The AMI QT Devotionals for July 22-23 are written by Pastor Ryun Chang.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
Psalm 4:4-5, 7-8
In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord. 6 Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. 7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. 8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Anger is one emotion most of us know all too well; I certainly do. Now that all my three children have left home to lead their own life—and we’ve good relationships, this despite my many shortcomings as a father—that’s one thing I wish I could’ve done a lot better: being patient over blowing my top. Typically, after my tantrum, I would feel guilty and condemned, mostly self-inflicted but the enemy was always glad to lend a hand to make it worse.
The truth is that, regardless of how one is provoked, an unresolved anger “gives the devil a foothold” (Eph. 4:27), for it will began to chip away at our joy, peace, and freedom in Christ. Blaming others is always easier but when our hearts are silent before the Lord, the Holy Spirit will show us our faults as well.
Once, I got really upset at my wife because she interrupted me while I was praying in the morning. (One of our children had called from school for something urgent—for him). Upon seeing my anger, she asked, “With whom are you spending your time?” The subtext was this: “How can you respond that way if you were spending time with the Lord?” This, of course, made me more upset.
Two days later, while I was praying a Scripture suddenly flashed through my mind: “Do not be overrighteous.” That was from Ecclesiastes 7:16a. So, I quickly repented of my self-righteousness and immediately apologized to my wife, who, by the way, vowed never to bother me while I’m praying. (Trying to prove that I truly repented, I invited her to test me by “interrupting” my prayer again; she retorted, “No way.”)
So how was the weekend? Did anything or anyone make you feel upset or even angry? What does that say about you as a person and as a Christian? (The said anger suggested that I was a self-righteous person.) Before leaving home, ask the LORD to grant you the courage needed to make things right with God and with others.
Prayer: Dear God, as I start a new week, I desire a life devoid of strife and anger. Lord, strengthen me to overlook and forgive the faults of others. Help me to not anger others as well. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Kings 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Mark 11:15-17 (NIV): On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’]? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
Questions to Consider
- Who said this and to whom was this said?
- Why were they conducting this business in the courtyard of the temple (Deut. 16:16)? Was it a bad thing?
- Why was Jesus so indignant3? Notice that the business was conducted in the Court of the Gentiles, the only place in the temple where the Gentiles could pray (2 Chr. 6:32).
- Jesus said this to the venders of animals and money changers who conducted their business in the courtyard of the temple.
- Since no one was allowed to appear before the Lord empty-handed, they provided a service for those Jews coming from faraway places who couldn’t bring their own animals for sacrifices. The money changers conveniently supplied the Jewish currency, which they then used to buy the animals—not a bad thing at first.
- Despite this, the Jews still had a place to pray in the Temple area but not the Gentiles, since their place was now occupied by the Jewish businessmen. Jesus’ indignation was caused by Israel’s complete disregard for the spiritual welfare of the Gentiles. That’s why the Lord declared that the Temple is a house of prayer for all nations.
Earlier, we reflected on not allowing our unresolved anger to rob us of our joy and peace. As you look back, did anyone anger you today, or did you anger someone? How did you do deal with it?