REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 22, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Do the Right Thing”
“I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.”
Shortly after paying for our meal, I realized that that the cashier mistakenly gave me more change. When I returned the change, the person accompanying me thought that I was being dumb, asking, “Why would you do that?” I answered, “Isn’t that the right thing to do?” Besides, it wasn’t that hard to do since the amount was small; perhaps, a greater amount would have really tested my character.
Yet, in Paul’s case, he was indeed being tested of something more consequential. His dilemma was whether to send Onesimus back to Philemon, his master, or to keep him there in Rome where Paul was under house arrest while waiting for his trial; obviously, he needed someone to take care of his needs.
Actually, someone had been sent by the Philippian Church to help, but it didn’t work out because Epaphroditus became ill and homesick. The apostle did the honorable thing by sending him back home with a letter of commendation to ensure that the church wouldn’t think that he was a failure (Phil. 2:25-30).
Paul does the same here with Onesimus. The apostle really needed him there but he knew that Onesimus legally belonged to Philemon; that was the social structure of the Roman Empire. Returning a small change is nothing compared to the choice that faced Paul. So why send back Onesimus? Because it was the right thing to do.
So what choices are you facing these days? Do that which is just and right before the Lord. Remember Psalm 106:3: “Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.”
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I have made more dishonest choices in my life than I care to count. I opted for decisions that would benefit me, justifying them with all kinds of human rationale. I confess them to you today for a new start. Make me aware and strengthen me to do that which is right and just before you. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today:Jeremiah 19
Lunch Break Study
Read Philippians 2:3-5: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of the others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”
Questions to Consider
- In what sense did Christ look out for our interests while ignoring his own?
- How do you consider others better when clearly you are better educated and endowed than them?
- In what sense Paul did and I look out for the interests of Philemon and the cashier, respectively? Are you facing a similar choice? What are you going to do?
- The sinful humanity needed someone perfect to make amends for their sins “because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb. 10:4). That was our need and our greatest interest. Only one person was qualified to do that: The God-Man Jesus Christ. And he did.
- I think we have to recognize God’s broad image still residing in each person (Jas. 3:9: “. . . men, who have been made in God’s image”), and in this way recognizing their intrinsic worth apart from their accomplishments or lack thereof. Coupled with the acknowledgement that all that we have is from the Lord, and that Christ died for the rich sinners as well as the poor, yes, we can see others better than ourselves
- In a strict legal sense, Paul was returning a stolen property. Philemon suffered a loss when Onesimus ran away, probably with stolen goods. As for the cashier, her interest was making sure that she was not short, thereby not incurring the displeasure of her boss.
We face this kind of decision everyday: To do right or to do nothing. Did you face something like that today at work, home or school? How did you fare? Review your day here.