The AMI QT devotionals for July 30-August 5 are provided by Christine Li. Christine graduated from University of Pennsylvania and currently lives and works in New York City. She attends Remnant Church in Manhattan.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“You Are Not Alone!”
“And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.”
1 Corinthians 12:24b-26
But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
In the fall of last year, a scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood mogul, broke out. Women who had been sexually abused by him began publicly testifying about their experience, which then emboldened many other victims to share their own experiences online with the hashtag #MeToo. This movement drew attention for exposing how prevalent abuse was, not just in the American entertainment industry but in other countries and industries. The intention behind someone sharing was to indicate to other victims (who may have felt isolated or afraid) that they should not suffer alone, but know that there is someone who understands and mourns with you.
Jeremiah, too, had a discouraging life of ministry, having gone twenty-three years without much fruit. Though he was not usually well-received, he knew that he was not completely alone. There were brothers-at-arms that God had placed on the same mission around him. He knew of the other prophets, of their ministry, and likely could empathize with their experiences.
One provision from God is His presence through those who bear His image. Though there is no true substitute for “the God of all comfort,” He has placed us purposefully in each other’s lives to care for one another and echo His nearness. All of us, as part of the body, are a crucial part of strengthening those in our church family.
Today, let’s not only take time to reflect on how God has strengthened and encouraged us through community, but let’s also think of how to continue building our communities. If you are hurting, be assured that God is providing so that you are not alone. And if you are well, be encouraged to reach out to someone and offer a tangible representation of God’s love and care.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your provision in my life! Though I know that You are always present, thank You for also sending friends and companions to spur me along. Help me to be present and attentive to others who are hurting, and teach me to better encourage them if I can empathize with their hardship. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezra 10
Lunch Break Study
Read Philippians 4:14-19: Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Questions to Consider
- Paul has written in the previous passage that gifts do not define his joy; however, he expresses much thankfulness for what the Philippians sent. What does he receive through their gift?
- What is it that Paul desires the most for the Philippians?
- Paul mentions that God will meet all needs at the end of this passage. How can this encourage us to be giving in our own lives?
- Paul mentions how good it is for them to share in his troubles because their history is marked by a special partnership and mutual dependence. This church has both given to and received from Paul, which gives them a unique relationship with Paul. The gift is a byproduct from the reward of friendship they have.
- Paul, though he benefits from their generosity, knows that their gift is ultimately an offering to God, and that they receive spiritual reward for spending their resources on others. By loving Paul, the Philippians please God, an even greater treasure than any benefit through friendship.
- God meets the needs of His people “according to the riches of His glory.” This may not always be a material provision, for God knows whether our greatest needs are tangible. However, He will always give us as we need. If we know that our God has a never-ending supply at His disposal, then we can be generous, not only with our money, but with our time and other resources. Fear of lacking can no longer hinder us from giving freely.
If there is someone God has pressed on your heart to reach out to and love, take it as an encouragement to support them generously.