REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on September 14, 2016. Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“He Loved Us First”
“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”
One day this past spring, one of the college students in our church came up to me and told me that several weeks ago, she had seen a particularly vivid vision of a plane with many Asian passengers fall out of the sky and into the ocean. At the time, she could only make out the letters “–” and “–” in blue painted on the plane and wondered what they meant; but a few days ago, a teacher in one of her classes mentioned that “—–“ was a Japanese airline. Knowing that I was flying to Japan in a few days, she made a connection and begged me not to go.
I was in a quandary because what this sister saw was usually accurate and meaningful, but I also felt that in this case her interpretation may not be. In the end, I decided to still go, and she decided that she would fast and pray. When I arrived in Japan safely, she was relieved that her fasting and prayer had “worked” and shared that she’d never been able to fast for a whole day before this, but this time she could, and she was glad I was safe.
It was the first time anyone had ever done anything like this for me, and I was surprised and touched. At that moment, I realized that what God desires of us as His children, more than anything, is that we simply love him.
“Nothing we ever do could make God love us any more or any less.” “He loved us first.” These are all true enough. But when Jesus says, “The one who loves me will be loved by my Father,” what does He mean? I don’t know if I love this young sister any more or any less because of what she did, but I do know that when I received her expression of love, there was a response in my heart to the love that she gave. Perhaps this is all it means – that we have the capacity to touch our Father’s heart.
Prayer: Dear God, help me to have a more pure heart of love today, one that simply says, “I love you. You are important to me. I’d miss you if you were gone.” May my service and obedience today all just be an expression of this love for You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Kings 12
Lunch Break Study
Read Exodus 34:1-4, 15: 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ 2 I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”4 When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments . . . 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
Exodus 34:17-20: 17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” 19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.
John 14:21b: “ . . . The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Questions to Consider
1. If God did not go with the people, would they still have been able to claim the Promised Land (vv. 1-2)?
2. What does Moses’ response to God’s offer tell us about his relationship with God (v. 15)?
3. In what ways are Jesus’ words in John 14:21 illustrated by this event in Exodus? How much do we long to see God’s glory (v.18)? For Jesus to reveal himself to us (v. 21)?
1. Yes; He says that He will send an angel to help them.
2. To Moses, God’s very presence was more important than what God could help him achieve. His heart’s cry was, “Lord, if you’re not going to be there, I don’t want to go.” He could live without the achievement, but he couldn’t live without God.
3. Moses loved God, and he was loved by God in return (God was pleased with him). The heart’s desire of the one who loves God is to see His glory; therefore, the greatest reward God could give such a one would be to reveal more of Himself to that person.
When a child sees his father and runs in for a hug, because his arms are smaller, he will end up hugging the father first. The father’s arms will then wrap around his child. As the child expresses love, the father responds to that expression of love. A picture of how the one who loves God will be loved by God. A picture of a love relationship that is mutual.
Of course it is the father who loved first; the child is just responding to that love, but the father can also respond to the child’s love, and the circle of love keeps going round. Take a moment this evening just to say from the heart, “I love you, God. With my whole heart, I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you.” And then wait for His response–His revelation of Himself.