August 16, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals from August 13-19 are provided by Pastor Barry Kang, who heads Symphony Church in Boston.  Barry, a graduate of Stanford University and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Sunny (an amazing worship leader, chef, and math wizard). They are the proud parents of Caleb and Micah.

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“God is in control: in His timing”

Jeremiah 29:7

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.

During my senior year in college, I was in the throes of looking for a job after graduation.  My recruitment had not been going well relative to many of my peers who already had offers, when I received an unusual offer.  The recruiter called and explained that the company had already completed its recruitment and all of their offers had been accepted for the year, but they really liked me and wanted me for the following year. She light-heartedly suggested that I could go back-packing in Europe while I waited.  I was flattered but quickly and firmly told her no.  One year was far too long to wait; I wanted to get started on my career now.

The exiles in Babylon had been hoping to get back to Jerusalem within a couple of years.  They grasped unto prophets who declared such things (cf. Jeremiah 28).  Instead, God told them to get comfortable in Babylon and actually start investing in Babylon!  Now the news was going to get worse.  Seventy years!  As a 21-year old, I didn’t like the idea of waiting one year.  For the exiles, it would take seventy years before God would bring them home.

God’s plans run on God’s timing.  We have to know that.  His timing is not the same as our timing.  Because his perspective is different than our perspective.  Now that I’ve doubled my age from when I was in college, I have a very different perspective on that one year I declined to take off.  Seventy years may seem like a long time, but not when we view it from the lens of eternity (which we will have).  This morning, let us seek to trust in God’s timing for His plans!

Prayer: Father, with my finite perspective, I can be so impatient.  I ask for Your forgiveness for that impatience.  I want to trust in Your timing because I know You have a perfect perspective.  As I understand this more and more, help me to be faithful today and tomorrow and every day after that, because no matter how long I wait, I know that Your timing is best!   In Jesus name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Esther 5


Lunch Break Study

Read James 4:13-16: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the fallacy that James is warning us against? Why is this foolishness (the opposite of wisdom)?
  2. What, instead, should be our approach?
  3. To what extent are you living for your own plans and timing versus the plans and the timing of God?

Notes

  1. James warns us against the foolishness of making plans apart from God. This is foolishness since even tomorrow is not promised to us.  We are not in control of our futures and we are not even ultimately in control of our lives.  To live as though we can be fully in control is to ignore the reality that we are actually not in control.
  2. Our approach, instead, should be to trust in God who is in control, and seek His will to be done rather than our own. In the end, this is the wise and sensible approach to life.
  3. Please take some time to reflect upon these questions.

Evening Reflection

To what extent are you submitting to the plans and timing of God versus your own?  What is God asking you to surrender?  Where is He asking you to be patient?  Please journal your meditations.

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