April 21, Tuesday

NEW Today’s AMI QT Devotional is prepared by Pastor Jason Sato who is currently serving in Japan as a missionary.  Jason is a graduate of University of California, San Diego (BS) and Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Everything She Had”

Mark 12:41–44 (ESV)

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. [42] And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. [43] And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. [44] For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

anna-earl-seLgmwSCnJg-unsplash As most of us are spending much more time at home than ever before, perhaps initially we thought this could be a time of extra productivity.  Less commuting and less time for meetings and other events outside of the home could turn into time to finally invest in the kids, practice that guitar, or learn that foreign language.

But, if my experience is any indication, our resources and energy seem to have shrunk considerably rather than grown. Our prayers are distracted.  We have less patience than we need for our children.  Our finances are shrinking at a disturbing rate.  There’s not enough time in the day to accomplish our workload—or even 50% of it.  As our fears and worries consume us, we lose our ability to be compassionate and outward focused.  For many of us, we have found that we are in fact weaker and poorer in many areas of our hearts and lives than we had realized.

In our passage this morning, Jesus observes a poor widow who offers very little to the temple, only two small copper coins.  Yet her offering is the greatest and most pleasing to God as it is all that she has.

Brothers and sisters, let’s not be discouraged if we are not as strong and perfect as we’d like to be.  The Father is not disappointed that we are not Jesus.  Yet at the same time, do not imagine that we have nothing to give.  What we have may be little, but what little we have can be offered up to the Lord Jesus who is worthy of all that we have.

So lead your children to trust in God through this time, even imperfectly.  Give all the money you can give to your local church and to charity, even if it’s not an impressive number.  Continue to read the Word and pray each day, even though you get distracted more often than you’d like.  Reach out to others—even if all you can do is send a quick email.  And even if what you give is small in your own eyes, if you give all that you have, know that the Father is pleased and He receives great glory.

Prayer: Father, I frequently fall short in many areas of my life.  Thank You that You are strong in my weakness.  I cannot love and serve as I know I ought, but Your Holy Spirit is with me and I want to give all that I can.  May You be glorified by my “two small copper coins.”  Thank You that You receive them with joy. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 23


Lunch Break Study 

Read Matthew 12:18–21 (ESV): “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. [19] He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; [20] a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; [21]  and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

Question to Consider 

  1. Who does the Servant of the Lord come to bless and defend?
  2. According to v. 19, how will the Servant of the Lord come?
  3. How will the Servant of the Lord approach those who are weak and struggling?

Notes

  1. He comes to bless the Gentiles—people who do not belong to Him and have no right to ask Him of His blessing.
  2. He will come with humility and gentleness, not as a conquering warrior but as a compassionate Shepherd who willingly suffers for His sheep.
  3. He will not crush those who are wounded or quench those who are nearly empty, but He will fight on their behalf and bring hope.

Evening Reflection 

federica-galli--4qhiC6RmQw-unsplashReflect on your day.  Were there times when you were discouraged and avoided God or others because you felt like a disappointment?  Bring this to the Lord, ask Him to silence the lies of the enemy, and allow Him to tell you who you are.  Were there times when you felt weak but you were able to continue to give or serve in the midst of your weakness?  Thank God for His Holy Spirit at work in you.

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