REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on April 30, 2015, is written by Pastor David Son who pastors the Thrive Church in Taipei. He is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley (BA) and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.). Stay up to date with the church plant by following them here: https://www.instagram.com/thrivechurchtaipei/
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Ugliest ______ Contest”
2 Samuel 9:3-7
And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the kindness of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-debar. And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Behold, I am your servant.” And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always.”
One of the strangest and most peculiar contests that I’ve heard of is the “Ugliest Dog Contest” held annually in Petaluma, CA. I have mixed feelings about this, as one ugly dog after another is put on display and praised for its… ugliness! What a strange event! These “ugly” dogs are treated like tiny kings! Thousands attend this competition, and at the end of the day, one champion is crowned with the title “Ugliest Dog of the Year” and is given a trophy and prize money of $1,000.
I have to think that Mephibosheth must have had many mixed feelings as well, as he was carried into the king’s presence. Not only was he crippled in his feet, Mephibosheth’s grandfather and King David did not have a great relationship: in fact, his grandfather (King Saul) had tried to murder King David on multiple occasions. And yet, for some strange reason, Mephibosheth was the recipient of royal treatment and honor in the king’s court.
David describes his gracious act as “the kindness of God” because this is the kind of God that we have. Our God remembers his covenant and shows steadfast love to generation after generation—including us! Much like Mephibosheth, we have done nothing to deserve the mercy and blessings of God, but because of who God is and what He has done for us on the cross, we can become children of the King! As we go through this day, let us be grateful to our good and merciful King. Furthermore, just as David did, let us also make an effort to be agents of the kindness of God to those around us, whether or not we feel like they deserve it.
Prayer: Lord, we praise You for who You are: “A God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” (Exodus 34:6b-7a). Help us to demonstrate this God-flavored love to those around us today. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: John 13
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 John 1:16-18: By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Questions to Consider
- According to John, how do we know what love is?
- What does John say about giving to a brother/sister in need?
- Is there someone around you who is in need? How can you lay down your life for that person?
- John says that we know love through this: He (Jesus) laid down his life for us.
- John says that if we see a brother/sister in need, and we refuse to share our possessions, then we haven’t truly understood the love of God!
- Take a moment to notice the needs of those around you. Is there an action you can take to demonstrate Christ-like love this person?
Did love cost you something today? Whether it be time, money, labor, or some other resource, were you able to show Christ-like love to anyone today? Take a moment and thank God for His sacrificial and steadfast love for us. Remembering that God laid down everything for our sake, let us ask God to empower us to love others in a similar fashion.