January 14, Tuesday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was originally posted on February 18, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning 

“Being Passionate for Our Lord and His Truth”

Psalms 18:1-3

I love you, O Lord, my strength. 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. 

Have you ever seen really passionate singers who are all in while belting out their tunes on stage? 

Sorry, I don’t know any new singers, but I can think of a few back in the days: Freddie Mercury (of Queens) or Janis Joplin. Suffice it to say, their music didn’t emerge out of vacuum: something deep within was driving them. 

Now, consider todays’ psalm: Can a psalm like this, so passionate and full of pathos, be produced in a vacuum?  Not likely! A famous jazz musician (not a believer), attending a church service for the first time in a long while, wanted to walk out while the worship team was playing.  His reasoning: The members of the worship team were playing music they didn’t believe in! Isn’t it ironic? Mercury and Joplin sang passionately about things as if they were true but, ultimately, weren’t, while these Christian musicians were singing about the truth with neither passion nor life. You can be sure that David, who wrote this psalm after being delivered from the hand of Saul, believed every word of it and sang it with passion.   

Yes, we need to be grounded in the doctrines of our faith, so that, among other reasons, they could safeguard our experience with God but not replace it. When we experience God and His merciful deliverance in our daily lives, we too can speak to one another with psalms and spiritual songs.  But are we at least asking God to deliver us from our woes? What are some things that are heavy on your mind right now?  Would you give them to the LORD and let Him handle them?

Prayer: Dear LORD, my finite words fail to adequately capture Your goodness and kindness towards me in every moment of my life.  Thank You, for You are utterly faithful and amazingly good to me even though I continue to fail You time in and time out.  I praise You God; I love You LORD; I worship You  

Bible Reading for Today: John 14


Lunch Break Study

Read 2 Timothy 4:16-18: At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Questions to Consider

  1. Paul wrote this while locked up in a dreary Roman dungeon. In what sense did he experience God there (2 Tim. 4:16-8)?
  2. How can we hear God, thereby experiencing Him, and be sure that it’s truly God (Rom. 8:16; Ps. 37:7; Jn. 10:27, Acts 17:11)?
  3. Paul never got out of that dungeon; he was later executed. What was his final experience with God (2 Tim. 1:12, 4:18)?

Notes

  1. I don’t think Paul meant that Jesus literally appeared to him and stood by him; rather, he sensed a palpable presence of Christ inwardly.  He might have recalled at that moment the Scripture or encouraging words to sense that he wasn’t alone. 
  2. Paul stated that the Holy Spirit in us testifies with our spirit, which means that some thoughts or images that come to our minds are not from us but from the Spirit.  To hear anything clearly, we need to lower the level of noise and be quiet, literally.  So we need to develop the discipline of being quiet before God.  The way to discern whether what we heard is from the Spirit or not is to weigh it (1 Cor. 14:29) by Scripture (like what the Bereans did).  Thus, we need to read and study the Bible in order to do so.  If what we heard falls within the parameters of Scriptural teaching, we should consider it as having come from the Spirit. The next step is to put it into practice, i.e., obedience. 
  3. His final experience, as he was being executed, was the faithfulness of God. He said, “I know whom I have believed, and convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (i.e., his exit from this world).

Evening Reflection

Before turning in for the night, meditate for a moment Ps. 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God.”  What thoughts came to your mind? Ultimately, God wants us to know that He is sovereign and that we can trust Him.  So, did you experience God today? It doesn’t have to be something big. It could be a thought that came to your mind.  Write about it.

January 13, Monday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was originally posted on May 26, 2014.

 

Devotional Thoughts for This Morning

“God’s Grace: Don’t Abuse It”

Jude 1:3-4 

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Churches are filled with many young impressionable believers that can make discipleship exciting. However, at times, it’s unfortunate when someone in the church twists God’s grace into a license to sin. It is true that no person is required to observe the OT Law as a means for salvation; the gospel of Jesus Christ stipulates that eternal life is absolutely a free gift, meaning no church attendance or offering money is at all required for salvation. 

