September 15, Thursday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Jabez Yeo, now a friend of AMI, was first posted on May 21, 2015.  

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Pounding the Rock”

Luke 5:1-11

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret; the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw this; he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Jacob Riss was a famous 19th century social reformer who was known for using photography to highlight the living conditions of the poor. Although Riss fought valiantly for a noble cause, he faced much opposition throughout his life. During a particularly hard time, Riss explained how he was able to persevere: “When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock a hundred times without as much as a crack showing. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

Like Riss, we too will face dry seasons in our lives. What’s even harder to accept is that living in accordance with God’s will does not necessarily exempt us from these hard times. Perhaps you have been actively looking for employment or have diligently studied for your exams but have not achieved success. Or maybe you are faithfully sharing the Gospel and ministering to others but do not witness any spiritual fruit. Like Peter, we may feel as if we have let down our nets all night but have no catch to show for our hard work (v.5).

Despite our setbacks, Christ’s call for us remains the same: to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). For many of us, that call might mean to continue persevering in our current situation. What will our response be? Will we obey like Peter and let down our nets one more time? Will we do so despite the hardships and merely because Christ has told us to?

As this passage shows, obedience to God will eventually bring privilege greater that we can ever imagine. Yes, Peter received the biggest catch of his life (v.6). But more importantly, he saw the power of God at work, realized his own inadequacy (v.8) and received the greatest call—to become a fisher of men (v.10). Thus, let’s continue to strive for daily obedience; we never know how God will use us as a result.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know my desire to honor You with my life, You know the struggles I face while trying to obey You in all that I do. Help me each day to deny myself, take up my cross and follow You. Give me the strength to persevere and to let down the nets again when You say so. In Your Name I pray, Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Kings 21


Lunch Break Study

Read Gal 6:9-10 (NIV): Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Heb. 6:10: God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

Prov. 24:16: For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

Questions to Consider

1. Whether it be what we try to do in ministry, at work or with our wayward family members, what causes us to become weary to the point of quitting or no longer trying?

2. What is God’s admonition to us when we find ourselves in such predicament?  What is its basis?

3. What situation has brought you down?  Maybe this isn’t the first time.  Write about it and then ask the Lord to give you the strength to overcome and then grow from it.

Notes

1. We become weary for these reasons: first, we don’t see the “harvest” (i.e., result); and second, we feel as if God has forgotten about us.  Of course, all this is compounded by ungrateful and unresponsive people who take you for granted. 

2. In short, God wants us to continue, that is, rise again.  Its basis is rooted in His promise made to us: first, the Lord ensures us that there will be a harvest, and second, He hasn’t forgotten about us—in fact, He will remember all that we have done in His name.  

3. When we fall, we try to get up too soon as if we don’t want others to see us struggle.  Are you down?  Stay down.  Allow others to come to heal and minister to you.  Stay down long enough to be refreshed and properly restored before you get up (e.g., serve again in the church, take on new projects, etc.).


Evening Reflection

Probably more things happen each day that makes us feel discouraged than encouraged.  What happened today that made you feel like, “I give up.”  Take that to the Lord and ask Him to give you the motivation and encouragement not to become weary in doing good.  Reflect.  Meditate.  Pray. 

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