April 25, Wednesday

The AMI QT Devotionals for April 23-25 are provided by Myra Huang. Myra, a graduate of Juilliard School (BA) and The Manhattan School of Music (M.A.), lives in NYC with her husband Ed Huang and two lovely daughters: Elie (9) and Abby (7). She has been a member of The Remnant Church since its inception in 1995. Myra travels the world performing concerts with opera singers.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

2 Corinthians 3:18

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned that my last album with my colleague Nick was nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best Classical Vocal Solo” category (2017).

Well, in the end, we did not win our Grammy category.  I had butterflies in my stomach as they reached the few categories right before ours, as I knew they would be announcing ours soon.  I truly did not expect to win, but the greatest gift I had received from the Lord was that He had released me from the fear of losing a few weeks before (see previous blog).  After encountering God’s healing, I was able to look back at moments when He closed doors for me and understand His pacing and His timing.  One thing I have learned deeply about His wise and loving leading is that His timing truly is perfect.  I had experienced so much consistency in God’s faithfulness in my career that I knew that I did not “need” this Grammy to have a great career.  The peace of God in such a moment of great expectation and the freedom to lose was the greatest gift the Lord could have ever given me.  I felt so loved—and still feel so loved—that He sought me out to give me this kind of freedom before my big moment.

I never became a classical pianist “for God’s glory.”  Many people attach that phrase to whatever they do as an afterthought.  I pursued my career because I didn’t know what else to do; it was what God had put in front of me, and I just followed Him step by step.  What I have learned is that we give God glory in whatever we do, by being transformed into His likeness and loving those around us.  It’s not the career that glorifies God—it’s who you are in Christ that glorifies Him and your relationship with Him.  Before I step out on stage at every concert, I spend time reminding myself that the concert I am about to give is my worship to God.  I remind myself that I am performing for the audience of One.

My final thought about the Grammy’s is … let the Lord’s will be done!  If He wants me to have a Grammy one day, that’s great; if not, that’s great too.  Because I don’t need a Grammy to have a successful career.  My goal is not to win, but to know the love of my Lord and to follow Him wherever He leads me.

Prayer: Lord, there are things, not only in my personal life but for Your greater kingdom purposes, that need to get done. But, before letting me see what I need to do, allow me to see and then constantly remind me who I need to be in Christ.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Timothy 3


Lunch Break Study (Pastor Ryun)

Read 2 Timothy 4:16-8: “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Questions to Consider

  1. At first glance, this passage may not seem to correspond to this morning’s devotion, but actually it does, because both deal with being constantly aware of the true reality as opposed to operating out of a false reality. Myra saw herself as a winner in Christ even though she didn’t actually win the Grammy, and this realization was already internalized before the winner of the award was announced. In the case of Paul, what did he already internalize long before whether anyone ever came to visit him in Rome?
  2. In what sense are the experiences of Myra and Paul similar?
  3. The kind of self-realization we are talking about here does require one thing: self-awareness of what truly drives and motivates us. Is it winning (even if it is for Christ) or being like Him—that is, being transformed by the Spirit to embody the likeness of Christ? Take a moment to reflect on this matter that we often ignore.

Notes

  1. Before anyone were to visit Paul in prison to show their care and concern for him, the apostle already felt sufficiently cared for because he was acutely aware of the Lord’s protective presence in his life.
  2. Their experiences are similar in the sense that they prioritized the presence of One in order to deal with their respective struggles. For Paul, the struggle was dealing with the sense that no one supported him, despite all that he had done for them; for Myra, the struggle was dealing with the sense that she is “only as good as your last performance.”
  3. Personal response. It bears repeating what Myra said: “It’s not the career that glorifies God—it’s who you are in Christ that glorifies Him and your relationship with Him.”     

Evening Reflection

In reviewing this day, was it a struggle to keep your head high (not in arrogance but in admiration of our gracious God) because things just didn’t turn out the way you planned?  In recognizing our shortcomings, how is the Lord using that to transform you? Perhaps James 4:6 may be helpful here: “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’”

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