UpdatedToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on October 10, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“I Don’t Know What We Did Wrong”
Luke 15:22-3 (ESV)
But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.”
As people were leaving after the Pastors’ Conference held in Chihuahua this past March (2014), I ran out to say goodbye to Maria whose husband, Pastor Juan, wasn’t able to attend the last session. Right after moving to Mexico in 2001, we met the couple and stayed close all throughout until we left in 2011. I was so overwhelmed when they came to my house a few days before our departure to give $2,000 pesos ($170) as a gift. Having known their generous heart, I took the money in gratitude even though I knew that things were hard for them, since Juan was working at a gasoline station to supplement their income.
After some small talk, I asked about her college-aged son, Jorge. With a look of relief, she said, “Oh, he has a girl friend now.” It wasn’t an odd response because of what they confided in me a few years back: After everyone had left my house following a meeting of pastors, they remained to tell me that their son confessed that he might be homosexual. A sobbing Maria murmured, “I don’t know what we did wrong?” To some people in our society, this is acceptable, but for this Bible believing parents, it was a great shock. We prayed together and talked about how we can help Jorge from falling into that lifestyle. But it didn’t help that in the following class when one pastor, who was unaware of the situation, remarked within an earshot of this couple, “Parents should be blamed for their child’s homosexuality.”
Ultimately, this isn’t about how we would respond if our child says he is a gay; but rather what we would do if our child rebels against the values and beliefs that we cherish. While I certainly don’t want to find that out personally, I’ve learned from the Parable of the Lost Son that you continue to love that child. Such love may take various forms (including discipline), but the core remains: unconditional love, which God continues to pour out on the undeserved.
So today, whether you are a parent or not, demonstrate God-like love toward someone who doesn’t deserve it.
Prayer for Parents: Lord, the more I try to raise my child, I feel so inadequate and hypocritical. Oh God, I cannot do this alone; please help my child to love Jesus, know right from wrong, and have the courage and discernment through the Holy Spirit to choose what pleases You. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 36
Lunch Break Study
Read Rom. 5:8: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 John 4:10, 19: “This is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins . . . . We love because he first loved us.”
Rom. 8:35, 38: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Questions to Consider
1. Describe several components to God’s unconditional love.
2. How should God’s unconditional of God affect us?
3. What is the greatest obstacle to loving like this? What are you struggling with presently?
1. First, unconditional love is loving the undeserved; second, it initiates the love, that is, God’s love doesn’t wait until the other person makes the move; third, it doesn’t allow anything to get in the way of persevering in love.
2. Since we received God’s unconditional love for free, we ought to initiate loving those who don’t deserve it.
3. Of course, when the person doesn’t reciprocate our love, it makes it hard to continue. As we mature in Christ, we should also grow in the area of loving others for Christ’s sake.
Did you encounter God’s love today? Maybe you need to be quiet and reflect on His love. If you are a parent, pray for your child; then go to your child to pray for him/her in gentleness.