February 24, Friday

The AMI QT Devotionals from February 20-24 are provided by Jabez Yeo.  Jabez, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, is currently working in NYC and serving at TRPC-E.  He hopes to become a missionary.  His devotionals are based off material from Serge’s Sonship program. You can click here for more information.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Orphans through our Judgment

1 Timothy 1:8-11

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

24In the X-Men universe, one of the main protagonists, Professor Xavier, has telepathic powers through mutation and lives to help fellow mutants. By using his machine Cerebro, Xavier can enhance his telepathic powers to locate and communicate with mutants in distress. However, in the movie X2, both human and mutant antagonists, William Stryker and Magneto, attempt to use Cerebro to kill all mutants and humans respectively. Thankfully, the X-Men come to the rescue and the crisis is averted.

As spiritual orphans, we too can use anything meant for good in the wrong way, including God’s law. There are many good uses of the law, as it reveals God’s character and restrains wickedness (1 Tim 1:8). However, we give the law power it does not have when we expect it to justify us and give us life. While the law shows us what Christ is like, we use it wrongly when we expect it to secure righteousness that only faith can secure. Ultimately, the law has no power to produce the heart obedience God is looking for.

It is a good thing that the law convicts us of sin; it was not made for the righteous but for the unrighteous (1 Tim. 1:9-11). However, instead of running to Jesus for rescue, we gain relief from the law’s burden by not only trying to follow it but then also using it to compare ourselves with others who are “worse” than us. Even small things such as coming to church on time (which is a good thing in itself!) can be abused when we use it to feel more righteous than someone who is late. And by taking the position of being right and strong, we actually distance ourselves from our communities.

As God’s children, we have to remind ourselves that we are free from any condemnation (Rom. 8:1). Through Christ, our sins are paid for and His righteousness and perfect obedience is ours. Knowing that the law does not determine our acceptance with God allows us to extend that same acceptance to other lawbreakers like ourselves. Let’s do so today.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your many gifts, including Your Law. Thank You that it shows me how worthy You are of worship and how short I fall of Your standards. Instead of trying to justify myself, help me to run to You, my rock and my Redeemer. Help me to serve and love through the Law instead of judging and condemning others. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 5


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Galatians 6:12-16: Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God. ­

Questions to Consider

  1. What were the intentions of those who were advocating circumcision?
  2. What instead does Paul boast about?
  3. What are you using as your “circumcision”?

Notes

  1. They wanted to impress others by means of the flesh (Gal. 6:12) rather than accepting their identity in Christ. Even those who had never been circumcised were pushing for it so that they may boast (Gal. 6:13).
  2. Paul, instead, boasts in the cross of Jesus Christ. At the cross is where we gain true knowledge of God and ourselves. At the cross we see God’s perfect love displayed for sinners and holy wrath against sin. At the cross we see our unworthiness and utter hopelessness without our Savior.
  3. Personal response (e.g. our degrees, our glorious past, our possessions, etc.)

EVENING REFLECTION

Reflect on today’s events, both big and small. What emotions were associated with those events and did they bring you closer to or farther from God and others? If there’s anything you need to confess, share it with the Lord and a close friend.  As God’s child, experience His healing and cleansing power today.

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