This is because when Jesus died on the cross, He fulfilled the OT Law (Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:23-25). However, the unbiblical conclusion is that there’s nothing that God expects of Christians in terms of a disciplined life in God’s Spirit; alarmedly, from that, some have said, “If I’m saved by grace and all of my sins, past, present, and future, are forgiven, why not sin all I want?” 

Do you at times hold to that line of thinking? After many failed attempts to live a holy life, we develop a calloused “so-what” attitude towards sin.  However, that thinking is not the fruit of a genuine relationship with God. God’s desire is that we become increasingly more like His Son. Though we can’t do it on our own, God’s grace and His Spirit helps us in our weaknesses as we strive towards holiness. Since God has given us His precious gift of salvation through Jesus, our response is to obey Him out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us (Rom. 12:1-2).  

Are there areas in your life where you are twisting the idea of God’s grace?  If so, I advise you to stop going down that road—believe me, nothing good will come out of it—nothing!  Instead, turn to the Lord and begin living a life that is different from the ways of the world. 

Prayer: God, your grace is truly precious. Thank You that You required nothing from me in receiving Your salvation in Christ. But now that I’ve been saved, teach me daily to give You everything in living for your purposes. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: John 13


Lunch Break Study  

Read Matt. 13:24-30; 36-43: Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” 36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Questions to Consider

  1. At the end of the age, all of the weeds will be pulled up and burned in the fire. However, at    ……………….   this present age, what does Jesus say about the weeds? 
  2. Why does owner allow the weeds to remain along with the wheat?
  3. This parable does not teach toleration of illegitimate doctrines in the church.  However, at the present age, the church will be faced with ungodly people who attempt to pervert God’s grace. How can you keep yourself from being deceived by ungodly thinking? 

Notes

  1. Jesus explains that God tolerates the wicked in the present for the sake of his elect, but will publicly distinguish between the two in the day when the secrets of the kingdom are revealed. God endures the wicked in the present to provide all those who will receive him time to become his followers (Rom. 9:22-24; 2 Pet. 3:9, 15).
  2. Jesus’ primary point is the coexistence of kingdom people with the world’s people in this age. The point here is NOT that we should abandon our efforts to keep the church pure (18:7-14, 21-35); rather, the kingdom remains obscure in the present world and only the final day will bring God’s true children into their vindicated glory and banish the wicked from among them.
  3. Personal response

Evening Reflection

Reflect on this prayer before turning in for the night: 

“Lord, I confess that in my sinfulness, I can be great at selective hearing when it comes to the Word of God. Help me to humble myself before the entire counsel of Scripture. Empower me with Your Spirit to agree with Your Word in the areas that are difficult for me to obey. Amen.”

January 12, Sunday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on September 16, 2013, is written by a former staff at an AMI church. 

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Reconsidering the Love of God”

Psalm 89:1-4

I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. 2 For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever; in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.” 3 You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: 4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah

Repeated throughout Scripture is the phrase “the steadfast love of the Lord.” And here, the psalmist describes God’s love as being consistent and persistent.  Upon thinking about God’s immutability (unchanging nature), we are awed by the realization that His love will never change no matter how badly we act from time to time.  

How wonderful indeed is His steadfast love for the undeserved!  This is love that is grounded and rooted in the very nature of who God is!  Thus, He refrained from breaking his covenant with David in spite of his offspring’s (Israel) relentless disobedience.  In the end, this is the unconditional love that resulted in the substitutionary death of His Son that brings us life. 

This Psalm encourages us to look at love from a new perspective, for all we are too familiar with the conditional love that the world gives us as well as the love we give the world. We are used to understanding love as a temporary emotion or feeling that is only secure if situations or circumstances don’t change. Often times, love seems to be a precursor to disappointment. Yet here, the psalmist declares that the love of God is praiseworthy because this love is tied to the promise of God, the covenant of God, the nature of God, and the heart of God. This is a secure and constant love that doesn’t change, despite of our failings, in which we can find hope. 

