November 9, Monday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI, was first posted on April 14, 2014.  A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA), Yohan served as a staff at several AMI churches in the past. 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“We are Sons, not Slaves”

Galatians 4:4-7

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.  6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.  

Yesterday, we touched on the issue of identity, stressing the importance of being a follower of Christ over all others we may have.  Today, we will continue on in this theme, highlighting the importance of understanding our primary identities as children of God over any other we may have as believers, but first a quick story.

When I was growing up, my father franchised a Dunkin Donuts shop.  Besides being somewhat lucrative, there were many perks to owning such a business, as you can imagine.  Of course, there were some responsibilities as well: if an employee got sick or didn’t show up for work, guess who had to fill in?  As a high-schooler, when such incidents happened, I generally wasn’t mature enough to see my responsibilities to my father’s store as a privilege and a blessing, I basically felt like a slave responding to the beckon call of my master.  Of course, nothing was further from the truth.  As the owner’s son, I could walk in at any time; make myself a coffee, get a doughnut, leave, and no one would say a thing.  The windfall from this business also helped put me through college.  What slave enjoys these privileges?  

In the Bible, there a several metaphors describing the believer: disciple, farmer, soldier, body part, etc. In this passage, Paul juxtaposes two that can at times be functionally similar, but completely different in essence, the slave and the son.  As believers, we are called to serve God and others, but sometimes our perspectives get a little out of balance if we feel like servant is our primary identity as a Christian.  

What this passage points out is that our identity as children of God supersedes our identities as servants, and really all others.  Remember, we serve because Christ asked us to, and he served as an example; therefore, serving is a key aspect to knowing and following Christ, but it never defines us.  What defines us is that we are God’s children, heirs to his promises, his presence, and eternal life.    

Prayer: Father, thank You that first and foremost I am your child.  Although I know there are times when I have to be a servant, or a soldier, or harvester, let me always comeback to remembering I am Yours. Amen  

Bible Reading for Today:  Song of Songs 1


Lunch Break Study

Read Matt 4:1-11: Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Questions to Consider

  1. How does Satan attempt to appeal to Christ?
  2. How does the Lord respond?
  3. What are some ways you can avoid temptation?

Notes

  1. In the first two temptations, it is interesting that Satan prefaces his challenges with the statement, “If you are the Son of God…”  In other words, he challenges Christ’s identity.  After fasting for 40 days, I am sure that Jesus felt weak and hungry; was there ever a time before this that Jesus was weak or hungry?  He probably didn’t feel like the Almighty Son, but he was.  
  2. Both the Lord and Satan quoted Scripture to each other, but Satan twisted God’s word.  Sometimes knowing the Bible isn’t enough; we have to correctly handle the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15).  
  3. First, be secure in your identity in Christ.  Second, know and understand Scripture.  Three, depend on the Spirit.  Four, just say no.  Five, run away (not depicted in this text). 

Evening Reflection

If you haven’t already, take some time to bask in your relationship with the Heavenly Father.  Be his child; receive his love.  Ask yourself if you prioritize all your Christian identities of child, servant, body member, student, teacher, etc. correctly.  

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