October 12, Monday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals for today are provided by Cami King of Journey Community Church.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Ezra 4:1-5

When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the Lord, the God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, “Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.” But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us.”Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.

12No project that seeks to honor God and advance His will in the world will go unopposed by Satan and his agents.” (Dr. Thomas Constable, Th.D.)

This story reminds us of the temptation to compromise in our commitment to the Lord. While it seems intolerant and exclusionary at first glance, when studied further the narrative reveals that there is something quite different at work here. As God’s people (the exiles returning from Babylon) are endeavoring to rebuild the temple of God, they encounter adversity in the form of an offer to compromise. The people around them worshiped their God, Yahweh, but they also worshiped other gods as well. But God demands exclusive worship and, therefore, building a temple (a house of worship where God’s presence would dwell) in partnership with people who were not loyal to God alone would have been unacceptable.

There will always be the temptation to compromise in the Christian life. And many times we have to be careful the degree and manner to which we align ourselves with those who are not committed to the same things we believe to be worthy of commitment, namely the things of God. We no longer worship God in a temple; His presence resides within us. Our worship is with our lives. Therefore, we have to guard ourselves from the temptation to compromise and any alliances that will lead us to do such. I don’t think the answer is to run away from anyone with a different world view than us. On the contrary, we are called to be light in darkness and to be in the world (although not of it) – so absolute evacuation is not a feasible option. On the contrary we have to be alert in order to be fully committed to the work that God calls us to do everyday—serving and worshiping Him alone and making no room for compromise.

Today, be on your guard, not making any compromises so that God is honored in all your choices.

Prayer: Gracious God, thank You for making Your home in my heart and choosing to partner with me in Your work in the world. May the worship of my life be exclusively Yours. Please protect me from the temptation to compromise and offer my worship on other altars. Help me to walk in wisdom as I am in the world and to honor You in all that I do.

Bible Reading for Today: Daniel 9

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Lunch Break Study

Psalm 119:1-8

Joyful are people of integrity,
who follow the instructions of the Lord.
2 Joyful are those who obey his laws
and search for him with all their hearts.
3 They do not compromise with evil,
and they walk only in his paths.
4 You have charged us
to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently
reflect your decrees!
6 Then I will not be ashamed
when I compare my life with your commands.
7 As I learn your righteous regulations,
I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your decrees.
Please don’t give up on me!

 Questions to Consider

  1. What characterizes a person who does not “compromise with evil”?
  2. Why do you think obedience is important to protect ourselves from the temptation to compromise?
  3. According to the passage, what are the results of compromise?

Notes

  1. Integrity and obedience characterize the person who does not “compromise with evil.” Sound morals (and consistency in character) along with obedience to the word of God are a sure fire way to walk in righteousness.
  2. If we value obedience to God and His word, even when we aren’t aware of all the reasons for why He asks us to do various things, we know that we will stay on the straight and narrow path. It’s when we lean upon our own understanding that we fall victim to compromise. Our hearts are deceptive, but God’s word is trustworthy and true. When we trust Him enough to obey, we will, without a doubt, avoid compromise.
  3. Shame (v. 6) will ultimately be the fruit of compromise.

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Evening Reflection

Spend some time tonight reflecting on the areas of your life where you are vulnerable to compromise. Pray and ask God to reveal specific ways He is calling you to obedience in these areas. Commit to taking one step of obedience tomorrow. Pray and ask the Lord to strengthen your integrity as a protection from future temptations to compromise.

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