REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by the then (2013) staff of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, is an updated version of their blog first posted on July 12, 2013.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Fear of the Lord”
You are radiant with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game. 5 The valiant lie plundered, they sleep their last sleep; not one of the warriors can lift his hands. 6 At your rebuke, God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still. 7 It is you alone who are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry? 8 From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet—9 when you, God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land.10 Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.
Perhaps we have grown accustomed to portraits of Jesus with gentle features, cute animals or children, and an abundance of pastels. Jesus is tender and loving but the radiance and majesty of God are also displayed in His might.
He defeats warriors and armies. He conquers the enemies of His people, and no man, power or authority will thwart His purposes. In a world with a great deal to fear, God is to be feared above all things. Before this Warrior God, the earth itself is silent.
Proverbs tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Does the fear of the Lord play a prominent role in your faith? Reflect upon the majesty of God and ask Him to give you reverence before Him and courage before the world.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that you are a mighty God. My heart and my life bow down before You. I am amazed that the One so great would take notice of me and would use His might to meet my needs. I thank You that You are humble in Your majesty and loving in Your almighty power. May my life bring You honor today. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 9
Lunch Break Study
James 2:10-13 (NIV): For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. 12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Questions to Consider
- How does James’ explanation of the lawbreaker apply to showing favoritism?
- What is due to those who have not been merciful?
- Consider the statement: mercy triumphs over judgment. How does mercy accomplish that?
- James was warning his readers about the danger of selective obedience. This was the great failing of the Pharisees. They would be very scrupulous and meticulous about certain laws while ignoring all the rest. Selective obedience fails to see the fundamental unity of the law. If we refrain from committing adultery but commit murder, we are guilty of breaking the law. To break one link in a chain is to break the chain.
- The two proverbs, “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful” and “Mercy triumphs over judgment,” perhaps coming from Jesus himself, close the section and make a bridge to the next. The OT clearly teaches that God is a God of mercy (Dt. 4:31) and that he commands his people to act in the same way (Mic. 6:8; Zech. 7:9). Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Mt. 5:7). He also said, “In the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Mt. 7:2). Therefore, in not being merciful to the poor, they are heaping up strict judgment for themselves. If they are not showing mercy in the worldly sphere, they will not receive mercy in the eternal sphere.
- That mercy triumphs over judgment is also the teaching of Jesus (Mt. 6:14–15; 18:21–35). By showing mercy to others now (which means exhibiting the character of God), they will discover that their own judgment has been reduced.
Is God speaking to you through your circumstances these days? Spend some time discerning what God is saying? Is it consistent to His Word?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I ask for Your mercies which are new every morning. Please help me to extend your mercies to others. Amen.