REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on June 23, 2014. Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Not Just in Need but Striving to be Needed”
1 Timothy 5:5-10
The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
One of the constant challenges of doing ministry in an urban setting is discerning those who genuinely have a need, from those who are just lazy and are trying to take advantage of the church. Our church leadership had a policy of not handing out money, especially to strangers who would ask for assistance, but we would invariably offer to buy groceries; some people gladly take them, while others suddenly no longer feel very hungry.
Even in the Christian community, there will always be those who seek help from the church even though they may not truly be in need. So Paul is calling Timothy to be wise in safeguarding the community funds lest swindlers take away resources from those who truly have nothing. Paul, therefore, says widows are to be characterized by loneliness and prayer; those who constantly make heartfelt pleas for rescue—and it is these widows whom the believing community must support.
But the widow is not to just receive. She is to live a godly life, not being self-indulgent (1 Tim. 5:6), but a woman who devotes herself to prayer and service. She is to have a “reputation for good works, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, caring for the afflicted, and devoting herself to every good work” (1 Tim 5:10).
A person in need should strive to be needed: That is what we are called to be as believers. You may go through a season of need, but the aim is to become a person who is needed in the body of Christ. We should never remain just needy but should aspire to grow into a position of helping others. In fact, take a moment and ask yourself, does anyone need me? Would the body of Christ suffer if I weren’t there? May you be a person not just in need, but a person who is needed.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for meeting all my needs. Help me to be a person who can be a blessing to others. Help me to serve in such a way that I would be missed should I happen to miss a church meeting or service. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Chronicles 27
Lunch Break Study
Read Proverbs 11:25-31: Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. 26 The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it. 27 Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it. 28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. 29 Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart. 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise. 31 If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!
- What is the promise of those who serve others?
- According to verse 27, what naturally happens when we go about pursuing good?
- Can you truly agree with the statement that seeking riches for its own sake brings troubles to his or her own household (v.29)? How ambitious are you when it comes to money? How important is it to you?
- That he himself will be enriched, watered, satisfied, and fulfilled.
- When we pursue doing good, we find ourselves ultimately receiving favor of God and others.
- There is nothing wrong with working hard and becoming wealthy. But seeking wealth for its own sake will ultimately wreak havoc to one’s life.
Who did you help today? Was there a person who had a genuine need that God brought into your life today?