Today’s AMI QT Devotional (new) is provided by Pastor Shan Gian who serves at Symphony Church in Boston.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.”
One of my favorite types of movie is a treasure hunt movie. In one of these movies, the protagonists are seeking some lost or hidden treasure, and they find a previously hidden map, struggle to decipher the clues, crawl through tunnels, jump over chasms, avoid booby traps, and go through many more trials to get to the precious treasure that had been lost for centuries.
When Moses says these words in Deuteronomy, I imagine him saying them in response to treasure hunt stories. What he tells the Israelites here is that reaching (i.e., grasping) the Lord’s commandments, the very words of God, isn’t like going on a treasure hunt. They didn’t have to go through hoops to find them and hear them. They didn’t have to perform a whole bunch of religious rituals or find a shaman to come and explain it to them. The word was near to them, it was in their mouths and hearts. God has given it to them freely.
Often we come to the Word of God as if it is a mystery to solve, as if there is some secret that has yet to be uncovered; but Moses tells us that it’s near to us and it’s not too hard for us to follow or to understand. Of course there are plenty of passages that we find hard to understand or reconcile since the Bible was written a few millennia ago. Instead of getting caught up in the small details we don’t understand though, we should be in awe and wonder of the big story that we do understand: the story of God who loves us so much and offers us a life with Him. God loved us so much that he gave us this Word, the Bible, as a way to know him.
Sure we may struggle to understand some verses or chapters, but the Bible isn’t a treasure map to be deciphered. It’s a Word that shows us the love of our God. Let us be thankful to God that He reveals himself to us through the Word that we do understand.
Prayer: Jesus, I thank you for your Word. Thank you for showing us the truth of who you are and who we are in you through the Scriptures. I pray that today I can catch a greater glimpse of you through it today. AMEN
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 25
Lunch Break Study
Read John 20:30-31: Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Questions to Consider
- What do these verses tell us about the purpose of the Gospel of John and by association the Bible in general?
- What are we supposed to gain from reading God’s Word?
- Think about some passages that have convicted you in the past. How has God spoken to you and transformed you through the Bible?
- John tells us that these words are written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The Gospel of John’s ultimate purpose isn’t to a historical narrative or biography; rather, through the historical narrative and biographical qualities, it’s meant to show us that Jesus is the Christ and lead us to put our faith in Him. This is not only The Gospel of John’s purpose, but this is what the whole of Scripture is meant to do, to point to Jesus and lead us to a deeper faith and relationship with God.
- The Bible isn’t just meant to give us an intellectual understanding of who Jesus is and it’s not even just meant to help us to have an agreement of Jesus’ divinity, it’s meant to lead us to trust in Jesus with our lives and through that trust, it leads us to have “life in his name” as it says in verse 31. While building good Bible reading habits is very important, the goal isn’t to just read the Bible but it’s to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus has set out for us. We draw closer to that abundant life and ultimately Jesus when we spend time reading God’s Word.
- Personal reflection question
Have you spent some time in God’s Word today? If so, is there something that God is speaking to you about through it? If not, take some time and meditate on some verses and see what God has to say to you. Close out tonight thanking God for the love He has shown you through His Word.