December 20, Wednesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from December 17 to 24 are provided by Pastor Yohan Lee of Remnant Church, New York City. Yohan graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Cairn University, where he studied theology. He is married to Mandie, and they have four adorable children.

 

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Give me a Break

Genesis 29:31

When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.

My wife and I recently purchased our first home. I don’t know if it’s always like this, but I feel like our home buying process was not the most civil affair—the seller and I fought over everything, from the price of the house, to repairs, to appliances, etc. To make matters worse, during the final walk through on the day of closing, we noticed that this guy switched out the washing machine, claiming that the one that was supposed to come with the house broke. Who does this?!?! What a childishly crooked thing to do!!! I didn’t believe it then—and I still don’t— but in the end, I wasn’t going to let my family go homeless over a washing machine. So I just kind of seethed internally for a while.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks, as we are meeting families in our new town, we catch wind that the house sellers are now living with their parents (small town gossip). My wife and I start to feel bad because we assume that these people are getting a divorce, or someone lost a job, or are experiencing some other financial hardship. Well, instead of bad-mouthing these guys as crooks, I start thinking things like, Wow, I’m such a jerk. Maybe these guys needed the money more than I do. And I don’t know how serious I was, but I found myself saying things like this, “If I’d have known these guys were in a financial crunch, I would have given them the dryer too.” Again, I’m pretty cheap, so I don’t know how earnest that comment was.

If you’re familiar with the story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel, you know what is going to happen in chapter 30… a soap opera style baby-making contest. What might surprise you is that God played a critical role in this drama. He is the one who opened Leah’s womb, and by implication closed Rachel’s for a season (see also 30:2). Now, before you go jumping to the conclusion that God caused all the drama in Jacob’s house for fun, look what the Bible says about His intention: He opened Leah’s womb because she was so hated. Did you get that? All this drama came because God was showing compassion to Leah since she was hated.

So many times we see bad situations from only our side of the struggle, and we jump to the conclusion that God is punishing us or something worse. But perhaps what we don’t ever think about is that there maybe someone on the other side of the equation who just needs a break more than you do, and maybe God knows that you’ll bounce back. Perhaps that guy who got the promotion, which you felt like you deserved, has six kids at home, or maybe he is a crisis in his life, or just needs something to go right for him—only God knows. In the end, we have to believe that God’s sovereignty reigns, and He has a purpose for everything.

Prayer: Lord, give me perspective to see other people’s needs, even when mine seem so pressing. In times when I don’t see, give me grace and patience to submit to Your ways. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  1 Corinthians 2


Lunch Break Study

Read 2 Peter 3:8-10: But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Questions to Consider

  1. Based on the passage, what were the first century Christians waiting for?
  2. What does Peter give as God’s rationale for delaying?
  3. Honestly, how do you react when the Lord shows kindness to people who don’t “deserve” it?

Notes

  1. From v. 10 (and vv. 1-7), it seems that many first century Christians were eagerly awaiting for the Lord’s return, likely because they were facing trials in their faith.
  2. The Lord has not returned because He is showing His mercy; He is waiting for sinner to repent and believe.
  3. Hopefully, you respond by rejoicing, but, of course, this is a personal question.

Evening Reflection

Today’s theme was perspective—more specifically, seeing things from other people’s perspective. Is there someone you’ve had a hard time forgiving? Have you tried to look at life through his/her eyes? Where is God leading you in this matter?

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