The AMI QT Blogs from June 5-11 are provided by Tina Hsu. Tina, a graduate of Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.) has just returned from E. Asia, where she served as a missionary for two years. Currently, she serves at Church of Southland and Kairos International University.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
“Being Rich Towards God”
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: 15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
Did you know that God’s desire for you is to become rich? He wills for you to have abundance. The trap that prevents us from experiencing the richness and wealth that God envisions for us is our spiritual blindness to what true wealth really looks like.
The believers in the Laodicea had fallen into a deep blindness of themselves. They had become secure in their material affluence, content about where they had arrived spiritually and proud that they reached a place of maturity on their own. In their eyes, they are rich and have need of nothing. As a result of their self-definition, Jesus is showing them that they have actually become poor—poor in their ministry and service towards others, and in turn, poor towards God. Though they have become ineffective and “distasteful” to the Lord, the Lord is mercifully drawing them back to repentance and teaching them the path to richness. This is how we know that God genuinely desires His children to be rich. In v. 18, Jesus says, “buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich.” He advises the believers to turn to Him to receive spiritual wealth that comes from the molding and shaping that He does on their lives. He invites them to attain from Him white garments so they can be clothed in their identity and true security that comes from Christ. This way, they may become genuinely rich and consequently be rich towards God and others.
Similarly, apostle Paul instructs his mentee, Timothy, to teach the church in Ephesus the same spiritual lesson of being rich in God rather than in earthly wealth and values. He says in 1 Timothy 6:18-19, “Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” It is only by pursuing the type of richness that God defines that propels us to truly live “that which is life indeed” and that which God designed for us.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You that You saved me that I may have life and have it abundantly (Jn. 10:10). Teach and guide me to be rich in You and to find life and fulfillment from Your well. Allow my life to be a vessel of generosity to others so that I may glorify You and be an extension of Your kindness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Romans 3
LUNCH BREAK STUDY
Read Luke 12:13-21: Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But He said to him, “Man, who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16 And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17 And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ 21 So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Questions to Consider
- What is the root issue that Jesus is drawing out to the man in vv. 13-15?
- How does the rich man in the parable live his life?
- What is the spiritual lesson that Jesus is teaching through this parable?
- Jesus is pointing to the issue of man’s greed, which manifests itself in striving after material possessions.
- The rich man is blessed with an abundance of crops. However, instead of using his resources and gains to serve God and to bless others, he is storing up the resources for himself. He is investing in his own comfort and security.
- Everything we have, even the breath in our lungs and our abilities, comes from God. Everything is meant to glorify God and to be used for eternal purposes. Jesus is admonishing the man to be “rich towards God” instead of storing up treasures on earth like the rich man in the parable.
This evening, let’s spend some time reflecting on Jesus’ words and let Him direct us to invest in what is eternal and lasting. Luke 12:22-23, 31: “And He said to His disciples, ‘For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing…But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you’”