September 16, Wednesday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on June 26, 2014.  Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Devotional Thought for This Morning

“That Nagging Problem of Sin”

1 Timothy 5:24-25

“The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them, in the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.”

No one likes to be confronted with sin. As a young man in college, an older brother in the Lord confronted me about my lousy attitude and my lack of humility. I remember even arguing with him that I was more teachable and humbler than he was. How foolish are the ways of a young man! But fortunately, I’m not that same young man, and in retrospect, I realize those things were true of me. One way to know whether you are growing in the Lord is when you become aware of the hidden things that God brings to light. 

This is what Paul is essentially telling the Ephesian congregation, echoing what Jesus said: “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs” (Luke 12:3). Everybody is going to see our deeds, for God has a way of taking hidden sins and bringing them to light. We think we can hide our sins, but we can’t.  

The sins of some people are conspicuous, and it is obvious that they are heading for God’s judgment. But according to the apostle Paul, they are not the only kind of sins. Some people are skillful at hiding their sins: They appear to be very devoted, committed people, but there is terrible evil in their hearts all the time. However, as the saying goes, “Time will tell.” In fact, the closer you get these people, the more obvious their evil will become.

Paul says that this works in reverse also. The good deeds that we do cannot be hidden, for eventually they will be revealed, and people will know and be blessed because of our good works. God, in His perfect timing, will reveal all good deeds, whether here or on the other side of eternity. 

Are there any sins which you are hiding from the world? Maybe even from yourself? Know that all sins will be exposed. But the sins which the Lord expunges with Christ’s blood will not found any more. Take some today to examine your heart and confess your sins: It’s basic to our faith. And if you are doing good deeds, but don’t feel like anyone notices, continue to do them because God is honored and his honor will soon be revealed. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and for Your church, for You have envisioned it to be the perfect bride of Christ to the perfect Lamb of God. Thank You that You love us enough to speak words of discipline. Help me to be a person who willingly obeys You, and who walks in the power of your Spirit.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:2 Chronicles 11


Lunch Break Study

Read Acts 5:1-11: But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, [2] and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. [3] But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? [4] While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” [5] When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. [6] The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. [7] After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. [8] And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” [9] But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” [10] Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. [11] And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

Questions to Consider 

  1. The positive picture of the community’s willingness to share is marred by this couple who lied about their giving. Why was this a grievous sin? 
  2. According to verse 3, who is the instigator behind the couple’s deed, “filling” their hearts with deception? 
  3. Consider how well you are doing with being truthful to people. Do you at times find yourself telling little lies or even big ones, thinking no one will find out?  

Notes 

  1. The context is important: The Spirit was closely aligned to the unity of the fellowship manifested in their sharing. Ananias and Sapphira abused the fellowship through their deception and thereby threatened its unity.   
  2. Satan. And when we lie, we are acting consistently with Satan. 
  3. We often speak untruthful words to depict a certain reality about things. We need to confess that we are all capable of lying and that we need to guard our hearts from Satan’s ploys.  

Evening Reflection

Would you consider yourself to be a person who speaks truthfully to all people, at all times? Do you feel that you are honest at work? Do you have a tendency to hide things, maybe not speaking the truth when it inconveniences you? 

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