UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on October 10, 2016. Peter is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Turning Fear Into Joy”
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
“To fear is to have more faith in your antagonist than in Christ.” – D.L. Moody, The Overcoming Life
The Gospel of John, chapter 19 describes one of the darkest event in history. The Lord Jesus Christ was cruelly punished and put to death in the most gruesome way. Understandably, the disciples who followed Jesus for 3 years were gripped with fear as their own aspirations and dreams of God’s rule came to an abrupt and most shocking. Their Messiah was now lying lifeless inside a tomb. Without their teacher, miracle-worker, and leader, the disciples were gripped with fear that any moment those who arrested Jesus would also come looking for them. (I wonder just how effective the locked doors of ancient homes would have been in keeping out unwanted guests.)
Then, all of a sudden, they found an unexpected guest amongst them. Jesus stood among them. With just a few words, Jesus transformed the fearful disciples into joyful worshippers. The presence of a living and resurrected Jesus brought new hope that would embolden the disciples to break through the locked doors and proclaim the Lord’s resurrection.
At Kairos Church, we just celebrated the 10th Anniversary (2016). The church began (just as many other AMI churches) with a group made up mostly of college students who lacked in resources, finances, character, experience, and wisdom when it comes to planting a church. Yet, the church had faith in Jesus. Pastor Mark Chun placed his faith in the Lord and made the bold decision to plant. Over the past 10 years, Kairos Church recognized many of its shortcomings, deficiencies, and limitations. Yet, God continued to show His faithfulness and invited the church to keep trusting Him as the Head of Kairos. As we reflected on the past decade, Kairos Church joyfully celebrated God’s work in transformation of people, raising up of servant-leaders, and many who became children of God.
Let us seek the Lord’s presence in our churches. His presence will transform our fears into joy.
Prayer: Lord, in my own weakness, I confess that I am gripped with fear (fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of man, fear of giving up control, fear of the future). Fill my heart with your presence and may your peace bring joy in my spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Chronicles 20
Lunch Break Study
Mark 4:35-41 (NIV): That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Questions to Consider
- What is implied with Jesus’ invitation to “go over to the other side”?
- What is significant about Jesus’ sleeping in this narrative?
- What are your thoughts about the authority of Jesus as it pertains to your fears?
- In context, the following story shows that the boat lands in the region of the Garasenes. Jesus planned for a mission into Gentile territory. Jesus wanted the disciples to understand that the good news of God’s Kingdom was for all nations.
- Ironically, the only place in the Gospels that we hear of Jesus sleeping is during a storm. The scene depicts his complete trust in God in the midst of adversity, like the farmer in the preceding parables (4:3–9, 27) who trusts God’s providential working over all obstacles and adversities.
What are some fears that irritate you? Spend some time being honest before the Lord and confessing your fears. Ask the Lord to replace those fears with faith in Him.