REPOST Today’s AMI Devotional Quiet Time, provided by Christine Li, was first posted on December 24, 2015. Christine, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, serves as a deaconess at Remnant Church in Manhattan, New York.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
When I was in school, my friends and I enjoyed some go-to study spots. But, just as typical irresponsible teenagers might, we left the clean-up responsibilities to others. Eventually, school administrators, fed up with the amount of clean-up needed, locked us out. The rest of the school year, wherever we went, we had to take more ownership for our presence and take greater care in picking up after ourselves.
As Christians, we are frequently reminded that the Earth is not our home, as we should be pilgrims yearning for Heaven. However, we often use this as an excuse to leave the world’s chaos for someone else to deal with. Many of us are not interested in leaving this earth better than we found it: we don’t want to clean a place physically, or we don’t think we have the patience and time to restore someone in our community. Instead of tangling ourselves in the hard work of this world, it seems easier to live a quiet life before ending at Heaven.
It should amaze and move us that God, beautiful and holy, came with a completely opposite intent. Though He could have lived in comfort with a blind eye to the world, He dwelt among the broken and sick, spending His life healing, restoring, and redeeming the world. Such was the importance of His work that, before returning to Heaven, He charged us to continue it and gave us access to the Spirit so we could have God’s presence and power.
As we usher in Christmas this year, let us fix our eyes on our Savior, whose example should stir in us a desire to take part in God’s work of healing and restoring this Earth. May we yearn to live lives that echo the footsteps and the humility of our Lord, who did not come to earth to be served as a king, but came to serve.
Prayer: Father, thank You for sending Your son to us. Help us to be imitators of Christ and have our eyes and hearts open to the world around us. May we recall the humility and indignity with which Jesus came and, by the power of Your spirit, endeavor to leave this earth and its people better than we found it.
Bible Reading for Today: Luke 2
Lunch Break Study
Read Mark 8:27-31: Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
Questions to Consider
1. Considering that Jesus lived with His disciples, why would He ask these two questions about His identity? Are these questions still relevant to us?
2. Right after this exchange, Jesus begins to teach His disciples about the coming suffering and pain. Why does He choose to time this revelation this way?
1. Jesus asks these questions that reveal the difference between His reputation and His disciples’ personal opinions. The questions are still relevant for us. The world, our friends, and our family members may have different ideas and definitions of who Jesus is. However, at the end of days, the only answer that will matter will be what we personally profess Him to be – whether He is our Lord and Savior.
2. It is interesting that Jesus shares this information about His death only in light of the confession of faith. His disciples would have held a traditional understanding of the Messiah, which is that Jesus was expected to be a political and military leader. Now that they were convinced He was the Messiah, He could begin to reveal the greater picture of His plan.
Oftentimes, God has already placed us into a setting where He can use us, though we might have difficulty discerning how to be salt and light in that environment. Do you know why you are where you are? Ask God to reveal His will for you so that you might make disciples according to His wisdom and grace. Then, ask Him for obedience to be faithful to that calling.