November 15, Wednesday

REPOST  Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provide by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on May 5, 2017.  Peter is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.). 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“A New Spiritual Body”

1 Cor. 15:42-44a

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

As you get a little bit older, you’re a little bit wiser (or at least you should be).  It’s one of the benefits of getting older as God’s children. But, you also begin to notice that your body isn’t what it used to be. I remember when I was younger, if I ever twisted my ankle playing a game of basketball, I was right back in the gym after 2-3 days of rest. Today, I find that I’m out for 2-3 weeks before my ankles feel strong enough to run again. As we get older, our bodies begin to remind us just how frail and weak we are, until one day it ceases to work altogether. 

It’s a rather morbid thought. However, the Bible tells us that for the believers, that is hardly the end. The good news is that one day our mortal bodies will be completely transformed, taking on a new “spiritual body.” We might not know all of the fine details as to what that will look like, but Paul does give us few thoughts so that we approach even our mortality with a new perspective. He says that the new body will be “imperishable”; it will be raised “in glory” and “in power.” Those phrases, along with other illustrations that Paul uses to describe what is to come in verses 35-49, gives me a sense of optimistic anticipation. 

If you’ve ever lost a loved one in this life, there is much pain and grief. But for the believers, there is more than just consolation. There is good news because there is a glorious new body that is promised to those who have fallen asleep. Can you just imagine your parent or your grandparent who have passed away being embodied with an imperishable body?  A body that, if you could see it, you would describe as one “in glory” and “in power”?

Do you ever fear death?  Who hasn’t from one time or another?  However, God’s word reminds us that we have no reason to fear death, for we will be resurrected one day in a new and improved body beyond our wildest imagination.  By the way, I wonder if I’ll ever sprain an ankle with my resurrected body?  Naw!

Prayer: Lord, thank You that Your Word promises me a new resurrected body for all of eternity. But as long as I live in this body of mine, help me to serve You by telling my family and friends of the good news of hope that is in Jesus Christ. In Your Name, Amen! 

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 3

Lunch Break Study  

Read Matt. 27:50-3: And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Questions to Consider

  1. Upon Jesus’ death, what phenomena do Matthew record for his readers? 
  2. What is significant about the tearing of the curtain of the temple? 
  3. What is significant about the raising of the dead to life? 


  1. There are two: the tearing of the curtain of the temple and many holy people being raised to life. 
  2. Jesus’ death is the beginning of the end for the temple system that had opposed Him, that had denied Him, and that had prevented people of all nations into fellowship with God. Now people would have direct communion with God through Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death. 
  3. This is a very odd story, but Matthew intends us to see the story as picture-language, a vivid way of saying “from that moment on, death was a defeated force.” It was a hint of what would come at the end of all things, the great final resurrection of which Paul speaks about. 

Evening Reflection

As the week of Thanksgiving approaches, reflect on the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to shape your heart to reflect that of Jesus.

November 14, Tuesday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotionals, first posted on November 7, 2017, is provided by Pastor Paul Liu who pastors the Grace Covenant Church Singapore. He is a graduate of University of Illinois (BA) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.). 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs of God”

Genesis 19:12-14 

Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

I’m not sure if this is a trait more common to men or women, but I’ve often been guilty of testing fate by letting the gas tank run all the way to empty. I know I shouldn’t do this, and it’s probably an excuse to say I’m testing the fuel efficiency of my car or wanting to know how many miles to the gallon I’m getting. But I keep doing it, in spite of all the warning systems around me: my wife, the actual light on the dashboard, the occasional loss of power when I press the gas… When will I ever learn?

Warnings are all around us. In fact, if you just look around you, there are probably a dozen in plain view—labels describing proper dosages, the battery indicator on your phone, weather alerts, what not to do with your electronics, etc. Most of these warnings are common sense. And when life is at stake, the signs get noticeably bolder: “Peanut-Free Zone,” “Construction Area,” and the always effective, “Danger.” Warnings save lives.

So when Lot’s guests cause all the men in the city to go blind, the warning lights come on. And when these messengers of God inform Lot that Sodom is facing God’s judgment, he takes the warning to heart. Knowing the severity of the danger brought out an urgency in Lot’s heart. He immediately goes to and begs his future son-in-laws to flee the impending doom. Sadly, they thought it was all a joke. Maybe because it seemed unlikely; maybe because the city had great security; likely because they shared the brazen confidence of Sodom’s citizens—who thought nothing of abusing strangers to satisfy their own appetites. They did what they wanted.  Why listen to God? Again, confirming the lack of righteousness in their midst, the warning of God went unheeded.

