The AMI QT Devotionals for July 26-7 are provided by Min Soo Choi. Min Soo, a graduate of University of Illinois, is currently serving as the college pastor at Journey Church of Atlanta while attending Reformed Theological Seminary. He and his wife Ah Rim were married last year.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
Winning is . . . not everything!
2 Samuel 19:18-23
And they crossed the ford to bring over the king’s household and to do his pleasure. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was about to cross the Jordan,19 and said to the king, “Let not my lord hold me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day, the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.” 21 Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?” 22 But David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be as an adversary to me? Shall anyone be put to death in Israel this day? For do I not know that I am this day king over Israel?” 23 And the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king gave him his oath.
Recently, our church hosted a friendly yet competitive kickball tournament to help raise funds for our short-term missionaries. During the game, someone in the crowd started booing to one of the teams on the field! So, when I asked her why she was booing, she responded, “Because my team was losing.” In truth, I wanted to know why she thought it was necessary to demoralize a group of college students at missions’ fundraiser, but her answer reminded me of how there is an innate part of us that always wants to be on the winning side.
In this story of 2 Samuel 19:18-23, we see how Shimei was on the opposing side of King David. Thinking that he was on the right side, this lowly servant originally cursed and mocked David, who was God’s true anointed king. Shimei ends up the loser, however, and it’s at this point that he goes down on his knees and begs for mercy upon his life. He had wrongfully mocked the rightful king and deserved death and condemnation. However, David does something that was radically different from the time: he shows mercy upon this lowly servant and allows him to live.
When I think about Shimei’s shameful actions, I realize that I am not much different from him. Before I had understood the meaning of the gospel, I was on the opposing side of God. I had lived a life of sin, living for my own personal glory and satisfaction. I was on the side that mocked God’s one and only Son and had even cursed Him, before He was hung on the cross. As a lowly servant, I dared to curse God’s true anointed King. I was on the wrong side, yet God had spared me. Even though I deserved death and condemnation, I received mercy through what Jesus had done on the cross. It’s from this reception of grace that I can continually go down on my knees and repent for all the wrongful deeds that I had committed before God.
In light of the forgiveness that we have already received, let us continue to act out of mercy and love. Some of us may have even experienced pain from those that mocked us, cursed us, and betrayed our trust. But when we experience the mercy of a righteous King, who forgives us for all of our wrongful actions, we are empowered to show grace to those around us. Let us act in this grace.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your mercies, for they are new every day. I pray that I would never forget the unending kindness and grace that You have constantly showered upon my life. May I always seek You with a heart of repentance, knowing that You are the restorer of all things. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: John 3
Lunch Break Study
Read Mathew 5:21-26: You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Questions to Consider
- What is the urgency of this passage?
- Are you aware of people in your life that may hold something against you? What should we do if no one comes to our minds?
- How has God brought healing upon your broken relationships?
- The text urges us to reconcile before leaving our gifts at the altar. It says that if a brother has something against you, you ought to go to them first and reconcile. The urgency is to seek forgiveness from those whom we have offended, and to forgive those who have offended us.
- If there is no one that comes to mind, pray that God would reveal certain sins in your life that may have hurt certain people. Pray for restoration and healing upon such relationships.
- Personal response.
We began the day talking about God’s forgiveness and acting out in grace and love. Have you reflected on God’s mercy upon your life? If not, let us repent and spend some time in prayer. May God strengthen and encourage us for a better day tomorrow.