REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on June 17, 2016, is provided by Pastor Shan Gian who leads Remnant Westside Church in Manhattan. Shan is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Direction, Not Intention, Matters”
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
We rarely have bad intentions—or at least we rarely would admit to having bad intentions. Whatever we do, we typically think that it’s okay, as long as our intentions are good. Andy Stanley has a great saying in his book, The Principle of the Path: “Direction, not intention, determines your destination.” His main observation is that we put too much weight on our good intentions, when really, it’s the direction in which we are going and the decisions we make that determine where we end up. For example, no one intends to fail out of school, but because they don’t study and play videogames all day, people are heading for that direction. No one wakes up one day and says, “I want to be a bad spouse!” but because they neglect their spouses in various ways, people are on a direction to have unhealthy marriages.
In Galatians, Paul lays out two ways to sow or two directions that we can take with our life decisions: either we sow to our own flesh or we sow to the Spirit. Sowing to our own flesh leads to a destination of corruption, while sowing to the Spirit leads to a destination of eternal life. None of us intends to go the path towards corruption. Many of us lose sight of this, though, because when we’re living for materialism, power or status, our intentions are not necessarily evil. We’re not sitting back scheming about how we will corrupt ourselves or corrupt the world. But because we’re sowing to our own flesh—living for things of this world—it leads us towards a destination of destruction.
The good news is that if we sow to the Spirit and live for the things of God, we will reap eternal life. When we have both good intentions and good directions, we will find ourselves living the full and eternal life Jesus has set out for us. Let us strive this day to sow to the Spirit and live for eternity!
Bible Reading for Today: Romans 13
Lunch Bible Study
Read John 6:35-40: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Questions to Consider
- What does it mean that Jesus is the “bread of life”?
- What are Jesus’ requirements for eternal life?
- Have you experienced true satisfaction in your life? Or are you finding temporary satisfaction in things of this world?
- It means that we will not hunger or thirst anymore. If we eat of the bread of life, we will find true satisfaction that nothing else of this world could ever give.
- Jesus’ requirement for eternal life is that we look on the Son and believe in him. There are no good works that we need to do besides believing and trusting in Jesus.
- Personal reflection question.
As you’ve reflected on our passage today, consider what you’ve been sowing in your life and what destination that leads to. Pray and invite the Holy Spirit to guide you towards eternal life.