March 1, Wednesday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Doug Tritton, was first posted on May 4, 2016.  A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), Doug is the Lead Pastor of Grace Covenant Church Philadelphia.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“As You Wish”

Acts 22:8-10

“‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked. ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked. ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’”

In the movie The Princess Bride, the male protagonist Westley is in love with the female protagonist Buttercup. Whenever Buttercup asks Westley to do anything, his immediate response is: “as you wish”; this line becomes a theme throughout the story as Westley shows his devotion and love to Buttercup.

Though Paul does not say “as you wish” to Jesus in this testimony Paul is sharing, he does say something that expresses a similar attitude: Paul asks, “What shall I do, Lord?” Just like “as you wish,” this line expresses devotion and a desire to please the other. Paul was basically saying to the Lord, “Have Your way with my life.”

Ultimately, these two expressions “as you wish” and “What shall I do, Lord?” express obedience – an obedience and commitment to the one being spoken to. And obedience is ultimately a reflection of love: 1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” You cannot love God but not be obedient—that’s a contradiction.

In your own life, are you feeling a lack of love for God? Or perhaps dryness in your faith? Check your obedience, your willingness to say “as you wish” to God when He speaks to You. Oftentimes our love runs dry when we say “as I wish” instead of “as You wish” to God. Perhaps there is no day better than today to say to God “as you wish.”

Prayer: What shall I do, Lord? Today, help me to hear Your voice and follow You as You lead me. Give me the strength to say “as you wish” and to be obedient to all Your ways. Forgive me for my disobedience and have Your way in me. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 2

Lunch Break Study 

Read 1 John 5:2-3: By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

Questions to Consider

  1. According to this passage, what does it mean to love God?
  2. Why does John mention that God’s commands should not be burdensome?
  3. What areas of disobedience do you need to bring to God today?


  1. According to John in this passage, loving God means obeying His commands. Though loving God is not only about obeying His commands, but we can easily tell if we do not love God if we are not obeying Him.
  2. Love gives no room for bitterness. But when we allow God’s commands to become burdensome, bitterness sets in. Eventually, though we may be “obedient” to the letter of the law, our hearts will drift from God. This is what legalism is: when we obey commands without love.
  3. Has God been calling you to do something that you have pushed off, or something you have said to God, “Not now”? Perhaps write these things down and ask God for the strength to say “yes” to Him today.

Evening Reflection

Reflect back on your obedience today. Were you saying “as you wish” or “as I wish”? Repent of the ways you have been disobedient and ask God for strength to always say.

February 28, Tuesday

REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 12, 2016.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Would You Pick These Guys to be On Your Team?”

Acts 1:13

When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.

1 Corinthians 1:26

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

This past December, I got to see an NBA game between San Antonio Spurs, a five-time champion, and Philadelphia 76ers, the league’s worst. Predictably, the game got of control fast and the Spurs won by 51 points!  

Upon examining each roster, Jesus’ disciples would be more like the overmatched 76ers than the Spurs.   It is said that, besides a handful of Philadelphia players with raw potential, the rest don’t belong in the league.  And that’s who the disciples were.  Being described by their detractors as “unschooled [and] ordinary” (Acts 4:5, 13) was merely scratching the surface. The disciples were initially divided not only from the rest of society but even among themselves. Simon belonged to a militant group called Zealots who violently opposed the Romans and those who worked for them, like tax collectors, among whom Matthew was one.   The disciples’ favorite pastime was arguing about “who was the greatest” (Mk. 9:34); once, John and James sought to kill an inhospitable Samaritan (Lk. 9:51-5).

Let’s suppose that you’re assembling a roster to begin a new company.  Would you start with these men?   Are you crazy? No! Instead, you would recruit kinder, humbler and more educated people; but Jesus, purposely avoiding them, chose just the opposite for his institution aimed at changing the world.

Now, for the past three years Philadelphia 76ers purposely gathered its outmatched players to lose; but there is method to their madness.  Being the worst team in the league increases their chance to pick the best player in the upcoming draft of college players.  And there was also method in the “madness” of Jesus in selecting his men.   To that end Paul wrote, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things to nullify the things that are not, 29 so that no one may boast before him” (1 Cor. 1:27-9).

