REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by then (2013) staff of Remnant Westside Church in Manhattan, was first posted on September 11, 2013.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Praying for Those Face Oppression”
O God, insolent men have risen up against me; a band of ruthless men seeks my life, and they do not set you before them. 15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant, and save the son of your maidservant. 17 Show me a sign of your favor, that those who hate me may see and be put to shame because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
This morning’s Psalm finds the psalmist in the midst of severe opposition in life. He mentions a band of ruthless men seeking his life and goes on further to describe people who hate him. Yet, in the middle of this severe oppression, the psalmist looks to God and calls out for God’s strength. He makes a bold declaration that God will show a sign of His favor in comfort and help that will be visible to those enemies around him.
Living in our Western, U.S. context, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like for people to actively hate us and to seek our lives. (How quickly have we forgotten the horror of 9.11). Yet, we know that in the world, there are many who face this reality day by day. While we may look to this Psalm as an encouragement during our own times of need, today, let us turn our attention outward and pray for those who are facing oppression. Let us remember that God uses the prayers of the righteous in powerful ways and ask for mercy, grace, strength, salvation, favor, help, and comfort to those who are in dire need, knowing that the heart of the Father is to turn to us and respond to our prayers.
Prayer: Lord, as I invite You into the center of my thoughts and actions, my hopes and dreams, my work and play, and my relationships, I acknowledge that You are a God who provides! Whether it be spiritual, relational, physical, financial, or emotional, God You know exactly what I need. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 3
Lunch Break Study
Read Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Questions to Consider
- Considering this passage, what is the message from world that is direct opposite of it?
- How is Christ’s teaching and example differ from that of the world?
- How should we live in light of Christ’s teaching and example?
- The world teaches us to look out for #1, to push others down as we pull ourselves up on the ladder of success, to seek first our own kingdom.
- The way of Christ is counter cultural: humility, not pride; consider others greater than ourselves; serving others rather than being served.
- Our natural selves scoff at the principles in these verses, but God has called us to be supernatural. So we take encouragement knowing that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). Note that these verses, as well as the surrounding context, addresses the matter of the mind and attitude, which is at the heart of living lives worthy of the Gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27).
Philippians 4:19: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Thank you, Lord that You are always there for me, with your constant care, giving me your all: your very character, authority, power, and presence through your glorious riches in Christ Jesus! Thank You, God! I remember the times when I have desperately needed You and I am so grateful that You have provided. Tonight, glorify His name by acknowledging and thanking Him for how He has provided for you. Amen.