REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor David Kwon who heads Journey Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, was first posted on December 20, 2014. He is a graduate of Drexel University (BS) and Columbia International University (M.Div.).
“Are You Teachable?”
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
When I was a teenager, I played Little League baseball. One of the great lessons I learned from playing team sports is that you have to be willing to be corrected (rebuked) to improve, but also to be accountable to the team. Some of the corrections my coaches and fellow players gave were harsh at times, but I knew it was for the betterment of the team and myself.
In these verses, the writer also points out that we all need rebuke (and we need to rebuke others) at times in order to grow and learn. The “wounds of a friend” means that they are inflicted with good purpose and correction and should be considered trustworthy. As we have been learning through Proverbs, this also is the way to wise living. Biblical love always looks to promote Christ-centered living even if that means correcting others through rebuke and correction.
Examine the friendships and relationships that you currently have. Do you have people that can speak into your life in love that will help you strive more towards godliness? This is also why spiritual community is vital. Get involved in your small group ministry and ask the Lord for these types of friendship in your life.
I want to close with the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in this book about community called, Life Together:
“Reproof (rebuke) is unavoidable. God’s Word demands it when a brother falls into open sin. We must know that it is not our human love, which makes us loyal to the other person, but God’s love, which breaks its way through to him only through judgment. Just because God’s Word judges, it serves the person. He who accepts the ministry of God’s judgment is helped.”
So, are you teachable?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for people in my life that have corrected me to help me grow as a person and a disciple. I pray that others would have people in their lives who can also provide constructive correction and rebuke. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 21
Lunch Break Study
Read Philippians 3:12-16: Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Questions to Consider
- What is the apostle Paul dealing with in this passage?
- What is difference between justification and sanctification?
- Do we have a role in sanctification?
- In this passage, Paul is referring to the sanctification of believers.
- Whereas justification is the right standing before God that was established through Christ’s work on the cross, sanctification is the continuing process by which the Holy Spirit forms the perfect sinless image of Christ in our lives. This is a process that began when we came to know Christ personally and will be completed on the day of His second coming (Phil. 1:6).
- One might think that since it is God who is working out our sanctification, we don’t have to do anything and we can passively go through life doing whatever we want and God will take care of the rest. Paul calls such thinking immature! Fully understanding the sanctification process in a believer’s life, Paul was very active in seeking Christ-likeness in his own life (“press on” v.12, 14; “straining forward” v.13).
Psalms 95:6: “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker.”
Thank you, Lord, for revealing yourself to me. I love thinking about you as my Maker who has an unfathomable and unending love for your people. You knew me since the foundation of time and even while I was in my mother’s womb. You fashioned me with your mind and heart and love, giving me a plan and a purpose to live in fellowship with you and for your glory. Your love runs deep and touches my very core. And you open my eyes to truly see your glory through your creation, for you have created nature, people and community through your magnificent power. Yet you are a God who lives in me, and you have always been there since I turned my heart to you. Amen.
Tonight, as you begin communing with God, freely ask him, “What were your thoughts about me when you formed me in my mother’s womb?” And declare his magnificent attributes!
*By Pastor David Alas (posted on September 22, 2013); by Pastor Bruce Yi (posted on September 22, 2013)