May 4, Thursday

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 8:1-10

We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.

Many of us want to serve the Lord, but we don’t always know how. We want to do the work of God’s mission or be involved with our church in ministry, but we don’t always have the time. We are torn because we find it hard to extract ourselves from the responsibility of work and family duties. Fortunately, God is greater than our limitations and He has given us multiple platforms for us to help build his Kingdom.

The Christians living in Judea had fallen on hard times. A famine that the prophet Agabus predicted (Acts 11) had come to pass and they were now living in the midst of it. Those who were suffering were not just random people from an unknown church, but the church in Jerusalem was, in fact, the very church that sent out the apostles to Corinth and to the rest of Asia Minor. Now they were in need of help, so Paul encourages the Corinthians to raise support to encourage the Jerusalem church, not only physically, but spiritually, so that they may continue to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our focus often tends to be on daily circumstances or on our immediate needs, but we are called not be too parochial; we are to consider the bigger picture, as we see how God is at work in other places in the world. In fact, this is how the Kingdom of God is expanded. It happens through the concern and determination of believers to help and support the work of other Christians. Our motivation isn’t to receive gratitude, but it’s out of the gratitude of what Christ has done for us that we are to be generous with people who are in need.

I am always so encouraged to see our AMI missionaries continue to work and thrive overseas. As they build their churches, they are on front lines of the Kingdom of God. But this is not possible apart from a network of friends and family who continue to encourage and strengthen them through their many prayers and financial support. As the people of God, we must continue to send people out to various mission fields, but we must also continue to support their work by availing ourselves to prayer and supporting them financially. Is God calling you to pray and support a missionary in need?

Prayer: Father, I pray that we may not be a self-centered church, but one that reaches out continually to a lost world and lost people. I pray that we may have abundant resources in order to supply the needs of other Christians. I pray for God’s leading and help as we seek to impact our community and the wider world for Christ. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Leviticus 28


LUNCH BREAK STUDY

Read Ephesians 6:22-4: So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, 

Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him 

to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

Questions to Consider

  1. Paul refers to Tychicus as a “beloved brother.” Though he could have called him just a “brother,” Paul adds this word “beloved.” What are some ways we can be a “beloved brother”?
  2. Paul calls Tychicus a “faithful minister in the Lord.” How does one demonstrate faithfulness in ministry?
  3. Are you a faithful servant of the Lord whom others sense your love?

Notes

  1. Tychicus was a relational man. He wasn’t cold and aloof nor was he self-centered or insensitive to others. He wasn’t always about how he feels about things in the church, but he was concerned for the well-being of others.
  2. You can be faithful by being trustworthy, by keeping your word, by striving to live with integrity, and finally, and by doing well with responsibilities entrusted to you. Tychius was entrusted to deliver safely the money entrusted to him. He did this task faithfully.
  3. Personal response.

EVENING REFLECTION

“Prayer in action is love, and love in action is service. Try to give unconditionally whatever a person needs in the moment. The point is to do something, however small, and show you care through your actions by giving your time. We are all God’s children so it is important to share His gifts. Do not worry about why problems exist in the world – just respond to people’s need. We feel what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but that ocean would be less without that drop.” Mother Teresa

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