REPOST Today’s AMI Devotional QT, provided by Pastor Doug Tritton, was first posted on November 13, 2015. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), Doug is the UC site pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Philadelphia.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
And you saw the affliction of our fathers in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea, and performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted arrogantly against our fathers. And you made a name for yourself, as it is to this day. And you divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on dry land, and you cast their pursuers into the depths, as a stone into mighty waters. By a pillar of cloud you led them in the day, and by a pillar of fire in the night to light for them the way in which they should go. You came down on Mount Sinai and spoke with them from heaven and gave them right rules and true laws, good statutes and commandments, and you made known to them your holy Sabbath and commanded them commandments and statutes and a law by Moses your servant. You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you had sworn to give them. But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them.
A common trope used in media is the story of an individual being removed from his or her true belongings (i.e., home) and not remembering where he or she came from. The animated movie Anastasia comes to mind, or more recently, Tangled. In Tangled, the main character Rapunzel is born a princess, but as an infant she is kidnapped by an evil witch and grows up in the witch’s home, not knowing where she actually came from (confession: I listened to some Tangled songs after writing this).
What these stories show us is that not knowing where we come from can have serious consequences on our lives. The Israelites often reminded themselves where they came from. They were slaves in Egypt, afflicted by Pharaoh, but God heard their cries and rescued them from their captivity. God then brought them to the land of Israel, giving them the land as their own.
But when the Israelites forgot where they came from, they “acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck.” Having forgotten what God had done for them, they turned away from Him and tried to live on their own. In this passage, the Israelites are turning back to God, having now completed the walls of Jerusalem. In confessing their national sins, they reminded themselves from where they came – slavery in Egypt.
Today, let’s reflect back on where we come from. Let’s remind ourselves how God has worked in our lives and remind ourselves of His enduring faithfulness to us. As we remember all that He has done in our lives, we may find renewed desire to love and worship Him.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great faithfulness to us. We confess that we are so often not faithful, yet You always remain faithful to us. Remind us again of what You have done in our lives and let these memories draw us even closer to You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 6
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 John 3:1-2: See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Questions to Consider
- What kind of love has the Father given to us?
- Why is John reminding us that we are God’s children in this passage?
- How does reminding yourself of your identity as God’s child impact your life?
- He has given us love that calls us children of God! This is a truth we so often forget, that we are His children, but this identity is ours because God has given it to us.
- There seem to be two reasons. One, John wants us to know that the world will try to diminish our true identity as God’s children since the world does not even know that we are His children. Two, John wants to give us hope that, as God’s children, we will one day be like Jesus when we see Him as He truly is.
- When we remember our true identity as God’s children, we suddenly see life differently. Take time to reflect on how this identity changes the way you see your life.
As you get ready to sleep, remind yourself how God has worked in your life up to this point. Allow Him to bring to your mind ways He has been faithful. Let these memories remind you that you are His child and He is your loving Father.