This criterion is both encouraging and sobering because this means that God can use the “unschooled and ordinary” but it also means that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously since God is the one who does all the heavy lifting.  Cheer up—God can use you: work hard (Col. 1:29), stay humble and be faithful.   

Prayer: Father, I confess my willful forgetfulness: now that I am better, thanks to your provision, I am deluded into thinking think that I wasn’t all that bad when You saved me.  No, I wasn’t okay then and I won’t be okay the moment I fall into this self-deception.  Lord, I cannot do anything apart from you (Jn. 15:5).  I absolutely and completely depend on You.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Nehemiah 1

Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Cor. 1:26: Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

1 Cor. 6:9-11: Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were.

1 Cor. 4:7-8: For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you!

Question to Consider

1. The apostle Paul referred to the Corinthians as not having been wise, influential or of noble birth.  What were they like before God saved them?  

2. It is important to note in what tone Paul was writing what he wrote in 1 Cor. 4:7-8.  It is decisively a sarcastic tone: “Already you have become rich and begun to reign.”  What happened to these once hapless Corinthians?  What was worrying Paul?

3. So, why is Paul writing all this?  What do we need to watch out for as we become wiser, stronger and wealthier?   


1. The key phrase is 1 Cor. 6:11, “And that is what some of you were”, meaning many of the Corinthians used to be thieves, drunkards and sexually immoral. 

2. Evidently, these Corinthians were forgetting their former, miserable state before God saved them and were acting “cool” as if they were always wise, strong and influential.  Alarmed, Paul was reminding them what it was really like from the outset—“Not many of you were . . .”

3. He wrote this before their spiritual amnesia turns into a full-blown spiritual pride, which would bring about their fall (Prov. 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall) as well as God’s discipline (1 Pet. 5:5: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”).

Evening Reflection

Looking back to all that happened today, did you face a situation where you ended up embellishing your accomplishment and/or pedigree?  If so, why did you give in to that?  Take a moment and ask the Lord how he can help you with this weakness that makes you feel even less secure the next day.    

“‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’  For it is not the one who commends 

himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends” (2 Cor. 10:17-8).

February 27, Monday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on March 21, 2016, is provided by Pastor Jason Sato who, along with his wife Jessica and three young children, serves in Japan as an AMI missionary.  Jason, a graduate of UC San Diego (BS) and Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.), moved to Tokyo in 2022 where he plans to, the Lord willing, plant a church. 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“A Frank Talk on Grace”

Acts 11:1-3 (ESV)

Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. [2] So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, [3] “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

After the household of Cornelius receives the Holy Spirit, the circumcision party is deeply offended.  This is ridiculous.  People were saved and the circumcision party is worried about the quality of Peter’s dinner guests?

Now, the problem is not simply that Peter has eaten with sinners.  Everyone knew that Jesus frequently ate with tax collectors and prostitutes, though these sinners were presumably Jewish.  So, is the circumcision party guilty of blatant racism?  I don’t think the issue is so simple.  Essentially, the circumcision party believes that Gentiles must become Jews before they can become Christians.  After all, Jesus did say, “Salvation is from the Jews.”

The circumcision party assumes that there is something inherently valuable about being Jewish apart from the grace of God.  They have forgotten where they came from.  Of course, the Israelites have a special place in God’s heart and in His redemptive plan, but God chose them, not because they were special, but because they were small and insignificant.

The prerequisite for becoming a child of God, whether for Jewish sinners or Gentile sinners, is not circumcision or even baptism, but repentance and faith.  And this is good news for people who need the grace of God.

At the Living Water Church, I work with teenage boys from the inner city.  I know boys who aspire to be drug dealers.  I know boys who are in juvenile detention for their violence.   I know boys who spent their nights robbing their neighbors.  And there is good news for them.  

They do not need to become middle class to be saved.  They do not need to adopt another culture or race.  No, God can wash away their sins as they are and give them a completely new life if they would simply trust in Jesus.

Now it may sound romantic when we apply this good news to others, but are we astounded or insulted when we are told that we need the same, exact kind of grace?  Do we want the grace that is extended to criminals?  Do we know we need it?

