April 28, Friday

 The AMI QT Devotionals from April 24-30 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian, who serves as the Fenway site pastor of Symphony Church in Boston.  Shan, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Jenny; and they are the proud parents of their first baby Tyler.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

“No Obstacles or Stumbling Blocks”

2 Corinthians 6:3

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry

When I was a junior in college, I became a Christian while attending Grace Covenant Church (Philadelphia). One of the important factors that led me to Christ was the community—especially the family group that I was a part of that year. For the first time in my life, I was surrounded by people my age, who were passionately pursuing growth in their relationship with God—and that was inspiring to me. I saw brothers and sisters praying with fervor, reading the Bible, and attending church in various forms—three times a week—because they wanted to encounter God. Not only that, they were meeting with me and investing into my life so that I could grow too.  I really thought that I had found a church “full of angels.”

Well, that thought unfortunately did not last.  One day that year, there was a group of us from the church, sitting and hanging out, when one person got up and left to head to a meeting. Then one of these “supposed angels” who was still there said something derogatory and gossipy about the person who had just left.  I was appalled.  I doubt anyone noticed, but I was in shock that a Christian could speak that way about another—especially when I thought they were the angel-type Christians.

Of course we are not perfect angels, but we are sinners saved by the grace of God.  Nevertheless, as Christians and as ambassadors of Christ, we represent Jesus; and if we’re not careful, we can unwittingly put obstacles and barriers for others that could hinder them from growing in their relationship with Jesus.  For that reason, it was apostle Paul’s ambition to not stumble anyone—and that should be ours as well.  We should strive for holiness, be wise with our words, and be aware of how our actions and choices are perceived by others.

This can easily feel like a burden or works-based righteousness for us. But our motive for striving to put no obstacles for others is because of our love for them and for their growth —not for our salvation.  If we have experienced the grace of God and have been compelled by the love of Jesus, then with the power of His love, we can minister to others without stumbling them—we can be ambassadors for Christ!

Prayer

Jesus, I pray that the way I live my life will be a reflection of Your love.  I pray for wisdom with my words and actions this day, not for my personal righteousness, but for the sake of those around me. Help me so that I would put no obstacles in their way, but instead, may I embody Your love to them.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Leviticus 20


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Genesis 39:1-6: Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. 2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands.4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. 5 From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. 6 So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge, and because of him he had no concern about anything but the food he ate.

Questions to Consider

  1. Why did Potiphar find Joseph so trustworthy?
  2. What do you think Potiphar’s opinion of God was?
  3. What would someone learn about God from the way you live your life?

Notes

  1. Joseph was so trustworthy because he was faithful and successful in all that he did. Though it was evident that God’s blessing was with him, it’s also safe to say that Joseph was really good at his job as well.  It seemed like Potiphar trusted Joseph’s ability and his integrity so much so that he let Joseph makes all of the decisions and handle all of his finances.
  2. Potiphar likely had a high opinion of God because of Joseph. He could see Joseph’s integrity and success in his work, and knew that it was because the Lord was with him.  We can assume Potiphar knew that it was the Lord, because Joseph told him it was so.
  3. Personal reflection question.

EVENING REFLECTION

Even when we know that we have the grace of God, it can still feel like a burden when we strive to be good witnesses to the world.  All the more, we need to remember that God doesn’t require or expect perfection from us in our relationship with Him.  Take some time to remember God’s love for you, and pray that God will strengthen you to continue to be an ambassador for Him.

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