The AMI QT Devotionals for July 29-30 are written by Pastor Ryun Chang.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“He is Good”
Psalm 5:8, 11-12
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies —make straight your way before me. 11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Sometimes we wonder where God is in our turbulent times and are dismayed when our reality doesn’t change or turn for the better (Ps. 22). If that’s how we—living in the comforts of West—feel, how much more so for those believers living in closed countries where threats to their lives are a present reality.
The LORD, of course, has His reasons for allowing all that, which we may find out about later; meanwhile, we mustn’t forget that God remains our shield and refuge who protects us! It doesn’t mean that He will always deliver us physically, but it certainly means that His grace for us will always be sufficient during our difficult moments.
What does that entail? The apostle Paul, locked up in a Roman dungeon, said (2 Tim. 4:17-18), “The Lord stood by me and strengthened me . . . I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” God surely did that for Paul–rescuing him from the lion’s mouth–nevertheless, shortly thereafter, the Romans executed the apostle anyway . Is God still good? Paul would say without any hesitation, “Yes, God is good”—ultimately, because of the sacrificial death of God’s Son on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21).
So today, take a moment to meditate on the goodness and kindness of our LORD. Take refuge in Him throughout the day! Are you following God as He leads? As He spreads His protection over you, are you remaining in Him? Praying (unhurriedly) and meditating on God’s Word is not sufficient to remain in Him but they are necessary: So, pray and meditate on Scripture today.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I recognize Your active involvement in my life, to transform my faith and character, and the way I live. Thank You for the difficult situations because through them, I experience Your active presence in my life, as my refuge and shield.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Kings 13
Lunch Break Study
Read Ezra 7:1, 6, 8:21-23: Now after this, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah . . . 6 this Ezra went up from Babylonia. He was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the Lord, the God of Israel, had given, and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him . . . Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from him a safe journey for ourselves, our children, and all our goods. 22 For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way, since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek him, and the power of his wrath is against all who forsake him.” 23 So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty.
Heb. 12:14: Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Questions to Consider
- Who said this and to whom was this said?
- Why did this person say this2 (Ez. 8:22)?
- What really concerned Ezra here with respect to his boss, the pagan king?
- Do you think people base their view of God by observing those who claim to believe and
follow Him (Heb.12:14; 1 Pet. 2:12)?
- The teacher of Law Ezra said this to the Persian king Artaxerxes before making a dangerous trip to Jerusalem that would last for 4 months
- Having told the king how God protects His people, Ezra felt ashamed to ask him for soldiers and horsemen to protect them from enemies on the road.
- Ezra was greatly concerned about how the pagan king Artaxerxes would view God based on how he actually conducted himself. Thus, he gave up the military protection in order to make a favorable spiritual impact on his boss. This necessitated that Ezra really depended on the Lord, which he did.
- Both verses imply that, first, unbelievers are watching; second, the holy and kindly manner in which we live can make a favorable spiritual impact.
In reviewing today, what kind of spiritual impact (or lack thereof) did you make on unbelievers at your work or with your family? Perhaps you thought about doing something but lacked boldness! Pray, therefore, for boldness. Then prayerfully consider who God wants you to reach.