May 1, Sunday

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

Acts 20:22-24

 And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

1In today’s passage, we see that Paul is “compelled” by the Spirit of God. For most of us, this is when our hearts pause to say, “Uh oh…what if one day the Holy Spirit forces me to do something that I really don’t want to do?”

One reason that often challenges people from wanting to grow spiritually is this kind of thinking:  “I don’t want God to send me to India for the rest of my life.” There’s an assumption that if you mature spiritually, then God will take away everything you currently have and enjoy, and then, send you out to a needy mission field with nothing but a backpack full of evangelism tracts.

Another reason is this: According to the Barna Group (a Christian polling group), they found that the number one challenge to helping people grow spiritually is that most people equate spiritual maturity with trying hard to follow the rules in the Bible (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/faith-spirituality/264-many-churchgoers-and-faith-leaders-struggle-to-define-spiritual-maturity#.VyO6UvkrLIU). It’s no wonder that many people are not motivated to grow spiritually. Who wants to become a self-righteous rule-follower?

If you hold to either of these ideas—first of all, YES, you are right! Yes, Jesus does invite us to go to all nations preaching the gospel. And yes, following Jesus does involve obedience to His commands. But if that’s what’s really keeping you from diving deeper in your faith, perhaps you may have a short-sighted view of God’s commands and God’s mission to the world.

Certainly a wise and loving God isn’t merely interested in creating a community of rigid rule-followers, or is He? Or that His mission is only accomplished by “compelling” stubborn people to go to places they don’t really want to travel to?

Today, I want to introduce you to a video put forth by the Bible Project. (I suggest that you subscribe to their youtube channel, if you haven’t already.) Hope this video will help in breaking down some assumptions and but will highlight God’s love for His children.  Just in case you aren’t able to view it, let me give you the short version:  nothing worthwhile doing in life is ever easy, including following God’s call.  What the Lord guarantees, however, is that the life we live in and through Him is far more meaningful than anything else we might have done.  Paul, as he
was facing his last days, declared, “ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day” (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BGO9Mmd_cU&list=PLH0Szn1yYNec-HZjVHooeb4BSDSeHhEoh&index=6

For reflection:

After watching the video, how does that shape your view of Scripture, especially the Law and the Prophets? How do you see Jesus as One who came to fulfill the law?

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 23

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