Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from December 26-January 1 are provided by Pastor Joshua Kim of Church of Southland. Joshua, a graduate of Emory University and Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.), serves as the pastor of Access group (singles). He was recently married to Christina.
Devotional Thought for Today
2 Peter 3.8-10
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Like many Asian males, I grew up I taking taekwondo lessons. It was all part of my parent’s effort to get me to be more active and build up my confidence. My dad would pick me up from school, drive 30 minutes to my lesson, and then pick me up afterwards, which would end around 4:30PM. After a “hard day at the gym,” I would be so hungry that I would beg my dad to take me to Burger King, since dinner felt like a thousand years from then. But my dad would always say, “Be patient Josh, mom’s got something better waiting for you at home.”
I think about the ways my parents taught me patience and endurance. It really comes down to the idea of if I trusted my parents. But this trust comes in two different ways. Sometimes waiting to get home was better because my mom would cook something I loved to eat; other times, I would have preferred to eat Burger King. But my parents ultimately knew what was best for me, and I would learn to trust that.
Here, in today’s passage, is the Bible saying that God can change time in such a way that one day is like a thousand years and vice versa? I’m sure He could, but that’s not necessarily what this passage is saying. What Peter is teaching the church here is that God’s concept of time is entirely different from how we perceive time. He is temporal, that is, beyond time. He does not experience the same kind of restrictions of temporality that we do, and thus, does not experience delay or hurry like we do. His timing is perfect; He is in full control.
It isn’t hard to see that we are surely in the end times. Much like the church in today’s passage, we experience the harsh realities of life; and in a world of brokenness that seems to break even more every minute, the church can’t help but cry out, “Come!” as it says in Revelation. But in what seems like delay, what we learn from today’s passage is that this “delay” is an expression of God’s patience… God’s mercy upon this world. The ultimate question comes down to this: Do you trust God? Do you trust that what He has in store for you is ultimately not only the best for you but the best for the world?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I praise You for You are eternal and all-knowing! I praise You because Your perfect plan in Your perfect timing is what’s ultimately the best for me. Lord, help me to trust in You, especially during times of waiting. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Kings 16
Lunch Break Study
Read Isaiah 55:6-9: Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Questions to Consider
- In the passage, what is the implication for those who do not forsake his ways or his thoughts? What happens to those who forsake their ways?
- What is the picture of God’s character you get from this passage?
- How are you responding to this passage? What are some practical ways that the Holy Spirit is calling you to respond?
- The call of this passage is for the wicked to forsake his ways and the unrighteous his thoughts. The implication is that those who do not are wicked and unrighteous. It’s not just ignorance. But for those who forsake their ways, they receive the compassion and pardon of God.
- Responses may vary, but generally, it’s a picture of a transcendent God who is beyond not only our wisdom but the wisdom of this world. It is a picture of a God who is not only wiser than man but is categorically separate and on a different level than us.
- Personal response.
As you have spent the day reflecting on the perfect timing of God, what are some of the things that come to your mind? These may be areas where you are struggling in trusting God’s timing. Take some time to jot them down in a journal. As you write them down, surrender each of these things to the perfect wisdom and timing of God.