May 1, Friday

UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on August 15, 2014, is provided by Mei Lan Thallman who serves at Grace Covenant Church in Philadelphia.  Mei Lan is a graduate of Asbury College (BA) and Asbury Theological Seminary (MA) in Kentucky.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Be a FAT Christian”

Psalm 86:11

Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

tanalee-youngblood-CMdQcxsWZE0-unsplashHow are you doing all cooped up at home?  It’s sort of a “great time” to be lazy because no one will likely judge us for it.  Excuse me for spoiling the party but it’s very important for Christians to continuously cultivate and maintain an attitude of being a FAT disciple of Christ Jesus.  FAT stands for faithful, available and teachable.  I have discovered that the older I get and the longer I serve in ministry, it gets harder to remain teachable.  But, as we avail ourselves to learn from God, often lessons come in unexpected ways and moments, such as the COVID-19 pandemic that has caught everyone by surprise.

The author of this psalm, David, is a prime example.  God sought out and hand-picked the young shepherd boy David and anointed him through the Prophet Samuel to be the future King of Israel.  But David didn’t become king overnight: he went from being a shepherd boy to a national hero when he defeated Goliath, but then he became a fugitive who constantly had to run from the murderous King Saul.  In fact, when David wrote this psalm, he was hiding in the caves in the wilderness from the relentless and determined pursuit of Saul and his best army.  As a matter of speaking, this was his COVID-19.

Yet instead of focusing on his circumstances, his enemy, or his unjust treatment, David focused on his God, and more importantly, God’s faithfulness throughout his life.  From his own outlook of the predicament he was facing, David could easily have fallen into self-pity and a victim mentality.  But, amid this terrible situation, he remained teachable with the following kind of prayer and attitude toward God:  “I may not understand what is happening to me, O LORD, but I can still trust you and I can still love you with my whole heart, despite of everything that is happening to me.  Teach me your way, LORD.  I need to learn to see my circumstances through Your eyes.  I completely trust and rely on Your goodness, faithfulness, and ability to get me out of this trouble.”

For many of us who are really struggling with the onslaught of the present crisis and are, therefore, fearful and discouraged, may you embody the same spiritual outlook that made David to be faithful, available and teachable unto God in his worst moment.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are the author and perfecter of my faith.  Thank you that even as I grow in my walk with you, I will never outgrow my need and dependency on you.  Cultivate in me a teachable spirit all the days of my life and teach me always to rely on your faithfulness.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 6


Lunch Break Study

Read Luke 5:1-8: On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Questions to Consider

  1. This passage doesn’t appear to deal with life’s great issues; after all, it is only about fishing. But what attitude does Peter display here that is critical when difficult circumstances inundate us?
  2. How would you define trust?  Why is it difficult to do?
  3. What resulted from this encounter?  What, then, is the ultimate goal of trusting God?

Notes

  1. Peter is an experienced fisherman, while Jesus, by trade, is a carpenter.  Nevertheless, sensing that Jesus is more than just a man, Peter, despite being tired from fishing all night, trusts Jesus’ words by lowering the net in an area that he might have covered earlier.   
  2. It is putting into action the words of a person whom you say you believe.  It is not easy since you have your own ideas as well; in fact, you might have more expertise, as in the case of Peter.
  3. Having caught an enormous amount of fish, it dawns on Peter that this Jesus indeed is the Lord, which leads him to say, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man.”  The ultimate goal of trusting God, then, is to experience His greatness, love, and this case, holiness.

Evening Reflection

freestocks-EMQlhm12OfI-unsplashDid anything happen today that really tested your trust in God, like what Jesus did to/for Phillip?

Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?’ 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, ‘Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little’” (Jn. 6:5-7).

Pray for a better day tomorrow in which you live by faith in your Lord Jesus Christ.

%d bloggers like this: