REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on June 8, 2015, is provided by Phillip Chen who is associate pastor at Kairos Christian Church in San Diego. Phil is a graduate of University of California, San Diego (BS) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Don’t Set Your Own Rules”
1 Kings 2:1-4 (ESV)
When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
When I was a child, I loved inventing new games with new rules. What was most enjoyable was the fact that I would always win because I would set the rules to benefit me. Many of us did this and think we have moved on from this, but believe it or not, many of us still do this as adults. Many times, we blame postmodern culture for the moral decline, as what is ‘right’ becomes increasingly subjective in our society. But wanting to set our own rules for our lives is not new; it is something that is inherent in us. However, when we are the ones in charge of making the rules for our own lives, we are set on a course of self-destruction.
King David knows this well. In fact, Solomon is a living testimony of his sin with Bathsheba that resulted from his flagrant disregard of the ways of the Lord. So he actually takes the last few moments of his life to relay this important truth: Keep the charge of the Lord, walk in his ways and keep his statutes so that you might prosper in all that you do. In his lifetime, he has seen the hand of the Lord upon him and the hand of the Lord against him. He has also experienced firsthand the blessing of God that comes through obedience.
When we dig deeper, the reason we want to make our own rules rather than follow the precepts of our God is because of our pride. We think we understand ourselves better than our creator does. What we need to ultimately understand is that God is our creator who understands the inner workings of our being. He has designed us and given us statues, commandments, and rules for our benefit, because the Designer knows His design the best.
David’s reminder to Solomon serves as an important reminder for us as well, to diligently seek to follow the laws and ways of the Lord. In order to follow the ways of the Lord, we need to actually know the ways of the Lord by vigorously studying the Word of God. As we devote our lives to this, we will increasingly see the beauty of the law of the Lord – that it is meant to protect and prosper us rather than simply restrict us.
Prayer: Father God, truly your ways are higher than my ways and your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Help me grow in my hunger for your word and live my life in obedience to your every word. May I know the power in walking in your ways and keeping your statutes. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: John 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 1:1-3 (ESV): Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Question to Consider
1. What is the psalmist encouraging us to do?
2. Why is the one who delights in the law of the Lord compared to a fruitful tree?
3. Can we always expect to prosper if we follow God?
1. The psalmist encourages us to meditate on the law of God day and night because it is for our benefit.
2. Jesus refers a lot to fruitfulness as something that God is looking for. A tree that is planted by streams of water must be constantly receiving water for its roots and is pictured to constantly have the nutrients needed for bearing fruit. In the same way, those that delight in the law of the Lord have the necessary nutrients for living a godly life.
3. It depends on what prosperity means to you, but does not always mean “earthly” prosperity. We can be sure that those that follow the Lord and delight in His word (and obeys) will receive an abundance of treasures in heaven. But not only that, general and practical wisdom tell us that following the Word of God does indeed have temporal benefits as well.
The shocking thing of the church these days is biblical literacy. We simply do not cherish the Word of God enough. Something that challenged me in an article that I read was a statement that an Atheist made to his Christian friend – If you Christians really believe the Bible is the actual words of God, how come you don’t spend time to really study it? How come it’s so difficult to spend time reading it? What a sobering truth, but challenge to the believers to get to know the Word of God better so that we are able to follow the ways of the Lord with faithfulness.