As we think on this passage, we must ask ourselves: Are there any warning signs in my life that I am willfully or unintentionally ignoring? Am I taking seriously the warnings of God’s word about the priorities and values that lead to flourishing, and the way that leads to disgrace? What warnings do those around me need to hear? And how urgently do I sense their need of it?

Prayer:  Lord, we thank You for the truth of Your word, which informs and inspires but also warns. Give us a teachable spirit that we might learn from You and live in a manner that brings You glory. Stir in us urgency for those around us who live with an unfounded security in their own strength, in the foolishness of men, and in the lies of the Enemy. And give us opportunities to share Your truth with gentleness and respect. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 2

Lunch Break

Read Ephesians 5:15-21: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Questions to Consider

  1. What activities does Paul suggest would lead us to wisdom?
  2. What warnings does Paul give about our times?
  3. Think of one way in which you can invest in wise living and heed the warning of this passage?


  1. Positively, the wise person has learned the value of self-evaluation (v.15), maximizing time (v.16), and seeking God’s will (v.17). This person also avoids that which dulls his/her senses (i.e. wine in v.18) and pursues that which stimulates his devotion (corporate worship in v.19-20). Ultimately, what we need to live wisely is not just lectures or experience, we need the Holy Spirit , who leads us into truth (John 16:13). Lastly, the wise person knows to invest in relationships. There is strength in numbers and a strengthening that comes when we choose to submit to other believers.
  2. Paul is a realist about both the struggles and the adversity these early Christians would face. He reminds them that a “walk” –meaning, a way of life—can be compromised by carelessness, laziness, and foolishness. So they must be vigilant and self-aware. He also tells them “the days are evil,” not to scare them, but to remind them that until Christ returns, there is a real battle that is being waged for our integrity, our faith, and the souls of men and women. This is again a call to vigilance and consistency in our worship and self-watch.

3. Personal response.

Evening Reflection

While it’s true everyone needs encouragement in order to persevere in faith, it’s also true that God’s word rebukes and corrects us (2 Timothy 3:16). How regular is your time in God’s word? Think about how often you sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit about sin in your life. If it’s very rare, begin to ask the Holy Spirit to make you more sensitive to His activity in your life. 

November 13, Monday

REPOST  Today’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on November 20, 2017, is provided by Pastor Joshua Kim. Joshua, a graduate of Emory University, Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Talbot Theological Seminary (Th.M.), is the Lead Pastor of Upper Room Seattle church.  

Devotional Thought for This Morning

Genesis 21.1-5 (NASB)

Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

After my time in the office, I had a dinner meeting with one of our church members. Thirty minute prior to our meeting, I sent him a text message confirming where we will be meeting. No response. I sent another text message making sure I had the time right. No response. A little confused, I kept waiting at the office. After waiting about 1.5 hours, I received a text message: “I’m so sorry PJosh…” 

The nature of the “meet up” has changed ever since we’ve become attached to these things called cellphones. Whereas before you would make plans to meet up with someone at a certain location at a certain time, nowadays all these things can change in a matter of a text message and a few emojis (😱😭💼🌙😴). A promise is not what it used to be. 

In today’s passage, we see God’s fulfillment of His promise to Abraham and Sarah through the birth of Isaac. We see how different God’s promises are from our promises. There is a weightiness, a breadth to God’s promises that help us to see how God is at work when we carefully consider the accounts of Scripture.

In these first few verses of chapter 21, the writer goes to great lengths to emphasize how exact God’s fulfillment of His promises truly is:

Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him.

The author couldn’t make it any clearer: God’s promises are exact. In this case, it’s not just the promise that Abraham and Sarah will have a son. No, the greater reality is that not only God fulfills His promises, but He does it in an exact way, at an exact time, with exact detail, according to a grander plan that goes beyond us. God’s promises are not wishful thinking; it’s not like our, “Oh, I hope I can make it to my meeting today” kind of things. God’s promises are in perfect alignment to His perfect plan for the world.

For all of us who are waiting upon the Lord, my encouragement is that we would be able to catch how, in the waiting, God is working things towards the fulfillment of His promises. Even in the minutest of details, it is being worked together according to His perfect plan. In the waiting, He has not left you. His promise to you is so much more than just the end result.