This morning, let’s reflect upon the love of God which is so strong and secure. Let us praise God for He loves us so steadfastly.

Prayer: Dear God, we love You.  We adore You. We exalt You.  We desire You. There is no one in this universe who is even remotely equal to You.  You stand alone apart from all your creations; yet, we are so grateful that You are in our midst, loving us and caring for us.  Thank You. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: John 14

January 11, Saturday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on October 22, 2013, is written by Pastor Sam Lee who leads Catalyst Agape Church in Northern New Jersey.

 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

I don’t quite understand the British monarchy.  As I read up on it, the queen really doesn’t have much power; she is more like a figurehead, that is, a nominal leader, since she has no say in the policy of the nation. She may be loved and respected by her subjects but has no real power over them.   

I believe sometimes this is how we treat God when it comes to Lordship. We pretty much plan out our whole lives without him. This is to say, we plan out our education, our employment, our marriage, our parenting, our retirement, our future without really consulting him.  And then, we have the gall to ask God to bless what we have planned. 

The problem is that this is not Lordship because, like the British monarchy, it is mostly ceremonial without giving the King much power over our lives.  Jesus is the absolute King and Lord of all, including us, for “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to [him]” (Matt. 28:18). We don’t merely add Jesus to our lives so that he can help us to obtain our goals; instead, he is the source of all dimensions of our lives. Lordship means we give God a blank sheet and ask Him to write out the theme of our lives, which we, then, follow. 

So in 2020, let’s stop treating God as a figurehead Lord; instead, let’s respond to Him as who He really is: “the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim. 6:15). Acknowledge that Jesus is the Lord of your life. 

Prayer: Mighty God, forgive us for holding You in contempt by treating You as equal to British monarchs.  We’re so foolishly in thinking that that is somehow okay with You. Awake us to the reality that You are the King and we are Your subjects.  Thank You also for being benevolent ruler. Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: John 12-13

January 10, Friday

Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church in Raleigh (N.C.), was originally posted on November 8, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“God’s Sovereignty Amid the Chaos”

Psalm 97:1-12

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! 2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 3 Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. 4 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. 7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods! 8 Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD. 9 For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 10 O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11 Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. 12 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Often, watching the evening news can be depressing and discouraging, as we see the tragedies and chaos that are happening in our world today.  From shootings at airports, malls and even places of worship, to injustice to the poor and oppressed, we sometimes ask ourselves where God is amid the chaos.  

Psalm 97 is a song acknowledging God’s sovereignty over all things. In spite of this world being unjust and unrighteousness, and our hearts are not always ready to offer praise to God, He is still the God who is worthy of our praise. He reigns overall, and because of that, we can rejoice and exalt His holy name.  In verses 2-6, the psalmist demonstrates the awesome presence of God by using creation, such as clouds, fire, lightening, mountains and heavens bowing down and declaring the majesty of our King. This psalm, together with the other hymns affirming Yahweh’s kingship (Psalm 93; 95-99), proclaims the righteous, just, and loyal rule of Yahweh (“righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne,” v.2). He will make righteousness abound on the earth. His rule benefits the development of godliness and brings an end to godlessness. He will establish order on earth.

Can you worship God this morning despite of your circumstances?  Do you know that he rules over all things, despite of the chaos in the world?  As his children, the Lord is calling us to “hate evil” (v.10) and rejoice in Him (v.12).  Take some time this morning to reflect and praise the mighty God whom we serve.  

Prayer: Lord, I praise You and lift Your holy name on high.  You are the everlasting God and the creator of the ends of the earth.  I love You and worship You this morning because there is none equal in this universe—You stand alone! Thank You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Bible Reading for Today: John 11 (Luke 24)


Lunch Break Study

Read James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why does James ask us to “count it all joy” when we go through hardships?
  2. What is the purpose of hardship?
  3. How can these verses give you comfort in the midst of trials in your own life?

