Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from April 11 to 17 are provided by Pastor Yohan of Radiance Christian Church, San Francisco. Yohan graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Cairn University, where he studied theology. He is married to Mandie, and they have four children: Maggie, Jonathan, Abigail and Simon.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”
We have a ton of Legos in my home, and I have to admit that I think they are really cool toys. I enjoy the craftsmanship of having to put together complex sets, as well as the creativity it takes to make something original. I even find collecting the mini-figures intoxicating. But one thing that I hate about Legos is when I have to clean and sort all those small pieces. What I hate most is when those pieces are all over the floor and I step on a misplaced one—it hurts so much! I realize my kids don’t mind stepping on Legos as much as I do because they are light: It’s simple physics: F=ma (Force = mass x acceleration); less mass accelerating on a Lego equals less force on a foot and less pain. My kids basically run over those hazardous Legos like those Polynesian fire walkers.
The other day, my overweight foot stepped on one of those darn Legos, and I proceeded to yell at my son for not putting them away. My son looked at me, and said, “Dad, I didn’t leave that there, you did.” Now at that point, most rational people will stop or apologize, but not me. I was angry and hurt and someone was going to get in trouble: “Well, they are your Legos!” I yelled. Then I started looking around the house for any way to punish my son. “Who left those pencils out? Put those away! Did you leave your crayons out? Do your homework!” I later apologized for my childishness.
In today’s passage, I see a lot of myself in this crowd. When I am angry, I care less about justice than I do about making sure someone gets punished. The mob in Thessalonica came in search of Paul, but because they could not find him, they settled for punishing Jason and some of the other disciples. Would Paul have been a better option for the mob? Sure, but it didn’t really matter. They were angry, and they needed someone to blame—anyone would have done.
How about you? When you are angry, hurt, or under emotional duress, do you become irrational? Do you say ugly things to your spouse or friends that you wish you could take back? Do you excuse yourself because you were in the “heat of the moment”? Is that fair or becoming of a man/woman of God? Today, let’s not act like a crazy mob, looking to punish anyone. Let’s resolve to have Christ’s patience, to act in love, and keep a cool head.
Prayer: Lord, give me patience today, and help me to develop the fruit of patience in my life. Help me to have control over my emotions and not say anything regrettable to those close to me. Help me to love justice and to be a fair administrator of it.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 1
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 1: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Questions to Consider
- Track the regression of this hypothetical person in verse 1.
- Make two or three comparisons/contrasts between the righteous and the wicked.
- Are you like a tree planted by the streams of water? Do you delight in the law of the Lord?
- Verse 1 illustrates the entangling nature of sin: At first, you walk in some ill behavior or thought pattern, but you are still active—meaning, you know it’s wrong and that you shouldn’t partake in it. Then after ignoring the Spirit’s rebuke, you stand in it and get a little more comfortable. Soon you are sitting in the seat of scoffers.
- The righteous man delights in and meditates on God’s word; he is rooted like a tree, bears fruit, and prospers or grows. The wicked man, in contrast, is unsteady/easily shaken, and ultimately will not survive testing.
- All the characteristics of a righteous person are founded on reading, meditating, and obeying God’s word. I know for most of us, studying God’s word sometimes feels like a chore, but press on—I know you will come to love it.
When was the last time you thought about your character? Take, for example, the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Are there one or two of those that are glaring deficiencies in your life? Have you come to enjoy spending time in God’s word? Take some time to pray this evening about one area you’d like to grow in.