Note: The AMI Quiet Time Devotionals from October 24-30 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 Thought for Today
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Sadly, this was a childhood phrase that I found to be a lie, when a fifth grade boy called me fat at a pool party. It hurt—and I still remember it today. The truth is, words have power—the power to bless or the power to curse. It’s amazing how a simple “thank you” can go so far as to make a person’s day, or a few negative words on a performance review can make us question our self worth. There are also words we have created such as “yolo” and “fomo” that inspire the way we live our lives.
Then there are God’s words— described in this passage as living, active, powerful, penetrating, and discerning. Many of us would agree that the Word of God is powerful in nature and provides many guiding principles. But to think that the Word of God being living and active as a dynamic force that gives life; or even have the ability to penetrate straight to the core of who we are and exposing our true selves; or perhaps, the ability to judge the thoughts and attitudes of the heart –sound great on paper, but a little unrealistic. For many of us, the Bible lives in a book or another phone app that we open occasionally.
Tim Keller says that we have dangerously become people who believe in the truth in principle but do not know its power, sometimes even denying its power. Instead, we allow the words of the world to define and dictate our lives, robbing us of the promises given to those who believe in the gospel. Take some time to reflect on the times when the Word spoke to you directly, when even the simplest passages brought so much conviction. May God restore the power of His Word in our lives so that it functions as more than mere words written on a page; may it give us words to be written on our hearts. May the word of God be more than a truth we know about, but the only truth that transforms us.
Prayer: Lord, we confess that our hearts have in many ways become dull to Your Word. We confess that Your Word has lost its power in our lives. We ask that You would soften our hearts again and that Your Word will be made alive in our lives. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Mark 5
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Timothy 4:2-4: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Questions to Consider:
- How does Paul warn Timothy regarding men falling away from sound doctrine?
- What is the temptation that we may fall into?
- How much of what you know about God is based on Scripture vs. a secondary source?
- Paul states that there will be a time when men fall away from the truth. Paul provides three arguments in which men fall away from sound doctrine. The first is that they stop listening to wholesome teaching because it is no longer palatable to them. Second, they turn to others who speak about things that suit their desires; they only listen to things that make them feel good. Finally, the motivation to listen simply stems from curiosity, rather than seeking truth.
- Paul is writing to believers who have been exposed to the Word. However, as mentioned above, when they fall away from sound doctrine, they succumb to believing other spiritual myths. This implies that there still exists a spiritual hunger in people, except now they fill their appetite with myths that sound initially appealing. In 1Timothy we see that many of these myths are based on false idols.
- Many of us have great knowledge about God whether it came from Sunday school or even through various Christian books. However, all of these are supplementary to the actual reading of God’s Word.
D.L. Moody once said, “If you will show me a Bible Christian living on the Word of God, I will show you a joyful man. He is mounting up all the time. He has got new truths that lift him up over every obstacle, and he mounts over difficulties higher and higher.” Spend some time reflecting on how the Word of God has changed you lately.