Notes

  1. James, who was the half-brother of Jesus, encourages his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to “count it all joy” when we face difficulty in our lives.  This is often easier said than done.  If we are honest with ourselves, we often ask God to remove hardships or even wonder where God is in the midst of our trials.
  2. James gives us great comfort because he states that during our difficulty, God is bringing us to greater maturity and faith.  The Lord wants us to produce steadfastness in our faith so that when hardship comes in the future, we will be able to stand and persevere.  “Perseverance” has a work to do, and this can be accomplished only by persistence in trials. If perseverance is to “finish its work,” faith must not falter or give up.
  3. Are you facing hardship today?  Ask the Lord that you would have the faith to persevere.  Remember that God is sovereign, and He has His best interest for you; His plans are always good.

Evening Reflection

As you end your day, spend some time acknowledging the sovereignty of our God.  Even in the midst of our busy lives, let’s remember that nothing is out of his control, even when we face trials.   Worship and ascribe greatness on to Him!

January 9, Thursday

Today’s AMI QT blog, originally posted on May 2, 2013, is written by Pastor Matt Ro, who formerly pastored Journey Church in Atlanta.  

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“God is With/Among Us”

Psalm 46:1-3; 8-11

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.  10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Introduction: God was always displeased whenever the kings of Israel—under attack by hostile nations—would seek the help of neighboring kings (e.g., 2 Chron. 16:7); God desired that Israel would seek Him first.  What about us? What do we typically turn to when facing troubles? Friends? Facebook?  Google search? Today’s blog shows why it is sensible to turn to God first. 


Psalm 46 is a song declaring, “God is with (among) us”; a Mighty Fortress indeed is our God.  V. 1 speaks of God as being our “refuge and strength” in times of trouble. Since the security that the world offers is fleeting and imperfect (vv. 2-3), we ought to look to God for real protection, for He alone is our true security.

Repeatedly (v. 1, 5, 7, 10, and 11), the theme of “God being with us, among us, and for us” is stated.  We need an inner strength to be able to overcome minor troubles to the most troubling circumstances (v. 2, 6, 9). Though mountains may fall and the earth may be reeling, God is still God in the midst of life’s turmoil. 

The Psalm points to the final day in which wars will cease and all things will be brought low.  This sounds similar to Psalm 2:2-3: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,  “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”  

Directed to those who oppose God, it concludes with a call to “be still, and know that he is God,” thereby declaring that he reigns among the nations and over all the earth.  The “Lord of hosts,” one who delivers, stands with us.  

Prayer: Thank You, Father, that in any circumstance, we are reminded that your presence and help are always near.  A Mighty Fortress indeed is our God as we think about your abiding presence with us. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: John 10 (Luke 23)


Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 1:3-14: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Questions to Consider

  1. What do you think “heavenly places” refers to (v. 3)?
  2. Think about all the “spiritual blessings” that Paul refers to in vv. 4-14.  How can an understanding of those truths impact our lives as believers? 
  3. In the heavenly realm that is “among you” or “in your midst,” are there any blessings and truths that need to replace urges that were placed by the enemy?  Take some time to dislodge the enemy’s lies with weighty spiritual truths. Consider how great our God is. More than the blessing, we desire the blessor. Conclude in praise and thanksgiving.  