Prayer: Father, thank You for being the Grand Orchestrator of all things. Not only are You true to Your promises, You are working in the finest of details that lead me to Your promises. Help me to catch the ways in which You are currently at work in my life even when the things promised may be far away. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 1

Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 5.1-5 (ESV): Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Questions to Consider

  1. According to verses 1-2, what is available to us now? What is to come?
  2. In considering the progression Paul describes in verses 3-4, how are we to understand our current experiences in light of what is to come? 
  3. As we have reflected on the nature of God’s promises, why might there be a seeming “delay” in God’s fulfillment of His promises to You?


  1. There are two book ends being presented here. The legal status of being justified before the true Judge because of what Christ has done that is available now, and the hope of the glory that is promised to us, as we are glorified with Christ in the last days. 
  2. For those who are in faith, we stand in this middle space between the now and the not yet. It is easy for us to wonder, especially in times of suffering, why Jesus seems to be delayed in His return or why this hope seems so far away. But what verses 3-4 teaches us is that there are things that are at work in us right now that grows hope, joy, character, endurance… all these things that cause us to become more Christ-like. And this is all part of God’s perfect plan and timing. 
  3. Personal reflection. Consider that this may be the case with other promises God makes in your life. He’s not only concerned about the actual fulfillment of the promises, but He wants to bring you closer to His grand plan for your life. 

Evening Reflection

As you end this day, take a moment to consider the things that cause you to be impatient. What’s at the heart of this impatience? How does this reflect your understanding of God? Does this match the God that is revealed in Scripture who fulfilled His promises to a 100 year old man and a 90 year old woman who were waiting for a son? Spend some time worshipping the God who fulfills His promises.

November 12, Sunday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Cami King—now a friend of AMI—was first posted on August 21, 2016. Cami served faithfully as a staff at several AMI churches in the past.  

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Drop in the Bucket”

John 8:56-59

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.

The Bible is full of paradoxes. My church just finished a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer. During one week we learned to approach God as Father – embracing sweet intimacy and closeness with Him, the access that a little child has to her dad. The following week we focused on hallowing God’s name and were reminded just how holy, other, and awesome God is. One Christian writer tried to put this into context: “If the distance between the Earth and the sun, which is 92 million miles, was the thickness of a piece of paper, the diameter of our galaxy would be a stack of papers 310 miles high. And our galaxy is less than a speck of dust in the part of the universe that we can see. And that part of the universe might just be a speck of dust compared to all the universe. And… [it’s] God who holds all this together with the word of his power…” 

Now, who in their right mind instinctively approaches the One so fearsome with the freedom of a little child? So, how do intimacy and reverence coexist in our relationship with God? Most of us tend toward one or the other. Well, scripture doesn’t resolve this for us (by prioritizing one or eliminating the other) – both are true and we somehow live in the tension. There are many paradoxes like this in scripture – like the last shall be first or you must lose your life to save it. 

Arguably the greatest paradox in the New Testament is the incarnation – the reality that Jesus is fully God and fully man. Our mathematical equations don’t even know how to add one to one to get one. So it’s no wonder why Jesus’ listeners had a really hard time accepting His claims to divinity (like the glaring one made in vs. 58) – so much so they tried to execute Him for blaspheming (being irreverent of God and speaking lies concerning Him). “How could this be?” they wondered. He is a man, which is literally not God (or so they thought).  

As mind-boggling as it may be, God did take on flesh and lives in the world He made. And it’s within those two seemingly incompatible realities that we find the beauty of the Gospel. One phrase that got me through my seminary studies of scripture was, “Live in the tension!” Sometimes God’s truth is hard to believe or understand and sometimes there seem to be paradoxes in our very lives (between our present experience and God’s promises, for example). But we don’t have to resolve the tensions or explain them away. We actually find satisfying truth when we have enough faith to live smack dab in the [radical] middle of them. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your ways are higher than my ways and your thoughts higher than my thoughts. Help me to trust in all Your wisdom, even when I struggle to understand. And help me to cling to all Your truths, regardless of my circumstances. In Jesus’ name.  

Bible Reading for Today: 3 John 1

November 11, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on September 10, 2016, is provided by Ulysses Wang who pastors Renewal Church in Sunnyvale, California. Pastor Ulysses is a graduate of New York University (BA) and Westminster Theological Seminary (M.Div.).  

