June 13, Wednesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from June 11 to 17 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

“The Truth Hurts”

Jeremiah 11:18-20

Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing. 19 I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.” 20 But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.

When it comes to evangelism, there tends to be two approaches.  One is the direct method, where you just ask anyone, “Do you know Jesus?”  In its most extreme form, you’ll see street preachers telling passersby that they are doomed to an eternity of torture in hell.  Perhaps in reaction to the aggression and negative perception of the stereotypical street preacher, the other method of “friendship evangelism” has gotten more and more popular and is how most Christians choose to “evangelize” today.  Perhaps you’re familiar with this method; you basically try your best to be the most loving, most patient, most honest person on the planet (i.e. you try to be like Jesus), then you wait and pray for that eventual day when your friend will ask you why you’re so “different” from everybody else.  Of course, your answer will be “Jesus,” which will open the door to a wonderful conversation about faith and the Gospel.

In theory, friendship evangelism sounds great, but in reality, it has many flaws.  First, no one can sustain prolonged Christlikeness (that’s why we need a savior).  Second, most people are so cynical, they don’t admire that guy who is always joyful and caring; they hate him more because he’s so annoying.  But most importantly, if we’re honest, the real reason most of us “practice” friendship evangelism is that we’re a little scared of what happens when we represent Christ.  We’re afraid to be labeled a close-minded “Jesus Freak”, and we’re afraid that our words will be misinterpreted as judgmental and eventually break the relationships we worked so hard to build.  This a legitimate concern and an oftentimes sad outcome when sharing Christ.

If you’ve been struggling with how to share Christ with people you love, please understand that you are not alone in your struggles.  The Bible and church history is full of men and women who have loved deeply, spoken truthfully, and been hated venomously.  In today’s passage we see that Jeremiah was one such person.  God gave him a message, albeit not a message that was easy to hear, and he delivered it. The people hated him for it and even plotted to kill him.  The truth of the matter is that we as believers must understand the Gospel will not be “good news” to the majority, but we must continue to share the truth because it is the only hope people have.  So this morning, if you’ve been struggling with how to share Christ, let me encourage you, it’s always going to be a struggle. Perhaps, it might not go well, but understand also that God sees, and your words do have the potential to be life-giving.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, this morning I want to pray for _____________.  Let me be bold enough to share the gospel with him/her, even if it costs our relationship.  Help them to see Your love for them. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Ezekiel 19


Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 10:8-15: But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of alland richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Questions to Consider

  1. According to this passage, how is a person saved?
  2. According to this passage, what is the believer’s role and why is it important?
  3. Why do you suppose Paul quoted Isaiah 28:16 in vs. 11, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame?”  What kind of shame was he talking about?

Notes

  1. We are saved by confessing with our mouths that “Jesus is Lord” and believing in our hearts that God raised him from the dead.  In other words, it is faith in Christ, not religion or actions.
  2. As believers our role in the spreading of the Gospel is to preach the good news to those who have not heard (vv.14-15).  This role is obviously critical because nobody can call on Jesus unless they’ve been told of him.
  3. I don’t think Paul was talking about a day-to-day-never-feeling-ashamed-of-anything-that-anyone-has-to-say-about-us type of feeling.  But ultimately, I think he was talking about an eternal feeling.  One day, when we are standing with God, we’ll know that we made the right choice and stood in the truth.

Evening Reflection 

Today’s theme was sharing the gospel, but more than that, it was about standing for God and doing what pleases him only.  This evening, ask yourself, “Is my one desire truly to live for and please God, or do I desire other things more?” (family, popularity, comfort, money, etc.).  Perhaps you live life trying to satisfy too many opinions or voices; perhaps you need to simplify and just listen to one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s