REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 17, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
Philem. 1:9: “Yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul—an old man and now a prisoner of Christ Jesus.”
Every time I visit this AMI church, I realize how old I have become because several people attending that congregation were in my youth group in the 1980s. Many are married with children; some have already lost their hair. However, in my latest visit there to preach, I had an interesting conversation with a woman in her 40s who recently began to attend this congregation. Before opening the door to enter the sanctuary, and after having arrived late to the church, she noticed a familiar voice, one that she hadn’t heard in some 25 years. She suddenly wondered whether it could be me—her old youth pastor.
As we were chatting, I chuckled at the thought of a fifty-something old man still sounding like a twenty-something young man. There is something else that hasn’t changed: the message. Oh, don’t get me wrong: some beliefs that I held dearly then, I no longer hold that strongly today. However, there is at least one belief that I hold today as firmly as I did then. That’s something Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy when he was actually a few years older than when the apostle, as “an old man,” wrote to Philemon: “Our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immorality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10b).
The unpredictable nature of life is such that you may have to find another church after relocating to a new city, associate with a new crowd after moving up (or down), or color your hair differently, upgrade your fashion and drive a hybrid car. But don’t ever change what you believe about who Jesus Christ is and what he has accomplished on the Cross for you—even if it may cost you something, which in Paul’s case was imprisonment followed by martyrdom. And that’s what the apostle was facing when he wrote to Timothy.
No matter how many degrees we end up earning, how sophisticated we turn out to be, or how wealthy we become, none of it is worth anything if we lose Jesus during the process. Listen to the old man Paul who wrote just before his death: “. . . I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day. . . .” (2 Tim. 4:7).
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I am truly sad and upset over how much time I have wasted while doing insignificant and unimportant things. I really would like every second of my life to count for you. Lord, remind me to number my days and use my time, money, and talent to bring honor and glory to you. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 19
Lunch Break Study
After seeing the inability of Job’s three friends to refute Job, who was bordering on self-righteousness (Job 33:8-10), the fourth man, Elihu, finally spoke.
Read Job 32:6-9: So Elihu . . . said: “‘I am young in years, and you are old; that is why I was fearful, not daring to tell you what I know.’ 7 I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ 8 But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding. 9 It is not only the oldwho are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.”
Questions to Consider
- What are some commonly held beliefs about getting older?
- What additional light does this passage shed on becoming wiser as we get older?
- Ultimately, how or from whom do we get wisdom (Jas. 1:5)?
- The longer you live, you will have more experiences; the more experiences you have, you will be wiser. This generally holds true but not all the time, especially if the heart isn’t right.
- Ultimately, becoming wiser has more to do with how in tune we are with God’s word and how sensitive we are to His Spirit, than how many gray hairs we have.
- James 1:5 states succinctly: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Yet, seeing that the wise King Solomon really messed up his life, we need to manage our wisdom by carefully and prudently making each decision.
Why did the boy throw the clock out the window? He wanted to see if time flies! Half of the month of January is already over. Today, which began only a few minutes ago, is about to be yesterday—yes, time flies. How did today go for you? Did you experience Jesus’ love? Write about it.