September 14, Friday

Today’s AMI Quiet Time is provided by Pastor David Yoon of Tapestry LA Church.

Devotional Thought for the Day

“Stand in the Gap”

Ezekiel 22:30-31

And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. 31 Therefore I have poured out my indignation upon them. I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath. I have returned their way upon their heads, declares the Lord God.”

When I was a youth pastor, I led a team on a short-term mission trip to Cambodia and Vietnam. For two weeks we partnered with local churches and organizations and helped host several Vacation Bible Schools. One day the pastor we were working with requested our team to do a one-day VBS program for a group of 30 orphaned and abandoned children. When it was time for lunch, each of the children received a small Styrofoam box with rice and one piece of fried chicken—each boxed meal was less than 25 cents.

After we prayed for the food we told them to start eating, but none of them would open their box. Confused, we asked a child why he wasn’t eating. He replied to the pastor’s wife, “Auntie, can we eat all of this? Will we get food later?” She assured the children that there would be more food later and the children began to eat. Our team learned that there were times when the children would receive only one meal a day so they wanted to save it. Our hearts broke and I left the room to pray. In tears, I asked God why these children had to suffer, and deep inside my heart, I felt the Holy Spirit convict me, “David, this is why I brought you here. Will you love these children?” Have you ever experienced a tremendous burden for the lost?

In today’s passage, Israel’s reputation has become “an infamous city full of turmoil” (22:5). They were worshipping false gods, defiling the name of God, and the cities were full of violence and idolatry. God sought for an individual who would be willing to stand in the breach when the nation was in moral and spiritual crises. In the past, He found Moses, Deborah and Daniel who were willing to stand in the breach; but here in this passage, we see that God couldn’t find anyone. The word “breach” can be translated as an act of breaking a law, an agreement, or code of conduct, as well as a hole that has been made in the walls. If you stepped into the breach, you stood in front of the hole in order to stop enemies from entering. God’s plan for reaching ungodly people and nations is still the same today. He is looking for godly men and women to stand in the gap: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

In light of this, let us pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give us the strength and boldness to stand in the gap today. Whether it’s in our workplace, home or nation, may we have the heart of apostle Paul who said, “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers….” Let us look to Christ who stood in the gap, demonstrating His love towards us through His death and resurrection.

Prayer: Father God, Your mercies are new every morning. Will You forgive me for the wickedness in my heart. Open my eyes and heart to see the brokenness around me. Give me the boldness to live out my faith and shine the light of the gospel. I pray for those who have yet to hear of Your Name. Allow me to be Your hands and feet wherever I am. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Bible Reading for Today: Job 27


Lunch Break Study

Read Isaiah 40:29-31: He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Questions to Consider

  1. Why does Isaiah remind us that one day our human strength will fail?
  2. What does it mean to wait for the Lord?

Notes

  1. This is a time when the Jews have been exiled in Babylon. They have lost their home and have been in captivity for many decades and are living in despair. They believed that God had abandoned them and have lost sight of hope. At this time Isaiah prophesizes and reminds them to not doubt but to trust in God and redirects the people of Israel toward renewal in hope. Isaiah reminds us that we are no match for the demands of life but God will renew our strength.
  2. To wait on the Lord is not a matter of willpower but of expectancy. There are times when God will delay His answer and we wonder why He is slow in intervening. But waiting on the Lord means that we trust that He will come at the perfect moment.

Evening Reflection

Find a place suited for silence and solitude. Acknowledge the presence of God. Read and reflect on Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

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