July 3, Tuesday

The AMI QT Devotionals for July 2-3 are written by Esther Chailim. Esther, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, is currently serving as the Director of Ministries at Kairos Christian Church (San Diego) and pursuing a Masters in Christian Ministry and Leadership at Talbot School of Theology.

 

Devotional Thoughts for This Morning

“Jesus in My Heart”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

I read a story online about a boy who was diagnosed with a severe heart defect, only having months to live.  His surgeon, a well-respected yet jaded heart specialist, told the boy, “I’m going to try to fix your heart, but when I open it up, I’m not sure what I will find.” To his surprise, the boy responded with a smile on his face, “Don’t worry, when you cut my heart open, you’ll find Jesus, because he lives there.”  Even after several attempts from the doctor to warn the boy of the dangers of his surgery, the boy continued to give the same response with a smile on his face.

After the surgery, the doctor headed to the waiting room to give the horrible news to his parents that their son did not make it through the procedure.   The father, trying to figure out what happened, asked the doctor, “When you opened his heart, what did you find?”  The hardened, cynical old man gave the slightest of smiles and said, “I believe I found Jesus.” And for the first time in many years, tears streamed down his face.

To be honest, I’m not sure whether this story is fictional or not, but I think it sends a powerful message of childlike faith.  On one end, we have the surgeon who was probably the most qualified person to administer the procedure. The boy’s parents and the hospital staff all put their trust in the physician to attempt to save the child.  Unfortunately, even the best of the best was unable to save the terminally ill child.   On the other end, we have the boy, who knew that even though the chances of him living were slim, had a sense of joy and peace within him.  The boy did not put his trust in the surgeon to save his life, but already knew that Christ has saved him. This, I believe, is why he did not worry and fear death when the doctor tried to warn him over and over again.  In Jeremiah 17:5-7, we see Jeremiah exhorting Judah (and us) not to trust in man, but to trust in the Lord.  This passage reminds us that putting our trust in the Lord will lead to a blessed life, one filled with confidence in Christ.  It may not make our lives better or easier, but putting our trust in the Lord allows us to look beyond the temporal things and hold fast to the eternal things.

Prayer:  God, oftentimes when I am faced with a dilemma, I find that my initial reaction is to try to figure out a way to solve the problem.  Forgive me for first trusting in human resources and knowledge rather than seeking You for guidance.  Help me to daily surrender my life and plans to You and focus on the things that eternally matter.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 41


Lunch Break Study

Psalm 146:1-10

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free,8 the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. 10 The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.

Questions to Consider

  1. What happens when we put our trusts in princes?
  2. According to this passage, why should we put our trust in God?
  3. How can we put our trust in the Lord?

Notes

  1. In this world, we may have all the riches and receive recognition for the great amount of success like the princes do, but it all amounts to nothing when we pass. Those things may give us temporary happiness, but it cannot give us life.  Jesus is the only one who can save us and give eternal life and joy!
  2. We can put our trust in God because he is the Creator of heaven and earth. He has shown Himself to be faithful since the beginning of time.  He cares for the oppressed and marginalized. He sets prisoners free and gives sight to the blind. He brings justice to those who worship Him, watches over foreigners and sustains the outcast.  He defeats the wicked.
  3. The psalmist starts and ends with giving praise to the Lord. One of the ways that we can put our trust in the Lord is by intentionally choosing to give Him praise.  Even in difficult seasons, may we lift up our hands in surrender to Him, and position our hearts to allow Him to work through those circumstances.

Evening Reflection

Is there something in your life that has been weighing you down?  Do you find yourself placing trust in the wrong places or people?  Take some time now and take those things up to Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to come and guide you in this process.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s