May 23, Monday

andyEditor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from May 23-29 are written by Andy Kim. Andy, a graduate of Northwestern University, is about to complete his M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is currently serving as a staff at Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco, CA

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Acts 27:9-12

Since much time had passed, and the voyage was now dangerous because even the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, 10 saying, “Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.” 11 But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12 And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there.

23Apparently, according to this one article, through his endorsements and other sources, Michael Jordan makes over $150,000 a day working or not. That means in the time you spend reading this devotional, he’s already made over $500 by doing nothing. I mean he is the greatest basketball player to have ever lived. Yet, in the same article, it says that if Jordan were to save 100% of his income for the next 300 years, he’d still have less than Bill Gates today. The nerds have indeed won. Today, we value knowledge and expertise, over physical strength and dominance. Living in the tech world, we treat engineers like gods and everybody else as another headcount.

In this passage, Paul advises the centurion and the crew to stall their journey, yet they choose to listen to the pilot and owner of the ship. Who wouldn’t? Paul is an ex-Pharisee on trial for some outrageous claims with little knowledge of the sea conditions. It only made logical sense to trust the pilot and owner, especially if the harbor was not going to be suitable. It was either leave now or never. Granted, in this situation we cannot see Paul’s logic of why he feels the way he does. My guess is that such a man of God is most likely being led by the Spirit. But I think about the times in which I look to what’s logical and within my bounds. Some of us discern a situation by selectively asking those who may have had similar experiences or even the more educated, hoping to find the right answer. Many times our answers coincide with what we want to hear.

With that being said, I do not want to discredit knowledge because it is too easy to make emotion- based decisions. Actions based solely on emotions can have consequences, if not more than pure logic itself. The point is that in this journey of faith, we are not to trust in the ways of man but to trust in the Lord (Psalm 118:8-9). Sometimes, what the Lord has for us may not make sense and even difficult to follow. It may go beyond the bounds of our own logic and understanding, only to make sense in the most unpredictable ways. Yet, remember His thoughts are higher and His ways are greater, for only He knows what’s best for us.

Prayer: Father, I confess that Your thoughts and Your ways are greater than my own. May I not lean on my own understanding or even in the understanding of others, but trust only in Your truth. Holy Spirit, lead me in the path that leads to Your glory.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 49

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Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31: For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Questions to Consider 

  1. What is Paul’s accusation against the Corinthians?
  2. Why does God choose the weak and “foolish” people?
  3. How has your knowledge of God affected your relationship with Him?

Notes

  1. When they were called, they had no basis from which to assert superiority over one another—they believed in the simple gospel, and that was their baseline. Paul accused the Corinthians of forgetting this truth and seeking after human wisdom (Corinthians were prone to the latest philosophy and science, etc.) to exalt themselves over one another. Paul was calling for the Corinthians to humble themselves again and repent of allowing their wisdom to turn to pride.
  2. So that no one may boast before the Lord. In other words, these are Gentiles who ultimately had no place or right to be welcomed into the kingdom of God, yet only by His grace did God choose to reveal Himself to them. By no means does this minimize the gospel in its simplicity; rather, it highlights the wisdom of God. His people would live and operate by His grace.
  3. Many times we seek knowledge simply to know more, and in some cases to make up for our lack of faith. A true understanding and knowledge of Him should fuel our love for Him.

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Evening Reflection

How is God speaking to you today? Do you feel that God is or has been leading you to do something? Have you allowed your own thoughts and reasons to convince you otherwise? If so, pray that God would give you greater faith and discernment to listen and obey Him.

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