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. 12:9-14
“You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” 11 Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.”
I once got a speeding ticket in Arizona for driving 60 MPH back in 1985 when the legal limit was 55 MPH—it’s probably 70 or 75 MPH now. The speed limit is the rule of the road, much like how some countries have rules to drive on the right side of the road while others require the left side—they are completely arbitrary. What isn’t arbitrary is the law of speed, which stipulates that the faster I go, the more time and distance it takes to stop. Ignoring that law may result in a serious accident that can kill or injure people. This is to say, while it is no longer a crime to drive above 55 MPH in Arizona, that doesn’t abrogate the law of speed, which, once broken, can produce death.
The same is true in the spiritual realm, for Paul states, “For before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from time of Adam to the time of Moses, even those who did not sin by breaking a command” (Rom. 5:13-4). Before the Mosaic Law was ever introduced, the law of sin (Rom. 7:23) was living and active, and reaping havoc on humanity who dared to ignore it. King David challenged it head on and paid a dear price.
This is what we can learn from David’s saga about the consequences of unmitigated and prolonged sin, with blatant hypocrisy to boot (even after God’s forgiveness has been granted): “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction” (Gal. 6:8a). No one should be surprised to find, then, that Absalom later shames his father by “lay[ing] with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel” (2 Sam. 16:22).
Before I leave you all frightened, recall what apostle John stated: “There is a sin that leads to death. . . . All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death” (1 Jn. 5:16-7). Whatever else John meant, he is saying this: while all sins are an affront to God, not all have the same consequences. For instance, if you commit the kind of sin that David, as a top leader, committed—adultery and murder—you can expect steep discipline from God. But, there are some sins that may not result in such devastating consequences meted out in such a swift fashion.
But here is the good news: “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Ps. 103:8-10). Thank you, Lord, for being so gracious.
Holy Lord, I praise for your infinite grace and mercy. Help me not to take your love for granted, but that I would fear You and hate sin. Give me the desire to be holy as You are holy
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 9-10
Lunch Break Study
Read Matt. 5:13-6 (ESV): You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
1 Pet. 3:15: But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect….
Heb. 12:14: Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
Question to Consider
- What are the two principal ways in which we can attest to the greatness of our God to the world?
- Ultimately, what is the goal of trying to demonstrate God’s greatness in public?
- What are some things that we do that result in bringing dishonor to God? Are you satisfied with how you are representing God in public?
- The principle ways are the following: good deeds that stand out to the surprise of the world and an articulate defense of our faith.
- We don’t want the public to praise us just because of our excellent moral and ethical conduct; instead, we want them to know that Christ has transformed us to be useful for our society. We want Christ to be exalted.
- We dishonor God when our moral and ethical conduct is below the standard of the world. This gets worsened when we don’t adequately answer those who ask us for a reason for the hope that we have. Or, even if we are able to respond, our attitude is not borne of gentleness and respect.
Based on how you interacted with others and made decisions today at school or workplace, would you say you represented Christ well or poorly? What often gets in the way that keeps you from being salt and light in public? Ask God so that you can discern those obstacles and then help you overcome them by relying on Him.