Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Yohan Lee who previously served at Remnant Church (NYC), Radiance Christian Church (SF) and Grace Covenant Church (Philadelphia), was first posted on November 11, 2014.
Devotional Thought for Today
“Finally Accepting Who I Am in Christ—Thanks to My Wife)”
“Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers.”
Warning: this devotional may feel like a Hallmark card.
Recently, I’ve been noticing how the Lord has been using my marriage as a means of grace to transform me more and more into the image of His Son. Like many people, I was a little insecure about my being: my family background, my abilities, even my looks as a teenager, which carried over into my 20’s. I wasn’t anywhere near self-loathing, but deep inside, I knew that I wasn’t totally comfortable with myself. Cognitively, I knew that I was unconditionally loved through Christ, made in the image of God, and fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14), but for whatever reason, I didn’t make Christ sufficient to overcome these insecurities. (Notice I did not say that Christ was “not sufficient,” but rather, I didn’t allow Him to be so in my life).
In his grace, Christ didn’t beat me down until my heart believed what my head supposedly knew. I got the kid-glove treatment; I got married, and my wife believes in me, accepts my shortcomings, actually finds me attractive (even after I overeat), and loves me despite of my imperfections. After several years of marriage, I realized that I am now way more comfortable with who I am and how God has made me than before. Such understanding has allowed me to minister to others who also struggle with insecurities (which is virtually all of us). What helped me to believe that I am worthy of love is that I have a person who serves as tangible proof that I am actually loved. So in a sense, my wife is a means of grace and sanctification that God has given me to make me more whole and complete. Hopefully, my wife would say the same about me.
The point of this Proverb is this: If my wife expressed thoughts of deep love and appreciation not just with me, but with five, three, or even one other guy, it would completely lose its meaning for me; that is like “strangers drinking from my cistern.” Though some things are better when shared, such as Asian food, others things obviously are not. This Proverbs refers to marital relationships, but the concept of finding joy and contentment in what God has given you has several applications outside of marriage. How is God using your circumstances to mold you into the image of Christ? Do you value, guard, and take care of such things so that they can be a continued blessing? As an FYI, I believe God uses all of our relationships to mold us in our sanctification, not just marriage.
Prayer: Father, please help me to be thankful for and treasure every relationship that You have given me. Help me to see that You are transforming me into the image of your Son through these relationships. Please also guard my marriage, and help me to appreciate my wife or husband as a means of grace.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 58
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Cor. 12:12-20: For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
Questions to Consider
- Have you ever wished for another role within the church or outside of it?
- Do you know how your strengths help to edify the body (the church)?
- Who arranged the members of the body for their roles? Why do you suppose it was so?
- A personal question, so please consider it truthfully.
- Some people have never explored what they enjoy or what they are good at in ministry. This is a shame because we do not feel useful when we do not contribute; this makes us feel like we have no positive role in the church, which is not true.
- God arranged his church (vs. 18). The differences in the church help us to function properly.
Spend a few minutes to thank the Lord for your significant relationships. List three things you appreciate most about these people. How have these people helped you become more like Christ? How can you help these people to be more like Christ?