The AMI QT Devotionals from October 14-20 are provided by Christine Li, who attends and serves at Remnant Church in Manhattan, New York.
Devotional Thought for Today
“Up Close and Personal”
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”
This past year, I had the chance to see a musician that I admire very much. Prior to the concert, I did my homework: I listened to his songs (even memorizing some) and read all his recent interviews. I even began googling other people’s experiences of the concert tour to anticipate the setlist. Going in, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. However, the live experience was even better than expected! Seeing him in the flesh was incredible; it made every attribute of his come alive: the tone of voice, facial expressions, spontaneous decisions! He became more than the impression and construct I’d made in my head.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that God has revealed Himself in a similar manner. In the past, He spoke only to certain people, He left a written account to tell us what He values, and He even revealed His power with some miracles. Devoted scholars would have had plenty of resources to form an impression and understanding of God. But all those things paled in comparison to the actual experience of having Jesus in the flesh. Now, through the Son, God has spoken to us in a new, concrete way. His character comes alive through the demonstrations of His love, mercy, compassion, holiness, and justice.
Do you or I adequately appreciate how wonderful it is that God came in the flesh for us? It’s possible that we have taken accounts of Him (the Gospels) or accounts of His effect on men (Acts and the rest of the New Testament) too lightly. You and I, being born on this side of Christ’s life, have the wonderful privilege to know Him directly and be able to reference what He said, how He spoke, what He did.
Let us spend time today meditating on how the person of Christ fills up our understanding of God. Through Him, we understand perfect love. Through Him, we understand holiness. Through Him, we understand compassion and grace. Let’s thank God that He did not leave Himself shrouded in mystery but instead came to this world and fully exposed us to His goodness.
Prayer: God, thank You for coming! Thank You for not staying a distant and mysterious being but coming in the flesh so that we would know You with certainty and with intimacy. Help me not to take Your revelation for granted but teach me to understand You better. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 14
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 John 1:1-4: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete.”
Questions to Consider
- What does John say here about our senses being engaged in knowing God? Why would this be important?
- Why does John have to proclaim this reality of the Word of life? What is his goal?
- In these elements of encountering, testifying, and fellowshipping, which one are you most engaged in? Which one would you like more of?
- John notes multiple senses engaged in knowing God: sound, sight, touch. Instead of knowing God abstractly (an eternal God “from the beginning”) and distantly, the disciples experienced Him fully: He was known, seen, regarded, beheld, and physically touched. Because Jesus came in the flesh, God was fully revealed to men.
- Testimony is the natural outflow from someone who has encountered God intensely. Deepening one’s fellowship with God is the end goal; even fellowship with one another is yet another means of enjoying the presence of God and heightening the joy of having encountered God. For joy do the disciples continue to testify of God’s reality and closeness.
- Personal reflection.
Take some time to think about today’s topic. Does Jesus seem real to you, or does God feel distant and abstract? Let’s ask God to engage our senses in knowing Him and ask that He would grow our understanding of Him more tangibly.