NEW Today’s AMI QT Devotional is prepared by Pastor Jason Sato who, along with his wife Jessica, is currently serving in Japan as a missionary. Jason is a graduate of University of California, San Diego (BS) and Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“None Like Him”
John 1:9–16 (ESV)
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.  He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,  who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)  For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Imagine a freed slave after the Civil War who just met President Lincoln. Would he try to shake his hand or spit at his face? Imagine a prisoner in a Nazi death camp who just met their liberators—the Allied soldiers. Would he try to shake their hands or spit at their faces? Too easy to answer? You just wait.
In the first eight verses of John 1, we were introduced to the Word, the true light that has not been overcome by the darkness. He is greater and more glorious than anyone or anything.
But when the source of all life and light comes into the world, He is rejected. Verse 10 tells us that the people of the world did not know the one who had created them. In fact, His own people did not receive them. These are the people whom He had personally delivered from slavery in Egypt. He had given them the Promised Land, the Law and the Prophets. He had been faithful to them for generations, despite their own unfaithfulness. Yet, they did not receive Him.
If we are familiar with the Bible, we can hear about this and not be that surprised. But this is truly insane. This is like a freed slave after the Civil War refusing to shake President Lincoln’s hand. This is like a prisoner in a Nazi death camp spitting at the Allied soldiers who came to free them. That would be crazy.
But God is not simply a nice stranger who has saved us. He did not simply stumble upon us. The Word of God is our Creator, the giver of life, the giver of every good gift we have. He has pursued us constantly. We have been created to know and love Him. No one knows us better or has been more faithful to us, but in our sin, we have rejected Him.
If you and I met and then twenty years later you did not remember who I am, that would be understandable. If my children grow up and pretend that they don’t know me, that’s a very different thing.
So what does this rejected King do? He has been shamed and dismissed. His own people are openly rebelling against Him.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…” (John 1:12). The rejected King takes our hatred and disdain and comes to dwell among us. He comes with grace and truth. He comes to show us the face of the invisible God and to give His life to adopt us into His family.
There is no other god like this. We could not make up a god this good if we tried. But He is real. He is the one true God and he invites us to know Him, to belong to Him, to taste and see that He is as good and, in fact, better than we have heard.
Prayer: Lord, there is no God like You. None so gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. I cannot imagine why You would patiently pursue me. I open my heart and life to You for You alone are good. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 18
Lunch Break Study
Read Hosea 2:14–15 (ESV): “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.”
Question to Consider
- In response to Israel’s sin, the Lord declares that He will discipline her. Verses 14-15 explain the Lord’s overarching purpose. What is God’s desire?
- What happened at the Valley of Achor? See Joshua 7:20-25.
- How did the people respond to the Lord when they first came out of the land of Egypt? See Exodus 24:3.
- To draw His people back to Him and that they might regain their first love for Him.
- Achan had disobeyed the Lord’s command and taken spoil following victory over Jericho. Achan was stoned to death at the Valley of Achor, but here the Lord promises to transform this place of judgment into a door of hope.
- They committed themselves to obey His law and serve Him only.
Reflect upon your day. Were there moments when you were tempted to take sin lightly? Were there moments when you were aware of the Lord’s remarkable goodness? Ask God for eyes to see His surprising love for you.