September 25, Friday

NEWThe AMI QT Devotionals for today is provided by Pastor Joshua Kim of Church of Southland.  Joshua, a graduate of Emory University, Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Talbot School of Theology (Th.M.), serves as the pastor of Access group (singles).  

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Beyond Comprehension”

Philippians 4:4-7 (NASB)

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Our society has been inundated with “fact-checking” and accusations of “fake news” more than ever. These are outward expressions of an ever-increasing sentiment of distrust. There is a growing expectation and demand for answers. And until we get these responses, there is a sense of peace that is lacking. But what if there was a peace that is available even when there are no answers?

Paul writes to the church in Philippi to rejoice always, walk with integrity, not be anxious, pray, give thanks in light of the circumstances that they are facing. As you may know, Paul writes this while he himself is sitting in prison. How can a man facing such trials talk about joy and peace? What explanation can be provided for this?

Well, I think that’s the thing. There is an underlying assumption in many of us that if only we had the answers, if only we had the solutions, if only we could explain what and why these things are happening, then we can find peace. But we’ve all faced situations where there are no real good explanations that can be provided. And in some situations, the answers to our questions are even harder to accept than the unknown. 

But an incredible truth and hope is available in Christ who offers a peace that TRANSCENDS understanding. A peace that needs no explanation. A peace that cannot be taken away because of circumstances. Is this not the peace we want? Is this not the peace this world needs?  This is the peace that Christ offers to us. And this can only be found in Him. 

In conjunction to yesterday’s quiet time, this kind of peace can only be found in God’s presence. And not that we shouldn’t come to God with our questions and our supplications—I pray that the Lord will guide you and respond to you in all that you bring to Him—but perhaps more than the answers to these things, we should seek Him. For in Him and Him alone, is everlasting peace.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You are peace. You are not only the giver of peace, not only are You the maker of peace, but You Yourself are peace. And we confess that in this chaotic world that seems to get crazier each day, what we need is not answers—rather, we need You. May our need for answers and solutions never get in the way of our need for You. Thank You for revealing this truth to us.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Chronicles 25


Lunch Break Study

Read Philippians 4:8-9: Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Questions to Consider

  1. What are the things that Paul calls the church to dwell upon?
  2. What do you think is the relationship between dwelling on these “excellent” things and the peace available in God’s presence?
  3. What practices can you incorporate to your daily life that will allow you to dwell more on these “excellent” and praiseworthy things?

Notes

  1. Paul calls the church to dwell upon that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise. If you take all these things into consideration, it must point our attention to God who alone encompasses all these things and more. But also, it is these things reflected in the life of believers that help us also to dwell upon these things.
  2. When we dwell upon these things that are truly excellent (e.g. the character of God, God’s love reflected in the life of believers), it reminds us how great God truly is. And when our hearts and minds began to fathom the greatness of God, we come to realize that there is peace in God that transcends all understanding available to us (see morning devotion). Especially in times when we aren’t sure how to pray or what to do, these are the things that we should “fall back” on in order to get us back into the presence of God.
  3. Some suggestions might be, one, taking a short part of scripture every day and spending a good chunk of time meditating on how this passage reflects the character of God; two, singing a praise song to God to remind yourself of who He is and why He is worthy of praise, etc. 

Evening Reflection

Take one of the practices you thought of doing during the Lunch Break Study and implement it now. Sing a song of praise to Him. Meditate on a small chunk of scripture. Google search a famous painting of a Bible story (e.g., Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son”). You can be creative! But whatever you choose, ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of how good God is through this, and dwell upon these things.

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