February 16, Sunday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on June 21, 2013, is written by Pastor Young Kim who leads Grace Covenant Church in Philadelphia.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“We Win!”

Proverbs 21:30, 31 (NIV 1984)

“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”

Who will win at the end? Remember, we win because Jesus has won; we cannot lose because Jesus has defeated Satan, death and sin.  He rescued us to Himself. We really need to see the reality of what the Bible declares; that we stand in the plane of victory and that is why we can be on the road of victory.  We have entered a deadly war and there will be many difficulties we must overcome. The enemy is fierce, but we are on the right side with Christ.  

The question we need to ask is not what we want, but what does God want?  It is not about how I can be successful, but about how I can please Jesus.   Remember what the Proverbs writer states, “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”  Paul said it this way in Roman 8: What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So, take on the day and all its many challenges, by placing your trust in God who “gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57). 

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you have a plan for me.  I thank you that your redemptive plan had me in mind. Protect my heart from the foolishness of this world. I pray that I will walk with You all the days of my life. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 15

February 15, Saturday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on October 13, 2013, is written by Pastor Sam Lee who leads Catalyst Agape Church in Northern New Jersey.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Not Working Harder, but Being More Faithful”

Matthew 25:24-25

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’” 

This passage can easily be interpreted that the Parable of the Talent is a lesson on hard work, that when we work hard, practice daily, and discipline ourselves, God will reward us. Working hard is certainly valuable, and we all should work hard, but I don’t think this passage is talking about that. Here, the master tells the servant with the one talent that he didn’t even have to work hard; he could have just deposited the talent.  The problem was something else. The problem with the servant with the one talent is not lack of hard work, but rather, a lack of faithfulness. 

If it is about hard work, we lose motivation depending on what we have. If you were the one who got five talents, you would be much more motivated to work hard, while if you received just one talent, it would seem so unfair, and might do the same thing, hiding it in the ground. But if it is about faithfulness, than it would not depend on who got more and who got less. As a matter of fact, faithfulness is really shown in the little things and not in the big things. 

In front of many people, we can act all holy and spiritually mature, but true faithfulness is shown in the little things. Is there holiness and spiritual maturity when no one is looking? We can talk about how we will support the church and missions financially when we get rich, but are we being faithful with the little money we have today? We can talk about loving the people in Africa, but are we able to love our wife, our child, and the church members today?

Let’s not wait to be faithful. We don’t have to wait until we go on a short-term missions. We don’t have to wait for the right sermon or wait for someone else to change. We can practice faithfulness right now.

Prayer: Lord, help me not to be the servant with the one talent who did not see the great value of the talent.  Help me to see things that are valuable in my life, because they came from You, and appreciate them and use them to yield eternal fruits for Your kingdom.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 13-14

February 14, Friday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was originally posted on May 30, 2014.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Spiritual Battles That We Must Win”

Jude 1:17-23

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Jude was leading and serving a congregation that was going through some difficult times. These difficulties were stirred by ungodly people, the “scoffers,” who diverted the believers away from the Lord towards ungodly desires. Inevitably, this brought division to a young church. So Jude warns his friends not to remain passive, but to deliberately build up their faith by continually praying in the Holy Spirit and keep themselves in God’s love. 

Do you at times find yourself falling into ungodly desires? Easily being led astray from the love of the Father and feeling defeated by the temptations of the enemy? Know that the spiritual battle to lead our hearts away from the Lord is intense; the enemy will take every chance he gets to pull us away from our faith in the Lord. Therefore, Jude makes it clear that in order to stay in the loving presence of the Father, you must pray. 

It is always through prayer that a believer overcomes the ungodly desires. The spiritual battles that we face were never meant to be fought alone. Through prayer, we invite the Holy Spirit to fill us with power from above so that our faith remains firm. It is through prayer that we are reminded of God’s immense love for us as His children. It is through prayer that we become transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Tragic results await those who simply do not pray. But to those who remain attentive in prayer, the reward is a holy faith in the Lord.  

