REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by the then (2013) staff of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, is an updated version of their blog first posted on July 24, 2013.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“How Will You Respond to the Lord?”
In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe. 33 So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror. 34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again. 35 They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer. 36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues; 37 their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant. 38 Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath. 39 He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.
Isn’t it interesting to see what God will do to draw us near to Him? Sometimes God gently whispers, and at other times He loudly gets our attentions. Sometimes God blesses us in the hopes that we would turn to Him and give praise and thanksgiving to Him. Other times He disciplines us so that we would turn to Him.
In the case of the Israelites, because they didn’t respond well to God’s blessings and provisions, He punished them with His wrath. It was only after they were disciplined that they turned to God. But even when they turned to God it wasn’t genuine.
Our Heavenly Father is calling us this morning. How will you respond to Him? Sometimes we respond to God like the Israelites, where our worship, our gratitude, our repentance isn’t genuine. Let’s ask God to search our hearts and to reveal to us the condition of our heart so that we might be able to offer God a pure and pleasing offering.
Prayer: Father, I confess that sometimes when I respond to You, my actions are not genuine. Forgive me for simply going through the motions, for not offering You authentic worship. Fill me with Your Spirit that my heart will begin to change. I thank You that despite my failures, You are merciful and gracious. Thank You for being faithful even when I’m not. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Chronicles 31
Lunch Break Study
Read James 4:11-12 (NIV): Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
Questions to Consider
- What does slandering others (especially other believers) reveal about the condition of your heart?
- What is the underlying assumption when you stand in judgment against another person?
- Rather than blurting out slanderous statements about others, especially other believers, we should stop and bless that person in the name of Jesus. How are you doing in this area?
- To “speak evil” of a person is to find fault with him, to speak disparagingly of him, to gossip maliciously about him. Some people think fault-finding is their spiritual gift! This is sad. In the book of James, the members of the same body were turning against one another. It was like the body attacking itself! Christians attacking one another! We have a tendency to dismiss it as a trivial thing, but James refuses to do so. He wants his readers to stare this ugly thing in the face. He begins by telling them that such evil-speaking means setting oneself above the law. There is a law against evil-speaking; it is God’s law.
- When we slander another brother or sister in Christ, we are breaking that law; yet we are doing much more. We are assuming that we know better than God who gave the law. We are saying that this law should not even be a law. Curtis Vaughan observes, “The man who deliberately breaks a law thereby disparages that law. In effect he sets himself above it and declares that it is a bad law, not worthy to be obeyed.” This is simply pride, a very dangerous place in our spiritual walk.
- Personal response.
Spend some time worshipping the Lord verbally. Let your tongue be used to glorify God rather than tear down others.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive me if I had been slandering others from my judgmental heart and attitude. Help me to bless others in the name of Your Son.