NEW Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Emerson Lin. Emerson and his wife Annie (and their son) are serving as AMI missionaries in E. Asia. A graduate of University of California, San Diego, he will soon finish his M.Div. program at Bethel Seminary in San Diego.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes”
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult period of time for Providence Church. While no one became sick, it was difficult for many people because they were not able to go home to see family or go out to make friends. Many people were completely isolated at home with no physical support system.
Switching to online service was also difficult for many members because many of them enjoyed fellowship at church. Our members went from worshipping with a crowd to worshipping by themselves in front of a computer. Many people complained about the lack of feeling and we could not wait for the pandemic to pass.
However, despite our complaining, God worked mightily in his environment. Because our services were online, people started to ask if they could invite their family members, who lived in other provinces, to attend the online service. For many of these people, it was their first time hearing the gospel and attending church. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, three people were saved through our online services, and we were able to baptize 10 people post-pandemic. As John 5:17 says, “…”My Father is always at his work to this very day…”
In yesterday’s quiet time, we learned that communion is not single-dimensioned, but it is a multi-dimensioned sacrament that reminds us of the death of our lord, the hope that is to come, and the need for reconciliation with our brothers and sisters. In continuation with the same theme, I would like to focus on the outward dimension.
In verse 26, Paul says, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” According to Webster’s Dictionary, “proclaim” means to announce officially or publicly. Taking of the bread and the cup is an outward proclamation to the world that we are joining in God’s work. What work are we joining?
Philippians 2:6-8 reminds us, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
Since beginning His ministry at age 30 to His death on the cross, Jesus constantly sacrificed himself for the needs of others. He boldly proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom. He healed the sick, loved sinners and tax collectors, and cast out demons. As a follower of Jesus, we are proclaiming that reality in our own lives. We are called by God to sacrifice ourselves for the needs of others just like Jesus on the cross.
Therefore, when we take communion, we are reminded to proclaim the gospel, through word and action, to our non-believing family members, coworkers, friends, employees, classmates, neighbors, and strangers.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us a life of sacrifice in the Gospels. You showed us how to love those who are different than us, and You performed Your ultimate act of sacrifice on the cross. May we be reminded daily, as followers of Jesus, to live out the same sacrificial life. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Chronicles 20
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 5:43-48: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Questions to Consider
- What does he call us to do for those we consider our enemies?
- Why does he call us to do that? (v. 44-45)
- Self-Reflection: Who is your enemy?
- Jesus says to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
- We do this because, just like us, they are God’s beloved creation made in His image.
- Your enemy may be someone who has hurt you, who disagrees with your politically, or who is different from you. Take time to invite the Holy Spirit to bring to mind someone who you may consider your enemy and pray for them.
In light of today’s devotion, take a moment to pray for someone who does not know Jesus. Afterwards, think of some way to begin cultivating a relationship with them.