Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Tina Hsu of the Church of Southland, Anaheim, California.
Devotional Thought for Today
“A Meeting Place with God”
Luke 1:11-15 (NIV)
Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.
Have you ever experienced God providing you an answer to your prayer, but the answer was a greater outcome than your expectation? Recently, I was given good news that my mom will be getting married to a kind, Christian brother. For a long time, she had been praying about pursuing a second marriage in a God-honoring way because she wanted God’s blessing. However, from several previous situations in which things did not work out, she had learned to become content in serving God as a single woman. But, this past year, God didn’t simply grant a good answer to her prayer, but a great answer, for the brother to whom she is engaged is not just a Christian, but someone who shares similar values and commitment towards serving and ministry.
In introducing this elderly couple to his audience, Luke particularly recorded that Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, though barren and childless, were “righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord” (Luke 1:6). This was to shed away any misconception that Elizabeth’s barrenness was a result of moral failure or spiritual uncleanliness, which was a social stigma at the time. Barrenness in those days also brought on the stress of economic well-being—who would take care of and provide for them in their old age? Verse 13 implies that Zechariah had prayed for Elizabeth to bear a child and now the Lord says, “Your prayer has been heard.”
For this couple, barrenness was devastating to face, but their barrenness became a contact point and a meeting place between them and God. They poured out their pain and desires to God and in the waiting, they faithfully continued to serve God. God did not give them a “good enough” outcome—of course, having a child would’ve made it a happy ending—but gave them a great outcome, because their son would not only bring joy to them, but would also bring joy to Israel. He would play a very important role in Israel that would usher and prepare the way for Jesus Christ.
What outcomes are you earnestly seeking from God: financial breakthrough, a job opportunity, healing in relationships? Let the lack you are facing become a contact point that brings you to meet with the Lord.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You that Your works exceedingly surpass my prayers and expectations. You are a God of great things, not just “good enough”. You teach me to hope and desire for Your great purposes to be accomplished through my life. I pray that You would keep me steady and faithful in the waiting. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 13
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 63:1-11: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. 9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. 11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced.”
Questions to Consider
- What condition or situation was David facing when he wrote this psalm?
- What is unique about David’s song to God amid his dire situation?
- How can this psalm be a prayer for you or someone in your life, given your or someone’s difficult situation?
- Very likely, David was in the desert and wilderness, hiding from Saul who was pursuing to destroy him.
- Amongst many praises to God, David declares that God’s love is better than life. David really needed physical safety for his life at this time, but he still declared that God’s love is better. In fact, God’s love is fully satisfying, like the richest of foods. He found comfort in God’s presence alone.
- Personal Response
What situation or moment in your life is prompting you to seek God earnestly? Take a moment to vocalize or write down the things for which you need God’s help.