December 22, Thursday

Note: 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 2:4-10

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; [5] if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; [6] if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; [7] and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked [8] (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); [9] then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, [10] and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

AppleMark
AppleMark

One of my favorite quotes (used by almost every pastor as a sermon illustration) is from C.S. Lewis’ novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In response to the character Susan’s question about the safety of meeting the mysterious Aslan the Lion, Mr. Beaver replies, “Who said anything about being safe? Course He isn’t safe. But He’s good. He’s the king.” I like this quote because I find Mr. Beaver’s response to be an apt description of God. He’s good but He isn’t safe.

I wonder how many of us hold both descriptors in tension when it comes to our view of God. It seems that many have opted for a God who is good but also safe, maybe even domesticated—and understandably so. It’s easy to focus on His love and grace at the expense of His less popular attributes such as His wrath and judgment. But upon surveying the biblical narrative, one cannot walk away without a profound realization that God isn’t safe.

In our passage for today, we see the apostle Peter bringing these two descriptors of God into focus. As false teachers have infiltrated the church, Peter warns that those who are led astray by false teaching will indeed be judged. The apostle makes his point by giving them a brief survey of Scripture and highlighting moments in biblical history where the judgment and wrath of God were powerfully displayed. In essence, he is making the point that God does not only know how to save, but He is also the righteous judge. To put it simply, God will not overlook sin and immorality. There will surely be judgment in the last days, and for this reason, Peter exhorts the church not to deviate from the way of Christ.

How should we respond to this passage? I want to offer two ways: First, we must take our sins seriously because God deems it a serious matter. We shouldn’t grow lax or apathetic in our fight against sin. Instead, we must make every effort to pursue holiness. Second, it should create in us a sense of urgency to share the gospel with those who don’t know Christ. The final judgment is a reality that is sure to come. In the limited time that we have, we should do what we can in sharing the good news of the gospel with those whom we love. I want to encourage you to take some time today to pray for those who have not accepted Christ. It is imperative that we do so.

Prayer: Father, I pray for those who do not know You. I ask that You would open up their hearts to the good news of Your gospel. Give me opportunities to share about You and the courage to do so. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Kings 13

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Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 1:18-23: The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. [19] For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. [20] For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. [21] For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. [22] Claiming to be wise, they became fools, [23] and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the essence of sin according to this passage?
  2. Can a person who never had access to the Bible claim total ignorance of God’s laws?
  3. How would you describe your posture toward sin?

Notes

  1. Paul writes in verse 22 that the essence of sin is to exchange the glory of the immortal God for images resembling creation—that is, choosing to worship the creation rather than the Sin at its fundamental level is idolatry.
  2. No, since by way of God’s general revelation (i.e., that which is knowable about God apart from Scripture but through creation and God’s law written on human hearts [Rom. 2:14-5]), men have access to adequate knowledge of God’s divine nature and laws.
  3. Personal.

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Evening Reflection

As you wind down and reflect on your day, did you have a sense of urgency for those who don’t know Christ? Were you able to see and act on different opportunities to share the gospel as you went about your day? Take some time to pray for unbelievers you regularly interact with; ask God for more opportunities tomorrow to share and demonstrate the love of Christ.

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