December 2, Monday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional (new) is provided by Emerson Lin.  Emerson and his wife Annie (and their son) are serving as AMI missionaries in E. Asia.   

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“Disconnect to Connect with Him”

John 1:9-13 (NIV)

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

In psychology, there is a term called “inattentional blindness” where when subjects are focused on one stimulus, they completely miss out on another stimulus that was right in front of them.

One of the best-known experiments demonstrating this phenomenon is the “invisible gorilla test”. Participants were asked to watch a video of six people passing a ball to one another and to count how many times the ball was passed. In the middle of the video, a person in a gorilla costume would walk through the group. In most of the tests, 50% of the participants did not even see the gorilla. Because the people were so focused on counting the number of passes, the gorilla became invisible to them.

In this passage, John is sharing the good news of Jesus’ incarnation. The ultimate creator took on flesh so that He could be with His creation. While that sounds amazing, John explains that His creation did not even recognize Him or accept Him; however, there were some who believed Him, so He called them His children.

As I read this passage, I am reminded of how easily we can miss out on God’s presence and His voice. In today’s age, we are too busy and too distracted to spend time with our Father. As we wait on the subway, wait in line at the grocery store, or sit on the couch at home, our cell phones have taken up potential moments with Him. Our wealth allows us to enjoy more things and more activities. While they are not bad in and of themselves, they make us too busy for our Father. It’s no wonder that we, especially I, might feel that God is distant in our life. 

In John 5:17, Jesus says, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” Our heavenly Father is always working in us, around us, and through us. He desires for us to experience these moments in every aspect of our lives. However, like the “invisible gorilla test”, we miss out on these precious opportunities because we are being distracted by other worldly stimuli.

So what are some ways you can disconnect? For some, it means not checking your phone when you have moments of boredom. For others, it means limiting the number of activities you or your child participate in. For me, I made a commitment not to check my phone before I sleep and not check my phone when I wake up. We must remember that these moments are potential moments to be with our heavenly Father. 

This morning, take a moment to invite the Holy Spirit to bring to mind what are some commitments you can make to disconnect from stimuli. Remember, our God is always at work.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you are always at work around us and in us. However, I know I am addicted to my cell phone, Netflix, and my wealth. While these things are not bad in of themselves, they can distract me from potential time with you. Give me strength to quiet the voice of the world and make Your voice louder in my life. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 49


Lunch Break Study

Read Mark 1:35-38: 35: Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” 38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Questions to Consider

  1. To where did Jesus go early in the morning? What is significant about the location?
  2. What was the difference between Jesus’ priorities versus the disciples’ priorities?
  3. How do you begin your mornings? Are you more like the disciples or like Jesus?

Notes

  1. Jesus goes to a desolate place, away from all the busyness of His work. It is a quiet place where He can be with His Father.
  2. For Jesus, being in His Father’s company is the most important thing in His life. For the disciples, they were more focused on the “work” they had to accomplish.
  3. Personal reflection.

Evening Reflection

As you lay in bed this evening, try not to look at your cell phone. Use this precious moment to connect with Him. Meditate on John 5:17.

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