April 22, Wednesday

UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), is an updated version of his blog first posted on February 5, 2013.

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“One Virtue Solely Needed in the Post COVID-19 World”

Psalm 12:5-7

“Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,” says the Lord.  “I will protect them from those who malign them.” 6 And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. 7 O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.

future-7bTxAlf-AiY-unsplashOne virtue solely needed in the post COVID-19 world will be patience because everything that so quickly crumbled to the ground—jobs, small-businesses, lifesavings—will not easily be recovered.  And for those who lost family members or friends to coronavirus, recovering from emotional pain, in whatever degree, may take a long time. Now more than ever before we have a great need to trust God.   

However, what keeps us from trusting God is impatience.  Truth be told, unless God complies with our request at once, we are ready to look elsewhere.  That’s because we don’t understand how the LORD works.  For instance, He put the plan of salvation into motion through Abraham over 4,000 years ago and it still has not been completed. Why?  Because, among other reasons, God isn’t about to turn humans into robots so that they would believe at the push of a button—which could certainly complete the task of world evangelism much quicker—since that is inconsistent to His character of love.

In today’s reading, we learned that God protects us, but sometimes His ways seem opposite to our expectation and timing. Some of us, to our dismay, are finding this out while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to turn our world topsy-turvy.  It’s because God isn’t always interested in immediately alleviating our discomfort since that would run counter to His will to transform our character through the Holy Spirit.  The apostle Paul states, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”  (2 Cor. 3:17-18).  And transformation takes time—thus, we all need to be patient when God is at work to change us.

So, as we wait, let us be patient and worship God. This morning ask God to help you to trust in His word, and then, read it.   

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I admit that I often feel quite frustrated at You for not coming through for me.  Sometimes, I find myself questioning Your goodness and wonder whether following You is worth it but looking at Christ, I believe it is!  Forgive me and help me to be stronger in You. Amen

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 24


Lunch Break Study

Read Heb. 4:12: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart

James 1:22-24:  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

1 Thess. 2:13: And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

Questions to Consider

  1. The second half of Hebrews 4:12 says, “God’s word judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  What does that mean (James 1:22-24)?
  2. What is one destructive thought that can greatly undermine our attitude toward God’s word (1 Thess. 2:13; Gn. 3:1)?
  3. What are the benefits of consistently reading God’s word in the midst of our struggles3 (Ps. 46:10; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Matt. 4:4)?

Notes

  1. In James, reading God’s word is equated to looking into a mirror, which accurately reflects our physical state. Most people, after noting any blemish on their face, will fix it.  When we read God’s word with an earnest heart, it reflects our true spiritual condition. Upon seeing any blemish, we ought to correct ourselves through a prayer of repentance unto God.
  2. Nothing undermines our confidence in God’s word than doubting, which is what the devil successfully did with Eve.  We are constantly told that the Bible is a concoction of men’s words and ideas, but that, of course, is false.  If you harbor any doubts about this matter, read A General Introduction to the Bible by Geisler and Nix.
  3. Our daily grind often makes us forget about God’s presence, but a regular reading of His word will consistently reminds us of His sovereignty.  It also helps us to not only discern what ideas are spiritually harmful but overcome (i.e., correct) them as well.  Another benefit is overcoming temptations through an apt reminder of God’s word (which we’ve read) that is relevant to the situation at hand.  This is how Jesus countered Satan each time He was tempted by him (“It is written . . .”).        

Evening Reflection

olia-gozha-J4kK8b9Fgj8-unsplashLet’s raise some questions in view of what was touched upon this afternoon. How would describe your Bible reading habit?  Are you content with it or does it need a tune-up?  What is one pressing issue in your life at the moment that really needs some biblical counseling?  Look up the index at the back of your Bible and read relevant passages that address your issue.

Now, before turning in, take a moment to write out your favorite passages in your own words.  How do these words encourage you?

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