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“With Friends Like You, Who Needs Enemies”

John 13:21-30

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Of all people, Jesus knew what this meant: “With friends like you, who needs enemies.”  Maybe you can relate to it as well.  Allow me to explain. 

This passage follows closely on the heels of v.18 – “But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me’” – where Jesus explicitly connects the betrayal that He was about to experience with the fulfillment of Psalm 41:9. What is less obvious is the understanding that the act of eating bread together implies friendship, which David, the author of this particular psalm, makes clear from the first half of v.9 (which Jesus left out): “Even my close friend in whom I have trusted…” 

What this should remind us of is the fact that Judas was a close friend of Jesus. It’s tempting to view the entirety of Judas’ life through the lens of his final act of betrayal. He’s the one with the shifty eyes, slicked-back hair and bad cheek scar. The only reason Jesus put up with this most obvious of villains was because He knew the role Judas was to play in the Father’s plan. I don’t believe this version of events to be true at all.  Judas was Jesus’ friend; in fact, that’s what He called Judas – “Friend” (Matt. 26:50) – right after he kissed the Lord as a signal to those who came to arrest him.  He was right alongside Jesus and the other disciples when they ministered hour after hour to the masses, enduring tiredness and hunger. When Jesus had no place to lay His head, neither did He. He was responsible enough to be entrusted with the moneybag. He talked, walked and laughed with Jesus. 

I say all this to make a point – Jesus was betrayed by a friend, not an arch-nemesis out to get Him from the beginning, and if you’ve ever experienced the deep pain that comes from this kind of betrayal, you are not alone.  In fact, He would experience betrayal several more times before His death: the rest of His disciples fled at His arrest; Peter denied knowing Him three times.  Jesus knows what it’s like to be burned and burned bad.

William Blake once said, “It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.” I think there’s a lot of truth in that statement. Are you holding on to unforgiveness in your heart because of past sins committed against you? Were you wounded by a friend? A family member? A brother or sister in the church? Let us find comfort in our Savior, who is not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but has experienced firsthand our pain and suffering. Ask Him for the power to forgive as He forgave and to release those who have hurt you from the grip of personal judgment.

Prayer: Jesus, You didn’t go to the cross solely through the work of the devil, but through the actions of a friend. Help me to move towards the power of forgiveness that is offered to me, as I seek to forgive as you forgave. Thank you that you do not belittle my past hurts, but rather, that You empathize with the reality of my pain. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 John 5-2 John 1

November 10, Friday

REPOST  Today’s AMI QT Devotionals, first posted on November 10, 2017, is provided by Pastor Paul Liu who pastors the Grace Covenant Church Singapore. He is a graduate of University of Illinois (BA) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.). 

Devotional Thought for This Morning 

“The Trail that Sin Leaves Behind You”

Genesis 19:30-38

Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

 Shocking! That’s not an unusual response to the content of the Bible, since the Bible is filled with realistic portrayals of sin and tragedy and failure: Abraham, the father of faith, lies through his teeth. Moses, the deliverer of his people, was a murderer. David, the man after God’s own heart, committed adultery, had the woman’s husband killed, and covered up the whole affair. None of it is softened or rationalized away. We’re just shown the ugly truth about sinful people so that we might see how awful sin is and its consequences.

In this passage, fear is—once again—the driving force in the family of Lot. Fear drives the family to go hiding in the hills. We’re not told exactly what they were afraid of, but it’s likely that they were haunted by the trauma of seeing their city destroyed and their wife-mother turned to salt. Ironically, Lot leaves the place of refuge that he begged God for, to go to the place the angels had originally directed him towards. What happens next is awful: the daughters conspire to get their father drunk, sleep with him, and then their offspring would become enemies of God’s people.

One lesson we learn is that sin always leaves behind it a trail of sadness. We dare not suppose that our sin doesn’t matter—even if nobody sees it. Sin always affects us. It destroys intimacy with God and one another. It leaves us less able to share our selves, more prone to self-indulgence, takes away the motivation to serve, and makes us negligent of what matters most. Have you ever followed behind a car with an exhaust problem? The smell is bad. The smoke is thick. In the wake of that vehicle is literal darkness. These are all signs of an internal problem. What lies in your wake? Is the trail behind you one of sin’s scars or God’s healing? What do these signs say about the condition of your heart?

