Artificial Intelligence

Monday, May 8, 2023
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Listen while you read: "Footprints Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

Several of my relatives have discovered that with proper instruction, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is capable of writing poetry, essays — the possibilities are endless. There are articles on how AI is going to impact society, like automation revolutionized many industries, and how it will eliminate many entry-level jobs. I began to wonder how soon people might submit AI-written devotionals!

Then, I thought that I might try it myself. So, I instructed Bing in the Edge browser to write a 500-word Christian devotional based on Isaiah 43:19 and specified the version. A few seconds later, out came an uplifting devotional:

    Isaiah 43:19 in the New Living Translation says, "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."

    This verse is a promise of hope and restoration for God's people. It is a powerful reminder that God is always at work in our lives, even when we can't see it.

    God promises always to be doing something new in our lives. He is constantly working behind the scenes, bringing about new things and making a way where there seems to be no way. When we feel stuck in the wilderness or lost in the desert, God promises to make a pathway for us. He will provide streams of living water to quench our thirst and guide us on our journey.

    As we meditate on this verse, let us remember that God is faithful to His promises. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and He will always make a way for us when there seems to be no way. Let us trust in His goodness and His love for us, knowing that He is always working for our good (Romans 8:28).

    Let us pray: Dear God, thank You for Your promise to do something new in our lives. Help us to trust in Your goodness and Your love for us. Guide us on our journey and provide streams of living water to quench our thirst. We know that You are always working behind the scenes, even when we can't see it. Help us to remember that You are faithful to Your promises and that You will always make a way for us when there seems to be no way. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

I hope that you were encouraged by such helpful advice! I was impressed that "it" came up with the Hebrews and Romans verses all on its own and wrote a very good prayer. However, it did not meet our guidelines for writing devotionals: it was missing the personal experience that we like our devotionals to begin with or include. In fact, it is impossible for a computer to have a real-life experience of any kind, certainly not one with its "creator", but especially not the kind of personal relationship with God that is so central to the Christian faith.

This raises an important question for professing believers. Do we have a personal relationship with God, or is what we believe simply based on what we have heard in sermons or Bible studies? Do we know a lot about God, or do we know God personally?

Prayer: Lord, draw us ever closer to Yourself, that we may know You intimately, as we know our closest friend. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Robin Ross <>
Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very interesting. I had not thought about this aspect of AI. A good word.

    Very interesting and encouraging post on a timely topic, Robin! Thanks and God bless!

    Thank you, Robin, for a very interesting and meaningful message. May God bless and keep you.

    Robin, thank you for your admonishing today to be real and authentic rather than artificial in our expressions and deeds.

    Almost as soon as I started reading this devotional, I was pretty sure it was you who wrote it! Thanks for your wisdom.

    Robin! Truly amazing! Terrifying! Oh my goodness! Thank you for pointing out it’s deficiencies. Comforting. Blessings on your day!

    Amen Robin. Information versus intimacy! All in all though it’s really quite amazing what Al can do.

    I suggest that you provide more devotional messages without so many “I/me” statements. They often sound self-glorifying and distract from the message God would want us to get.

    Thank you for your very timely devotional today about AI. It blessed me and helped explained AI more.
    Blessings for your work for the Daily.

    Interesting devotional Robin. With all this “hi-tech” stuff going on in our world these days it can sure change some people’s ideas and attitudes. I stick to reading my Bible and the written word it relays.

    Robin – your experiment is much appreciated. It reinforces the concept that we connect strongly with the personal element in each devotional and come to recognize the writers as fellow travellers on our journey with Jesus.

    Great devotional Mr. Ross,
    I truly strive everyday to know God personally and continue everyday to know him better.
    Thanks for giving us a great perspective in today’s devotional.

    Very interesting.
    I do enjoy the personal stories. Make it real. Thanks for a good start to Monday.

    Good Morning, Robin,
    At the age of 85, I look at the world and think maybe I really do not want to live to see what is ahead. My Dad felt the same way in 1955. The devotional needed your personal outlook to be effective…and it was.

    How interesting that you experimented with this and how impressive the result was; but it is the myriad experiences of the devotional writers that establishes a communion with them and God’s people and helps us to relate.
    Thank you for pointing this out.

    Good morning, Robin,
    Thank you for this interesting devotional and it is true, a personal relationship is what gets us to our goal. All the words and knowledge cannot accomplish that if there is not the personal relationship with God.
    God bless.

    Dear Robin,
    What an amazing, exciting time we live in! Technological advances have both pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, but given time to work out major kinks, they usually bring good to our world. May we be watchful for potential dangers, while embracing the benefits that come. Thank you for bringing a spiritual thought and element into this devotional.

    Dear Robin,
    Thank you so much for this interesting devotional. While it is technically true and well done, you are right. It lacks the personal experiential hook which draws us in and makes it so relatable and ring so true.
    Thank you for all you do!
    Blessings, Joy, Peace, Laughter,

    Good morning, Robin,
    I enjoyed reading the AI article this morning, although I must admit I know absolutely nothing about AI. I have seen some articles on TV about it but it is beyond my comprehension. I like your question at the end “Do we know a lot about God, or do we know God personally?” I feel I know Him personally and he gives me comfort during the stressful days.
    Thank you for writing and may the Lord bless you in all you do.

    Wow, interesting Robin.
    However the first two words that entered my mind were ‘SOMEWHAT SCARY”.
    I was glad at the end that you brought up that “personal experience” was absent.
    How can we relate without that personal experience. I know I could not do so.
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention, hopefully help us to keep that personal touch in mind.
    God Bless.

    What an impressive devotion by AI. Only I would call it BI (Borrowed Intelligence). Real humans have provided this information.
    I’m encouraged by this “AI” devotional. It reminds me how God ensures that the Scriptures are retained down the centuries – and still available in the electronic information world! So then, we can give God the credit even for this devotional by “AI”.
    And we can trust God to take us through the personal testings and trials needed in order to prove what is still BI, still artificial to us – like the truths we learned through the contributions and testimonies of others. For we can’t be sustained forever by borrowed faith.

    Thank you, Robin. That is very interesting and encouraging.
    May the LORD bless you for all you do for the readers of the Daily.

    Thanks for this, Robin, a unique way for the Daily Devotional, still going strong after ? years!
    I have often thought that “Presbyterian Connections” should do a feature about it. Who should I contact to do this?
    Bless you for your faithfulness.

    Hi Robin
    We met a good number of years ago.
    I was particularly interested in your recent devotional on Artificial Intelligence. The subject had come up at a recent family dinner and I was intrigued with how the modern education system might cope with it; both as a teaching aid and determining if students were using it to complete their assignments. We decided to give it a try and put in the bible verse “Jesus wept”. It produced an interesting piece describing the background for the verse and an analysis of the emotional impact on Jesus and concluding that this clearly demonstrated His human side. I was impressed with the piece and yet I am concerned with the implications as to where it might lead. I have been asked to lead our worship service soon and thought the subject of AI would make for an interesting sermon. I would like to quote your devotional to add another perspective. I feel that it is a subject which should be opened up for discussion.
    Thanks for your devotional.

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