UPDATED The AMI QT Devotional for today, an updated version of his blog first posted on August 5, 2014, is provided by Phillip Chen who is the associate pastor at Kairos Christian Church in San Diego. Phil is a graduate of University of California, San Diego (BS) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Examine Yourself to See Whether You Are Saved”
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
“If you die today, do you think you will make it to heaven?” Such a direct question but 2 Corinthians 13:5 (below) exhorts us to revisit that matter from time to time.
If you go anywhere where there are many sheep, you’ll see a strange sight: You’ll see a little lamb running around with an extra fleece tied on its back, a fleece with 4 holes for its leg and a hole for its neck. Usually that means its mother has died, and without the protection and nourishment of a mother sheep, the orphan lamb will die. If you take an orphan lamb and try to introduce it to another mother sheep, the new mother will reject the lamb because it doesn’t recognize the smell, realizing that it’s not her ewe. Now, usually, a flock is big enough where there is a mother that had a recent ewe pass away. The shepherds will skin the dead ewe and make its fleece into a covering for the orphan lamb and take it to the mother whose baby just died. She will accept it as her own because she’ll sniff the scent of her baby ewe and allow it to be nursed.
In the same way, we as orphans have become acceptable by being clothed by the righteousness of Christ. The Gospel of John reminds us that since we have rejected him, God should (rightfully) reject us because we are not his. But because of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world by shedding his own blood for us (John 1:29), we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ (Romans 13:14) so that we are welcomed as sons and daughters of God: We are given the right to become children of God. What does this mean for us today? It means that we do not earn our right as children of God through good works, but that being a son or daughter of God is a positional one by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9), solely because of the blood of Christ that covers us, for “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22).
Brothers and sister, amid so many deaths brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, “examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the work you did on the cross. Remind me today that it is not what I do or not do that makes me a child of God, but it is what you did on the cross. From that, may my heart be postured in a way that responds thankfully as a beloved child of God.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 21
Lunch Break Study
Read Galatians 4:1-7 (ESV): “I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Questions to consider
- What does this passage say we were enslaved to?
- In the context of this passage, what is the function of the Holy Spirit?
- What do we receive as sons of God?
- We were once slaves to sin, to the passions and lusts of our flesh, but now we are God’s children.
- The Holy Spirit testifies of our sonship (Romans 8:16).
- The idea of adoption to sonship was a legal term that indicated a rightful claim in the inheritance. We have a rightful claim as sons of God to the spiritual inheritance of a heavenly kingdom that awaits us.
In light of the reminder that we are God’s children, a simple but provocative truth, have we affirmed this truth in our hearts? Are there ways where we question our position as children of God based off of what we do or don’t do? Also, when we take an inventory of our lives, what are things that have changed of our “then” (slaves to sin) versus our “now” (child of God)? What are things that are changing or need to be changed as we continue to be transformed into the likeness of Christ?