REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by a former AMI church staff, was first posted on December 16, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Messiness of a Life Unexamined”
I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, 31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. 32 Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. 33 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
I consider myself neat and orderly and tend to associate with similar people, but during college, I had a friend who was lacking in this area. In the course of one year, his dorm room exemplified the gradual march of entropy, going from order to chaos. Just as the vineyard in this proverb was overgrown with thorns and nettles, my friend’s floor became overgrown with unwashed clothes, papers, and garbage.
As an observer to this madness, I asked him the only question I could: “What happened?” With tears in his eyes, he honestly replied, “I really don’t know. I kept putting off organizing my room, and then suddenly I realized that my floor disappeared.”
Likewise, our sluggishness in addressing issues in our lives leads to our “sudden” downfall. Whether it is a certain sin, lack of reconciliation, dragging our feet in fulfilling our promises, our inaction leads us into ruin. This is not about perfection or legalism, for we belong to a God of grace and mercy; yet, wisdom counsels us to consider the results when things are left unchecked and procrastinate.
Through this morning’s text, God is reminding us to be people who are not afraid to address the issues in our lives. His desire for us is to live out the goodness and righteousness He has created us for. So He calls us to submit to His work of sanctification so that our lives can reflect the abundant life awaiting us.
What issues have you been putting off? Is there unforgiveness, sins, or unfulfilled promises made to God that you need to address? Today, receive the grace of God and take action!
Prayer: Father, examine my heart, and if there is anything I’ve put off, reveal it to me. Lord, give me the strength and boldness to wrestle through it with You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 8
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 5:21-26: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.”
Questions to Consider
- What is the new paradigm of sin that Jesus introduces in this text?
- What does this text tell us of God’s priorities?
- What wisdom can we gain from this text?
- Jesus tells us that it is not only our actions that are sinful, but also our intentions and words.
- Verses 23-24 tell us that God desires reconciliation more than sacrifices and offerings.
- Verses 25-26 warn us that sluggishness in reconciliation can lead to punishment. If someone has something against you, they might act on it if you do not reconcile.
Take a moment to honestly assess how you are doing with the Lord and with those around you. Are there unspoken words hanging in the air, tensions never worked through, things that have been hidden due to fear of confrontation? If so, we have placed ourselves and others in bondage. Tonight, let’s ask the Lord for His grace and strength. If there are specific things that He is placing in your heart, pray over them and ask for an opportunity to take action.