Editor’s Note: AMI Quiet Times from May 1-10 are written by Dr. Ryun Chang, Teaching Pastor of AMI.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
2 Sam. 11:22-7 (ESV)
So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell.  The messenger said to David, “The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate.  Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.”  David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”  When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband.  And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
When my children were little, they enjoyed watching Veggie Tales, a Christian cartoon show whose characters were entirely made up of vegetables. In one episode, a fib told by “Junior” grows to be an enormous monster, growing with each lie to cover up previous lies. David would’ve given Junior a run for his money for that role.
Here we see an acting performance worthy of Academy Award for Best Actor by David, the unanimous winner. First, upon hearing that his scheme to kill Uriah—by putting him where the fighting was fiercest and then have the troop withdraw from him—was successful, David feigns consolation to Joab. But Act II gets even better: David brings Bathsheba to his palace, ostensibly to take care of this forlorn widow, as if to say, “That’s the least thing I can do for my loyal servant who died while defending Israel!” What a deceiver! And this is the man of whom God said, “A man after [My] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14)?
Folks, don’t underestimate our basic nature! It isn’t without reason “Jesus would not entrust himself to [people], for he knew all men” (Jn. 2:24). Contrary to the premise of social science, we don’t act badly because of inadequate social structure (programs, education, etc.) but because, at the foundational level, sin lives in us. Paul states, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature” (Rom. 7:18).
While those who go overboard on the doctrine of imputation of Christ’s righteousness on believers may disagree, the fact is, the moment we don’t “fix our eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:2), that is, keep our guards up against luring temptations and maintain our spiritual discipline, we will fall! The sinful nature has been greatly diminished by the presence of the Holy Spirit and our intake of God’s word, but it has not been eradicated.
So today, guard your eyes so that you don’t import images that will hurt you and your significant relationships; increase time spent with God, in prayer and word. Ask someone whom you trust to hold you accountable so that you don’t go where David went.
Glorious and magnificent Father in heaven, how I adore and appreciate You. Thanks for allowing the Holy Spirit to take residence in our hearts and giving us the Scripture so that we are more than adequately prepared to overcome our nature that seeks to go against Your will. Thank You!
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 6
Lunch Break Study
Read Eph. 4:25 (ESV): Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another; Col. 3:9: “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices.”
Rom. 9:1: I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit; 1 Tim. 2:7: And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying; 2 Cor. 11:31: The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.
James 1:14-5: But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Question to Consider
- What matter seems to have been very important to apostle Paul at the personal level?
- In light of James 1:14-5, why you think Paul took this matter so seriously?
- What is the best way to avoid telling a lie? Is there something you need to rectify with someone at the present moment?
- Evidently, personal integrity was very important to Paul; wherever and whenever lies are constantly told, trust will be broken, integrity shattered, and God’s work will take a step back.
- Paul knew what the producers of Veggie Tales knew too well: Any sin, particular lying, will have a life of its own and unless properly dealt with (confession and repentance), it will result in disintegration of relationships: between spouses, parents and children, and pastors and their congregations.
- Tell the truth no matter what, because the next time it will be even harder to do it and the stakes will be even higher. Of course, we cannot do it on our own strength; thus, we need to really trust God that he will honor our honesty and rectify the situation that will penalize us the least. PRAY!
Many of us have become dulled in our conscience that we aren’t even aware when we actually lie rather blatantly. Look back to this day and ask the Holy Spirit to show you when or where you could have told the truth. Pray for a clear conscience. Perhaps you need to ask God for courage to tell someone the truth.