September 20, Sunday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI, was first posted on September 7, 2013.  A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA), Yohan served as a staff at several AMI churches in the past. 

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Don’t Just Holding Down the Fort”

Ecclesiastes 3:16-17

“Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.”

I had just finished sweeping and mopping the floors, but do you know what happened within two hours?  That’s right, dinner, and really the second worst dinner to have after having cleaned your floors: spaghetti (the worst dinner is Korean/Chinese spaghetti, cha-chang-myun).  Sometimes, I wonder if cleaning the house is meaningless (or vanity).  I could add a verse to Ecclesiastes, “I toil for hours to clean my house and within minutes rowdy children come and mess it up; this too is meaningless.”  

But as I looked at all the tomato sauce stains covering an otherwise spotless floor, the realization hit me: in the Christian life, you often have to fight battles that cannot possibly be won.  If you are unwilling to do this, then you will probably not do any good either.  For example, do you think that Christians (or anyone else) will be able to end poverty, abuse, sex-trafficking, or any of many ills of society?  No, because in this world, there will always be evil people doing evil deeds.  But nonetheless, we are called to preach the good news, free the prisoners, recover sight for the blind, etc. (Luke 4:18).  

We, as followers of Christ, must not mistake a falling and corrupting society for no progress whatsoever.  On the macro-level, I would agree that our world is getting worse, but on the micro-level, people are being saved, slaves are being freed, people are turning to Christ, and the kingdom is advancing.  The work of Christians does indeed matter to the lives that are being touched by them.  So to complete the earlier thought, sure my house may feel gross after the kids spill sauce, but how much worse would it be if I totally gave up cleaning?  What would our world look like if God’s people stopped trying to “hold down the fort” until he returned? 

Truthfully, Ecclesiastes is a difficult book to teach from because it strikes a chord with how most of us have felt at one time or another: “What is the point?”  Yes, as this passage points out, there is wickedness all around, but do you believe that God put you here for a purpose?  What is that purpose?  One day, as Christ returns to make things right, will he reward you for winning a battle that could not be won?  

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me not to give up being an instrument of Your righteousness in this sin-tainted world. When I feel discouraged by how much more left to do, remind me that all things are under Your control.  Thank You.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Chronicles 16

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