Editor’s Note: Today’s AMI Quiet Time is provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Church in San Diego.
Devotional Thought for Today
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
“Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable?” Francis Chan, The Forgotten God
If you google, “What is San Diego known for?” to no one’s surprise, the search results point you towards beaches, nice weather, breweries, Mexican food, the world famous SD Zoo, and much more. You have all the makings for a nice weekend to relax and to unwind from all of the rigors of life. It’s no wonder that San Diego hosts more than 30 million visitors each year and is a top US travel destination. In my years of ministry in San Diego, I’ve come to understand that many have come seeking “comfort” that they believe can be found in our city. (Would you believe that even the drivers in SD drive at a nice comfortable pace? You hardly hear any honking in this city.)
Today, many of us are tempted to seek a more “balanced, relaxed, and comfortable” Christian life—one that does not infringe upon my weekday schedule, career, family, weekends, vacation time, valuables, goals, hobbies, etc. But, as long as we keep Christ at the fringes, we arrive at a place where our faith is totally impotent.
The word of God calls us to a mission of saving souls and transforming lives by the power of the Holy Spirit, the greatest power this world can know. While this mission is the most difficult and challenging endeavor in life, we are never alone.
In the moment of crisis for the disciples, they were comforted by their resurrected Lord. Jesus appeared and immediately peace filled the room. The disciples did not retreat to the shores of Galilee; they did not seek comfort in foods and drinks; nor did they try to become more religious. They simply received the Holy Spirit, the great Comforter, as Jesus breathed upon them and had promised this earlier in John 14. If our goal is comfort, it is very likely that we will end up with utterly ineffective faith. However, if our aim is for God’s Kingdom, even in spite of all of the discomforts and sacrifices, we will be greatly comforted by the Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Dear God, if I’m being honest, engaging in the works of Your Kingdom is never easy. Fill me with Your Spirit so that I would be filled with peace and comforted as I struggle through new challenges. Help me to make sacrifices and take up the cross daily and follow after You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Lunch Break Study
Read Matt 7:13-14: Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Questions to Consider
- By talking about two types of gates, what is Jesus’ challenge to His listeners?
- What is the inevitable result of choosing the wider gate and the broader road?
- How does this teaching shape your idea of a more biblical Christianity?
- Jesus makes it clear that there are two ways in life—and two ways only—that are set before all people; thus, it is important that the right choice be made.
- Jesus is picturing a scene where the broad road leading to a splendid gate is obvious and easy to be seen, whereas the path that brings the traveler to the unpretentious gate is inconspicuous and is perceived only by those who look for it carefully. But the commodious road leads to destruction, a fact that its popularity does nothing to alter.
- Presenting a rosy picture of the Christian life and minimizing that it is filled with trouble does not follow the lead of our Lord.
*from Logos commentaries
Spend some time actually thanking God for your hardships that have served as a pathway for God’s Spirit to work in and through your life.