Prayer: Father, I thank that the grace You offer to me is real for my sin and my need is real.  May I never forget that I am nothing more than a sinner in need of a Savior and You are a wonderful Savior to me.

Bible Reading for Today: Nahum 3

Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (ESV): For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. [27] But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; [28] God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, [29] so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. [30] And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, [31] so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Question to Consider

  1. What kind of people belong to the church of Corinth?
  2. Why does God choose such people?
  3. What kind of boasting is appropriate?


  1. People who are not wise, powerful, or of noble birth by worldly standards.  In fact they are foolish, low, and despised.
  2. In order to shame the wise and the strong and so that no person may boast in the presence of God.
  3. Boasting in the Lord, who is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption.

Evening Reflection

In what ways were you aware of your need of the grace of God today?  In what ways were you tempted to think you had no need of grace?  Take a moment to thank God for His grace that addresses your sin as well as your pride.

February 26, Sunday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on March 13, 2016.  Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia. 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“People Who Are Eager to Believe in Jesus If Only Someone Will Tell Them About Him”

Acts 8:29-36

The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him . . . 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.  36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”

In a remote rain forest jungle part of the world, there were once two villages separated by a large mountain.  One village had received the gospel, built a rough structure with a cross on top, started gathering regularly for meetings, and wonderful and amazing things happened there.  News of these goings on reached the other village, but only in bits and pieces because of the whole mountain separating the two.  They heard that this first village had built this structure, that they gathered there, that amazing things were happening.  So they decided to try the same.  They built a rough structure with a cross on top, started gathering there regularly, and they would sit in this structure and wait—wait to see what would happen next. The documentary that recorded this true story ended something like this: “At the time the editing of this film was completed, there was as of yet still no missionary working among the people of the second village.”

Presumably, it was because the village was too remote – if I remember correctly, for all practical intents and purposes, only reachable by helicopter or a very long trip up a river by boat – but after watching this documentary, I remember having these thoughts:  Here were these people who were sitting around in this (unbeknownst to them) “church” building they had built themselves, waiting for someone to come tell them about Jesus.  People in America had many chances to hear and the luxury to refuse time and again, but there were people in the world who had not yet heard even once and were just waiting for someone to come and tell them.  To me, the obstacles of physical distance or discomfort seemed more surmountable than that of a hardened heart.  If the only reason some people weren’t saved was for lack of hearing because they lived in too remote a place, I thought, heck, I’d go.

The Ethiopian eunuch, like the villagers above, was someone who also just needed a little help.  The Holy Spirit had already done all the work in his heart, even had him start reading the Scriptures; he was just having some trouble understanding what he was reading and needed someone to explain.  Living in certain environments where people are generally not so open to hearing the gospel, we can feel that evangelism is so hard.  But sometimes, it can be as easy as this.  There are people in the world who are reading, searching, wondering, questioning – wishing there were someone they could ask so that they could understand.  Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to bring us to them that we might lend a helping hand.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, help me to be willing to make myself available to help someone in spiritual need.  Open my spiritual eyes that I may see who those people are, whether they are in my immediate context or somewhere farther away that I need to go.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Nahum 2

February 25, Saturday

REPOSTToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on May 10, 2015.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Finding God’s Love in Least Likely Places”

2 Sam. 12:22-4 (ESV)

He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” 24 Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. And the Lord loved him.

Upon banishing the first couple from the garden for their willful act God, “made garments of skin . . . and clothed them” (Gn. 3:21).  Methuselah set an all time record for longevity, and once he finally passed away at the age of 969 (6:27), the rain began to pour and it wouldn’t stop for 40 days.  The Lord, in response to the post-Noah generation’s attempt to construct a tower high enough to reach to the heavens, “confused their language so that they will not understand each other” (11:7).   

While God’s fierce judgment is the first thing that leaps out from these stories, upon a closer examination we find something else.   In the first example, God lessens the misery of the first couple by providing garments that would better protect them from the elements as well as cover their shame— seeing God’s mercy while He metes out His judgment isn’t difficult to see.  

