April 19, Wednesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from April 17-20 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 THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

“Repentance as God’s Children”

Hosea 6:1-6

“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us; that we may live in His presence. 3 Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. 5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth—then my judgments go forth like the sun. 6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”

My all-time favorite Disney movie is The Lion King, which centers around King Mufasa, his evil brother Scar, and his son Simba. In the opening scene, Scar pays lip service to Mufasa by acknowledging his kingship but plots behind closed doors to kill Mufasa in order to be king. When Scar is successful and becomes ruler, the kingdom of the Pride Lands turns into a wasteland.  Thankfully, the exiled Simba returns to defeat Scar, and the Pride Lands are eventually restored.

Like Scar, the Israelites in Hosea 6 were caught paying lip service to God. While they seem to be repentant through acknowledgement of God (Hos. 6:1) and His healing power (Hos. 6:2), yet God answers them with exasperation due to their unrepentance (as noted in the chapter title in the NIV). He remarks that their love for Him is like the “early dew that disappears” (Hos. 6:4) and discerns that their “returning” to Him is a form of pain relief. Sadly, the Israelites’ desire is not for God but for their suffering to be removed quickly, in two to three days no less! (Hos. 6:2-3).

Sadly, our repentance does not differ much from Israel’s. For example, let’s say that I made a remark out of anger that hurt a close friend. To deal with the issue, I might say “I shouldn’t have said that and I’m sorry for hurting you. Will you forgive me?” If my friend responds by wanting to delve deeper into the issue that caused my anger, I might think to myself, I apologized. If you can’t forgive me, that’s your problem. Thus, while I may have apologized for my words, I have not repented of my resentment. The truth is that I am still unrepentant, since what I am after is quick “reconciliation.”

Oftentimes, when we wrong God or others, we are more interested in the removal of our guilt than the actual restoration of our relationships. We usually have worldly sorrow that brings death rather than godly sorrow which brings repentance and salvation (2 Cor. 7:10). Let’s ask God to show us the difference today.

Prayer: Father, the pain of my sin is too much to bear. I have hurt You and others many times, and I desire the false relief from my quick apologies instead of genuine reconciliation. Give me insight to my brokenness that is fracturing my relationship with You and others. And give me the courage to surrender and admit that I cannot fix myself through my power or will. In Your Name I pray, Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Leviticus 11


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Matthews 27:1-5: Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor. 3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

Questions to Consider

  1. How does Judas show that he’s sorry over his sin?
  2. How does Judas display worldly sorrow instead of godly sorrow?
  3. What are you displaying worldly sorrow over?

Notes

  1. Judas is described as being “seized with remorse” (v. 3). He returns the money that he earned for betraying Jesus (v. 4) and even names his sin (v.4).
  2. Judas doesn’t acknowledge the fact that his love for money and power was greater than his love for Jesus. The guilt of his sin becomes too much to bear, and he eventually hangs himself (v. 5) to his death.
  3. Personal response.

EVENING REFLECTION

Ask God to reveal any broken relationships you may have that need repair. When someone comes to mind, ask God for the strength to address the person instead of running away. God will help you if you let Him.

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