October 11, Wednesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 9-15 are provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.  Peter is a graduate of U.C. Riverside and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).  He and his wife Jessica have three very active children: Nathan, Abigail, and Jason.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

No Longer Confused

Genesis 11:7-9

Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” 8 So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

One afternoon, I took my son, Nathan, to H-Mart, a local Korean grocery store. At the check-out line, I spoke to the cashier in Korean. My son looked stunned that a foreign language was coming out of my mouth. With confusion in his eyes, he said, “I didn’t know you can speak Spanish.” I had a good laugh sharing that story with my wife later that evening. However, when confusion is a result of misinterpretations and misunderstandings, it is quite frustrating. Even when speaking the same language with one another, how often our miscommunications and misunderstandings have impeded a project, or worse, wrecked a relationship?

Well, we can “thank” those who attempted to build a tower thousands of years ago in their attempts to become gods themselves. That contemptible effort only resulted in God’s judgment of confusing their language, thereby making it impossible for them to work together. But confusion, segregation, and frustration was never God’s intended plan; in fact, God made Eve because it was not good for man to be alone. God’s plan for His children was for them to enjoy harmonious relationships based on clear communication, genuine intimacy, and strong unity.

Thousands of years later, the pattern of confusion and segregation finally got reversed when Christ inaugurated the Kingdom of God (Mt. 12:28). Later, as the Holy Spirit came upon all the believers—irrespective of their gender, age or economic standing—at Pentecost, we see the reversal of effect of the Tower of Babel. There in Jerusalem, God enabled people who had come speaking different languages to hear the good news of God’s kingdom in their own language. Subsequently, the believers began to live in a new kind of community that once again reflected intimacy and unity. The language barrier no longer divided as the Spirit of Jesus brought peace, thereby destroying “the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:14).

As our society increasingly becomes polarized over seemingly endless hot-button issues, our words and/or actions based on biblical conviction can often be misunderstood by those on the other side who then respond with sharp criticism and accusation. This is all the more reason why we should hold fast to the Spirit of Christ so that the Body of Christ continues to break down walls of hostility rather than erecting new barriers.

Prayer: Lord, give us unity in our churches. Help us to forgive; help us to be generous; help us to submit to one another; help us to live in the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus name,
Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 1


Lunch Break Study

Read Acts 1:6-8 (NIV): Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What does the question raised by the disciples reveal about their understanding of God’s Kingdom?
  2. According to this passage, why is it important for the disciples to receive power?
  3. Read the prayer of Jesus in John 17:23 – “I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Do you see any connection between the power of the Holy Spirit and the unity of the disciples?

Notes

  1. The disciples still had a limited understanding of the Kingdom of God; they still thought that the nation of Israel would soon rule over Rome and other nations. However, God’s Kingdom (spiritual) would arrive on earth through the Spirit of God.
  2. We see that power is necessary for the believers to serve as witnesses of the good news of Jesus.
  3. The result of power and unity is salvation of unbeliever. The “power” of the Holy Spirit is often exclusively associated with sign gifts such as healing and prophecy; however, it is also necessary for the disciples to preserve the unity of peace because, without it, the world cannot tell them apart from unbelievers. When the world sees a genuine Christian unity, this makes the gospel that much attractive for unbelievers.

Evening Reflection

Ask the Lord to mend a broken relationship that might be affecting you, especially as it pertains to your family or your church (e.g., pastors, small group leaders, etc.).

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