NEW Today’s AMI Devotional QT is provided by Christine Li. Christine, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, serves as a deaconess at Remnant Church in Manhattan, New York.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Returning to the Mission”
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’”
I recently met a new sister in Christ. In our short conversation, the subject turned to current world and domestic events. Unexpectedly, she asked, “Do you think we are living in the End Times?”
I was totally caught off-guard (not to mention, very unequipped to address any eschatological concerns), so my immediate response was, “I don’t know.” But after thinking about the implications of her question, I confessed, “I know that as believers we should long for Jesus to come back, but I’ve been so focused on my life that I seem to forget there is a lot of work to be done and a lot of people to reach.”
It is true: this pandemic has brought about a disruption in many people’s experience of church life, community, discipleship, evangelism, and missions. Affected by social distancing and isolated from others in our churches, I (and I suspect, many others), have found ourselves extra preoccupied with our personal lives and felt disconnected from the greater mission during this time.
I write this devotional not to condemn (for God is doing a distinct work in each person in His timing), but to spur you onwards. We all need the reminder that God’s Kingdom is not on hold. It advances day by day through the work of the Spirit globally, and there are still many who are yearning to know Him.
Today, let us ask God for a renewed vision and creativity for understanding what being “on mission” may look like. Whose salvation will you pray for? Who can you reach and are currently “sent” to? To whom can you bring a message of new life and salvation?
Perhaps after reflecting on these questions, He will give us new vigor and clarity in how we can still pursue His Kingdom. May God stoke in us an ardent desire for His name to reach all the nations, beginning with our neighborhoods, and use even a ‘disruption’ ‘to bring forth new goals.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your continual goodness to us. Thank You for the new life and hope that You have given us and the privilege of partaking in Kingdom work. Open our eyes to see who You are sending us to in this time and give us a renewed desire for more to know Your name.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Chronicles 9
Lunch Break Study
Read Philemon 1:10-20 “I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me. 12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord. 17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.”
Questions to Consider
- What is the purpose of Paul’s letter to Philemon here?
- What is the benefit to Paul to advocate on behalf of Onesimus?
- What kinds of relationships does Paul mention here? Why are they significant?
- Paul is advocating on behalf of Onesimus, who has been separated (likely voluntarily) from Philemon, his master. Paul is asking Philemon to accept Onesimus back. He also charges any losses that Philemon incurred because of Onesimus to himself personally.
- Paul mentions that he would regard Philemon’s acceptance of Onesimus as a reason why he would be refreshed in Christ. In short, Paul would rejoice in the Lord and would find this spiritually refreshing if Philemon were to do so.
- Personal response.
How was your day today? What do you think about all that is going on these days? Let’s ask God to give us wisdom to discern our time. As a result, may we be ready for Christ’s Second Coming whenever it may be.