September 12, Wednesday

Today’s AMI Quiet Time is written by Pastor Ryun.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Average or Ideal Man: Who Would You Like for a Friend?”*

Proverbs 18:24

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

2 Corinthians 5:18b

For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Who wants to be average, right? We all have an image of the ideal “me” that serves a template for all that we do. So, here is how an average guy stacks up against the ideal guy as they both start the day:

Charles, the ideal man, starts his day in a bathroom that is the size of a studio apartment. He grins approvingly as each shaving stroke uncovers a dashing look with no wrinkles. On the other hand, Chuck, the average guy, also begins his day in the bathroom. He doesn’t have much of a beard, so one quick lick with the old Gillette is all it takes.  Charles’ breakfast consists of French croissants with imported butter on the side and hazelnut coffee brewed on a Keurig coffee maker. He hops into his Tesla convertible and off he goes. As for Chuck, he gulps down some Honey Bunches of Oats for breakfast, then dashes off to the office in his aging Toyota Camry, dropping the kids off at school on the way.

After a stimulating day’s work, Charles sprints to the Madison Square Club (annual membership—a cool $20,000) to give his already bulging biceps much needed workout, all in front of gigantic mirrors.  Towel around his neck, his sweat gleams and his hair is never out of place.  He smiles at a dazzling, slim brunette, doing Zumba.  After a smooth and confident introduction, the radiant couple slips off to the clubhouse bar. What a day! But what about Chuck?  Well, he goes home because he needs to take his kids to the little league, and then mows the lawn. He chuckles along with his wife and kids over supper (what, meat loaf again?), while talking mostly about how the day didn’t pan out as was hoped.  Then, he does the dishes.

Charles says, “I need to find myself,” so, he leaves his family for a younger woman, buys another Tesla—this time with wings (trust me, it’s coming) on credit—and searches for the Fountain of Youth so that he may stay young.  He is always busy doing his own thing and says that he’s sorry that he is not able to lend a hand when you were counting on him for his help. Chuck, on the other hand, sits with you after you lose your job.  He comes over when you need someone to help you move the couch.  And he will pray with you, for he is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24).

Folks, the world isn’t as bad as it could be because there are a lot of average men and women who don’t mind doing the little and unglamorous things (1 Cor. 4:2).  The church of God is still standing because many average men and women of God faithfully serve without much fanfare.  So, who would you rather have as a friend? Or, who would you rather be? An ideal man who can’t take his eyes off on what is seen and temporary, or a faithful person who continues to fix his eyes on what is unseen and eternal? Our ultimate ideal person is Jesus; therefore, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross and scorning its shame . . .”—imitate Him (1 Cor. 11:1). 

*The ideal man and average man comparison is loosely based on something I read in the 1980s.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You this day for Your wonderful and continuous provisions for me and my family.  Lord, teach me “to be content whatever the circumstances” so that instead of always trying to get more, that I will share what I have with my neighbors, to let them know that You love them as well. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Job 25


Lunch Break Study

(By Helen Soh)

Read Colossians 3:1-4: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Questions to Consider

  1. Paul directs his words to those who are “raised with Christ…” (v.1). What does it mean to be raised with Christ?
  2. What does it mean to seek things that are above?
  3. What do you spend most of your free time thinking about? Where do you get some of the things you think about? How can you spend more time seeking God’s Word instead?

Notes

  1. Those who are raised with Christ are those who put their faith in Christ. By accepting Christ into our hearts as our Lord and Savior, we also share in His death and resurrection.
  2. We are to set our minds, reflect on, believe, and trust in the things of God. This is made clear in the gospel, but in general, we are to seek the Word, which reveals all the things of God.
  3. (P. Ryun) These days, the ideal person gets his or her ideas from looking at social media like Instagram and Facebook. What about the average person? He or she doesn’t really have the time to sit idly in front of a small screen, thinking about ways to photoshop to make him or her look more fit and happy. What spare time they may have, they read the Bible to be reminded of Christ and His costly sacrifice on our behalf.

Evening Reflection

Are there any areas of growth and/or victories you have gone through lately? Let’s give God thanks because we were able to do it through His power.

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