The AMI QT Devotional for today, first posted on August 4, 2014, is provided by Phillip Chen who is the associate pastor at Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.
Devotional Thoughts for This Morning
“A Little Hope vs. A Lot of Hope”
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
In the first of the Hunger Games movies, one of the characters, President Snow, says something that I found to be particularly insightful. He said “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous.” He was speaking in regard to the people that his government was oppressing. By giving them small doses of hope from time to time, he is able to keep them and their expectations at bay, but if and when the people were to realize that there is a greater hope that they can lean upon, it could be a dangerous one for his regime. But, when it comes to hope promised by God, nothing can be further from the truth.
As this portion of the Gospel of John mirrors the beginning of the book of Genesis (the Hebrew eye would not have missed this), we see that the gospel writer is introducing Jesus and the commencement of his ministry. As we take a closer look at verse 4, we see that in Jesus is life, which is the hope of all mankind. Why? Because the light shines into the darkness, and the darkness has not and cannot overcome it. The light of the world, the hope of the nations is Jesus, the eternal God who has come into the world to defeat the kingdom of darkness.
Friends, as we remember that we live in a kingdom of darkness that so desperately needs the light of Jesus to pierce through, we must remember that we hold onto a different hope. The world may offer small doses of hope (a promotion here, recognition there), but we have set our hope on the living Christ. Let us remember that the hope we have in Jesus is not a weak one. If it were, there would be nothing we could do to infiltrate this kingdom of darkness. Rather, Jesus is the light of the world that has come to bring hope for the nations. We carry that message of hope with us, so powerful and dangerous, that it is able to penetrate the darkest places in the kingdom of this world and infiltrate the strongest forces of the enemies.
Prayer: Lord, I believe you are the hope for the nations. Today, remind me that I carry a dangerous and powerful message of hope that can destroy the kingdom of darkness in my life and in others lives as well. Help me live in a way where this hope is evident in my life!
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 41
Lunch Break Study
Read John 1:6-10: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.”
Questions to consider
- Who is John the Baptist, and how is our role similar to his?
- Verse 8 tells us that he was not the light, but simply came as a witness to the light. In what ways do we end up claiming to be the light rather than a witness to the light?
- Are you being a creditable witness for Christ to people around you?
- John was a messenger of God, sent to carry the message of hope to all people. He was to testify of the light and living hope found in Jesus, and we also, as ambassadors, are sent to declare this message to the nations.
- For some, we can use our faith to point to ourselves rather than God. We can use our good works, our ministry, our character to promote ourselves rather than Jesus.
- Personal response
The New Testament is loaded with passages that speak of our identity as Christians. We are ambassadors. We are a royal priesthood. We are messengers of God. We testify of the light. Today, may we be reminded that we play an important role in the kingdom of God. If you’ve been burnt out and are standing on the sidelines, remember the glorious part you play as a messenger of the living hope of God! Remember this message for yourself and bring it to everyone else around you as well.