Prayer: Lord, teach me today to take seriously the problem of sin in my life. Show me its negative consequences and help me to stop running away from You and start running to You instead. Lead me in the way of truth today. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 John 4

Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 51:1-12: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Questions to Consider

  1. What does David ask God to do about his sin? 
  2. How does David take responsibility for his sin?
  3. What is the basis of David’s requests for God’s mercy? 
  4. What sin/s do you need to ask God to forgive? Do it right now. 


  1. Notice David’s audacity to ask that God “blot out my transgressions” (v.1,9); “cleanse me from my sin” (v.2); “wash me whiter than snow” (v.7); and “create in me a clean heart”(v.10). He’s asking for a full forgiveness. 
  2. First of all, he acknowledges his sin (v.3). No longer is David trying to hide it,  make excuses, or ignore it. He also acknowledges the wickedness of his sin (v.4) and that his sin offends God’s holiness. Again, there’s no bargaining or self-justification. David doesn’t make excuses for his bad behavior. He just admits its ugliness and offense before God. 
  3. The wonderful power of this prayer is that it teaches us that the basis of our forgiveness is not performance but grace. This is not a formula for how to feel or what to do to earn forgiveness. This is an appeal to God’s character. David says, “Have mercy on me, according to YOUR unfailing love, according to YOUR abundant mercy” (v.1).  He’s not trusting himself; he’s trusting in the character of God. In light of the New Testament, we have an even greater confidence, because now we know that it’s on the basis of Jesus’ performance and His sacrifice for sin on the cross that we have God’s forgiveness. 
  4. Personal response.

Evening Reflection

In what areas of your life do you see sin’s consequences? Pray that God would redeem these areas of brokenness and pain.

November 9, Thursday

REPOST Today’s AMI Devotional QT, first posted on September 7, 2016, is provided by Pastor Mark Chun through whom God founded the Radiance Christian Church (S.F.) in 2012. Mark, after stepping down as its Lead Pastor in January, is currently on a sabbatical.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The Sabbath”

Genesis 2:1-3(NIV)

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. 

The biblical understanding of the Sabbath rest comes primarily from the account of the creation.  For six days, God created the universe, and after its completion He rested on the seventh day.  But consider this: God—who never tires, gets burnt out, or has need of sleep—decided to take a break.  Many of us could only dream of having that kind of energy.  If we were God, we would have worked that seventh day and made creation even better.  But this is the motivation of God behind His decision to rest: He rested because He saw that everything He had done was very good.   The reason why the majority of people are tired is not because of the physical work they do but because of the perpetual restlessness of their souls.  They can’t look at anything in their life and say for even a moment, “That is good.”   We never allow our souls to come to rest because there is no sense of contentment in what God has done in our lives.  We constantly find ourselves striving to prove that we are good enough, smart enough, or capable enough.  

Most Christians today think about the Sabbath rest as an archaic, obsolete regulation that is out of touch with our hectic and competitive work environments.  I would say to you that the Sabbath was designed exactly for this.  For a short moment in the week, we can allow God to remind us that our lives belong securely in His hands, that we are not the authors of our own success, and we can rest from that unreachable goal.  The problem is compounded by the fact that we often view church not as a place of rest but just another place to strive.  We do this by reducing the Sabbath to another obligation that we need to fulfill in order to prove that we are good Christians.  This is what the Pharisees were guilty of; and to them and to us, Jesus reminds us that “man wasn’t made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man”—meaning, God requires the Sabbath not for His benefit but for our own.    

One of the great benefits for those of us who are committed to the Sabbath rest is the flourishing of our relationships.  When you rest from the daily grind of making a living, getting ahead in this world, and trying to prove your worth, you can focus on the more important things of life—such as your relationship with God and people.  This was the heart cry of the early church.  Although, it is not written in the book of Acts explicitly, it would seem that many people in this church took time off from work in order to meet day by day, to break bread, to pray, and learn from the apostles.  All Christian fellowship is dependent on cycles of rest because you cannot establish deep relationships if you are otherwise consumed by your work and your ambitions.  Our God desires this balance in each of our lives and He set the example from the very beginning.  

