REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by the then (2013) staff of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, first posted on July 18, 2013.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“God Our Shepherd”
The waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. 17 The clouds poured down water, the heavens resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. 18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. 19 Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. 20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Have you ever doubted God? In response to his crisis of faith, the psalmist recalls the deeds of the Lord. In particular, he remembers the parting of the Red Sea. Far from an interesting children’s story, this event was absolutely terrifying and awe-inspiring for the Israelites who experienced it.
The waters of the sea were writhing and convulsing. Water was pouring down from a sky filled with lightning and thunder. The earth itself quaked. If that were not enough, pursuing the people of God was Pharaoh’s entire army.
But in the midst of all this, the Lord led His people as a shepherd leads his flock. Our God takes sheep who have no shepherd and makes them His own. He is no hired hand; He lays down His life for His sheep. He knows each by name and leaves the ninety-nine to find that one that has gone astray.
Recall how the Lord has been the Good Shepherd to you over the years.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, your love is incomprehensible. You are God of all, yet you are tender to me. Thank you for being my faithful Shepherd. Though I have often gone astray, you have always pursued me and brought me home to yourself. Give me grace to trust in your care for me. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 11
Lunch Break Study
Read James 3:13-15 (NIV): Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
Questions to Consider
- How does James identify a believer who is full of wisdom?
- What kind of attitudes were some of the believers harboring?
- What does James say is the source of such attitudes?
- Are you harboring any ill attitudes towards the body of Christ? Ask the Lord to fill you with wisdom from above and flush out the so-called earthly “wisdom.”
- A wise person demonstrates their God-given wisdom through good works and good conduct. James stresses that the result (good conduct) is the inevitable outgrowth of true wisdom.
- Due to increased financial hardships and trials, James’ congregation members were harboring bitter jealousy and selfish ambitions.
- It is sobering to read that James attributes such attitude to the devil himself. James exposes his congregation’s faulty perspective as completely the opposite of anything godly. Rather, their attitude is earthbound, spiritually dead, and demon instigated.
- Personal application
In what ways are you currently serving (or can begin to serve) in your local body of Christ? For those who want to start actively serving, consider making plans to meet with the church leaders to find out how you can serve. For those who are currently serving, in what ways can you encourage others to serve the Lord?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I sometimes struggle with a love/hate relationship with your Bride, the Church. Please fill me with your heavenly wisdom so that I too might reflect good conduct for your glory. Amen.