July 24, Tuesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from July 23-29 are provided by Pastor Jason Sato of OTR in Cincinnati.  Jason, a graduate of UC San Diego (B.S.) and Westminster Theological Seminary in California (M.Div.), is married to Jessica, and they have three young  children: Jonah, Lily, and Ayla (nine months old).

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

A Righteous Branch

Jeremiah 23:5-6 (ESV)

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. [6] In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’

Over the years, I’ve heard many times that America has many politicians but few leaders.  Some wonder whether it’s even possible for a leader like Washington, Lincoln, or Roosevelt to emerge in our time.  When we read of all the scandals and failures of our leaders, we can grow cynical and imagine that our best option is to submit to no one, and go our own way.

In the time of Jeremiah, Israel finds herself in a similar situation.  Over many generations, there have been a few good kings who feared the Lord and ruled with righteousness, but most did nothing to stop rampant idolatry and injustice in Israel.  Now God’s people are in exile, and they long for the day that God will send a Messiah to lead them back into the glory of God’s presence.

In our passage this morning, God declares that He will raise up a King filled with wisdom, righteousness, and justice.  This King will save His people and allow them to dwell securely.  The people of Israel will confidently declare that “The LORD is our righteousness.”  Some Israelites may wonder whether it would even be possible for such a leader to emerge in their time.  To the ears of a nation in exile, the promise sounds almost too good to be true.

But the people of God do not simply receive what they hope for. God gives us a Leader whose character is truly unassailable. Jesus is not just wise but omniscient.  He is not only just, but the Judge of all nations and peoples.  Jesus clothes His people in His righteousness, taking upon Himself our wickedness and sin.

We, like Israel, have been disappointed by leaders in the past and are very aware of the flaws of our leaders in the present.  We may be tempted to lower our expectations of Jesus to avoid being disappointed, but He is far better than we can imagine!  Let’s pray that we might trust in Him and find that He is even greater than we have heard.

Prayer: Father, I thank You that You sent Your only Son to save me.  I thank You that He is far more glorious, faithful, and generous than words can express.  I am so glad I can put my trust in You.

Bible Reading for Today: Ezra 2


Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 3:14–21 (ESV):

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, [15] from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, [16] that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, [18] may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, [19] and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. [20] Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, [21] to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Questions to Consider

  1. For what reason does the Apostle Paul pray?
  2. What does this passage have to say about the capacity of God to give to His people?
  3. What is the proper response to the incredible generosity and love of God?

Notes

  1. Paul is praying that God would give the Ephesians strength to comprehend the breadth, length, height, and depth of the love of Christ. The love of Christ surpasses all knowledge, so they need supernatural strength to comprehend it and be filled with the fullness of God.
  2. God is able to give according to the riches of His glory. He strengthens through his Spirit.  His love is immeasurable.  He can do everything that we ask and more.
  3. Worship is the proper response! God deserves all the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus among all generations forever and ever!

Evening Reflection

Reflect upon your day.  Did your actions and attitude reflect your hope in King Jesus?  Pray that God would replace any despair with hope in Him.

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