November 23, Wednesday

Note: The AMI QT Devotionals for November 21-26 are provided by Pastor Yohan Lee of Radiance Christian Church in San Francisco, CA.

Devotional Thought for Today

Hebrews 10:26-31

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

23My old youth pastor told a great story of how once, when he was jogging around the track at his local high school, some big guy jumped him from behind, put him in full-nelson, and began questioning/berating him about his ethnicity.  Apparently, this person had lost a member of his family in the Vietnam War, and because he thought that my youth pastor was Vietnamese, he assumed that somehow my pastor was responsible for the tragedy (which happened over 30 years ago).  After diffusing the situation by convincing him that there was a difference between Vietnam and Korea, my youth pastor, who was understandably very upset, went home and grabbed a wheat sickle from his garage and started to leave the house, determined to do something bad to his attacker.  Thankfully, his mother cut him off (get it?) and was able to calm him down.  At one point, his mom—trying to reason with him—asked him directly, “What about your Christianity?  What would Jesus think?” to which he replied, “I don’t care!”  His point in telling this story was that he was so angry and humiliated by what had just happened, he didn’t care about his actions, his faith, or anything else.  I know the way the story reads, it sounds really intense and scary, but the story was meant to be comical, and all of us were laughing as he told it.

Hopefully, you’ve never been so angry that you didn’t care if you committed murder, but have you ever been in a situation where you just did not care about your actions or its outcomes?  Perhaps the situation did not rise out of anger; maybe you were having so much fun that you didn’t care where the night would end, or you were in a business venture and the rewards seemed so great that you didn’t care what you had to do to make it happen.  Here is the point: as believers, you never want to look at sin and say, “I don’t care what God thinks” or even, “God will forgive me later.”  Look how today’s passage describes the one who deliberately sins; it is akin to “trampling the Son underfoot, profaning the blood of the covenant, and outraging the Spirit” (v. 29).  Without trying to sound too condemning, we need to remember that sin is serious— it is a serious affront on the character of God, and it is the reason why Christ died on the cross.  Because we are loved by God as His children, let’s do our best to “care.”

Note:  Please remember that this passage talks about those who “deliberately” sin.  If you are struggling with an issue or addiction, keep fighting—there is grace for you.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me to truly love the things You love and to truly hate the things You hate.  Help me to walk in holiness to honor You, and because I know it is good for me.  Allow me the strength to resist sin and run toward righteousness.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 11

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Lunch Break Study

Philippians 4:4-9

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Questions to Consider

  1. According to this passage, what can we do when we are full of anxiety?
  2. Why is it beneficial to think about whatever is true, honorable, just, etc.?
  3. What are some other ways you can strive for righteousness?

Notes

  1. Instead of being anxious, Paul instructs us to pray (vv. 6-7). In the process of prayer, God will give us His peace.  Have you experienced God’s peace when you prayed?
  2. It’s been said that in order to drop bad habits, you need to replace them with good habits. Training or renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) to honor God is similar to this: we need to replace thoughts of anger, bitterness, jealousy, lust, etc. with truth, love, and God.  This is one reason why memorizing Scripture is so powerful.
  3. Application question.

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Evening Reflection

Today’s theme was about avoiding sin and striving for righteousness.  Are there some good habits that you’d like to pick up?  Are there things you need to avoid altogether.  Have you thanked Jesus for taking the punishment of sin in His body, so that you don’t have to?

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