May 13, Saturday

The AMI QT Devotionals from May 8-14 are provided by Emerson Lin.  Emerson, a graduate of University of California, San Diego, serves as a staff at Kairos Christian Church, while studying at Talbot School of Theology.  He is married to Annie.


2 Corinthians 10:13-16

We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory.

If you have ever run a race at a track meet, you know that you are confined to your lane, which means you are not allowed to step outside of the lane assigned to you. If you do, you get disqualified. These lanes are there to keep you from hindering other people from running their race as well as to keep you safe.

In this passage, Paul writes to the Corinthians, defending his ministry. He understood that God did not give him unlimited authority and could not infringe upon other missionaries’ church plants. However, the Corinthian church landed in his sphere of activity, thus he is able to rebuke, encourage, and teach them.

God has given all of us a sphere of authority within the local church, some more influential than others. Those who seek to have more authority cannot infringe upon other people’s ministries: they need to be faithful to the task that God has given them, even if it doesn’t seem “great.” On the other hand, there are those who shy away from the sphere of authority God has given them. For them, they cannot be like the man who buried the one talent in the sand and waste away that gift. Take courage and be faithful to what God has given you!

While it is good to desire more opportunities to serve, do you struggle with wanting more authority? For others, do you struggle with being too timid about serving? Regardless of which camp you fall into, verse 15 states that as your faithfulness grows, your sphere of activity will greatly expand. Faithfulness doesn’t only mean perseverance; it also means doing it according to His plan. As we are faithful to His work, His kingdom will greatly expand.  So let’s be faithful in doing His work!

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that I am part of Your great plan. However, I struggle with _________ (wanting more sphere of service or shying away from it). Above all else, I want to be faithful to Your work. Help me to see that Your plan has to be done Your way and not my own. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Deuteronomy 6-7

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