May 3, Wednesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from May 1-6 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry Church, Los Angeles.  Charles, a graduate of UC Riverside and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, and they have three children: Chloe, Noah, and Camden.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

2 Corinthians 7:11-16

So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one who did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God.

As a pastor who loves his church, I find that the most unpleasant thing about my job is having to rebuke a congregant who is in sin. I don’t like to do it, and trust me, no one likes to receive it. But as I have gotten more mature in my faith, I’ve come to realize that rebuking someone in sin—with the right motive and the right approach— is one of the most loving things anyone can do. It’s often our cowardice or fear that keeps us from pointing out the erroneous way of our brother or sister.

In his previous letter, Paul rebuked an individual engaged in an incestuous relationship (I Corinthians 5). Paul here explains why there was a need for that rebuke, that it wasn’t necessary for singling out the person committing the sin or the person the sin was being committed against. The ultimate reason why Paul felt the need to rebuke a congregant was because of love. This was what Paul hoped would be revealed in the sight of God—that love was what was motivating him.

God expects those who lead in His name to probe and address sinful situations that negatively affect His beloved church. Satan works to get into local churches and cause people to offend and be offended so that he might break up the unity and smother the church’s growth, both numerically and spiritually. Our Adversary looks for any opportunity to break down the unity and destroy the health of the church body. He will use the slightest misunderstanding, slightest miscommunication, and the slightest differences to cause divisiveness in the group.

Fortunately, in the case in the Corinthian church, the individual in the incestuous relationship apparently repented and turn his “earnestness” towards Paul, his spiritual leader. How I wish this is always the case! But even if this is not assured, even with the gentlest rebuke, if we find sin in our churches, we must rebuke one another, for the sake of love and unity.

Prayer: Father, no one likes to rebuke or be rebuked. But help us to see that we need brothers and sisters in our lives, who can help us see the errors of our ways. We all have blind spots, and that is why we need trusted friends to help us. Give us a desire for Your holiness so that we will receive rebukes with a humble heart. Give us Your love when we find ourselves needing to share a rebuke. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Bible Reading for Today: Leviticus 27


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read John 17:20-23

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Questions to Consider         

  1. What is the basis for our unity according to verse 21?
  2. What is the result of our unity?
  3. How united do you feel to your church body? Is there anything you can do to promote a greater unity at your church?

Notes 

  1. As the Father and the Son are One, we are to be one with each other as followers of Christ.
  2. The world will know that Jesus is God.
  3. Personal response.

EVENING REFLECTION

“To a true child of God, the invisible bond that unites all believers to Christ is far more tender, and lasting, and precious; and, as we come to recognize and realize that we are all dwelling in one sphere of life in Him, we learn to look on every believer as our brother, in a sense that is infinitely higher than all human relationships. This is the one and only way to bring disciples permanently together. All other plans for promoting the unity of the Church have failed.” –A.T. Pierson

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