December 20, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals for December 20-21 provided by Doug Tritton. Doug, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently serving as a staff at Symphony Church (Boston), while pursuing a M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary.  He is married to Cindy and they are proud parents of Audrey.

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Who Are You?”

Galatians 4:6-7

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Even though December is the Advent season—a season meant to be filled with joy—many people are quite stressed. I imagine some of you who are reading this are stressed right now. For those who are students, finals and papers are probably occupying all your thoughts; for those with families, there is the stress to complete all your Christmas shopping—for the children, for the extended family,  for children’s teachers, and so on. Or others are just trying to get things done before the holidays come. Personally, I am a bit stressed as my family waits for our son to be born—any day now!

In the midst of the stress and the craziness of life, it can be easy to forget who we are—who we really are. We know we are employees and students, mothers and fathers: these are the responsibilities that are at the forefront of our minds right now and certainly we should not forget about them. But we can easily forget our true identity, our identity as children of God. This is the foundation of our lives— being daughters and sons of our Father in Heaven. Knowing this brings freedom. Knowing this means acknowledging we are not slaves to this world and its fears and troubles. We belong to our Heavenly Father, a Father who cares for us.

When we lose sight of our true identity, we ultimately grow deaf to God’s voice in our lives. Our passage says that God sent His Spirit into our hearts, the Spirit who speaks into our hearts and reminds us who we are. Forgetting our identity as God’s children means we are not listening to the voice of the Spirit within us. Can we pause for just a few moments in the midst of the hustle and bustle of this season and just listen? Can you listen for God’s voice? Listen to Him crying out for you to come to Him. Listen for Him to remind you of your identity as His child. Listen to Him to remind you of His great, unchanging love for you. You are His child, you belong to Him. Knowing this reality enables us to truly enter into the joy and peace of this advent season.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for sending Your Spirit in our hearts to teach us who we are. May we not grow numb to Your Spirit and to Your voice. May we not grow numb to our true identity as Your child. Remind us again and again and may we not lose sight of this identity during this season. May we know Your love so that we can experience the joy of Advent. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 22


Lunch Break Study  

Read Philippians 4:4-7: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Questions to Consider

  1. What does it mean that “the Lord is at hand” (v. 5)?  How is that connected to verse 6?
  2. How do we receive the “peace of God”?
  3. Are you in need of God’s peace right now? Spend time lifting up your burdens to God and invite His presence over you.

Notes

  1. Many people know and memorize verses 6 and 7 and say these verses to others in times of difficulty. Yet, we often leave out the best part: the Lord is at hand! This means He is near to us. He hears us and responds to us. We pray because God is near to us and listens.
  2. There are two main exhortations here: rejoice and pray. Peace comes through doing both of these: rejoicing and by praying. May we find peace this season through worship and through prayer!
  3. Worship and pray in order to seek God’s peace!

 


Evening Reflection

Before going to sleep this evening, take some time to listen for the Spirit speaking within you. Hear His voice as you go to bed this evening. May His voice bring you comfort, peace, and restful sleep!

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