Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on June 27, 2016, is provided by Pastor Ulysses Wang who pastors Renewal Church in Sunnyvale, California. Ulysses, a graduate of New York University and Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Christine and they have two children.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God…
This opening statement in Paul’s letter to the Colossians is easily glossed over, but it’s loaded with significance. In the large majority of Paul’s letters, which span roughly a 15-year period, he begins them this same way. We are reminded again and again over the years that this man did not become an apostle by his own choosing, but rather, it was a mandate from heaven which he accepted and obeyed.
And this was something that no one needed to know more than him, as he would endure countless beatings, stonings, and even shipwreck (2 Cor. 11:23-28). Eventually, his commitment to his calling would lead him to lay down his very life. A person less sure of his calling surely would have abandoned such a difficult and lonely road.
As I consider Paul’s calling and concomitant resolve, I cannot help but reflect upon my own life and calling. How certain am I that I am doing what God made me to do? It is a worthwhile question, not just for myself, but for us all. We live in a generation of countless opportunities, yet those very same opportunities have left us dazed and confused, jumping from job to job, career to career, and country to country in the relentless pursuit of doing something “meaningful” with our lives.
Now, more than ever, we need to seek a true calling from God through prayer and fasting, in His word and in His community. While the desire to do good is indeed good, it would do us well to discover the good that God has already prepared in advance for us to do, for that is what is truly worth doing (Eph. 2:10).
Prayer: God, help me to discover and walk in the calling that You have for me. Help me to hear past the noise of this FOMO (fear of missing out) generation so that like King David, I can have fully served You in my generation.
Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 8
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 2:8-10: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Questions to Consider
1. Paul mentions three times in this passage words that share the root word “work.” What are the ways in which these words are related?
2. How might it be an encouragement that God has “prepared beforehand” such works for us?
3. Evaluating your own life, would you say that you’ve been walking in God’s pre-prepared works, or are you doing your own works?
1. Previously, we worked on our own, but only when we recognize that we are God’s workmanship can we begin to do the works we ought to be doing.
2. It is not up to us to accomplish anything, but rather it is the Spirit in us who accomplishes all things.
Reflect upon your day. Do you think that you might have participated in anything that God “prepared beforehand” for you to do? How can you better align yourself to participate in God’s work?