Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from April 27-May 1 are provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego. Peter, a graduate of U.C. Riverside and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.), is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Talbot. He and his wife Jessica have three very active children: Nathan, Abigail, and Jason.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
When the uproar had ended, Paul sent for the disciples and, after encouraging them, said goodbye and set out for Macedonia. 2 He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece, 3 where he stayed three months.
Who is your biggest encourager in your faith?
An uproar had just been quieted by a reasonable city clerk in Ephesus. This uproar had been caused by a crowd opposing the ministry of the gospel. Wherever Paul and his companions traveled, opposition and persecution often pursued. Yet what is amazing is that though Paul faced discouraging situations and circumstances, he pressed forward, even while encouraging the younger believers to remain faithful to the Lord.
We will consider where Paul received the constant drive to keep going later during the Lunch Break study. But for now, let us consider how encouragement helps us to remain faithful to the Lord and His ministry. Personally, some of the most meaningful encouragements have often come from testimonies of brothers and sisters in our church. Recently, as I was listening to testimonies of spiritual growth and transformation that each person had experienced through God’s grace at our church, I was overwhelmed with encouragement of how God was at work in each person’s life— I realized how oblivious I had been to God’s work right under my nose.
At home, we placed a growth chart on the wall of our children’s bedroom. Each new season, we measure our children’s height. Most of the days, we are oblivious and unaware that our children are growing, but with each new measurement, we are always amazed at just how much they have grown in just a short time.
In the same way, I may not be always aware that spiritual growth and transformation are taking place right within our church family. But when I pause to hear a testimony, I am amazed at God’s work of growth and transformation, and that encourages me tremendously in the midst of trying and difficult challenges.
In your life, how do you receive encouragement from others as you serve in God’s Kingdom? It’s important that we be challenged, taught, and corrected, but at the same time, how are you being encouraged in your faith today? How are you encouraging others in their faith?
Lord, in my own weakness, I confess that I need encouragement from You and from others in the body of Christ. I ask also that I may be empowered by Your Spirit to bring encouragement to others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 18
Lunch Break Study
Read Phil 1:3-6 (NIV): I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Questions to Consider
- Why does Paul pray with joy as he prays for the Philippian church?
- What is the basis of Paul’s confidence that God’s work will be completed in the lives of the Philippian church members?
- Paul’s joy resulted in his partnership with the Philippian church in the work of the gospel. One way in which they partnered with Paul was in giving financially (2 Cor. 8:3) even out of their poverty.
- Paul was confident that God who initiated His good work would sovereignly and faithfully complete His work in the lives of the Philippians.
As you reflect back on today’s conversations with others, were you able to bring an encouragement to someone? As you look forward to tomorrow’s schedule, is there someone that you might be able to encourage?