July 21, Tuesday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI who in the past has served as a staff at several AMI churches, was first posted on November 11, 2014.  He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).

Devotional Thought for this Morning

“Knowing Your Limits”

Prov. 5:7-8

“And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house,”

micheile-henderson-FkfA8dNaVoE-unsplashCall it childish machismo, but I am fond of saying, “Every boy needs to get into a fight with an older kid he cannot overcome, at least once in his life.”  Many in this reading audience are probably horrified right now, but I believe that taking a beating humbles young boys and teaches them to keep quiet (once in a while).  Over the years, I’ve expanded my defense of said statement to include, “Boys need to learn how to fight losing battles”; and “Boys need to test their limits, and you can only test your limits by losing once in a while.”  By the way, fighting losing battles (for good causes) and testing limits is not exclusive to boys.

All that being said, there are just some battles that you should not try to fight; there are some limits that need not be tested.  I love how, in this book full of overtly wise and pithy statements, we get the subtle but equally wise message to “run away!”  Although the idea of running away does not appeal to the childish machismo in me, there is nothing cowardice about running from sin and situations that cause you to sin.  The truth is that knowing your limits is a part of maturing (not just spiritual maturation); those who never learn what they can and cannot handle will repeatedly find themselves in poor situations and living in regret.

For the writer of Proverbs, sexual purity is obviously one of those areas, but it is not the only one.  For those who struggle with alcohol, going to a bar on a Friday night may be something that needs to be avoided.  The person with an addictive personality may need to stay far away from a casino.  The shopaholic may need to stay away from the mall or get rid of credit cards.  Obviously, I don’t know what you need to run away from, but I want to encourage you with a wise proverb of my own: “Better to run on your feet than to fall on your face.”

Prayer: Lord, show me areas in my life that I need to totally avoid. Help me to see that Your means of grace for me in these areas is to run, and that You are growing in me the fruit of self-control in the process.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 14


Lunch Break Study

Read Gen. 39:1-23 (only 11-21 is provided below): But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, 12 she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. 13 And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. 15 And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.” 16 Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, 17 and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. 18 But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.” 19 As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. 20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Questions to Consider

  1. How was Joseph able to avoid from falling?
  2. How did things work out for Joseph?
  3. Look carefully at this chapter.  What is the real message of Joseph’s life?

Notes

  1. The obvious answer is that Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife (39:12).  But if you look at 39:8-9, Joseph was also mindful of God and feared sinning against Him, for Joseph knew that God always sees.  Likewise, we need to live with the realization that God always sees.   
  2. Outwardly, not so good: He was falsely accused and thrown in prison.  But here is the point: sometimes doing the right thing may not immediately end in good results, and we shouldn’t be surprised if this happens.
  3. Ultimately, the point of Joseph’s life story is found in 39:2 and 39:1: “The Lord was with Joseph.”  The Lord orchestrated the highs and lows of Joseph’s life, and He was with him.  God is always in charge and He does not leave his children.

Evening Reflection

Did something come up today that you needed to avoid?  Did you run?  Did you conduct yourself today as if God were watching you?  Do you know that He is with you?

Very recently, one of my pastoral friends lamented what he perceived to be an issue with younger people.  Basically, he felt that it is getting harder to lead, teach, and shepherd people because they feel like they’d rather make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes rather than listening to a leader’s advice.  This friend further commented that to many it doesn’t matter if something is wise, right, true, good, etc. as long as they make the decision.

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