Today’s AMI Devotional is written by Pastor David Yoon of Tapestry Church in Los Angeles.
Devotional Thought for the Day
“A trade that makes no sense whatsoever”
“Therefore I still contend with you, declares the Lord, and with your children’s children I will contend. 10 For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see, or send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has been such a thing. 11 Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. 12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, 13 for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
There’s a story about an eight-year-old boy who wanted a wristwatch for his birthday. This wasn’t just any watch – it was a watch that would play a melody when you opened the cap. As his birthday was approaching, he asked his mother if she could buy him the watch for his birthday present. Sadly, the mom would tell her son that they could not afford it. She was a single parent mother, working multiple jobs to pay rent and bills. This made the boy really sad and eventually he gave up. However, to his surprise, on the day of his birthday he found a small gift-wrapped box next to his bed. It was the wristwatch he wanted! He wore the watch everywhere; at school, he would show it to his friends and play the melody for everyone to listen.
One day, during lunch his friend brought a box of donuts. The boy asked his friend if he could have a donut. His friend asked what he would give in return. The boy thought for a moment and replied that he would give him his watch. The friend agreed and gave him not just one but two donuts. The boy was elated. He took off the watch and had a donut in each hand. But as he began to eat his second donut, the weight of his decision weighed down his shoulders. What had he just done? How could he give away something so precious? How will his mother react when she hears about what happened?
Does this story resonate with you? In today’s passage, the people of Judah, who God demonstrated His love for by bringing them into the Promised Land, had abandoned God and embraced worthless idols. Jeremiah compares their decision to commit these two sins to choosing a cracked cistern that could not hold water, over the fountain of living waters. His listeners understood how foolish it was for anyone to exchange a well of flowing water for a broken cistern—indeed, it was a trade that made no sense whatsoever. Unfortunately, many of us can still relate with Judah. We are quick to turn our hearts away from God’s goodness and faithfulness. Today’s broken cisterns are the pursuit of pleasure, wealth, and the idols in our hearts. God desires for His people to return to Him, and He desires for you to return to Him today. Apostle Paul writes in Romans 2:4 (ESV): “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” In light of this, examine your heart today and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the idols in your heart. Turn your heart back to God, and receive from Him the fountain of living water.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness. Forgive me for turning to the idols of my heart and this world – forsaking the love and grace You demonstrated for me on the cross through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help me today to turn my heart back to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Hebrews 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Hebrews 12:1-2: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Questions to Consider
- Who is the “cloud of witnesses” that surrounds you?
- What does it mean to run the race with endurance?
- How does considering the persecution Jesus faced help you not to grow weary?
- Believers find encouragement in being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses—these witnesses are the saints mentioned in Hebrews 11.
- As these men and women in the “Hall of Faith” encourage us – we need to reject sin’s entanglement, letting us run our race with power, perseverance, and joy.
- Athletes must keep their eyes fixed on the goal, for where you look is where you will go. The writer of Hebrews is telling his readers that as we run this race, we must keep our eyes on Jesus Christ who, in His steadfast obedience, provided a perfect example of commitment.
Become aware of God’s presence throughout the day. Be reminded that God brings structure out of the chaos of our day. Ask God to bring clarity and understanding. Walk through your day in the presence of God and note its joys and delights. Pay attention to small things—God is in the details.