Prayer: Father, You know what is best for us.  We acknowledge the temptation to forsake the Sabbath and to live out of our own personal ambition.  Help us to take seriously Your command to rest from all of our striving and to trust in Your abundant provision.   Teach us how to rest and to take upon us the yoke of Christ that is light and easy.   Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  1 John 3

Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 11:28-12:8 (NIV):“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 12At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” 3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” 

Questions to Consider

  1. What was Jesus’ main dispute with the Pharisees in regard to the Sabbath rest?
  2. What reason does Jesus give for rejecting these traditions?
  3. How is Jesus the “Lord of the Sabbath”?   


  1. The Pharisees had completely forgotten the main purpose of the Sabbath, which was to provide rest for man.  Instead, they heaped on all sorts regulations and traditions that made the keeping of the Sabbath a burden rather than a blessing.  Due to the proliferation of these man-made rules, people lived in constant fear of breaking the many restrictions surrounding the proper observance of the day.  Jesus took offense at this misuse of religious authority by the Pharisees.  
  2. Jesus goes to the Scriptures to prove that His disciples did nothing to break the Sabbath.  First, Jesus refers to an account in the Old Testament where David, as the king of Israel, is allowed to bend the rules of the Sabbath.  In an indirect manner, Jesus is indicating that the true King of Israel has arrived.  Second, He refers to the priests who technically had to “work” in order to prepare things for the proper observance of the Sabbath.  Through this, Jesus revealed that a legalistic view on the Sabbath could not be biblically supported.    
  3. It should be noted that this conflict with the Pharisees regarding the Sabbath comes right after Jesus’ famous statement that His yoke is light and easy.  The religion of man leads to more burdens and heaviness while Jesus promises us a faith that leads to rest.  Ultimately, we find our true Sabbath rest in Christ.         

Evening Reflection 

As you prepare to end the day, have you considered the appropriate cycles of work and rest in your life?  Are you feeling burnt out or dry spiritually?  Perhaps, you haven’t allowed your mind, heart, and soul to rest in the Lord.  Make a commitment to observe the Sabbath this weekend and allow the Lord to free you of your burdens.  

November 8, Wednesday

REPOST  Today’s AMI QT Devotionals, first posted on November 8, 2017, is provided by Pastor Paul Liu who pastors the Grace Covenant Church Singapore. He is a graduate of University of Illinois (BA) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.). 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“The Foolishness of Fear”

Genesis 19:15-22 

As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die.20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

As a man, I have to humbly admit that a lot of my own ‘self-talk’ involves these words, ‘Be a man!’ more often than I care to admit. When there’s a decision to be made and I’m feeling torn – ‘Be a man!’  When my feelings are hurt and I’m licking my wounds — ‘Be a man!’ When I have to say something hard but true to someone who I hope doesn’t reject me – ‘Be a man!’ Now, I’m not saying this is only for men. ‘Be a woman!’ is a great line as well! But it does tell us that it takes courage to live with integrity. ‘Be a man’ or ‘Be a woman’ means: Don’t let fear keep you from doing what you know you ought to do. ‘Be a man’ or ‘Be a woman’ means: Don’t put off the necessary for fear of the imaginary. We need courage to live for God – which is what we see in today’s passage.

What’s interesting about this passage is that the urgency with which Lot implores his son-in-laws to flee with him is lost.  All of the urgency and all of the initiative is from the two angels of God.  They are the ones ‘urging’ Lot to hurry. They are the ones literally grabbing Lot by the hand and dragging him away. They are the ones leading him out of the city to the safety of the hills. Why was Lot dragging his feet? Why was he so slow to save his own life and the lives of his family?

It’s not that Lot rejected the message of the angels. He did accept and believe that God’s judgment was on the way. Yet verse 16 tells us he lingered, and in vv.18-19, he’s bargaining with them because he doesn’t think he can make it to the mountains. What happened to Lot? It could be that he was physically and emotionally exhausted – so the angels cry of ‘Up!’ might really have been ‘Wake up!’ Maybe he had spent hours begging his sons-in-law to come. But more likely, it was because Lot could not bear the thought of leaving the comfortable security he had built for his family in that place. It’s where he had settled down. It’s where his daughters were to be married and start their own families. All of his investments were there. All of his assets were there. What would life look like without all these things?

Fear. Fear made him more concerned about uncertainty than the impending judgment of his town. Fear made his limbs slow to start when fleeing was the only sensible thing. William Thackeray says, ‘Love makes fools of us all’ but actually it’s fear. Don’t let fear keep you from the obedience that will build your life and bless your life!

