April 6, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals from April 3-9 are provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.  Peter is a graduate of U.C. Riverside and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).  He and his wife Jessica have three very active children: Nathan, Abigail, and Jason. 

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

“Your Labor is NOT in Vain”

1 Cor. 15:58

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Dear co-laborer in the Lord,

As you’ve been serving the Lord over the years, most definitely you’ve experienced joy, passion, growth, and a sense of satisfaction. As a pastor, I love hearing from our church members that “so-and-so” just accepted Christ. The news brings so many people so much joy. At the same time, it’s very likely you’ve also had a fair share of fatigue, disappointment, failure, perhaps even betrayal. I’m sure you are battling against the cynical spirit that wants to devour you. That cynicism wants you to buffer yourself from taking risks once again, actively serving the Lord’s purposes.

I want you to know that Paul could have been cynical in his dealing with the Corinthian church. The church where he had spent more than a year ministering and teaching had become divisive, spiritually proud and abusive, stingy, flat out questioning Paul’s legitimacy of leadership, and making a mockery of the sacred Lord’s Supper, just to name a few of its dysfunctions. I suppose if anyone deserved to be cynical, it was Paul. Yet, this servant of God remained just as devoted to the gospel and to the Corinthian family of God as he had been on day one. The key: Paul understood that his labor in the Lord was not in vain. It’s never in vain.

Let Paul’s letter be an encouragement to you today. Allow his words to hold you steadfast. Let the words of Paul reaffirm to your vulnerable heart that your labor is not in vain. Whether you’ve been showing hospitality, serving young children, tirelessly setting up for worship services and ministry events, coordinating many of the unseen details in the background, teaching God’s word faithfully, laboring in prayer, ministering the sacraments, whatever you have been doing, remember that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Continue to give yourself fully to the work of the Lord.

I know that soon you will receive praise: “Well done, good and faithful servant…Come and share the Master’s happiness.”

Sincerely,

Your co-laborer.

Prayer: Dear Lord, as I serve You, help me to serve You with a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Guard my heart from an attitude of cynicism. In Your Name, Amen!

Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 28


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Matt 28:16-20: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What is surprising about some of the disciples’ responses to Jesus?
  2. There are four verbs in the Great Commission (vv. 19-20): 1) go, 2) make disciples, 3) baptizing, and 4) teaching. Of these four verbs, only one of them in the Greek takes the imperative (command) form. Which do you think is the main verb in Jesus’ command?
  3. In what ways are you growing in the disciple-making process? Are you being discipled? Are you helping another person grow as a disciple of Jesus?

Notes  

  1. Strangely, some doubted. While we do not know the exact nature of this doubt, what is clear is that the majority did worship Him. Matthew firmly believes this was the right reaction.
  2. Make disciples. Making disciples is the great imperative (command) of the Great Commission.
  3. “Disciple” means not just head-learners, not just heart-learners, but life-learners (N.T. Wright).

EVENING REFLECTION

Spend some time thanking the Lord for the ministry opportunity that’s been given to you. While ministry can be burdensome at times, it is always a privilege.

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