February 9, Thursday

The AMI QT devotionals from Feb. 6-12 are provided by Cami King.  Cami, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, recently completed her M.Div. at Gordon Conwell Seminary.  She is currently serving as a staff at Journey Community Church in Raleigh. 

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Don’t Pity the “Fool!”

1 Corinthians 1:18

 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 

9Two preachers share embarrassing moments:

Hannah: I was preaching about Law vs. Grace and used Deuteronomy 23:12-14 as an example for crazy laws. One of the students generously volunteered before service to read the passage out loud…when it came time to read, he misunderstood what verse I said to begin with and just started at verse 1. I lost all attention for the rest of service.

Deuteronomy 23:1 definitely shouldn’t be read out loud in a youth group.

(“No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the LORD” Deuteronomy 23:1.)

Robert: My most embarrassing preaching story was my 1st experience with a ‘lavalier’ mic! The choir sang and I got up to preach, but I was still getting over the stomach flu!

I felt some moving so I called the choir back to sing and ran out as they sang, “Let the Lord have His Way.” I barely made out of the auditorium. Suddenly, my wife ran into the men’s restroom and said, “Your mic is still on!”

Needless to say when I came back to the pulpit, we just dismissed!

Many moments in a life lived serving the Lord can leave us feeling silly, embarrassed, or even foolish. But unlike the funny stories above, for those who’ve positioned themselves long enough before God in a posture of surrender and obedience, the trajectory of life with Christ can manifest a more sobering foolishness. Promotions foregone in an effort to build a healthy family, shortcuts not taken in an effort to live with integrity, money given away in an effort to invest in the mission of God, relationships over working late, missions trip over summer internships, forgiveness over revenge, hope over despair – all these things look rather foolish to the world around us. But the humble life to which Jesus calls each of us is one He Himself lived perfectly and is one that will bear a profound witness to the goodness of the gospel if we are willing to walk it out.

Prayer: Lord, help me to walk humbly before You today in obedience and surrender. May the decisions I make be guided by the conviction of Your Holy Spirit and the truth of Your Word. Make me willing to be foolish in the eyes of the world for the sake of walking faithfully in the power of Your salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Judges 19


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Romans 1:18-23: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22  Professing to be wise, they became fools,  23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Questions to Consider:

  1. According to the passage, what are some ways God has made Himself known to us?
  2. One Bible translation titles this passage, “Unbelief and Its Consequences.” What are the consequences of unbelief?
  3. How have you experienced the truth of vv.21-22 in your life (perhaps in your thinking before you became a Christian, or more recently in some of your not-yet-sanctified thoughts)?

Notes:

  1. God has made himself known through His invisible attributes, power, and nature displayed in the world He has made. If we are careful to take note of the created world around us, we will be hard pressed to miss God’s self-revelation.
  2. Unbelief (suppressing the truth) results in foolishness that leads us to ungodliness and unrighteousness, which are both subjects to the wrath of God. When we turn away from God and shut our eyes to His self-revelation, refusing to acknowledge Him (honor Him/give Him thanks), we find ourselves thinking, believing, and doing all sorts of things utterly void of genuine wisdom.
  3. Spend time in personal reflection.

EVENING REFLECTION

In her song “Fool For You,” Nichole Nordeman reflects on the times in life when “faith and common sense do not align,” and she found it difficult to live a life that seemed foolish to those around her (and to her own doubting heart).  She concludes her musings by calling to mind the life of Jesus who, “unaware of popularity and unconcerned with dignity,” came and made Himself a fool for all of us through His incarnation and crucifixion.

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (I Cor. 1:18).

Spend sometime reflecting on the life of Jesus in light of our passage from this morning. How does this encourage you to make choices and live a life may seem foolish to those around you? (Feel free to listen to Nichole’s song during your time of reflection! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEpoBGJ9LlA)

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