REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on October 15, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
John 8:32 (ESV)
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Once, I read about the so-called “impostor syndrome” that plagues those who believe that their present success is a result of an oversight–that they aren’t really that good. Gripped by fear of being exposed, they constantly look over their shoulders. While I was teaching in Acapulco in 2004, I met a Pentecostal pastor who fit that description.
Teaching on the Holy Spirit, I commented that speaking in tongues is not the only indicator of a person who is baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit; a transformed life that bears the fruit of the Spirit is surely a better gauge. Several passages were examined, such as Acts 2:38-41 and 4:4, 31, which say nothing about speaking in tongues when people “receive[d] the gift of the Holy Spirit” and “were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” In fact, at the moment we believe the gospel, “through the . . . renewal by the Holy Spirit” (Tit. 3:5), “we are all baptized by one Spirit into one body” (1 Cor. 12:13).
During the break, a middle- aged pastor approached me with a look of disbelief and relief. This man, believing that speaking in tongues was the only evidence for the baptism with the Holy Spirit, had prayed for others to receive that gift, but he himself didn’t have the gift. Along with feeling embarrassed and even ashamed, he was even questioning his call to ministry; he felt like an imposter. But the teaching he heard began the process of releasing him from the bondage rooted in a faulty concept.
Regardless of different ways to help people to gain freedom from their problems (e.g., inner healing)— whether emotional, theological, or spiritual—truth should always be found at the center. Jesus declared, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 17:32). Some truths are self-evident, while others we must do some digging, but no one will be set free permanently apart from it. So, study the Scripture; know and experience the truth in the Spirit (2 Cor. 2:17), which has the power to set us free.
Prayer: Father God, in the midst of so many lies and deceptions that surround us, it is a relief to know that eternal truths are readily available to us in your Scripture. I must admit that I have not treated your Word with proper honor and respect. Forgive me. Help me to renew my desire for your truth. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: John 10
Lunch Break Study
Background: This was addressed to the Jewish exiles from Persia, who had returned to Jerusalem about 16 years earlier to rebuild the temple; however, they had stopped working on it after laying down the foundation (Ezra 3:10-4:24).
Read Haggai 1:2-4, 9-10: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” 3 Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.”
Questions to Consider
1. What was the lie that the exiles believed which kept them from returning to work?
2. What did God do to help them see the truth?
3. What is the consequence of not heeding the truth? (It would be helpful to read Haggai 1.) What is one truth of God that you need to heed right now?
1. The lie that they believed: “The reason we are not working on God’s house isn’t because we are unwilling, but it’s not the right time. While waiting, we will just work on making our houses bigger and better” (suggested by “paneled house”).
2. God, through the Prophet Haggai, confronted their lie with a clear truth: “You aren’t thinking about My house; you only care about your house.”
3. Not heeding God’s truth has consequences, such as temporary suspension of His blessing upon our lives, including economy. Disappointments fill the heart instead of contentment.
We daily hear lies coming from all sides. What is one lie that you heard today? But let’s end the day with God’s truth. What is one truth that He wants you to meditate upon right now? “The truth shall set you free.”