The AMI QT Devotionals from August 7-11 are provided by Pastor Ryun Chang who writes about his recent teaching trip to Cuba.
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS FOR TODAY
2 Tim. 2:1-2 (NIV 1984)
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”
One word aptly describes the Korean-Argentian missionary who invited me to teach at the semiary where she operates with her Latino husband: overworked. Because everyone who comes there to teach for a week is Korean pastors, she must translate all their handouts to Spanish prior to their coming as well as interpret for them while they teach. So, my time there became half vacation for her but not by much since she prepared all my meals (Korean) while tending her two active daughters (2 and 4). Apparently, she is the only one in her organizaiton of 350+ missionaries who can do what she does.
One afternoon, the missionary commented how encouraging it was for her and the students to see that I came with an apprentice for training purpose, because it showed the importance of producing those who are able to teach others and how to go about doing it. She was referring to Jonathan, a staff at Radiance Christian Church (S.F.), who was part of my cohort group for 10 weeks. A native of Bolivia, he is exploring possibilies of serving the Lord abroad, but on this trip he did more than that. He was not only a tremendous blessing to the Cuban students but to me as well since his several hours of instruction gave me a chance to breathe in what was a grueling pace, particularly from Tuesday to Thursday (15 sessions in 18 hours/all told 19 sessions in 23 hours). Jonathan also prepared the test (41 questions) and graded them (all 71).
Just going to Cuba to teach was a great privilege but training Jonathan was what made it fun. I had even more fun when Pastor Hugo whom I trained while serving in Mexico got connected to this seminary: he is going there to offer one my courses later this year.
Do you serve the Lord in any capacity? Then, invest whatever you have received from the Lord—knowledge, skill, and/or money—into all those up-and- coming who desire to serve God; that is, “Produce reliable men who are qualified to teach others.” Thus, I was happy to report to Pastor Mark, Jon’s boss, this: “Jon showed all the earmarks of having the potential to become a dynamic and passionate teacher of God’s Word.” Now, that’s a lot of fun!
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the things that have been given to me. I also thank You for all the people who have invested into my life so that I can be productive for you and in life. Motivate me to give it back, especially to young people, so that they can serve with great effectiveness.
Bible Reading for Today: John 19
Lunch Break Study
Read Rom. 15:14: I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
Lk. 19:20-4: Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24 And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’
Questions to Consider
- Someone said, “You can’t give what you don’t possess.” With respect to teaching, what are some prerequisites to be able to produce reliable men who are qualified to teach others?
- Ultimately, why is God not pleased when we don’t share with others what He has given us?
- What are some common excuses to justify why we do not try to reproduce ourselves? Pray about investing yourself into the life of a person who has the need for what you have.
- Two of the prerequisites are character (as indicated by “full of goodness) and knowledge. Without character, no one may want to learn from you; without knowledge, no one would feel the need to learn from you.
- Not sharing with others what God has given us shows that we are lazy at best and greedy at worst. The operative word is stewardship: we must faithfully manage what is given to us so that others may benefit from the investment God has made in our lives.
- The unfaithful servant in the parable had the gall to lay the blame on God Himself, presenting him as unfair and unprincipled man. Some of the excuses among us may be: “I’m not ready yet,” “It’s not the right time” (Hag. 1:2); “Someone better can do it”. The truth: we prioritize going up higher and getting more (often at the expense of others) above serving God.
Pastor Hugo probably spent more than 1,000 hours with me in the classroom over a period of 8 years; also, he often came to my house for further instruction. I sent him out to churches and schools in and outside of our city to teach my courses. He continues to impart them, including Greek which he has introduced to a college in Indiana that has a program for Hispanics. As for me, I feel a lot of joy, satisfaction, and gratitude toward the Lord.
I invite you to pray about giving yourself to someone who wants to learn from you. “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’”
(Acts 20:35 b ).