As for the name Methuselah, its sub-roots imply “death and sent,” which means that whenever people called him, they were literally saying, “Hey, Mr. ‘Death and Sent.’”   I am sure many had wondered, Send what?—Noah, Methuselah’s grandson, would’ve answered, “Floodwater . . . to destroy all life under the heavens” (7:17).  This means that Methuselah, in effect, lived out what apostle Peter would pen several thousand years later: “The Lord is . . . patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).  The longer Methuselah lived, more people would’ve been reminded of God’s pending judgment; the Lord, of course, hoped that they would repent!  

As for those who could no longer understand each other at Babel, it was a good thing that they, as a result, “scattered from there over all the earth” (11:8) instead of being able to continue with their defiant project. Had they kept it up, “something worse may [have] happen[ed]” (Jn. 5:14).  That’s mercy from God.

So, what do these stories have in common with what God did for David while judging him for his atrocity?  Ask yourself this question: Would you have thought that God’s promise to David—“I will raise you up your offspring to succeed you . . . and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Sam. 7:12)—was going to be realized through what began as an illicit relationship?  But, that’s precisely what happened: “[Bathsheba] gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon” (12:24).  And “the LORD loved him” (25).  God is into the redeeming business!

Look, God is holy; so when our sinful push comes to shove, He will judge—sometimes hard!  But that’s when we get a clear glimpse of His mercy and grace.  I don’t know what you have done and what you are reaping as a result, but don’t give into a lie that as a result of sin, God must not care about me anymore.  These four examples all point to a merciful and gracious God who seeks to redeem your mess after a time of judgment.   Be contrite before God. Turn away from sin. Turn toward God.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for redeeming my life, for apart from You, I am nothing.  Help me to immediately turn to You, even when I mess up, for I know that You are a merciful and gracious Lord.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Revelation 22 & Nahum 1

February 24, Friday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on July 8, 2016, is provided by Pastor Barry Kang, who heads Symphony Church in Boston.  Barry is a graduate of Stanford University (B.S.), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Gordon Conwell Seminary (D.Min.).

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The Gospel is Good New, Not Good Living”

Colossians 4:2-4

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

There is a popular saying often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel daily; Use words if necessary.”  One problem with this is that there is no record of St. Francis ever saying it.  In fact, St. Francis was quite the preacher.  While there is truth that our deeds must match the words that we speak, the gospel, by definition, is good news—not good living. 

Paul is very clear here in his request to the church in Colossae: “Pray for us….to declare the mystery of Christ.” Let us be very clear: the gospel is the good news about Jesus and what He has done, and so it must be declared with words.  

But we know that this isn’t easy.  We need God’s power to be able to declare it as we ought.  And so Francis of Assisi is recorded as teaching the following to his fellow co-workers in the gospel: The preacher must first draw from secret prayer what he will later pour out in holy sermons; he must first grow hot within before he speaks words that are in themselves cold.

Paul needed prayer to preach the gospel.  Francis of Assisi needed prayer to preach the gospel.  If we are not preaching the gospel, perhaps what we need is more prayer.

Prayer: Lord, we confess that we don’t always seek Your presence in our lives. We often depend upon our own strength and wisdom instead of seeking Your power.  We want to be desperate for Your presence in all that we do, and learn how to celebrate and honor You in both our private and corporate times of worship.  May You show us Your glory and bring about times of refreshing and revival.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 21

Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Corinthians 16:5-9: I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, 6 and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Questions to Consider

  1. Paul tells the church in Corinth that he intends to visit and stay with them after passing through Macedonia.  Reading the passage, why did Paul delay his intended visit?
  2. Does an open door for ministry mean that everything is moving without hindrance?
  3. What open doors for ministry might God have opened around you?


1. Paul explains that his visit to Corinth is being delayed until after Pentecost, as he has work to do in Ephesus (“a wide door for effective work has opened” – verse 9).

2. An open door clearly does not mean that ministry has become easy.  Paul notes that there are many adversaries to that work in Ephesus.  In fact, it seems as though the existence of those adversaries may have some part to play in his needing to stay in Ephesus.  When we think of God opening a door, clearly, we should not expect zero obstacles or hindrances.

3. Personal response.

Evening Reflection  

Please spend some time journaling a prayer for people around you whom God has placed on your heart to know the gospel.  What doors has God opened for you to share the good news?

