March 22, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals for March 22-23 are provided by Pastor David Yoon. David, a graduate of California Baptist University and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is serving at Tapestry LA Church as the college pastor.

Devotional Thought for the Day

Mark 4:1-9

Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at a summer youth retreat in seventh grade. I still remember the tent that was used as the chapel, and where I was standing when I first experienced God’s overwhelming love and grace. During praise and response, I would lift my hands up to worship God; and at times, I would get on my knees to pray as my eyes filled with tears—my heart was filled with the Holy Spirit. Looking back, this was when my love relationship with God began and a spiritual marker in my life.

In today’s passage, Jesus is teaching through parables—which literally means “to throw alongside” to a large crowd from a boat. A parable is a metaphor comparing a spiritual truth with something from the listeners’ everyday world. Unlike the modern method of agriculture, the seed was sown first and then plowed under. It was important for the farmer to remove the rocks from their fields before planting because nothing would grow on rocks. The parable begins and ends with an admonition to listen carefully. The parable of the soils illustrates God’s offer of salvation and the mixed response to that offer.

When it comes to hearing and listening to God’s Word, having a heart that is like good and healthy soil will allow God’s truth to take deep root and yield thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. Yet there are many distractions that can keep us from listening to God’s Word. Jesus gives the example of some seed being devoured by birds, landing on rocky, shallow ground, and being burned up by the sun. Other seeds grew but were chocked by thorns. Though I encountered God and gave my life to Him in seventh grade, He had been sowing seeds through my relationships, church, and His Word throughout my childhood years. However, only when my heart was centered on Jesus Christ and through the working of the Holy Spirit were these seeds able to take root. In light of this, let us ask the Holy Spirit to make our hearts like good, healthy soil –that it will allow His Word to take deep root.

Prayer: Father God, you know the innermost crevices of my heart and soul. Keep me from turning my heart away from You. Allow me to listen and follow Your voice today. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Judges 16


Lunch Break Study

Read Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Questions to Consider

  1. What does it mean to be “crucified with Christ”?
  2. Does Christ live in you today?
  3. How can you live a life of faith and exemplify the love of Christ to those around you?

Notes

  1. Being crucified with Christ means we are united with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection.
  2. Faith is required to live in Christ.
  3. By dying with Christ, we are free from the law.

Evening Reflection

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

End the day by reflecting and putting your trust in God’s sovereignty.

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