August 27, Monday

The AMI QT Devotionals from August 27 to September 2 is provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.  Peter is a graduate of U.C. Riverside and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).  He and his wife Jessica have three very active children: Nathan, Abigail, and Jason.

Devotional Thoughts for Today 

“Solitude: The Best Place to Hear from God” 

Jeremiah 33:1-3 (NIV) 

While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time: “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

Question: If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, name three items that you’d take with you?

As kids, we’d converse over such silly and hypothetical questions. We’d name items of necessity such as food and water, then we’d laugh as we listed entertainment items such a video games and TV. But there was always one “holy” person in our group who would say, “The Bible.” Of course, an answer of such holiness and weightiness would kill our silly conversation. But there’s something to be said about God’s Word and solitude.

In this chapter, Jeremiah finds himself in solitude. Previously, the prophet had been warning of Judah’s impending doom at the hands of the Babylonians. The army of the king of Babylon was then besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet spoke that eventually the city would fall with its army. Not wanting to hear the bad news, King Zedekiah of Judah had confined Jeremiah into the courtyard of the guards. It is in solitude that God speaks again to Jeremiah telling him of the “unsearchable things.”

It is in the place of solitude where God speaks to His people. Today’s technology gives us unlimited access to the latest information, ideas, news, entertainment, etc. However, it has also taken from us something that is invaluable for our spiritual growth—and that is solitude. John Ortberg writes, “Solitude is the one place where we can gain freedom from the forces of society that will otherwise relentlessly mold us.” Especially today, we must intentionally carve out space and time for this solitary confinement, so that instead of being caught up into our society’s noise, we can be arrested by God’s word.

Question: If you were to be stranded on a deserted island, name three items that you’d take with you?

Answer: A Bible. (End of Conversation)

Prayer: Lord, today, I want to know how to take a meaningful and necessary pause in my life. Help me to hear Your voice as I wait on You in silence. In Your name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Job 7


Lunch Break Study

Mark 6:30-32 (NIV)

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

Questions to Consider

  1. What do you think is going on in the minds and hearts of the apostles in this scene?
  2. Why do you think Jesus takes the apostles to a quiet place for some rest?
  3. How does this scene help you to understand the importance of solitude?

Notes

  1. Perhaps the apostles were tired and hungry, as the text would indicate. However, consider the possibility that they were feeding off of the fame they were enjoying. Consider the words of Henri Nouwen: “In solitude, I get rid of my scaffolding.” Scaffolding is the stuff we use to keep ourselves propped up, to convince ourselves that we are important. (Ortberg, John)
  2. Jesus understood that the mission would still take a few years. Proper rest allows God’s servants to run the marathon rather than a short sprint.
  3. Personal reflection.

Evening Reflection

When was the last time you took half a day to be alone with God? How about even 30 minutes walking with the Lord? Turn everything off (not on silence mode), and spend 15 minutes alone with the Lord. Ask Him to “arrest” your heart and your mind and speak to you.

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