February 23, Thursday

REPOST  Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on April 29, 2016. Peter is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.). 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“I Just Wish I Had More Time!”

Acts 20:7-12

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. 9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.

Do you ever feel as though you just never have enough time to get to everything done throughout the day? Then tomorrow just brings another onslaught of demands and expectations? Don’t you wish you just had more TIME? 

For many people, time is the most valuable commodity. If we just had more time, we’d feel as though we were more productive or accomplished. The truth is, time is the one commodity that all human beings have equally. That may not be the case with money or talent, but as for time, not one person has any more or any less. We say “24/7” because that is exactly what we have been given. So, how will you spend some of your precious time to grow in the Lord? 

The early church came together on the first day of the week to celebrate the Lord and break bread together. In today’s passage, it looks as though, at least for this one day, the church spent all of their time hearing God’s teachings through Paul. Could you imagine spending the entire Sunday with your church engaging in the teachings of God? 

NT Wright comments: “Many Christians will find, for all kinds of reasons, that Sunday is a difficult day to attend long church services. But we should remind ourselves that the earliest Christians lived in a world where Sunday was the first day of the working week, much like our Monday, and that they valued its symbolism so highly that they were prepared to get up extra early both to celebrate Easter once again and to anticipate the final Eighth Day of Creation, the start of the new week, the day when God will renew all things” (Surprised by Hope). 

I’m not suggesting that we should turn our church services to 18-hour ordeals. But don’t you think that the more we spend time in the presence of the Lord and His Word, the more likely we will grow spiritually? And maybe, just maybe, we might even witness a supernatural miracle simply because we stayed long enough—imagine what that will do for our faith! 

So the next time your church is inviting you to a weekend retreat, a 2-day conference, or even an hour-long prayer meeting, why not spend your valuable time in the presence of the Lord? 

Prayer: Lord, I need Your help in prioritizing my time with You. All of my personal business and agendas demand my time, and I seem to give some leftover time to You. Help me in committing my best and my first day of the week to worship You and to learn from You. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 20

Lunch Break Study  

Read James 4:13-16: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the stern warning that James delivers to his listeners? 
  2. Why does James warn the believers who are trying to make a profit?  


  1. James warns the believers to not arrogantly assume that they will insulate themselves from difficulties by becoming rich. 
  2. James reminds the believers that there is no way to predict the future; God alone controls it. 

Evening Reflection

Did you spend time today in building up your relationship with God? To deepen your trust in Him? How do you plan to spend time tomorrow in order to see God at work around your life? 

Reflect upon your day and seek God’s wisdom for tomorrow.

February 22, Wednesday

REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Cami King—now a friend of AMI—was first posted on April 6, 2016. Cami served faithfully as a staff at several AMI churches in the past.  

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The Hardest Thing About Following Jesus”

Acts 15:10-11

 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

If I asked you what’s the hardest part about following Jesus, what would you say? (Go ahead, think about it.) Some would say the goal of Christ-likeness. Becoming like Jesus is a pretty lofty ambition – He is perfect after all. Others might say all the commandments to follow – it can often feel like a never-ending list of dos and don’ts. There is also the matter of constant repentance – constantly searching and evaluating the heart, being so aware of our brokenness can be taxing and exhausting. And what about endurance, especially in times of difficulty or suffering? No matter what comes our way, we are to keep on following Jesus – easier said than done!

The longer I do ministry in the Church the more I am convinced that one of the hardest parts of following Christ for most Christians is actually the simple act of receiving grace. We suffer from the “grace and…” syndrome. We know in our heads that we are fully loved and wholly accepted by God, not based on what we did, but on what Christ has done and that it’s by our faith in Christ’s work alone that we are righteous before God. We know this, in theory, but our lives often adhere to a different truth. We speak about grace, but live as though what we do is of most importance. Our perfect choices, our perfect church attendance, our perfect QT record for the week, our perfect kids, etc. make us feel closer to God and when those things go away, when we fall short, we feel far, withdraw, struggle to turn to Him.

Scripture teaches us that grace is unmerited favor from God – a gift of kindness and love that we don’t deserve. And it’s not our good works that earns us access to that gift, but the very gift itself that enables us to do good works. I know we know this – but do we really believe it? In our thoughts and judgments about ourselves and others, do we humbly accept God’s grace or do we, like the Pharisees, put our weight on our own efforts and works?  

