REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on October 2, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“In anger do not sin: Do not let sun go down while you are still angry.”
It is amazing how a personal slight can lead to something monstrous. Haman, the second highest person in the Persian Empire, was “enraged” when Mordecai “would not kneel down or pay him honor” (Est. 3:5), while all the royal officials did. Having learned that Mordecai was a Jew, Haman began to plot a way to eliminate all the Jews in the empire, even though it was only Mordecai who offended him.
Cain was no different. The fact that God preferred Abel’s sacrifice over his is no ground for 1st degree murder of his brother. The Bible says Cain was angry at God (Gn. 4:5), but he extended that anger to Abel who had nothing to do with his sacrifice being unacceptable to the Lord. Haman and Cain, therefore, are similar in that their anger was allowed to poison their attitude to hurt others who were only tangentially related to the real object of their anger.
In our wireless world, the line distinguishing between work and home has become blurred since it is so easy to bring work home where we can work just as well. But that’s not the only thing we bring home: we also bring all the frustrations, disappointments and resentment over failed projects, or being overlooked. The bottled up, negative emotions are then used as weapons to hurt our spouses, children, even our pets. Though none of them are guilty (in the same way that no Jews in Persia offended Haman except Mordecai and Abel didn’t cause Cain’s sacrifice to be unacceptable before God), they are blamed and accused.
What should we do? Paul says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and answer, brawling and slander. . . . Forgiv[e] each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32). So, before walking inside your home after a rough day at work, spend a few minutes (perhaps in your car) to let the truth of Christ sink in while releasing the anger. Then, enter home with a big smile and shout, “I’m home!”
Prayer: O gracious God, how I need your mercy for allowing petty things to seep into my soul to hate people, and then allowing that to poison my attitude toward others who didn’t do anything against me. Forgive me Lord for my unloving and ungrateful heart. Thank You, again, for gracing me with your conditional love.
Bible Reading for Today: John 20
Lunch Break Study
Read James 1:14-5 (ESV):“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Eph. 4:28b (NIV): “And do not give the devil a foothold.”
1 Cor. 10:13 (ESV): “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Questions to Consider
1. How does sin work? In terms of football, is it like throwing a 50 yard pass for a quick touchdown or a long drive consisting of multiple plays of measurable yardage?
2. What promise does God make in order to help us not to fall into temptation?
3. How can we practically apply Ecclesiastes 7:9 in our everyday life?
1. For the most part, sin works gradually, like a long drive in football: from desire to sin and then from sin to death. The implication of Ephesians 4:28: sin begins by taking the toe, then the whole foot, and in time, the whole body.
2. God promises to provide a way out when we are tempted. Let’s say you are about to unload on your wife or husband, but when the phone rings, this momentarily diverts your attention from your anger. Consider that as a way out sent by God.
3. Consider anger, not as an emotion, but a decision; so make a decision not to get angry. Come back later when your anger has subsided, and then address the person with whom you have the conflict.
During the course of the day, we face several situations that may cause us to lose peace and get upset. Did anything happen that robbed your peace? Can you forgive the person who hurt you today? Look to Christ and say a prayer on that person’s behalf.