March 31, Tuesday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, originally posted on May 14, 2013, is written by Pastor Matt Ro who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta.  It has been updated.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Taking Refuge in the Lord during the Storms of Life”

Psalm 57:1-4 (ESV)

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. 2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah. God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! 4 My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

How apropos is this psalm for us even as the storms of destruction, COVID—19, passes by ever so deliberately!  Aren’t we all looking for a safe space?

As for David, as he is hiding in a cave to run from those whom he refers to as “fiery beasts”, he finds God, not the cave, to be his “refuge”.  Though darkness is around him, he knows that it is actually under the shadow of the wings of God in which he has found safety.  

The use of the phrase “shadow of your wings” is also found in Psalm 17:8; 36:7, 61:4, and 63:7. Though God does not have wings, the image casts the idea of God being a protector.  And we certainly find refuge in Him. In vv. 2-3, David gives a testimony of God’s faithfulness to him. And in v. 4, David believes he is as safe as Daniel was in the lions’ den (Daniel 6:22).

What a timely reminder to all of us!  Online family group and prayer time is all good but do not let those worthy things to take you away from spending time alone with God, in intimate prayer and being immersed in God’s word.  Hear the voice of the Spirit within your heart (2 Cor. 1:22), “remind[ing us] of everything [Christ] said to [us]” (Jn. 14:26). Allow God’s eternal words to remind us of His wonderful attributes and promises.  And that’s how we take refuge in the shadow of His wings. Do it today!  

Prayer:  Father, thank You that I can find safety in Your shadow.  Again and again, You show mercy to me. I ask again for the shadow of Your wings to give me deliverance, hope, and refuge.  Amen.  

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 65


Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 4:1-3 (ESV): I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Questions to Consider

  1. How does Paul call us to live in light of the Ephesians Chapters 1-3 (v. 1)?
  2. What does that calling look like (vv. 2-3)?
  3. In what situation(s) or relationship(s) is God calling you to show more gentleness and humility?  In what area or relationship is the Lord calling you to be more diligent in order to bring about unity?  How are you going to do that?

Note

  1. Paul says that we should live a life worthy of the calling we have received. What does he mean? He means that we follow directions from the Head of the church, Jesus, instead of shallow counsels of men. The church is not expected to devise its own strategy or to set its own goal. The church is an army under the command of a King, and an army that will not obey its leader is useless as a fighting force. The church is a body under the control of the Head, and what a tragedy it is when the human body refuses to respond to the direction of the head.  This, then, is the word of the apostle to us: Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Follow the goal that has been set before you by your Leader. Also, we shouldn’t neglect the gifts that we have been given, but to use them for the benefit of the church and to the glory of God.  
  2. That life looks like Jesus, completely humble and gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love. When unbelievers see Christians live contrary to the character of Christ, they would conclude that the Christian message is not authentic. When the world sees us fighting amongst ourselves, splitting churches, refusing to humble ourselves and take the lowest place, it certainly does not see Christ in us (Heb. 12:14). We may keep telling our believing friends and coworkers that He will make a difference in their lives, but they won’t believe it until they see it in us.  Paul emphasized this expression of Christ’s likeness in our relationships with other believers. We have the same Lord, the same faith, the same baptism, so why are we arguing over the trivial issues? Pride! We insist on being the one who is right. Thus, the humility and gentleness of Christ is the last thing we are willing to exhibit. Consider how many things around Jesus He refused to address because they were not essential.
  3. Personal response

Evening Reflection

Pinpoint any discrepancies between how you see your identity and how God calls us to see ourselves according to Ephesians 4:1-3. Ask God to help you to embrace and be directed by your identity in Christ, aware that He has called us to be His and calls us to follow Him.  Are you currently in need of God to remove any pride that lurks in your heart and undercuts the spirit of humility? Are there any relationships where we need God to help us to love one another from the heart, with the love He has demonstrated for us? Is God calling you to be a peacemaker in any way?

Prayer:  Father, help me to see that the only impact I can have in this world is by being faithful to You and to the message that has been given to me. May your church be made up of people who, above all, obey Your commands and live in a manner worthy of the Gospel that we have received.

%d bloggers like this: