Editor’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
And as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship, and had lowered the ship’s boat into the sea under pretense of laying out anchors from the bow, 31 Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.” 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the ship’s boat and let it go
Cut loose the lifeboat. Imagine us being the men on the boat. We barely survived a storm and as we’re finally approaching land, the “godly man” says to stay on the boat. The crazier part is to see my fellow soldiers listening to Paul and cutting our only lifeboat and letting it go. At this point, I would’ve jumped off the boat and swam after the lifeboat. What got into the minds of these soldiers to do something so radical? Some might call it crazy, but I would call it faith.
Faith is one of those words we hear being thrown around in our Christian circles all the time. It’s a difficult word to grasp, and even harder word to live by. The book of Hebrews defined it as believing in the unseen and being certain of what we hope for (Hebrews 11:1). The words “believe” and “certain” leave no room for doubt. Yet, the world we live in today seems to define faith as “almost believing” –as long as it stays in the realm of what we think is possible. Anything beyond our possibilities would be doubtful. And because of this doubt, many of us like to have faith as long as there is some type of safety net attached to it.
Yet these men were willing to obey the words of Paul, believing that they came from God. They even went as far as to actively remove any room for a backup plan, leaving their very lives in the hands of God. In essence, they removed all possibilities to invite God to do the impossible. Rex Rouis puts it like this: “Only a heart filled with faith can face the impossible and still know that God can change it.” What are the areas in your life that is holding you back from living a life of faith? What are the excuses you keep putting up from taking that next step of faith?
Prayer: Father, I want to have greater faith in You. Help me to surrender the areas in my life that I refuse to let go. Help me to let go of my doubts and fears, so that I may cling to You in faith. I trust in Your mercy and grace to carry me through.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 52
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Corinthians 5:6-10: So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
Questions to Consider
- How can Paul have confidence in all circumstances?
- What does Paul mean for us to walk by faith and not by sight?
- What motivated Paul to live such a life?
- Paul writes this as he faced many trials and sufferings, many of them being physical to the brink of death. Regardless of the threat, Paul endured through such afflictions because he knew these momentary afflictions would produce an eternal weight of glory. Paul’s hope and faith came from the knowledge that the life he lived in the body was merely temporary, but the home that he belonged to was eternal.
- The word “walk” means to live, and so Paul urges us to not live for a glory that is seen with our physical eyes, for they are all temporary. The glories of the world can take the forms of wealth, career, success, etc. Rather, Paul calls us to live for a glory that is unseen which will be realized in eternity – the glories of heaven promised to us as believers. This is not to say that career and success are bad, but we should live in a way that would bring glory to the Father.
- First, he points out that he lives his life so that it may ultimately please God. Paul also claims that all Christians will stand before Christ and be judged according to their life on earth. Warren Wiersbe identifies Paul’s actions being motivated out of a healthy fear: “Knowing that his works would someday be revealed and tested, Paul wanted to live the kind of life that pleased and honored Christ.”
Spend some time reflecting on your day today. Were you living by faith or by sight? What are some ways you can become more kingdom-minded? Pray that God would increase your faith and that He would help your areas of unbelief.