Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Joe Suh who serves as a pastor intern at the Church of Southland (Anaheim, California). Joe, who was a practicing attorney in the area of civil litigation, is currently enrolled at Talbot School of Theology. He and his wife Betty have been blessed with two beautiful children.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“God’s Gift of Second Chance in Life”
As we close this year, it is a great time to reflect and take stock of what God is doing all around us. As I look back on my life, I am reminded of a miracle and second chance I was given by God. In 2009, just 3 weeks after our first child was born, I suddenly collapsed at my office. The last thing I remembered was telling my secretary (I was a litigation attorney) that I was going to the restroom and then headed to my deposition for the day. I never made it.
To make a long story short I had suffered from a ruptured brain aneurysm and was in an induced coma for 24 days. The next thing I remembered was a nurse, who stood at the edge of my bed, asking me what had to be the scariest question for my wife Betty. Pointing at her, the nurse asked, “Do you know who this is?” I said “yes,” and relief came over Betty. The next question was, “Do you know where you are?” to which I responded, “Seems like a hospital.” Correct! That was another good sign. “Do you know how long you have been here?” was the final question and my answer of 3 days was about four weeks too short. The nurse informed me that it had been a month. That’s when I felt like I was smacked in the face and snapped out of the haze.
This long hard month may have taken a toll on me physically, but for my wife, it was another story. She was 3 weeks postpartum with our daughter and had a husband in the hospital with a dire prognosis. At the time my doctors were not so sure I was going to make it, since I did not respond well each time they tried to wake me from the induced coma. They first tried on the 7th days, then at the 14-day mark, and on the 21st day my surgeon informed my wife that he had not kept someone in a coma longer than 21 days. My wife insisted that they do whatever they could to wake me. You see a couple of days into my ordeal, Betty’s friends came over to pray with her. At that time Betty heard from God. In a still small voice He let her know that He was not done with me yet. So, in faith, she knew I would wake up; she was just not sure of what my condition would be. Amazingly, by the grace of God I was miraculously healed with no known deficits.
Fast forward to where I am now, I clearly see that God was truly not done with me. Since that time, we added a second child to our family and, in February 2017, I transitioned from my career as an attorney to fulltime staff at the Church of Southland. In reflection, this God-given opportunity to serve came at the right time and most definitely the right place. With a lot of prayer, fasting, and faith, my wife and I obeyed the call God placed on my heart. I am thankful every day for the miraculous healing, the second chance, and many opportunities to serve. His fingerprints are all over our lives; we just have to open our eyes to see them. Look and see what our God is doing. In 2019, let’s join Him and His ongoing work more readily and joyfully.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the life I have received from you. Forgive me not being grateful at times. Give me wisdom to seek You first during my journey on earth and not try to do things by my own strength. I praise You and worship You for being a loving Father. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jude 1
Lunch Break Study
(By Joshua Chzen at Kairos Christian Church)
Read Colossians 3:5-8, 12-14 (NIV): Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips . . . 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Questions to Consider
- What does Paul tell the Colossian church to put to death or get rid of? Why?
- What does Paul tell the Colossian church to clothe themselves with or put on? Why?
- How does love relate to the other virtues in this passage?
- Paul tells the church to put off sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed/idolatry, anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. These are part of the earthly nature and the old self that leads to incurring the wrath of God.
- Paul tells the church to put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love. He also instructs them to forgive one another. These are the virtues God’s chosen people, who are holy and dearly loved, are to demonstrate.
- Love binds the rest of the virtues together in perfect unity. We can deduce from this that love plays a role in each of these qualities that we are to demonstrate as God’s beloved.
Oftentimes we are unaware of what’s going on in our own hearts. Who are the people you love the most? Does your love for them reflect the heart of Christ, and demonstrate the virtues of someone who is holy and dearly loved by God? Is your heart for them shaped more by your earthly nature or fleshly desire? Ask God to guide you through these questions of reflection, and to give you an openness to being changed by Him in 2019.