September 4, Wednesday

Today’s AMI Quiet Time devotional is provided by Tina Hsu of the Church of Southland.

 

Devotional Thought for Today 

2 Kings 23:21-23 (NASB) 

Then the king commanded all the people saying, “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God as it is written in this book of the covenant.” 22 Surely such a Passover had not been celebrated from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and of the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was observed to the Lord in Jerusalem. 

How amazing is it that we effortlessly fill our brain with trivial stuff (e.g., batting average of your favorite player) while neglecting the important matters, which, in the end, will cost us dearly.  2 Kings 23 shows us that when God’s people disregard God’s Word (in Israel’s case, she didn’t even know where the “Bible” was), not only their hearts turn away from God, but they end up doing the unthinkable.

When the Passover was observed during the reign of King Josiah, it was the first time observed since the days of the Judges (v. 22).  It is absolutely mind-boggling that in a span of nearly 500 years, the Israelites neglected the Passover because they were busy turning away from the Lord and serving other gods. 

The purpose of the Passover was to remember and honor God, who brought them out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery (Ex. 12:42), and made them His treasured possession (Ex. 19:5). By observing the Passover regularly, they would remember, among many attributes of God, His mercy. Could their spiritual decline be related to their neglect of the Passover, to their neglect of remembering God’s mercy? By forgetting to remember God’s mercy, their hearts became less and less devoted to God. 

So what is the outcome of reflecting on God’s mercy? The outcome is that we are moved to obey and worship God. God’s mercy is the reason and the power behind a steadfast devotion to God and to His commandments. Out of the riches of His mercy, God delivered us out of darkness and from our bondage to sin. His mercy enables us to obey His commands. Works righteousness or legalism doesn’t lead us to delight in obedience, but God’s mercy, forgiveness, and love move us to obedience. So what happens if we regularly reflect on God’s mercy? His mercy compels us to obey and worship Him. Take some time this morning to sit and to receive God’s abundant mercy. May He empower you to love and obey Him today. 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you because Your mercies are new every morning!  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 27


Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 12:1-2 (NASB): Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Questions to consider

  1. What does Paul mean by “the mercies of God”?
  2. What are we called to because of the mercies of God?
  3. In what ways do you see or sense transformation in your life lately?

Notes

  1. In Romans, “the mercies of God” sum up all that God has done in and through Jesus Christ to save us from the eternal consequence of sin and to give us eternal life on the basis of His death and resurrection. 
  2. We are called to offer our entire person, or life, to serve and worship God. We are called to be holy, which means to be set apart as God’s people. By the power of God’s mercy, we are called to be changed from the inside out. 
  3. Personal Response

Evening Reflection

Take five minutes to reflect on God’s mercy today. How did God show you His mercy today? How did God’s mercy impact you?

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