Prayer:  Lord, help me today not to chicken out because of fear. Give me courage to obey You; courage to do what’s right; and courage to serve others. And ultimately, remind me that ‘perfect love drives out fear’ (1 John 4:18). Help me to live in the victory that You won for me Lord Jesus – when you entered the grave and came back in victorious life.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 John 2

Lunch Break Study

Read Proverbs 3:3-8: Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Isaiah 40:28-31: Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Questions to Consider

  1. What attitudes does the Proverbs’ writer recommend we embrace?
  2. What do you think it means to ‘fear the Lord’? How do you do this practically?
  3. Now read Isaiah 40:28-31. How does the fear of God strengthen us?


  1. Steadfast love and faithfulness (v.3); trusting in God (v.5); acknowledging God (v.6); humility (v.7); resisting evil (v.7).
  2. To fear God is to live in light of who He is. To respect Him for His power and authority and grace. Ultimately, to be mindful of who it is that we are following. 
  3. Fearing God strengthens us because recognizing God’s strength leads us to consciously and intentionally trust Him more. And those who trust Him “renew their strength.”

Evening Reflection

As you reflect on this day, what fears became the drivers of your life? Pray about your fears and ask God to show You how He’s with you as you face your fears. Ask for strength to do what honors God most. 

November 7, Tuesday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 17, 2017.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“How to Help an Immigrant or Any Kid to Succeed?” 

2 Tim. 3:6, 10-11 (ESV)

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. . ..  10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. 13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

Soon after immigrating to the States, I began attending a middle school without understanding hardly any English.  But I felt that I could handle math and geography, since it didn’t involve much English.  Ironically, my intent to take tests put the teacher in an awkward position, since he had been excusing another immigrant boy from taking them but would give him a “B” anyway.  Since I chose to take tests, the teacher could no longer excuse the other boy—who now had to work.  

Later, one thrilling moment in high school occurred when my 10th grade English teacher told me to move to the right-side of the class, where those who passed a test on grammar had gathered to study on their own, while the teacher reviewed the test for those who failed—including some who mocked my English.  

Having taken an ESL class in the 9th grade, in which the teacher expected the students to know basic grammar, that test wasn’t as hard; in fact, I felt ESL was more difficult than the 9th grade English class. 

In guiding a youth, whether immigrant or not, it is important to lead them with a reasonable expectation and constant encouragement to work hard.  But when the bar is set too low by those who think that they are being understanding (like the middle school teacher) and lack of effort is met with indifference—or worse, a reward—that’s a recipe for going through life with untapped potential.

In Thessalonica, the apostle Paul faced an unusual situation: some believers quit working, believing that “the day of the Lord has already come” (2 Thess. 2:2); instead, they lived off on other people’s generosity.  Apparently, the Thessalonian leadership tolerated them—meaning, they lowered the bar of what is an acceptable Christian living by putting up with their laziness.  Mincing no words, Paul declared, “Brothers, keep away from every brother who is idle. . . If a man will not work, he shall not eat. . . Never tire of doing what is right” (2 Thess. 3:6, 10, 13).      

What happened in my middle school class isn’t all that different from what can happen in the church: Having lowered the standard for what constitutes faithfulness and commitment to the Lord, many Christians get a passing grade for doing hardly anything.   May someone in your church humbly and silently show what “never tire of doing what is right” really looks like; may your pastor demand that you know well the basics of the Christian faith, so that your potential for Christ is fully tapped for God’s glory. 

Prayer: I thank You Lord for all those in my past who have pushed me to tap fully into the potential You gave me.  I thank You for all the spiritual leaders who set the bar high and demanded that I work hard for God’s glory.  Mostly, I thank You for Your grace, without which I’m either given to pride or misery. Amen.     

Bible Reading for Today: 1 John 1

Lunch Break Study 

Read 1 Cor. 9:24-7 (NIV): Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

2 Tim. 2:6-7 (NIV): The hard-working farmer ought to be the first to receive his share of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Questions to Consider

1. This morning we talked about setting the bar reasonably high, and then to be sufficiently motivated to work hard.  Apply that to spirituality: what motivated the apostle Paul to set the bar high for him?

2. Like what Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:7, consider what is said in 2 Timothy 2:6—what understanding has the Lord given you through it?

