REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 14, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Absolute Necessity of Refreshing Others While Being Refreshed Yourself”
“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”
“Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
I still remember a young man whom I briefly saw on the first day of class at a Christian college that we were attending in 1983. When it was his turn to introduce himself, he said, “I am here to infiltrate the students to sell drugs.” To the startled class, he quickly added, “Actually, I want to be a youth pastor”; shortly thereafter, he took his own life. He wrote in his suicide note: “I know God loves me but I don’t know if anyone else does.”
In yesterday’s QT based on this verse, we clearly saw how God’s extraordinary love for the undeserved was demonstrated through the sacrificial death of his Son on our behalf. Apparently, the young man who took his own life saw the same; he, however, didn’t have anyone who refreshed his heart through loving him, thereby leaving him joyless and discouraged. If the apostle Paul, a fearless man totally committed to the Lord, needed the love of brothers to be refreshed and encouraged, how much more do we, often mired in self-inflicted problems, need the same!
It was a lonesome time for me as I became a father just after turning 30; having left a youth pastor position to plant a church, I was uncertain about the step. Then late one night, I opened the door after hearing a knock, and to my surprise, I saw two men whom I used to serve together, standing there holding several bags of food. Not only did they refresh my heart, they also filled my stomach! They gave me great joy and encouragement to begin the next day with hope.
Perhaps, you need that kind of love. And may God grant that today! Maybe the Lord wants you to refresh the hearts of others; obey Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to love others as you have shown it to me, but I let my selfishness and busyness get in the way. Please help me to be less narcissistic and less busybody so that I can do what’s really important before your eyes. Fill me with your Spirit so that I may do all things for your glory. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 5
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 King 4:8-10, 13: “One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, ‘I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us’. . . . Elisha said . . . ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”
Questions to Consider
- In what concrete way did this well-to-do woman refresh the heart of Elisha?
- Obviously, Elisha felt grateful; in what way did her action give him joy and encouragement?
- Based on her action, what does it take to actually love someone according to the way she did it?
- Instead of a temporary visit, her action enabled Elisha to extend his stay in the privacy of his own room. As someone who stayed in many Mexican houses while traveling, I can really appreciate what she did for this prophet. I once stayed in a room with a few of my students that had a torn curtain for a door—I could neither prepare nor relax. My heart may have been refreshed but not my body!
- Her action spoke louder than words: “Prophet Elisha, I value what you do because you are doing the Lord’s work; you are important because you are God’s servant.” We should feel that way toward all those who serve the Lord, whether they are a big-timer like Elisha or a rookie just starting out.
- We must first see the need, but not everyone wants to see it since it means we are to meet that need; it may require investing time, effort and/or money. Obviously, when more is invested to show love in a tangible manner, the greater the heart will feel refreshed.
Did you have a chance to refresh someone today? What happened? Did you pass it up? Why? Did someone refresh you? How did you feel? Write about it and let’s do better tomorrow.