June 15, Friday

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

Jeremiah 12:4 (NIV)

“How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished. Moreover, the people are saying, “He will not see what happens to us.” 

I generally don’t believe in the idea of “victimless crimes.”  Wikipedia defines victimless crime as “an illegal act that typically either directly involves only the perpetrator, or occurs between consenting adults; because it is consensual in nature, there is arguably no true victim.”  Examples typically include drug abuse, gambling, and prostitution.  Yet, anyone who’s had a loved one involved in a drug, gambling, or sex addiction can tell you how damaging they are for the individuals directly involved.  We also know that the further you go up the “food chains” of these crime syndicates, we start talking about truly sinister actions like human trafficking and murder.

Obviously, I described some of the worst sins in our society and their ripple effects.  But how about smaller areas of corruption?  A few months ago I was made aware how expensive construction in NYC is; I firmly believe that contributing to this cost are so called “expedition fees” that one has to pay in order to get permits issued in a timely manner.  Well, those fees eventually make their way down to every person working or living in the city by driving up mortgages, rent, and taxes.  My wife constantly laments the unnecessarily high cost of healthcare citing a variety of factors, including pharmaceutical kickbacks, bogus legal liability claims, uninsured patients, etc.  Here’s the point: we live in a society, and like it or not, what we do— somehow and to varying degrees—impacts others.  Corruption in one area trickles down to many areas of society.

Jeremiah saw this truth in today’s passage, when he asked the Lord how long the land would lie parched as a result of wickedness in Jerusalem.  In the Old Testament, one of the common punishments God doled out for apostasy was to withhold rain and curse the land (Lev 26:18-20; Deut 28:23-24; Hag 1:8-11; etc.); in essence, the king’s idolatry made life miserable for every citizen.  As a New Covenant believer, I’d be hard pressed to attribute natural disasters to God’s judgment, but I would say that many (if not all) of the difficulties in our society are related to someone’s (or everyone’s) sinfulness and corruption.

Here’s the take home: do your part.  We’ll never eliminate corruption on this side of heaven, but let’s not contribute to it; don’t let it beat you into participating with it.  Be a light; act as honestly as you can, train others to do the same, and trust our God to right all wrongs in His time.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please give me the courage and faith to act with integrity at all times.  Let me be the salt and light You called me to be, and give me a heart to pray for our leaders and our society.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  Ezekiel 21


Lunch Break Study

Read Hebrews 10:19-25: Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Questions to Consider

  1. Before encouraging us to action, the writer of Hebrews gives us motivation for doing so in vv. 19-21.  What are they?
  2. Starting in v. 22 we are told to do three things (“let us…”).  What are they?
  3. How can you apply one or all of these to your life today?

Notes

  1. Our motivation for Christian action is that we can now have direct access to and draw right into the heart of the Most High God, because Jesus shed His blood for us.  We no longer have to stand behind a curtain, nor do we need a priest to intercede for us.
  2. Therefore, we are told to draw near to God (v. 22), hope for a future kingdom (v. 32), and encourage and meet with one another in fellowship (vv. 24-25).
  3. Application question.

Evening Reflection 

Today, I wanted you to consider what makes you different as a believer.  Is it the way you live your life with integrity and holiness?  Is it that you know and have a deep personal relationship with the Triune God, or that you genuinely hope and live as a citizen of another land?  Or perhaps, you love the family of God deeply.  Take a moment and ask the Lord to speak into your life about how you represent Him in this world.

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