December 23, Friday

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 2:19

They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.

23What is true freedom? Freedom is often associated with the absence of rules and restrictions. Our culture has defined it as being given free reign to do whatever our hearts desire. But is freedom about having no constraints at all? Are rules and boundaries in opposition to freedom? I would say no. As Tim Keller puts it, “A fish, because it absorbs oxygen from water rather than air, is only free if it is restricted and limited to water. If we put it out on the grass, its freedom to move and even live is not enhanced, but destroyed. The fish dies if we do not honor the reality of its nature.” In other words, freedom is not the total absence of limits but rather finding the right ones that allow us to flourish and thrive as people.

It seems that the false teachers had been luring away believers by promising them freedom—the freedom to let their lustful passions run wild as they pleased. They argued that the gospel had brought them freedom and it was at their discretion to use as they pleased. And in one sense, the false teachers were correct. Freedom is at the heart of the gospel. However, it is not the freedom to do whatever we want. It’s being freed from the power of sin and death and having to fulfill the law on our own. In other words, we are freed from sin to be slaves to Christ—not so that we can do whatever we want.

Oftentimes, many of us find the rules of Scripture to be stifling and burdensome. But I want to remind you that they were placed in our lives for our good. God is our Creator and knows us inside out. He understands what we need and the desires of our hearts. And the boundaries prescribed to us are not to suppress us but for us to flourish and live lives of true freedom and joy. For this reason, take delight in His word. It is for our ultimate good!

Prayer: Father, help me to delight in Your word and commands. At times my heart feels burdened by it. However, help me to feel a sense of freedom and joy in following Your commands and give me the strength to do so! Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Kings 14

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Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 119:97-104: Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98  Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. 100  I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. 101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. 102  I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me. 103  How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104  Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why does the psalmist delight in the words of God?
  2. What steps can you take to cultivate this type of posture towards God’s commands?

Notes

  1. He finds true understanding and wisdom in the words of God, more so than his enemies who seem to be looking elsewhere. This implies that by following God’s word, it is leading him to a life of goodness, away from evil and every false way. It has not only given him more wisdom but has tangibly affected his life in a real practical way.
  2. Personal.

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Evening Reflection

We live in a culture where we are constantly bombarded by the media. Our minds are constantly being filled with various messages and ideas. It has become increasingly more difficult to slow down and meditate on the word of God. Let us make sure that we create time and space in our days to quiet our worlds and meditate on God’s word. Take some time tonight to do so.

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