Note

  1. When Paul says that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, he is not referring to heaven.  Heavenly realm is a reference to the invisible realities of our lives, such as our thought life, conflict, pressure, struggle,  security, and peace, where, according to Chapter 6, the principalities and spiritual powers can attack us. The heavenly realm is a place where not only are we subjected to attack but also the place where God can release His blessings and deliver us.  It is also a place where the Holy Spirit reaches (i.e., can affect) our intellect, emotions, and will. 
  2. Paul lists election, predestination, adoption, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, revelation, the counsel of his will, the word of truth, the Gospel of salvation, and deposit of the Holy Spirit as blessings from God, which ought to produce many inner surges of the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control).  These are much more than mere theological ideas. They are facts, that is, foundational truths that undergird us in every moment of our lives. And unless we understand those facts, we can’t utilize or benefit from them. In that way, they are like impersonal natural laws, which operate regardless of how we feel. Of course, it is never impersonal since God personally delights in blessing us. 
  3. There are foundational truths that undergird us every moment of our lives. Have we moved past mere theological ideas to appropriate the Life we were designed to live?

Evening Reflection

Take a moment to recall in what ways God is your refuge and strength.  Living in the materialistic world that desensitizes our desire for God with an illusion of security, we need to remember that we have access to every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.  Focus on the things that bring us eternal security.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for these vast truths.  I pray that my understanding may be made equal to them.  I can’t grasp them properly apart from the work of Your Spirit, and I pray that You will open my eyes and help me to see that these things are true indeed.  Thank you that even when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances and emotions, you are a God who blesses us, and as we realize how blessed we are, you begin to turn our mourning into dancing.  Amen.

January 8, Wednesday

Today’s AMI QT blog—a combined effort by the 2013 staff of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego—was first posted on July 5, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Understanding Amid Storms of Life”

Psalm 73:21-28

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, 22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. 23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

What are you going through these days?  While I am not sure what Asaph is experiencing at the time when he writes today’s psalm, it must have been very painful since he describes his heart as being grieved and his spirit, embittered.  

Nevertheless, in the midst of a crisis of faith, Asaph is given understanding when he enters into the sanctuary of God; that is to say, a clear understanding of truth came to him amid storms of his life.  

Note that verses 21-28 describe the truth that God revealed to him.  First, Asaph recognizes that in his suffering, he was a brute beast toward God.  He does not excuse the sin in his heart or cover it up by referring to anxiety or suffering.  Asaph owns his sin and rightly acknowledges that his struggle was with God rather than with his circumstances or other people.

Second, Asaph understands that in his darkest time, when he felt farthest from the goodness and presence of God, He held Him by his right hand and was always with Him.  In fact, God is Asaph’s only rock and foundation even as he doubts Him.

Third, Asaph realizes it is good to be near God.  The wicked and arrogant are welcome to their earthly prosperity and health, if only Asaph can have the presence of God.

How are you tempted to blame circumstances or others for spiritual struggles in your life?  Pray that God would open your eyes to His presence and purpose in the challenges you face today.  Ask that God would reveal His beauty in such a way He would be the object of your desire throughout the day.

Prayer: Lord God, forgive me that I am so ready to dwell on my troubles or the sins of others around me rather than face the great sin in my own heart.  Forgive me that I am so unaffected by my daily betrayal of you. Give me grace to see the deep poverty of my own spirit and drive me to Your Son. I thank You that He is sufficient to meet all my needs and faithful to walk with me.  May Your purpose and presence be my joy.

Bible Reading for Today: John 9 (Luke 22)


Lunch Break Study

Read James 1:16-18 (NIV): Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created. 

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the nature of God’s gifts to us?
  2. What is the nature of God who gives us these gifts?
  3. Determine in your heart to believe that “God is good…all the time,” and “All the time…God is good.”

Note

  1. God’s gifts are always good and perfect. Everything God does is good and perfect.
  2. God is characterized by light and openness as well as steadfastness. All of hisdealings with us – from our initial salvation to our eventual glory – reflect his total goodness to us. 
  3. Personal response 

Evening Reflection

In what tangible way did you obey God’s leading today?  Were there some difficult choices to be made? How did the Holy Spirit guide and strengthen you towards obedience? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I ask that You generously give me wisdom to face my trials and difficulties. And help me to fully trust that only the wisdom I receive from You will carry me through this trial. Amen.