July 29, Friday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from July 24 – 31 are provided by Pastor Yohan of Radiance Christian Church, San Francisco.  Yohan graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Cairn University, where he studied theology.  He is married to Mandie, and they have four children: Maggie, Jonathan, Abigail and Simon.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 4:28-30

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

judgeI think everyone, at least at once in their lives, has felt like they have ruined their witness for Christ. Here are a few of mine: In college, my hall mate confronted me about things I allegedly said behind her back (to this day, I still deny it). At work, my boss called me out for goofing around when we had a project due (yup, I deserved that). And at my son’s soccer game, I showed up with a less than healthy snack and got in a huge fight with that overly involved soccer mom, who is also the president of the PTA (okay, this hasn’t happened yet, but I feel it coming soon). I confess that I may not be Christ’s best representative, and I’m not trying to come off sounding like Judgy McJudgerson, but here’s the deal: at least I’ve never had five wives and a sixth “roommate,” like this Samaritan woman (she had husbands, but you get the point).

What I find so fascinating about this account is that the townspeople actually listened to this woman about matters of faith. She was the one who introduced them to Christ. You know, this town was small and news travelled fast; everyone gossiped about her, warning their daughters not to become like her, and their sons not to associate with women like her. Talk about the most unlikely messenger of Christ! But here we see that God used this woman to bring an entire village of Samaritans to Christ. The purity of the message is clearly more important than the purity of the messenger.

Obviously, I am not advocating that you all go out and act and do whatever you want, and then try to win over your non-Christian friends, because it worked for the Samaritan woman. But what I am saying is that sometimes well meaning Christians get stifled in their attempts to share the gospel, because they feel that they just haven’t been a good enough representative for Christ. If that is you, then I encourage you to stop looking at yourself, stop listening to the enemy, and start looking and listening to Christ. The next time you are hesitant about sharing Christ, because you feel like a hypocrite, don’t be— just share. Maybe God wants to use you—despite your shortcomings.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for the gospel. Thank You that imperfect people can share and be a part of a perfect message. Help me to honor You as best I can, but also help me to share about You boldly. Please bring people in my life that need to hear about Your love. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 123

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Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 7:1-6: 1 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Questions to Consider

  1. In your opinion, what does it mean “to judge”? How do you distinguish between judging and speaking the truth?
  2. What was Jesus condemning in this passage?
  3. What do you think v. 6 means? How does it apply to your life?

Notes

  1. We are told to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), and there are numerous passages encouraging us to correct each other, so we must not misunderstand this passage to mean, “Don’t ever say anything.” Correction comes with love for the person and God; judgment is condemning and motivated by self-righteousness.
  2. If you read this passage carefully, you will see that Jesus wants us to correct each other. What he was condemning was hypocrisy—meaning, don’t try to pull out a speck when you have a plank; remove your plank first, and then get the speck out.
  3. Sometimes good and well-meaning words can fall on deaf ears, or the hearer will react negatively. But remember, you could still be sharing “pearls.”

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Evening Reflection  

The theme of today was hypocrisy. This morning, we glanced on the idea of not letting the fear of appearing like a hypocrite to stand in the way of witnessing; and this afternoon, we talked about hypocrisy in correction. Take a look at your life: Are there areas of your life in which you’d like to become more blameless? Do you fear sharing your faith for personal reason? What would the Lord have you do?

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