April 23, Thursday

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 Thoughts for This Morning 

“Hidden and Revealed Things”

Deuteronomy 29:29 (ESV)

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

florian-steffen-QPw8pnE36mg-unsplashAs the coronavirus pandemic rages across the globe, many of us are glued to our news feeds.  When I wake up, the first thing I want to do is read the latest articles on BBC or The Mainichi (a Japanese daily).  Throughout the day, I find myself distracted and tempted to check these sites for new updates.  Now the question is, “What exactly am I looking for?”

In the midst of this global crisis, there are so many things we don’t know: We don’t know when the virus will be contained in our community.  We don’t know whether someone we love will contract it.  We don’t know what this will mean for our business or career.  We don’t know how this will affect our children’s education.  And this is frightening.

So we are tempted to seek solace and even peace in information gathering.  Of course, having accurate information is important in a pandemic, but my heart is searching for something that daily counts, and reports of new developments in different countries cannot provide this.

According to Deuteronomy 29:29, there are things that are secret and belong only to the Lord; but there are also “revealed things that belong to us and to our children forever.”  Only these revealed things can free us from fear and anxiety so we can love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves.

Two revealed things that I am taking comfort in are as follows:

  1. Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
  2. Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.”

Because my Father is sovereign and always working for my good, I can close my web browser and serve the immediate needs of my children and my students.  I can give them more of my attention, care, and prayer than the bare minimum.  Because pandemics and financial crises cannot stop God from saving lost people from every tribe and nation, I can look forward with great expectation, pray with unreasonable boldness, and reach out to people who do not know Him with compassion and hope.

In these very strange and turbulent times, we cannot know, do, or control hardly anything—and thank God, that is not our job.  But since we have a Father who sovereignly orders human history, we are free to focus on the simple things—loving Him and our neighbors well.

Prayer: Father, I thank You that even in these dark times, I do not need to be paralyzed by fear.  There is much in this world that is unstable and uncertain, but Your promises are rock solid.  Grant me grace to entrust the secret things to You and to boldly claim the revealed things. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 25 


Lunch Break Study  

Read Matthew 6:27–30, 33 (ESV): And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [28] And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, [29] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? … [33] But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Question to Consider 

  1. According to this passage, does anything good come by being anxious?
  2. What does Jesus invite us to have faith in?
  3. If we are not to concern ourselves with food and clothing, what are we to focus on?

Notes

  1. It does no good.  It cannot even add one hour to our lives.
  2. Jesus invites us to have faith in the Father’s love.  He who clothes the lilies values us and will provide for us.
  3. Since the Father frees us from concerns about food and clothing, we are free to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Evening Reflection 

luisa-ji-SpKT27bNSOQ-unsplashReflect upon your day.  To what things were you tempted to turn to for comfort and peace other than Jesus?  Take a moment to wait upon the Lord and invite Him to remind you of His love and promises for you.

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