Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals from May 30th – June 5th are provided by Cami King. Cami, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, is about to complete her M.Div. at Gordon- Conwell Theological Seminary. She is currently serving as a staff member at Journey Community Church in Raleigh.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.
11 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
A few weeks ago, I attended my seminary’s graduation and heard two speakers for the weekend – a professor of business ethics for Baccalaureate and a well-known local pastor for Commencement. They were two very different speeches from two very different perspectives, but both centered around reflections in light of the changing culture and uneasy social and political climate in America. For those who know me well, it’s no secret that I am a self-proclaimed sermon junkie. As I listen to my usual line-up these days, preachers from around the country, from various denominational, theological, socio-economic backgrounds, continue to address how the church should respond to current political and social realities. This has been a question for me personally as well – what should be my response as a Christian to the slew of partisan issues and hot-button topics abuzz in the media, on university campuses, and around dining room tables alike?
In response, one word continues to surface – the Gospel (technically that’s two words, but you get the picture). The Gospel – the Good News of God’s loyal love of creation, holy condemnation of sin, gracious sacrifice for redemption, and unstoppable plan for restoration. Fears about the future and the unknown, cultural preferences, and personal biases all come into play in seasons of uneasiness and change. And Christians aren’t exempt from allowing these things to color how we participate in the world. But we have a constant that is unshaken by the changing tides – the truth of the Gospel, the Good News about Jesus. It should bring peace in the face of our fears, love in the face of our biases, and hope for tomorrow. My pastor tells us often to preach the Gospel to ourselves daily. We must not only do this, but also allow the Spirit counseling us from within to show us how the truth of the Gospel informs our participation in a broken world, especially in times like these.
May we remember the Gospel today. And may the Spirit empower us to live lives that are a site of truth, love, hope, and peace to a world in need.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your willingness to send Your Son to a dying world to redeem it (and me). Thank you for the peace and hope that come from knowing that I am Yours and that You are making all things new. Please use me today to make that truth known to those around me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 57
Lunch Break Study
Ephesians 5:1-2, 15-20
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Questions to Consider:
- According to verses 1 & 2, what does it mean to walk in the way of love? What motivates and empowers us to do this?
- What’s Paul’s main point in verse 15? How are we called to live with care?
- What would it look like for these exhortations (to walk in the way of love and to live with care) to be practically lived out in our lives?
- Christ showed us the way of love when He gave himself up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. We love when we offer ourselves to God, when we sacrifice in the service of others according to His will. We are motivated and empowered by the truth that we are dearly loved children. Our relationship with the Father and position in the family of God enables us to live a life of sacrificial love.
- Paul exhorts believers to a life lived intentionally – with care and consideration – that is ultimately aimed at pleasing the Lord. We do this by prayerfully considering what opportunities are before us and how we can make the most of them to the glory of God, by putting forth the effort to understand God’s will through His word, by being available to the work of the Spirit in and through us, by praising God in our communication with one another, and by keeping a posture of thanksgiving.
- Spend time in personal reflection.
How would you articulate the Gospel in your own words? What is your favorite passage of Scripture that speaks explicitly about the Gospel? Spend some time meditating on it this evening.