REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 31, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“. . . sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.”
In a church where the pastor believed in the training method of sink or swim, more than twenty of us, all under the age of 25, without much formal training, served in this growing Korean congregation. How passionate and assured of what we were taught and believed back then! Some 30 years later however, many of us have become more like a Demas than a Mark.
Demas was not only a believer but a “minister” as well, since Paul called him, “My fellow worker.”
Perhaps well-known to the Colossians, he is mentioned again in Paul’s letter to them written in 61. A lot can change in a few years and it certainly did for Demas. In Paul’s last epistle, written in 66 or 67, he wrote, “For Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica” (2 Tim. 4:10a). Even without graphic images readily available on the internet and a volatile market that, on a good day, can make you a millionaire, the Hellenist world back then was just as alluring to the flesh as the modern world is today. And Demas, despite all those times he spent on praying, studying the Scriptures, and preaching the gospel, succumbed to it (1 Cor. 10:12).
Similarly, several young men, who used to serve with me, are no longer in the ministry; some have even abandoned their faith. But there is a hope, because we believe in a God who redeems sinners and quitters and everyone in between. Peter sinned when he denied knowing Jesus, but he was eventually restored. Mark quit the first missionary trip led by Paul, who, still upset, rejected him when he was hoping to be included in the second trip (Acts 13:13, 15:36-40). Yet, some 15 years later, Paul wrote to Timothy, “Get Mark . . . because is helpful to me in my ministry” (2 Tim. 4:11). God had so restored this one time quitter, that Mark ended up writing the first gospel.
So if you feel like a Demas today, don’t lose hope! With our God, any moment can be the beginning of a comeback, all the way to redemption and being useful for the Lord.
Prayer: Dear Father, I get so discouraged at times because of my constant shortcomings and failures. How many times have I told myself, “It’s over; there is no way God will ever take me back.” Nevertheless, I’m encouraged by how Peter and Mark made a comeback in their faith because you never abandoned them. I know that you will hold onto me as well, to see that I succeed in my faith journey. Thank you. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 1
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Cor. 10:12: “If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).
Prov. 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
2 Tim. 2:22: “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
Rev. 2:5: “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.”
Questions to Consider
- We know that the lure of the world is formidable, but what attitude on our part makes us even more vulnerable to it?
- What are some ways to avoid being tempted by the world?
- What is the first step toward spiritual recovery?
- A false aura of invincibility that causes us to take lightly potentially compromising situations is always dangerous. When we frequently step into an area known to have many mines buried, soon or later, we are going to step into one.
- Of course, there is no sure way, but one way is fleeing from it. This doesn’t mean hiding yourself away in a high mountain, waiting for the Lord’s return. It does mean getting rid of things in our lives that serve as a pipeline to sinning. It could be cable television, unhealthy relationship, clubbing, etc.
- Repentance. It is turning from sinful ways in order to shift to God’s way.
As you look back to this day, what temptation did you face? How did you handle it? What’s the best way for you not to yield to the lures of this world? Ask God for strength for a better tomorrow.