quarterback, Tom Brady. The Eagles’ backup quarterback, Nick Foles, faced the pressure calmly and courageously led the team with undaunted grit toward the epic win of 44 to 33.

The city of Philadelphia was ecstatic over the Eagles victory.  An estimated number of 700,000 fans—including people I know—traveled near and far to stand in the bitter cold, just to take part of the historical victory parade. People had a genuine personal identification with the team’s unrelenting tenacity to overcome setbacks, doubts, and obstacles. They were all so proud of their team.

All of us can relate with feeling like an underdog, facing life’s many challenges, unexpected turns, adversities, losses, and failures. The Philadelphia Eagles showed us there is great power when people pull together as a unified team to overcome the insurmountable odds against them.

In Hebrews 12:1-3, I envision a long parade lined up with heaven’s great hall of famers, the unsung champions of faith, along with our loved ones or mentors who have gone before us, cheering us on from heavenlies to not give in to the temptation of giving up—especially when life’s obstacles make us feel like an underdog.   They tell us to keep pressing on for Jesus with tenacity and live a life worthy of the gospel, one moment at a time, one day at a time, and to confidently trust in God’s ability and faithfulness to help us become the champions of faith that He desires us to be.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being my Savior, Redeemer and Lord.  Thank You that I am saved to participate and partner with You in the ongoing redemptive work of the Father. Empower me to keep standing firm in faith and in Your truth so that I may not be given to fear.  Thank You that I am already a winner in Christ. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Judges 5


Lunch Break Study

Read Hebrews 11:1-7: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is one common characteristic that the people listed in Hebrews 11 shared?
  2. Read Hebrews 11:6. In what areas of your life do you need to apply more faith?
  3.  How does faith in God change your perspective on life?

Notes

  1. These were ordinary underdogs of the world, empowered by faith in God to conquer staggering circumstances.
  2.  We need to daily put on the glasses of faith to have the right perception and interaction with the world around us.
  3. Life does not center around me but on God.  The main purpose of my life is to know Him and glorify Him with my being and doing.

Evening Reflection

Take time to remember the people God has used in your life to point you to have a personal relationship with God. Ask God for grace and power to pass on the legacy of faith to the people in your circle of influence.

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