REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on May 19, 2014. Peter is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Don’t Give Yourself Too Much Credit”
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
Do you ever read a passage like this in the Bible and think to yourself, “C’mon God, I wasn’t that bad, was I?” While it’s easy for us to point our fingers towards Cain, Korah, King Saul, Nabal, Jezebel, and all of the Assyrian army, we’d like to give ourselves a little more credit than what this passage describes.
We often become critical of others and see faults rather easily in the Cains and the King Sauls around us. All the while, we neglect to see our own brokenness and sins. We insinuate that while others are gossiping, we’re only “sharing” pertinent information; others are hoarders, but I’m a saver; others struggle with fears that immobilize them from making decisions, while I’m merely waiting on the Lord. Why do our motives seem so pure while others seem so sinful?
Jeremiah says, “The heart is deceitful above all else.” Adding insult to injury, the Devil, the “father of lies,” takes our deceitful hearts and masterfully complements that with his own set of lies so that we remain in a dangerous place of self-deception. Inevitably, that leads us towards self-righteousness. The last time that Jesus had a taste of a self-righteous group of believers, he said that he was about to “spit” them out of his mouth (Rev. 3:14-22). The Greek word “spit” depicts someone having a gag-reflex. Self- righteousness must have been very disgusting to Jesus.
Some of us may have grown up with proper manners and good outward behaviors towards others. Good. However, we know that our hearts were far from the glory of God. All of us came to Christ with our hearts full of foolishness, disobedience, deception, enslavement to all kinds of sinful passions and pleasures, malice, envy, pride, and hatred. But now Christ has fused His Spirit into our hearts so that His grace and power are at work transforming us into the image of Jesus Himself. Let’s stop looking at others; instead, let’s agree that we, too, struggle with our sin and brokenness and are in deep need of Christ’s grace each day.
Prayer: Dear God, Your word says that You oppose the proud but give grace to the humble. Grant to me your grace, for I confess my need for You in my struggle with my personal sins. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Chronicles 10
Lunch Break Study
Read Luke 7:36-47 (NIV): When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. 41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Questions to Consider
- What does Simon, the Pharisee, fail to do to Jesus who was the guest at his table?
- What does Jesus’ parable reveal about the reality of the relationship between forgiveness and love?
- As you are getting older as a Christian, are you becoming more aware of your personal brokenness and sin tendencies which lead you to appreciate God’s grace more deeply?
- Simon fails to provide any water to wash Jesus’ hands/feet; he fails to greet the teacher with a kiss; and he fails to provide olive oil to refresh his guest. These weren’t subtle mistakes that Simon overlooked, but was a passive aggressive behavior at its best. To extend an invitation, only to deliberately slap Jesus in the face. Maybe Simon wanted to put Jesus in His place or was kind of afraid of being too closely associated with Jesus.
- Jesus concludes that the woman has shown great love, and she understands her many sins have been forgiven. Jesus communicates to Simon that he has yet to be aware of his own sins and need for a Savior.
- Personal response
The Gospel of Jesus Christ deals, first and foremost, with our sins rather than our needs. Yes, God is our Provider and promises to meet our needs. However, the Gospel asks us, “Jesus is Lord – what are you going to do about your sins?” Spend time confessing your sins and allow the Lord to purify you from all unrighteousness.