Editor’s Note: This week, we take a brief break from the study of 2 Samuel. AMI Quiet Times from May 19-22 are written by Jabez Yeo of TRPC, New York. (The Lunch Break study is prepared by Pastor Ryun.)
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Luke 19:2-19: “And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
As someone who works in business, it is a daily battle to fight the negative perceptions of my field and remember that everything can be done for Christ (Col. 3:17), including what goes on in the market place. In fact, business can bring great glory to God when it is used to bless the poor through the increase of living standards. Witnessing firsthand how initiatives such as microfinance and small business development have blessed others has played a substantial role in my conviction to use business as an avenue for missions.
Thankfully, Zacchaeus’ life serves as a personal reminder to not put the cart before the horse. While any industry can bring physical blessings, only Jesus can truly change lives. No economic incentive could have convinced Zacchaeus to pay back four times what he stole. Similarly, no medical missionary can completely heal one’s spirit and no lawyer’s advocacy against human trafficking can prevent it from happening again. It is only when people welcome Jesus into their homes and their hearts that true transformation occurs; just as it did for Zacchaeus.
Sadly, many people do not even have the chance to hear about Jesus. According to the Joshua Project, there are about 17,000 people groups around the world. About 7000 of them are considered “unreached”; which means that there is no indigenous church with enough resources to evangelize to them. Even if a dedicated team was sent daily to a different unreached people group, it would take 18 years before all the people groups could have a chance to hear about Christ.
Paul clearly wrote: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” (Rom. 10:14-15).
Let’s pray for God to send His workers into the harvest today (Matt. 9:38).
Lord Jesus, thank You for changing my heart and my life. Only You can bring about true transformation. Thank You for using people in my life to bring me to You, and I pray that You may do the same for others, especially those who have never heard of Your name before. Wherever you send me, help me to share with others Your love and the joy of knowing You. In Your Name I pray, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 22
Lunch Break Study
Read John 2:24: But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people.
Jeremiah 17: 9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Mark 7:20-3: And [Jesus] said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
2 Cor. 1:21-2: And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Heb. 12:1-2b: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
Questions to Consider
- Why do you suppose Jesus wouldn’t entrust Himself to men?
- We get surprised when some well-known pastors fall. While that is really sad and shocking, would that come as a surprise to the Lord? What does that say about our God?
- How we do change? How can we maintain that change, growing even deeper in our daily walk with the Lord?
- Unlike the naiveté of social scientists, Jesus knew the corrupt constitution of men: at the core is found the vileness of self-centered, narcissistic, and deceptive human being who acts more like an instinct-driven animal.
- We never catch God off-guard with our sins: He will never say, “I can’t believe you did that?” To love is to “always trust, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Cor. 13:7); and that’s what He does! The fact that God loves us, fully knowing that we may fail Him one too many time, only underscores His amazing love for us.
- Our hearts must change, and that only happens when the Holy Spirit enters our hearts upon believing in the Person and the work of Christ. In order to maintain the change and to grow even further in Christ, we must constantly fix our eyes on the Lord, which means we must take our eyes off on things such as, other men or women, porn, your investment portfolio, GPA or body. Get it?
As you wrap up this day, what would you say is the condition of your heart? Is it full of self-centeredness and deception? Repent. Get right with God before going to sleep tonight. Then tomorrow, boldly share the Gospel of Christ with someone in desperate need of it.