Prayer: Lord, help me in my prayer life. Help me to establish both a heart for and a habit of prayer that will deepen my faith in you and keep me from falling towards ungodly desires. I admit that this is difficult and I need your Holy Spirit to help me. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 12


Lunch Break Study  

Read Luke 11:1-4: One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

Questions to Consider 

  1. What do the disciples ask for Jesus on this particular day? 
  2. Do the words, “Father, hallowed be your name…” provide you with a sense of intimacy or a sense of awe or both?
  3. As you consider this prayer, are there people who you need to forgive? 

Notes  

  1. It’s notable that while the disciples learned many things from Jesus, this was the one time where the disciples make a request about a particular topic: prayer. 
  2. The address of God as Father is important, since it focuses on the intimate relationship God has with his children. Jesus’ introduction of such intimacy in prayer is not entirely unprecedented in Judaism, but it certainly is unusual in the context of prayer. Disciples should feel close to God, since they are part of his family. But intimacy does not do away with respect; thus, the prayer’s first statement is Hallowed be your name.The disciple approaches God with the recognition that God is holy—that is, “set apart” and unique. There is none like him, and no one has the authority he possesses. This note of submission is the prayer’s heartbeat.
  3. To forgive another person is an act of faith. The feelings of forgiveness will follow later. Take time to forgive and bless those who may have hurt you.  

Evening Reflection

Do you believe that if you ask the Holy Spirit to help you in establishing a consistent prayer life that he would help you? Spend some time asking for his help in this area. 

February 13, Thursday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church in Raleigh (N.C.), was originally posted on November 12, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning 

“A Life of Integrity”

Psalm 101:1-8

“I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. 2 I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; 3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. 4 A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. 5 Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. 6 I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me. 7 No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes. 8 Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.”

What does the word “integrity” mean to you? Often, we merely think of it as being morally upright, but the meaning is deeper than that.  It refers to being whole or sound as a person, including being the same on the inside as you appear on the outside; it is who you are when people are watching you and who you are when they are not.

In his book Courageous Leadership Bill Hybels writes, “Followers will only trust leaders who exhibit the highest levels of integrity. People will not follow a leader with moral incongruities for long. Every time you compromise character you compromise leadership.” Whether you hold a leadership position or not in your church, integrity is vital when it comes to growing in our faith and being an effective Christian. (The fact that Hybels himself has come up short on this matter shows the great difficulty of maintaining integrity—given today’s world in which temptations come from all sides and angles.)      

David, probably early in his reign as Israel’s king, wrote Psalm 101 as the standards that he wanted to follow.  He starts off with worshiping God in His steadfast love and justice. In the next several verses, David addresses who he wants to become: a blameless man who “walks with integrity of heart.”  David, then, writes that he can live a blameless life if he avoids, first, setting his eyes on anything worthless (v.3); second, having a perverse heart; third, slandering people (v.5); and fourth, harboring pride (v.5).  

As you pray this morning, reflect on whether these pitfalls are hindering you from becoming blameless.  Are you the same in your public life as you are in your private? Pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal those hindrances that you need to cast aside in becoming a blameless person before God.  Ultimately however, our blamelessness is found in Christ’s perfect righteousness (Rom. 8:1).

Prayer: Lord, please protect me from falling into a life where I operate as if integrity does not matter.  Remind me constantly that apart from Christ I cannot do anything. Help me to abide in You; empower me to finish well.  Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 11


Lunch Break Study

Read Philippians 2:14-16: Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Questions to Consider

  1. What does Paul say about believers being blameless?  Why do you think he says this?
  2. Why is it important to show the world that we are blameless (Heb. 12:14)?
  3. How can we live a life that is above reproach and blame?
  4. What are some areas in your life where you desire to be more blameless?

Notes

  1. Paul, in addressing the Christians in Philippi, underscores that one characteristic that they should embody is being blameless and innocent. The word “blameless” means pure or without mixture.  It was used in the vocabulary of primitive metallurgy to talk about pure gold, pure copper, or any metal that did not have impurities.  Thus, it can mean that we should strive not to live a life of hypocrisy, but rather, conduct ourselves worthy of Christ in all that we do.
  2. To be blamable means we have sinned, that is to say, we have become unholy.  The Hebrews writer says that without holiness no one will see the Lord in us. That is why not being blamable before the world (i.e., not behaving same as the world) is so important.
  3. The only way this is possible is if we submit to the Holy Spirit and are rooted in the Word of God.
  4. Take some time to pray and ask the Lord to search your heart, to recognize and then remove anything there that is not blameless in the eyes of the Lord.  Do not lose heart; God desires to change us and make us more like Christ.

