August 27, Saturday

jabez2Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals for August 27-8 are provided by Jabez Yeo.  Jabez, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently working in NYC and serving at TRPC-E.  He hopes to become a missionary.

Devotional Thought for Today

James 1:22

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceived yourselves.  Do what it says.

With apologies to used-car salesmen, but they don’t have the best of reputations.  Heaven forbid if the Christian leaders are viewed in such a low light!  Truly, spiritual leaders who display their faith in both word and deed are an immense treasure.  One such leader was Basil—one of the so-called Cappadocian fathers who faithfully endorsed the Nicene Creed, the one that declared that Christ is equal to God in divine essence (325).

During Basil’s time, a heresy called Eunomianism, which dismissed the Trinity as a disguised paganism, was gaining popularity.  Today, this erroneous argument is made by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Eunomianism also doubted that the Son could be “begotten” and eternal.  This, then, led to denying Jesus’ full divinity, despite recognizing Him as Savior.

In response, Basil skillfully refuted this heresy by noting that if the Son was merely a creature, humanity would still be without a true revelation of God. Using the imagery of the sun’s ray, Basil said that while the ray is begotten from the sun, yet it has existed with the sun since its beginning.  Likewise, though the Son was begotten, He has existed with the Father for eternity.[1]

Thankfully, Basil also communicated Christ through his actions. One of his projects as Bishop of Caesarea was building a complex that provided housing and medical care for the needy. Basil also organized a soup kitchen and “gave away his personal inheritance to benefit the poor.”[2] Furthermore, Basil publicly rebuked corrupt officials and excommunicated those involved in human trafficking. He was in many ways, “a man of vast learning, genuine eloquence and immense charity.”[3]

It’s easy to feel ashamed when we compare ourselves to Basil; especially if our confession of faith is not coherent with our actions. But let’s remember that Basil was a man just like us; and that it is only God’s grace that trains us to renounce worldly passions and to live godly lives (Titus 2:12). May we then display Him powerfully through word and deed.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the great truth that You loved me while I was still a sinner separated from You. Help me to love others in light of the love I have received from You. May what I know resonate deeply not only in my mind but also in my hands and feet as I interact with and serve others. In Your Name I pray. Amen

[1] Olson, Roger. The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition & Reform.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_of_Caesarea

[3] http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=261

Bible Reading for Today: Luke 5-6

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