REPOST Today’s AMI Devotional, provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, was first posted on April 6, 2015. Peter is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Who Do You Want on Your Team? Who Does God Want on His?”
1 Sam 22:1-2, 26-31
David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him . . . 26 When David reached Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends, saying, “Here is a gift for you from the plunder of the Lord’s enemies.” 27 David sent it to those who were in Bethel, Ramoth Negev and Jattir; 28 to those in Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa 29 and Rakal; to those in the towns of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites; 30 to those in Hormah, Bor Ashan, Athak 31 and Hebron; and to those in all the other places where he and his men had roamed.
Suppose you were asked to start up a ministry: it could be a small group, a homeless ministry, a prayer ministry or a hospitality ministry, etc. Where do you begin the team selection? Do you look to the responsible, gifted, personable, team-oriented people? Or do you gather together all who might be “in distress or in debt or discontented”? It’s obvious that we’d prefer to work with those who are emotionally healthy, resourceful, and optimistic. If the team members of a ministry displayed those qualities time and time again—now, that’s a ministry that I would sign up for. But what if the members of the team displayed the kinds of qualities that reflected the type of people that had gathered around David as he fled from King Saul?
This was a precarious time for David. King Saul was filled with envy as David gained more recognition and popularity, and Saul’s aim was to kill David. David understood that for his safety, as well as for his own family, he would have to flee from Saul and seek refuge elsewhere. For the next 8 years or so (possibly longer), David would live in caves, remote villages, even behind enemy lines evading Saul. And the long wandering flight began with a gathering of people whose lives were disheveled.
Skip over 8 chapters to the end of David’s fleeing years from King Saul. David and his men are now in a position where they are sharing their possessions and sending gifts to many places where “he and his men had roamed.” God had not merely protected David, but He had given David and his men such blessings that they now found themselves in a position of sharing their surplus with others.
Do you believe that God can take a group of people who are “in distress or in debt or discontented” and eventually position those people so that they would bless others in their spheres of influence? The truth is that we all are people in distress or in debt or discontented in one way or another. Yet, God has chosen to bless us through His Son so that we in turn might bless others in the very places where we reside, work, study, and play.
Prayer: Lord, when I look at my life, I’m not really sure how I’ll be a blessing to others. I ask that you fill my heart with your Spirit so that I might be a conduit of blessing to my family, co-workers, neighbors, and church members. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 29
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Cor. 1:26-31 (NIV): Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Questions to Consider
- Would you agree that before you were called you were “not wise and not influential” but rather foolish?
- Why does God choose the “lowly things of this world” to carry out His works?
- How do you go about boasting in the Lord?
- The act of God in Christ has brought about a reversal of human evaluations concerning status, achievement, and success. Before coming into a relationship with Christ, everything was motivated by selfish gain, and therefore we lived in the folly of self-centeredness.
- God chooses the lowly things so that no one may boast before Him; rather he desires that they might boast in the Lord and be freed from a life of self-centeredness.
- The point of Paul’s letter is not self-abasement but boasting in God’s strength and wisdom.
As you reflect upon your position of ministry toward others, how do you keep yourself from becoming self-inflated and robbing God of His glory? Spend some time confessing your own weakness and foolishness and worship the Lord for His strength and wisdom.