Evening Reflection

As we have been addressing the idea of integrity throughout this day, I believe the only way we can change is through a genuine repentance.  Spend some time in prayer and repentance. Lift up areas in your life where you want the Lord to change you (e.g., anger, impatience, lust, etc.); just as David prayed in Psalm 51 ask that God would “renew a right spirit within you.”

February 12, Wednesday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional (new) is prepared by Pastor Ryun Chang who is the AMI’s Teaching Pastor.

 

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Theologizing the Oscar Speech by Bong Joon-Ho”

John 1:5 (NIV 1984)

“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (emphasis mine)

John 1:5 (ESV)

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (emphasis mine)

What a shocker! The first Korean movie ever to be nominated for the Oscars—Parasite—snagged two most coveted Academy Awards: best film and best director (Bong Joon-Ho).  There were other winners as well and to each was given a moment to share their thoughts with the world.  This being the most significant award ceremony for the film industry, the words spoken by the night’s winners were scrutinized by many; while no one raised eyebrows at Bong’s speech, many had plenty to say about what Joaquim Phoenix shared after winning the Best Actor award. 

Of course, there is a good reason no one had anything bad to say about Bong’s speech: Never did he even once talk about himself; rather, he spent the entirety of that precious moment to give props to the other four nominees who didn’t win.  In fact, Bong’s singling out Martin Scorsese as the lifelong inspiration for his films prompted the audience to give this famed director a standing ovation, while the winning director joined in. Bong then thanked another renowned director Quentin Tarantino for touting his movies when Bong was a nobody.  Perhaps, the best line of the night was what Bong would do to the Oscar statuette if the Academy allowed it: “Using the Texas chainsaw, I’d cut the trophy into five pieces and then share the pieces with the rest.” Wow, what an incredible display of humility and gratitude that stunningly captured the attitude of Christ: “In humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3b-4).

But this morning, as I was reading Genesis, I ran into this verse: “Every inclination of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil all the time” (Gn. 6:5).  Calvinism alludes to this spiritual condition as total depravity of man. Now, I don’t know whether Bong, listed as a Catholic, is a believer to whom Jesus is Lord. (His constant allusion to drinking until the next morning and failure to thank the Lord for his big night does raise a yellow flag.)  Howbeit, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that he isn’t a believer and therefore, his depravity hasn’t been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. How then do we account for his incredible display of kindheartedness—as far removed from evil as one can imagine—that every believer should embody but comes up very short far too often?   

For a response, consider a seemingly straightforward verse in the Gospel of John where the apostle John says, “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (Jn. 1:5 NIV 1984).  Here, “the darkness” could refer to fallen or depraved humanity and “the light” could refer to what the apostle Paul dubs as “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4). That being said, this verse seems to declare that fallen humans are so spiritually depraved (aided and abetted by “the god of this age [who] has blinded the minds of unbelievers”) that they cannot “comprehend” (NASB) the gospel apart from first receiving the Spirit.    To that end, Paul says, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). It can be then said that all actions of unregenerate men, including seemingly good ones that, nonetheless, do not originate from the Spirit, which they don’t have, are evil to the extent that they believe their deeds merit salvation, since this will have the opposite effect of drawing them away from God’s grace. 

But, as hinted earlier, the interpretation of John 1:5 isn’t as straightforward as it seems because the Greek word katalambano—translated as “understood” in NIV—also could mean “overcome” and that is how ESV translates it: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”  Evidently, this rendering makes the meaning just the opposite: Despite the thickness of darkness, the light from God still manages to reach fallen humans, meaning they can access the light despite being depraved and blinded spiritually.   

