REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 20, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“A Moment that Transcends Everything”
“I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.”
The most powerful image from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics had to be this British father, who ran to the track field to help his fallen and injured son to finish the race; it was a moment that transcended sports. Paul does the same here for Onesimus, except that he was not the apostle’s son and this didn’t involve a sporting event.
Onesimus, whose master was Philemon, was a runaway slave from Colosse (in today’s central Turkey), who somehow met Paul in Rome. Since the apostle was under house arrest for two years while waiting for his trial before Cesar, perhaps one day Onesimus went there to look for a job. Evidently, Paul, instead of feeling sorry for himself over his predicament, reached out to Onesimus with God’s love, and at some point, he became a believer through the apostle. That’s why Paul, who had no son of his own, given that he was likely never married (1 Cor. 7:8), could call him, “My son.”
Actually, Paul must have shared more than the Four Spiritual Laws with Onesimus to show such fatherly affection toward him. He did. Like the aforementioned father, Paul helped this torn and battered fugitive off the ground and nurtured him to such an extent that the apostle could say about him, “No longer . . . a slave, but better than a slave,  a dear brother” (Philem. 1:16). Who was once a useless person (Phile. 1:11) had now become a useful and “faithful . . . brother” (Col. 4:9).
When things aren’t going too well, we typically turn inward, pouting and complaining; this makes us feel even worse. Paul, however, would have none of that. Instead, his example demonstrates that every encounter with another person can become an opportunity to bless them (with apt words and kind actions). It may even turn into a special relationship in which you become a “father” to someone because that person comes to know the Lord through your sharing of the gospel.
Today, pray for an occasion to share God’s love with someone. It may change your life! And that will, indeed, be a moment that transcends everything.
Prayer: God, I praise you this morning. I look back with great fondness the day I became your child through that person who shared the gospel with me. Bless that person for being my spiritual father. I also ask for your divine appointment so that I can meet that one person today who needs to hear what you did for him in Christ. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jonah 1
Lunch Break Study
Read Acts 8:26-31, 34-5, 38: “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means ‘queen of the Ethiopians’). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’ 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. 31 ‘How can I,’ he said, ‘unless someone explains it to me?’ . . . 34 The eunuch asked Philip, ‘Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?’ 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus . . .” [Later] 38 “Philip baptized him.”
Questions to Consider
- In all things, we need to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, as Philip was. What must we experience in order to be led to someone who needs to hear God’s word, including the gospel?
- One cannot lead someone to Christ, thereby giving a spiritual birth, without any prior preparation. How was Philip prepared for this day?
- In what sense was Philip, out in the open, similar to Paul under house arrest (Two things)? What does this mean to you?
1. Philip met this Ethiopian officer through God’s divine appointment. There is no secret to this: first, we need to pray (“Lord, lead me to someone who needs you today”); second, if someone’s name or face comes to your mind, or someone “walks” into you at that moment, then, trust that that’s the person with whom you need to share God’s love; third, just do it because there is nothing to lose.
2. He had already developed the discipline of discerning the guidance of the Holy Spirit and possessed the knowledge of the Scripture to answer “everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15).
3. First, both were eager to do God’s work in general and share the gospel in particular; second, both became a spiritual father because Onesimus and Ethiopian eunuch, respectively, became believers through their sharing of the gospel. As for us, don’t think too much: prepare, anticipate, then do it.
What kind of day did you have? Even if it wasn’t good, that’s no excuse for not being proactive about our faith, right? But, sometimes it is hard. Let’s do better tomorrow; for now, soak in God’s love.