Today’s AMI Devotional QT, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang, is an edited version of a blog that was first posted on January 14, 2013.
Devotional Thought for Today
“Experiencing God in our Desperateness”
Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. 5 No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave? 6 I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
I suppose some of us feel distant from this Psalm since we may not be going through life’s travails at the moment. But it rains on everyone, eventually! No one is immune from situations that make us feel vulnerable, helpless, and fearful.
Often, we expectantly go to God with a long list of problems to be solved! But if experiencing God’s presence and knowing Him is what we seek after, then know that it is during the time of our desperate cries to the Lord when such spiritual encounters occur.
Recently, a man in his 30s with whom I had spent the whole afternoon together—in a church-related meeting—lost his young son that very evening because of a sudden illness. We were all so shocked and utterly saddened for the parents. And it led to desperate cries unto the Lord on behalf of the grieving family.
But ultimately, we have hope because in death, we are reminded that, while David had to content with may foes, we have already gained the victory over our ultimate foe—death; for the apostle Paul writes that in Christ “the last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26).
So today, instead of specifically asking God for this or that, pour out your heart to Him! Cry out to the Lord! Cry out for this grieving family, in hope!
Prayer: Dear God, I often come to You, asking you to fix my life and solve my personal problems. I often speak to you as if you are my waiter. Lord, forgive me and help me to cry out to you in desperation
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 9
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 26:6-13
Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Questions to Consider
- Who said this and to whom was this said (Mt. 26:6-13)?
- Evidently, some people are remembered even after they are dead (Ps. 6:5a). Why was her act so significant? (Lk. 21:1-4)?
- How should we understand Ps. 6:5b: “Who praises you from the grave?”
- Jesus said this to His disciples who were shocked by this act because they knew how costly it was.
- After spending several years with Jesus, the disciples still hadn’t grasped what loving the LORD your God with all your heart meant (Mt. 22:37). As a result, they only saw waste in what the woman did while Jesus saw something else that He deeply appreciated. The expression, “Spare no expense” (on account of another person) refers to an extravagant expenditure just to make a simple point: You are very important to me. That’s what this woman and the poor widow (who gave all she had to live on) did! Sometimes it’s the people who are deeply involved in ministry who forget that.
- The Bible does not teach “soul sleep” after death; instead, human souls will continue to exist in either heaven or hell. Here, David wasn’t making a theological statement; it was a metaphorical expression driven by how close he felt to death due to his foes, and he frankly wasn’t ready to die quite yet. That’s why the book of Psalms is a timeless truth because our emotive responses, such as sadness, happiness, anger or fear to life’s circumstances have not changed and will not change.
As you wrap up this day, did anything happen that made you feel vulnerable, weak or fearful? Were you insulted? Did you hear any news that may affect your future? What situations in your life (perhaps at home or work) are presently making you feel vulnerable, helpless, and fearful?
Like the woman we meet in Matthew 26, who expressed her love for Jesus with all that she had, would you take a moment to worship Him right now (perhaps silently). More precious than expensive perfume is your heart! Pour out your heart to Jesus!