Two questions arise here.  First, what is this light? Is this “the light of the gospel?”  If so, then, wouldn’t the phase “the darkness has not overcome it” imply that fallen humans can believe the gospel without first being regenerated by the Spirit?  No. When katalambano is understood as “overcome,” “the light” mentioned in John 1:5 does not allude to “the light of the gospel, which I would call as God’s greater light since it, when appropriated in faith through the Spirit, will result in salvation. Then, what light from God is in purview when it says that “the darkness has not overcome it”?  It is God’s lesser light, consisting of three blessings (i.e., benefits), that all humanity can access: first, the blessing of being “made in God’s likeness” (James 3:9b); second, the blessing of having “the requirements of the law . . . written on [our] hearts” (Rom. 2:15); and third, the benefits deriving from God’s common blessing (“God . . . sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”—Mt. 5:45b).  So, when unbelievers access any or all these blessings, they can, like the unbelieving islanders of Malta who “showed [Paul] unusual kindness” when he was shipwrecked (Acts 28:2).  

Second question, then, is why God has bestowed these blessings unto a humanity that has consistently rebelled against Him, from the tower of Babel (Gn. 11) to the present world in which many cultural elites defy God by caring more about a cow’s “cries of anguish” (Joaquin Phoenix) than the silent scream of the unborn.  Why? Because “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8b), and thus, “He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Lk. 6:35).  That is why He has created us in His image, written His moral laws in our hearts and given us rain from heaven so that we can live in a peaceful and quiet society (1 Tim. 2:2) and can have “plenty of food” to “fill your hearts with joy,” which, by the way, was said to pagans (Acts 14:17).   Nevertheless, living according to God’s lesser light, however well-kept for the most part—particularly the law written on the heart—does not lead to salvation; that’s not what that is for (Rom. 3:20; James 2:10). 

And the humility and gratitude expressed by Director Bong, who continues to bear the image of God and the moral law in his heart—regardless whether he has been regenerated by the Spirit— reminds us that God’s lesser blessing is still so more powerful than our fallenness. Certainly, our sinful orientation greatly diminishes the effectiveness of God’s lesser light given to our benefits, but our depravity can never completely expunge it.  

So, when people of the world do or say something nice, don’t trash it as if God is not in it.  Instead, celebrate the display of good and beauty expressed by the people of the world whenever they manage to capture it.  (Remember, even a broken clock is correct twice a day.) Then point out the source of their goodness, creativity and innovation—namely, God who “has made everything beautiful in its time” (Eccles. 3:11). Then, tell them gently but firmly that this God, who has blessed you so much, wants to bless you even more by shining upon you His greater light, “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4).

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your love for the entire world! How amazing is it that You are “kind to the ungrateful and wicked,” that You cause [the] sun to rise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”  May we faithfully express Your love for the world when dealing with the people of the world. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 10


Lunch Break Study*  

Read Philippians 2:12-13: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Questions to Ponder

  1. Why do you suppose this passage can be very controversial?
  2. How can we reconcile this passage that seems to oppose the doctrine of justification by faith?
  3. How serious are you about your spiritual life? In what ways can you be more serious about your personal relationship with God? Is it possible to be serious and joyful? How do you think the apostle Paul is able to display both attitudes in his spiritual walk? How can you?

Notes

  1. Verse 12 (“…work out your salvation with fear and trembling”) has caused not a small bit of angst among Christians. Salvation through faith in Christ alone, is a theological doctrine that Apostle Paul himself has developed throughout his epistles (cf. Eph. 2:8-9). Surely, Paul is not suggesting here that we are to earn our salvation through our good works, even if it is with God’s help. So how do we reconcile this?
  2. This is an instance where knowing the context is vital in our understanding of this verse. The context (beginning with Phil. 2:1) is not dealing with how to get people saved (justification); rather, it is how saved people are to live out their salvation (sanctification) in light of what God has done. “Fear and trembling” isn’t so much this awful dread that God will zap them if they mess up; but rather, given the majesty of Christ portrayed in the preceding verses (vv.9-11), the idea appears to be that of reverent awe and wonder.
  3. Personal response: With these things in mind, it is clear that the way we should go about our lives (cf. Phil 1:27) is not in reckless abandonment, but with carefulness and gravity of thought.

