January 4, Sunday

Editor’s Note: The AMI Quiet Times for January and February are provided by P. Ryun Chang, Teaching and Resource Pastor of AMI.

Devotional Thoughts for This Morning

Luke 15:13-5 (NIV): “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. [14] After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.”

What was this guy thinking? Did he think that the money he had was going to last forever? Of course, when a person is preoccupied with seeking pleasure, he rarely thinks about the future, much less prepare for it.

Drinking Up Without SpanishI know this all too well from my wild college days. With three weeks left in school, I had no permanent place to sleep because my roommates and I had been evicted from the rented house near the campus because of too many loud parties. Being worldly and immature, I kept partying every day, without having secured a place to sleep on some evenings, only to realize at midnight that I had no place to go. So on several occasions, I snuck into my old, vacant house and slept in the cold basement with newspapers as my blanket. A few weeks later, when I read this parable for the first time after becoming a Christian, I readily saw myself in this younger son who lived the life of a fool.

There are a lot of things overrated in our trend- and viral-happy society—one of them is pleasure, whether physical, emotional or material. But nothing lasts; it gets mundane and boring.   King Solomon who once declared, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desire; I refused my heart no pleasure,” had this to say at the end of his days: “Everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Eccles. 2:11). And anyone (not named Solomon or Bill Gates) “who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and olive oil will never be rich” (Prov. 21:17).

So, what is your pleasure? Accumulation of wealth, moving up the corporate ladder, being seen with the right people, or wearing trendy, name brand clothes? Or is it still living a life of a party animal with lots of booze and drugs, and chasing after members of the opposite sex? Enjoy these moments, that is, if you can, because nothing in life apart from God brings lasting and permanent satisfaction.  The great church father St. Augustine, whose earlier lifestyle would rival that of a modern gigolo, confessed, You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

Take a moment right now to reconnect to your Creator whohas . . . set eternity in the hearts of men” (Eccles. 3:11); that longing for everlasting life as well as a meaningful life here-and-now can only be filled by the One who has made us.

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 5


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