January 14, Tuesday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was originally posted on February 18, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning 

“Being Passionate for Our Lord and His Truth”

Psalms 18:1-3

I love you, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. 

Have you ever seen really passionate singers who are all in while belting out their tunes on stage? 

Sorry, I don’t know any new singers, but I can think of a few back in the days: Freddie Mercury (of Queens) or Janis Joplin. Suffice it to say, their music didn’t emerge out of vacuum: something deep within was driving them. 

Now, consider todays’ psalm: Can a psalm like this, so passionate and full of pathos, be produced in a vacuum?  Not likely! A famous jazz musician (not a believer), attending a church service for the first time in a long while, wanted to walk out while the worship team was playing.  His reasoning: The members of the worship team were playing music they didn’t believe in! Isn’t it ironic? Mercury and Joplin sang passionately about things as if they were true but, ultimately, weren’t, while these Christian musicians were singing about the truth with neither passion nor life. You can be sure that David, who wrote this psalm after being delivered from the hand of Saul, believed every word of it and sang it with passion.   

Yes, we need to be grounded in the doctrines of our faith, so that, among other reasons, they could safeguard our experience with God but not replace it. When we experience God and His merciful deliverance in our daily lives, we too can speak to one another with psalms and spiritual songs.  But are we at least asking God to deliver us from our woes? What are some things that are heavy on your mind right now?  Would you give them to the LORD and let Him handle them?

Prayer: Dear LORD, my finite words fail to adequately capture Your goodness and kindness towards me in every moment of my life.  Thank You, for You are utterly faithful and amazingly good to me even though I continue to fail You time in and time out.  I praise You God; I love You LORD; I worship You  

Bible Reading for Today: John 14


Lunch Break Study

Read 2 Timothy 4:16-18: At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Questions to Consider

  1. Paul wrote this while locked up in a dreary Roman dungeon. In what sense did he experience God there (2 Tim. 4:16-8)?
  2. How can we hear God, thereby experiencing Him, and be sure that it’s truly God (Rom. 8:16; Ps. 37:7; Jn. 10:27, Acts 17:11)?
  3. Paul never got out of that dungeon; he was later executed. What was his final experience with God (2 Tim. 1:12, 4:18)?

Notes

  1. I don’t think Paul meant that Jesus literally appeared to him and stood by him; rather, he sensed a palpable presence of Christ inwardly.  He might have recalled at that moment the Scripture or encouraging words to sense that he wasn’t alone. 
  2. Paul stated that the Holy Spirit in us testifies with our spirit, which means that some thoughts or images that come to our minds are not from us but from the Spirit.  To hear anything clearly, we need to lower the level of noise and be quiet, literally.  So we need to develop the discipline of being quiet before God.  The way to discern whether what we heard is from the Spirit or not is to weigh it (1 Cor. 14:29) by Scripture (like what the Bereans did).  Thus, we need to read and study the Bible in order to do so.  If what we heard falls within the parameters of Scriptural teaching, we should consider it as having come from the Spirit. The next step is to put it into practice, i.e., obedience. 
  3. His final experience, as he was being executed, was the faithfulness of God. He said, “I know whom I have believed, and convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (i.e., his exit from this world).

Evening Reflection

Before turning in for the night, meditate for a moment Ps. 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.”  What thoughts came to your mind? Ultimately, God wants us to know that He is sovereign and that we can trust Him.  So, did you experience God today? It doesn’t have to be something big. It could be a thought that came to your mind.  Write about it.

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