December 20, Tuesday

andrew-kimNote: The AMI QT Devotionals from December 19-25 are written by Pastor Andrew Kim at Tapestry Church.  Andrew, a graduate of Eternity Bible College, is currently attending Fuller Theological Seminary.  He and Jessie were married in 2014.

Devotional Thought for Today

2 Peter 1:5-8

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

20David Brooks, a New York Times op-ed columnist makes an interesting observation in his book, The Road to Character. He writes that Americans have become obsessed with creating an impressive resume. We want to graduate from the best colleges, earn as many rewards as possible in our respective fields, and gain enough experience to merit the respect of those we’re seeking approval from. And this isn’t all that surprising because we live in a meritocratic society. Our resumes prove our worth to those who hire us and give us the jobs we desperately want— without it, it would be impossible to fulfill many of our dreams. For this reason, we spend all of our energy and time into creating the perfect resume—even if it means that we sacrifice relationships and other important areas of our lives. In other words, resumes have become our number one priority.

However, 2 Peter 1:5-8 call us to pour our efforts into an entirely different endeavor. Yesterday we learned that God has provided all that we need for life and godliness. In light of this, the apostle Peter calls us to respond, not by working towards a better resume, but to make every effort in becoming more like Christ; to build upon the foundation of faith and add virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. This passage suggests that what is of utmost importance is not our resume but our character; not where we graduated from but how well we love.

I believe that this is a much-needed reminder for the church. In a busy world that demands our very best, it’s so easy to neglect the content of our character. As a result, many of us have enjoyed great success in our careers at the expense of our character. We’ve grown our resumes but our capacity to love and remain steadfast have dwindled or remained stagnant. This isn’t to say that striving for well-paying jobs is bad. We should all strive for excellence and be ambitious. But it should never take priority over the growth of our character. Let us take some time today and repent before God and ask Him to make you more like Him!

Prayer: Father, I confess that at times I make my life about me and what I want. I spend so much of my time thinking about my career and my ambitions. Help me to desire the things of You, that my time and energy would go into becoming more like You. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Kings 11

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Lunch Break Study

Read Matthew 6:25-33: Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? [27] And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? [28] And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, [29] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ [32] For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. [33] But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Questions to consider

  1. What is Jesus commanding us to do?
  2. What is the promise that Jesus gives to us in verse 33?
  3. What are you always anxious about?

Notes

  1. Jesus calls us to not be anxious about our lives and trust in God, to not worry about not having enough. He points to how God provides even for the sparrows and the lilies. If He cares for lesser creatures, how much more will He give us all that we need as His sons and daughters.
  2. If we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything that we need will be added to us. In other words, if we make God’s concerns our first priority, we don’t have to worry about anything else. God will provide!
  3. Personal.

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Evening Reflection

Take some time tonight to reflect on your character. Where are you lacking? Do you need to learn how to love better? To be more generous and think about others? As the busyness of the day winds down, take time to pray and ask God to reveal the content of your character, and invite Him to begin the process of transformation!

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