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me the humility to accept Your grace to me today. Not that I was good, but that Christ was. Not that I am perfect, but that Christ is perfect. May that be enough. In the areas where I am struggling with sin, in the face of my present shortcomings, give me the humility to turn to You and receive the grace I need to become more like Jesus. Amen.   

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 19

Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 2:1-10: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why is it important to remember that we were made alive in Christ “even when we were dead in transgressions”? How does remembering God’s love as described in these verses encourage us to persist in our walk with Him?  
  2. According to verse 9, what is the danger of focusing too much on our works in our relationship with God?  
  3. Restate verse 10 in your own words as a promise from God to you. How does this assurance that good works will come encourage you? 


  1. We can never be mistaken that we have to earn God’s love or God’s favor by doing good deeds or being the right kind of people when we remember that God demonstrated His great love for us when we were at our worst. We should feel encouraged to move on, not by works (which didn’t save us to begin with), but in the power of grace (know that we are fully loved and completely accepted and given the freedom from guilt, shame, and the like needed to resist sin and live well). 
  2. Focusing too much on our works can lead to boasting, and ultimately, to pride. All the good that we do is a result of God’s grace and God’s work on our behalf (through Christ) and in/through us (by the power of the Holy Spirit). 
  3. You will do good works (great things in this world and for my Kingdom) because I myself have created you in my son Jesus. As we surrender our lives to the hands of the master potter, he works it into a beautiful piece of art. In the face of our shortcomings and even, at times, ignorance to the ways of God, we know our loving Heavenly Father is at work to lead us to a destination that He’s already prepared. 

Evening Reflection

“The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them.” (Charles Spurgeon) 

Is hard for you to receive God’s grace? Do you tend to put more emphasis on what you do or what He has done? Does Christ’s love compel you and God’s grace encourage you toward good deeds, or do you tend to use good works to try to earn favor with God? Spend some time remembering how God found you, when you were dead in your transgressions, and be reminded of His great love and abounding grace.

February 21, Tuesday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Doug Tritton, was first posted on May 3, 2016.  A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), Doug is the Lead Pastor of Grace Covenant Church Philadelphia. 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Dealing Our Shameful Past”

Acts 22:3-5

“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus, and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.”

I did not grow up as a Christian but became one during my college years. But when I first became a Christian, I was quite ashamed of myself and my past; I was reluctant to share with anyone about who I had been, because I was afraid I would be considered a phony or not fit in to the church community. Though I felt forgiven, there was a sense in which I was not yet set free from my past. It was quite some time later when I came to have a more holistic understanding of my identity in Christ.

Here in Acts, Paul was addressing the Jews and he brought up his past. Though his past was marred by sin – he persecuted Christians and had a role in the execution of Stephen – he was not ashamed to use it to make his point. He was not ashamed to show the power of the grace of God in His life. That’s what a personal testimony is all about – testifying to the power of grace in your life.

Perhaps there is shame in your life which you are afraid to confront and you feel uncomfortable sharing with others. Maybe not now, but perhaps at some point God will bring up your past experiences—whether good or bad—for the purposes of His kingdom. Our God, the great Redeemer, can redeem our broken pasts for His Kingdom work. Remember Paul, who having a broken past said that he’d “boast in all the more gladly about [his] weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on [him]” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Our life in Christ does not involve sweeping our past, our sin, our shame under the rug. Rather, our life in Christ is about letting the grace of God come into every area of our life—even the darkest and dirtiest corners—so that the grace of God may bring redemption.

Prayer: Lord, thank You that when You came to die on the cross, You did not die so that our sins may be hidden; You died so that our sins may be fully redeemed. Help us to embrace Your grace in every area of our lives so that shame may have no place in us. Help us to see that Your power is made perfect in weakness and that in our weakness, Your power is more fully known. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 18

Lunch Break Study  

Read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: But [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Questions to Consider

  1. How is Christ’s power made perfect in weakness?
  2. Why did Paul boast about His weaknesses?
  3. Do you think you could delight in your weaknesses?