Evening Reflection*

Deuteronomy 32:4 says, “His works are perfect and all his ways are just.  A God of truth… righteous and upright is he.”  In light of that, read the following prayer by Pastor Bruce Yi and reflect:

“Father, You desire that I seek and inquire of You, to crave You and Your strength, to behold Your face and Your presence, continually and forevermore.  I am astounded that You make Your Kingdom and Your righteousness available to me! Father, thank You for Your victory You give me through Jesus. This is the victory that has overcome the world: faith that flows from You, Jesus, my blessed hope. I am confident that Your glorious goodness will be with me all of my life. It is the cry of my heart to believe and speak of Your righteousness and love in all circumstances, and I will! You are always good, upright and just, and available.

Oh, Lord, thank You for revealing more and more of Your very heart and Your character to me.  In Your presence, complicated matters become simple, and You encounter my heart in intimacy and wisdom; there is nothing like being in Your presence.  In Your Son’s name, amen.”

*Originally posted on September 14, 2013 by then-staff of Remnant Westside Church in Manhattan.

February 10, Monday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by the then (2013) staff of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on July 8, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Yes, God is in Total Control of All Things”

Psalm: 74:16-17

The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. 17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.

One place the psalmist finds hope is in the creation.  The creation reminds us that our God is absolutely sovereign and almighty.  Out of nothing, God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them with but a word.  He upholds all of existence by His might. Time itself belongs to Him. He names and numbers the sun and all the other stars.  

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reminds us that the God who governs the falling of a single sparrow is the same Father who values His children far greater than the sparrows and is faithful to provide for them.  To the disciples who would be persecuted and martyred for His name’s sake, Jesus declares, “Do not be anxious…but seek first the kingdom of God.”

What would your day look like if you were free to focus solely on obeying God and trust that your Heavenly Father would take care of everything else?  Before you rush off to work or school, take a moment to go outside and look at the works of God’s hands.

Prayer: Almighty God, You are the Alpha and the Omega.  The nations and the heavens themselves are but a drop in the bucket compared to You and your greatness.  Lord, impress upon my heart the magnitude of who You are. I thank You that You take notice of me, though I am nothing but dust.  May I seek first Your kingdom today.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 8


Lunch Break Study

Read James 1:22-25 (NIV): Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Questions to Consider

  1. What must the believer do in response to the Word of God? 
  2. To what does James compare a person who listens but does not do what the Word says?
  3. What is the result for the person who obeys the Word of God?
  4. ApplicationIn what areas of your life is God asking for faithful obedience to His Word? 

Notes

  1. Hearing the Scripture read formed an essential element of the religious ritual, but James here commands an aspect that was assumed but not always realized – putting the spoken word into action. He commands the believers to be doers who live out the Word to which they have heard.
  2. The person is like someone who looks at their face in the mirror, only to depart and immediately forget what he had seen in the mirror. What is seen in the mirror is meant to lead to action, usually regarded as remedial; for example, a dirty face that needs washing. Yet here, this person goes away and fails to deal with the flaws revealed by the mirror. 
  3. He will be blessed in what he does. This is the promise of personal fulfillment in the very process of doing what believers know to be right.

Evening Reflection

In what ways did God communicate His love and providence to you through His handiworks and sovereignty over His creation?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me for disobeying Your Word. Empower me with Your Spirit to carry out what Your Word says in my life. Amen

February 9, Sunday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on October 7, 2013, is written by Pastor Sam Lee who leads Catalyst Agape Church in Northern New Jersey.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

Mark 1:35

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. 

If the sinless Son of God prayed, then prayer is not an option for us. Jesus prayed so often that when His disciples could not find him, they would look for him in places where he typically prayed. Jesus’ prayer was so genuine and deep that His disciples, despite having grown up in homes and synagogues where prayers were common, asked Him to teach them how to pray. When it was time to choose His disciples, He prayed the entire night. Prayer preceded miracles; prayer enabled Him to go to the cross, and prayer kept Him there despite excruciating pain. 

Treat prayer like the oxygen that we need for our spiritual life. No matter how busy or tired we become, we would do everything to get oxygen if it were to be taken away.  Don’t make prayerlessness normal. Fight for freshness and life in your prayer today. 

Prayer: Lord, help me to really pray.  Lord, help me to pray right now. Lord, help me to pray, not out of obligation but to desire Your presence. Lord, keep me from making prayerlessness normal.  Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 7