The AMI QT Devotionals for April 26-27 are provided by Jon Moon, who serves as Children’s Ministry Director at Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco. Jon, currently a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, is married to Stephanie, and they have one son (Elijah) and another one on the way.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
This past March, I had the privilege of, once again, accompanying Dr. Ryun to Cuba to teach at Seminario de La Gracia. During this trip, as I witnessed how the seminary students lived out their lives and how fervently they studied God’s Word, I was reminded once again of the importance of reading and studying the Word of God. In a country where people survive on one or two meals a day, since resources are scarce, and hopes for a better life are almost nonexistent, I was amazed at the joy and hope that these 78 seminarians expressed through their singing, prayers, and study of the Word.
Where did this hope and joy amid trials and tribulation come from? I believe, as Romans 15:4 states, it comes in part from the constant study of God’s Word and remembering what the Lord has done for us throughout history and the promises that He has given us. So often, when we go through hard times, we forget this and get so focused on our situation or on the wrong things that we begin to get anxious, desperate, and start losing hope.
Instead, when life gets hard and we are losing hope, let’s turn to God’s Word and be reminded of what the Lord has done and is able to do. Let’s be reminded of His attributes and His names. Let’s be reminded of James’ exhortation to persevere and endure so that we may one day receive the crown of Life. Let’s lean on His promises and be encouraged by the reassuring words that He has for us, and that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us Your Word so that we would be reminded daily of who You are and all that You’ve done for us. Forgive us for often forgetting this and allowing fear, worry, and anxiety to rule over our hearts, instead of Your peace and hope. Continue to remind us of how great and awesome You are, and may your Word continue to minister and encourage us through our struggles. Thank You for loving us and promising to never leave nor forsake us. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Timothy 4
Lunch Break Study (Pastor Ryun)
Read 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, 16-18: But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body . . . Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Questions to Consider
- Can you identify with the type of Christian faith that Paul embodied while he was serving the Lord?
- Why is American Christianity so different from what Paul says here?
- If you were to live like the apostle, what is the only way that will keep you going while serving the Lord on earth, despite the suffering and hardship?
- Most of us can’t identify with Paul because we don’t live like him. How did he live? He gave up the comforts of life to serve God despite great oppositions. He refers to this as “carrying around in our body the death of Christ.”
- The basic orientation of American Christianity is narcissism—It’s all about what can God do for me, to make my life more comfortable and materially prosperous, and to feel more fulfilled. It fixes its eyes on what is seen—jars of gold, not clay.
- Since life on earth is not as comfortable and prosperous as it can be due to our choice to follow God and His call in our lives, we must fix our eyes on what is unseen and what is eternal to remember that something better is waiting for us in heaven—an eternal glory.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 speaks of having hope in God amid circumstances and situations that couldn’t get any worse. As you wrap up this day, meditate on this amazing Scriptures, and embrace the life of fixing our eyes on what is unseen and eternal.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.