August 24, Wednesday

REPOST  Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on August 31, 2016, is provided by Pastor Jason Sato who, along with his wife Jessica and three young children, serves in Japan as an AMI missionary.  Jason is a graduate of UC San Diego (BS) and Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Not All Questions Are Equal”

John 10:22-25, 30-31, 39-42 (ESV)

At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, [23] and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. [24] So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” [25] Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe . . .. [30] I and the Father are one.” [31] The Jews picked up stones again to stone him . . .  [39] Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands . . .. [40] He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. [41] And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” [42] And many believed in him there.

All questions are not equal—there are honest questions and dishonest questions.  An honest question, however silly or offensive, is asked with a genuine desire for more information.  For example, when my Sunday School boys ask whether God is really that powerful when people are always dying in OTR, they genuinely want to know the answer.  Other questions are not so honest.  For example, asking someone, “Do you really like Justin Bieber?!” is less of a question and more of an accusation.

In our passage this morning, the Jews ask Jesus to tell them whether or not He is the Christ.  This is not an honest question.  Nevertheless, Jesus, who has already told them who He is, tells them again: “I and the Father are one” (v. 30).  The Jews promptly pick up stones to kill Him.  The Jewish leaders did not want to know more about Jesus—they simply wanted Him to speak so they could oppose Him properly.

On the other hand, near the Jordan where John the Baptist had ministered, many people came to Jesus and believed in Him (vv. 40-42).  Why were the hearts of the leaders so closed, while others had open hearts?  The answer can be found in the John the Baptist’s ministry.  John’s God-given mission was to prepare the way for Jesus.  He came with a baptism of repentance, the most important preparation for receiving Christ as He is.

This morning, you are reading this devotional because you want to hear and encounter the risen Son of God.  Perhaps you have questions or problems to bring to Him.  Before we bring our petitions or our questions, let us take a moment to allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts.  Are we aware of the ugliness of our sin?  Do we know our greatest need is a Savior?  Do we know that Jesus will answer and make us new if we ask?

May the Spirit open up our hearts and prepare the way for the Savior to speak to us today.

Prayer: Father, forgive me that my heart can become so hard.  In the midst of many responsibilities and troubles, may I know that my greatest need is always the forgiveness of sins, and that the greatest gift is that I may be right with You.  Thank You for sending Your Son.  May Your Word be the food I eat.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Kings 19

Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 51:7-17 (ESV): Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.[8] Let me hear joy and gladness;let the bones that you have broken rejoice.[9] Hide your face from my sins,and blot out all my iniquities.[10] Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.[11] Cast me not away from your presence,and take not your Holy Spirit from me.[12] Restore to me the joy of your salvation,and uphold me with a willing spirit.[13] Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.[14] Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,O God of my salvation,and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.[15] O Lord, open my lips,and my mouth will declare your praise.[16] For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.[17] The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Question to Consider

1. What does David need from God?

2. How will David respond to God’s answer?

3. David has sinned greatly.  What will God accept from David?


1. David needs God to purge and wash him (v.7).  He needs God to blot out his sin (v. 9), give him a clean heart (v. 10), and restore the joy of salvation (v. 12).

2. David will teach sinners God’s ways and help them return to Him (v. 13).  David will sing of His righteousness (v. 14).

3. God will not accept sacrifices or burnt offerings but a broken and contrite heart (vv. 16-17).  God will accept genuine regret for sin and repentance.

Evening Reflection

Reflect upon your day.  When were you frustrated with God?  What things seemed more important than your need for Him?  How has God shown you grace today?  Repent of any hardness of heart and rejoice in the grace of God.

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