3. If you were the spiritual coach of your own life, what kind of coach would you be (lenient or tough)? What would you tell yourself about your current spiritual condition?  Is your bar set low or high?  Are you working hard or just coasting?


1. If we are being honest here, Paul, at least in this passage, expresses his fear of becoming hypocritical—that is, living contrary to what he tells others to live.  He set the bar high, meaning to lead a highly disciplined life to ensure that he receives an imperishable crown from God. 

2. Work hard, so you will be the first to receive your share of the crops (Prov. 14:23b: “All hard work brings a profit”); conversely, the expectation of receiving your share of the crop should motivate you to work hard.   

3. Personal response.

Evening Reflection

As a missionary in Mexico, whenever a pastor would invite me to preach at his church but would give me a passage to preach on, I wasn’t exactly a happy camper, since I couldn’t use any of my sermons previously prepared.  So, I had to work to prepare a new message—which was always good for me.  

Have you ever faced a similar situation?  Enjoy the moments in your life when you still have opportunities to work hard for something.  Go all in, but make sure to take God with you—meaning, don’t decrease your time with God.  Using your time praying diligently, though you might have less time to work can actually increase your productivity—try it.  How about starting right now? 

November 6, Monday

REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on June 5, 2017, is written by Tina who attended Biola University (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.). She and her husband Anthony are now in E. Asia as missionaries. 

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“Spiritual Sleep in Sardis”

Revelation 3:1-3 

 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore, if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.’”

There is a well-known saying, “It’s not about how you start, it’s all about how you finish.” The Lord gave the church at Sardis a spiritual diagnosis of their church body. He gave them the frightening truth that they have a reputation of being a lively church, but they are actually a dying church. They started with fervor and passion for the Lord, but they fell into a deep spiritual slumber, no longer awake to God’s voice. For this reason, God specifically said to them, “…for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.” Those who study this passage will naturally ask, “What did these believers not complete?” One possibility is that it wasn’t like they did not fulfill a ministry or calling that the Lord specifically gave this church, but a more likely situation is that they “backslid” and became secular again in their beliefs and lifestyle. In this way, they did not finish the course of living holy to the Lord until His second coming. They were no longer living as the “pure bride” that Jesus Christ shed His blood for. This is not a church dwindling in number or failing at sustaining the “programs” of a church—from the outside they are “alive.” Yet this is a church dying in their spiritual fervor and walk with the Lord. 

The voice of God came to them to awaken them, and to save them from their false illusion that they are doing well. The Spirit is calling them to once again remember what they have received freely by God’s grace, to keep walking in God’s plans, and to repent of their slumber. Most of all, He is telling them to be faithful to Him, knowing that He will return to reward them according to their faithfulness.

This morning, let’s boldly look into our hearts. Are there areas in us that are no longer awake to God’s voice? In what area is Jesus no longer the center (marriage, work, relationships, or even ministry)? In what areas of your life have you turned to look to yourself and your ambitions, instead of to God?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I confess today that I need You to spiritually awaken me, that I may be in tune with You again and be sensitive to Your leading in my life. Help me to be aware of my weaknesses and sins, so that I may overcome them with humility and faith. Help me to be fully alive in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 22

Lunch Break Study

Read 2 Timothy 4:6-8: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Questions to Consider

1. What do you notice about Paul’s statement about himself, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith”?

2. Paul says the Lord will award the crown to “all who have loved His appearing.” How does this impact how you should live today?

3. What has encouraged you to persevere in your faith and what hinders you personally from being faithful to God?


1. Serving Jesus is not necessarily about how many things you have built for the Lord and how much you have accomplished. Rather, it is about how well we have fought the spiritual battles as we did God’s work. It’s about being faithful to God through the whole course and keeping our faith. It’s about remaining steadfast and abiding in Christ.

2. A key mark of a faithful Christian is someone who adores and longs for the appearing of Jesus Christ above other sources of satisfaction and joy. 

3. Personal Reflection

Evening Reflection

The greatest example of someone who finished well is Jesus Christ. He completed the work that God the Father gave Him, and we are all beneficiaries of His faithfulness to the Father. Reflect on the goodness of Jesus Christ and dwell on how He is the perfector of your faith. Through Him, you can finish well. 

John 19:30: Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”

Hebrews 12:1b-2a: Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith…