Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for June 8-14 are provided by Philip Chen, who oversees the college ministry of Church of Southland.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Kings 3:11-14 (ESV): And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
Have you ever played the ice-breaker game “Desert Island’? In this game, you are trapped on a desert island and need to think of three things that you would want to bring to this island that you will be on for the rest of your life. In a sense, this shows what the desires of our heart truly are. In a way, God asks Solomon this question as well – What would you like me to give you?
God is pleased with Solomon as he asks for wisdom to rightly rule over Israel so that the people would be faithful to God. Not only does God honor Solomon’s request, He gives Solomon much more than is requested. A king can acquire riches and honor by his own strength, but wisdom is not something that cannot be bought. Wisdom is truly a gift from the Lord.
God is not opposed to giving people riches and honor. What He is opposed to is the mixing up of priorities in the things we seek after. Oftentimes we get our priorities mixed up as we seek riches and honor before we seek Him and the wisdom He has for us. When we have our priorities mixed up, we end up idolizing the very riches and honor He wants to bestow upon us. This becomes problematic because we begin to value the gifts more than the Giver of gifts. Also, having wisdom allows Solomon to be a good steward of the riches and honor that is entrusted to him. Without wisdom, there is a high chance the riches and honor will be squandered.
We do not strive to imitate a formulaic faith in seeking Him so that we will be guaranteed riches and honor. But we know that He is a God that blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. He is not a stingy God, but a generous God who desires to bless His people greatly. As we journey through life, let us seek His wisdom above ours. Let us ask Him to give us wisdom and a discerning mind and believe that is much more valuable than any riches or honor this world can provide.
Father, give us the right perspective. We pray that we would desire the wisdom that You have for us. Though it is difficult for us at times, we pray that our eyes would be fixed on You and the eternity more than just the temporal things in front of us. Give us wisdom and an understanding mind.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 48
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 6:33(ESV): But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Question to Consider
- What is the reminder that Jesus gives us in this passage?
- What are “all these things that will be added to us”?
- Why do we worry?
- Jesus reminds us not to be anxious about anything – that God, our Father, really cares about us and that He sees our every need and is in control of all things.
- When we seek the Kingdom of God first and foremost, His promise to us is that everything we need shall be provided for us. We must trust that He understands us far better than we understand ourselves in what we need. He doesn’t promise we will all be rich (in the worldly sense), but that we do not need to be anxious about anything.
- We worry when we are not in control. When we come into the full understanding that God is in control of everything, we no longer need to fear chaos because Jesus was thrown into the cosmic chaos on our behalf so that we might enter into an eternal rest.
Something important that we constantly need to evaluate is what the desires of our heart is. Jesus tells us that what we see as our treasures is where our heart will be. Take a moment to evaluate what you believe your treasures to be, and what your actions display as your treasures, and ask God that they be aligned with the Kingdom of God.