  1. If were perfect people, there would be no need for grace, no need for Christ’s power. But since we are broken and sinful, we need the power of Christ to bring freedom. And only when we embrace our brokenness and confess our utter need for Christ can the power of grace come into our lives. This is why Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness; because in embracing our weakness, we give room for God to have His way in our lives.
  2. In boasting about his weaknesses, Paul was giving room for the power of Christ in His life. If he rather boasted about his strengths, he would be trusting in his own abilities and there would be no power of God in his life. 
  3. Think honestly about this. We cannot easily delight in our weaknesses because we want to be self-reliant, to prove ourselves. But remember, Christ is the One we need to trust and not ourselves.

Evening Reflection

Spend some time reflecting on your past. Is there any shame in your life that you’ve been afraid to bring to God?  Use this time to let the power of God rest over your weaknesses.  

February 20, Monday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Jabez Yeo who is now a friend of AMI, was first posted on May 16, 2016.  He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (B.S.) and Columbia International University where he studied Islam (M.A.). 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“An Old Church Father Who Will Remind You of You”

Proverbs 15:4

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

A theological discussion may seem too daunting for many, particularly for QT devotions; however, today you will actually get to meet this brilliant theologian who will remind you of—you! 

One of the many heresies that were prevalent in the early church was modalism, which denied belief in three distinct identities within God. Rather, modalism proposed that the one God had three aspects or roles. For example, the Holy Spirit would not be a distinct person but another manifestation of the Father and Son. This heresy naturally implied that not only the Son was crucified but also the Father. 

In the midst of confusion, an early Church Father named Tertullian rejected this version of God’s triunity and established that Christians believed in “one substance (i.e., being-ness that makes something what it is) and three persons.” While this may seem like a given theological fact today, Tertullian was the first to explain that God’s oneness “does not rule out multiplicity; just as biological organisms can be one and yet made up of interconnected and mutual parts.” In many ways, Tertullian is the father of the formal doctrine of the Trinity that was ultimately finalized in various creeds.

Unfortunately, Tertullian was renowned not only for his theological wisdom but also for his sharp tongue. His works and letters were filled with sarcasm, as well as biting words against his opponents.  He admitted himself in his writing on patience, De Patentia, that it was a virtue which was not present in his life. Tertullian’s tongue, as well as his leaning towards a legalistic lifestyle, eventually drew him into a fringe sect of Christianity called the Monanists. He tragically died in 225 A.D., “separated from full communion with the bishops of the Church whose authority he earlier upheld.”

Tertullian’s demise may seem puzzling, but it is an often quoted fact that over 90% of communication is non-verbal. In our workplaces, schools and churches, how do our facial expressions, intonations and posture convey God’s grace? Is our choice of words even glorifying to God? Oftentimes, how we communicate is actually more important than what we communicate. Let’s ask for grace in our communication today.  

Prayer: Lord Jesus, it’s so hard to control my tongue and my expressions. I often find myself saying things that I later regret or in ways that are not glorifying to You. Season my speech with Your grace and humility; help me to be a light to my community and to the world in this way. In Your Name I pray.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 17

Lunch Break Study 

Read James 3:2, 6, 9-10: We all stumble in many ways.  Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. . . . 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

James 1:19b: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

Questions to Consider

1. What warning jumps out from this passage? 

2. What is one thing that we do which causes this problem to reoccur?

3. What can we do to avoid this problem?


1. Among the many things we do wrong that keeps us from being perfect, on the top of that list is unwise and foolish words which can cause tremendous damage in all aspects of our lives. I think all of us can attest to that.

2. We are not quick to listen; rather, we are eager to speak without having heard the other person fully or having considered a reasonable response.

3. James 1:19 should be heeded. Also, if you prefer to communicate through e-mail, make sure to re-read the content before sending it.  I think it is a good way to share your thoughts because it gives you time to think about your response.  I have noticed that the final version is always kinder and gentler than the first one. 

Evening Reflection

As you look back to this day, how did you use your words?  Did anyone get encouraged?  Oops, maybe the opposite is the case.  Let’s do better by, first, offering up praise and prayer unto the Lord.  That’s always a good place to start: using our tongues to bless the Lord.  May the Lord bless you with a good rest!