REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on February 25, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Not Ten Suggestions but Commandments from God”
“‘So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the aliens of justice, but do not fear me,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
Some relativists say, “Whatever is true for you is true for you and whatever is true for me is true for me. . . But no one should force his or her views on other people since everything is relative” (Moreland). People with a similar mindset have also decried missionaries stopping tribal practices, such as cannibalism and wife-beating. An anthropologist working in Peru, after noting that tribal men there no longer beat their wives, said, “I’ll bet if you ask any one of those old women if they thought wives ought to be beaten, they’d say yes” (Christianity Today, Oct., 27, 1997:24). Evidently, secular relativism is misguided and, ultimately, dangerous.
What Moses came down from Mt. Sinai weren’t the Ten Suggestions; they were Ten Commandments that are binding for all cultures and times. Now, some relativists may not have any problem with the last three in Malachi’s list: calling out unfair labor practice; standing up for the weak in society; and speaking up for (illegal) aliens; they may even use the Bible to justify their convictions. However, when the matter concerns sexual freedom, whether it is premarital, extramarital or same sex, the Bible becomes a hated book. One liberal bishop, who had ordained an active gay to priesthood in the 1980s, attacked the Bible by entitling his book, The Sins of Scripture.
Picking and choosing is what some relativists do, but don’t we do the same when it serves our interest? For instance, the Prosperity Theology, which seeks material blessing from God, may not be all wrong. Isn’t that what Jabez prayed, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!” (1 Chron. 4:10). But many conveniently forget the responsibility that comes with God’s blessing. They will keep 1 Timothy 6:17—“God . . . richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”— while excluding what comes next: “Command them . . . to be generous and willing to share.”
Ultimately, God’s commandments are for our own good in the long run. Sure, adultery may be exciting at first but you’ll have to pay for that later (e.g., your own kids who disrespect and resent you). Whatever your issue may be, choose God’s non-negotiable commandments; they are good for you. Think. Pray.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that I was allowed to know the truth and be convicted of it. I know I haven’t done much to help others who do not know the truth or are simply confused, like the secular relativists. Dear Lord, use me to reach out to people like them. Help me to be disciplined to be prepared and to pray so that I can be useful for your kingdom work. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 13
Lunch Break Study
Read Matt. 23:23-4: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.”
Matt. 7:3-5: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Romans 14:2-3, 22: “One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them” . . . . 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”
Questions to Consider
1. Jesus’ comment about the Pharisees is quite interesting. How did the Lord summarize their error?
2. Ultimately, the relativists who say, “Don’t judge because everything is relative” are doing the same thing. Use Matt. 7:3-5 to tell our relativist friend what his oversight is.
3. What are some issues you are personally grappling with at the present moment? After all, everything is not black and white. Some things in life call for prudence and the right timing.
1. Jesus judged the Pharisees for picking and choosing God’s laws they preferred to keep. They were good with giving tithing to the Lord (doing so publicly), but neglected much more important matters of justice and mercy. For instance, they tied up heavy loads for men to carry while they themselves did nothing to help them (Matt. 23:4). Jesus said they should have done both.
2. The relativists believe absolutely that, first, “everything is relative,” and second, those who don’t agree with them are in the wrong. They even hold some things to be absolutely true: being racist and “homophobic” is wrong and women’s rights should be upheld.” In other words, they aren’t as relativistic as they would like to think.
3. In Romans 14-15, Paul presents what amounts to be Christian relativism to be applied over grey matters. Each must have a conviction as to why they believe and practice that way, but they should not judge those who think differently on the matter (Rom. 14).
We run into all kinds of people, especially at work or school. Is there a person that fits the profile of a relativist? Start praying for him; talk to him over a cup of coffee. Review your day. Pray.