REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Cami King who serves as associate pastor at Remnant Church in Manhattan, was first posted on April 8, 2014. Cami is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Pivotal Importance of God’s People in Our Lives”
And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), 9 and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
As Paul continues defending his message against the deception of false teachers, he turns to the agreement between his message and that of other believers (namely the apostles and those who were “influential” in the Church) as testament to its validity. The apostles were the gold standard at that time because they knew best the teachings of Jesus. They had, after all, spent the most time with Him.
Looking back on the days of the early Church, I imagine it being a bit chaotic and having difficultly discerning what was true and what was false since the New Testament had not yet been written and compiled. But God had things under control and He used the apostles (and others within the Body) to lay the foundations for the teachings we’ve come to know today, the truth that we now have as Scripture, and to lead His people into the right paths. He did this through His Holy Spirit living within the believers.
We are privileged beyond those in the early Church because we now have the compiled New Testament to offer us guidance and wisdom, as well as the ability to discern truth from error, as we seek to live lives that glorify God. But one invaluable thing that we still have today is one another. We all carry the Holy Spirit and are each able to speak words of truth and life to one another through God’s Spirit within us.
We are such an independent culture and sometimes we allow the gift of the Bible to breed pride and isolationism – thinking we can figure everything out on our own. But we still need each other. Yes, God’s Word is our gold standard for today, but God’s people (i.e., community) are still important. God’s Spirit at work within us should bring about agreement that protects us from error and leads us into the right path.
Are there areas of confusion in your life? Are there impending decisions or looming questions? Seek God in His Word and talk to other believers. The Holy Spirit at work within you both will enable you walk in the right path.
Prayer: Gracious God, thank You for the gifts of Your Holy Scriptures and Your Holy Spirit that together lead me into all truth and wisdom. Thank You for the body of believers that help protect me from deception and confusion. Help me to rely upon my brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Chronicles 30
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Timothy 3:14-17: But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Questions to Consider
- In his closing words to his disciple Timothy, what does Paul tell him to do?
- From whom might Timothy have learned these things?
- What is the purpose of the Scriptures according to this passage?
- Continue in the things he has learned. In other words, be faithful to follow Christ and obey the word of God.
- From other believers – from His family members who taught Him the way of the Lord, from the religious schooling he most likely received as a child, and, mainly, from Paul, as Timothy had learned much from his life and teachings.
- We have the Bible so that we may be equipped for every God work. All of it is useful for teaching, correction, reproof, and training in the things of God.
Who are the people God has placed in your life to teach you the truths of His Word (like Paul did for Timothy)? Who are those He’s given to walk alongside you (like the apostles did for Paul)? Who are those who God has given you to pour out what you’ve learned in your faith journey? Pray and ask God to identify these people in your life and for practical ways to nourish these precious relationships.