Updated Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on October 13, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
2 Timothy 4:2a
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season.”
While serving in Mexico as a missionary during the 2000s, a teaching trip I took in 2004 to the mid-part of that country was not only exhausting but one that I can never forget. First, I went to Durango on a 10-hour bus ride where I taught for a week; then, I flew to Tula to speak at a pastors’ conference: It was here where I learned what 2 Timothy 4:2 meant through a very embarrassing situation.
Dismissing this verse may come easy for some, thinking that it is only applicable to pastors who preach regularly. But the Greek word kerussō (preach) can also be translated as “publish” or “proclaim,” which makes it more of everyone’s responsibility. How so? First, since Paul likened us as “a letter from Christ . . . written . . . with the Spirit of the living God” (2 Cor. 3:3), our lives are like a book for others to read. Since we’re always around non-Christians, we cannot afford to be unprepared to live “such good lives . . . that . . . they may see [our] deeds and glorify God” (1 Pet. 2:12). As for proclamation, we need to be always prepared to share our faith since such opportunity may suddenly be thrust upon us, which is what happened to me in Tula.
Exhausted from traveling, and since I wasn’t scheduled to speak until the next day, I was resting in my hotel. But around 8 PM, I heard someone calling my name. Upon opening the door, a wide-eyed pastor shouted, “You are speaking tonight!” Going by an old schedule I had received a few weeks back, I had no idea about the change. So, I hurriedly got dressed, grabbed my Bible and off I went. As I walked into the auditorium full of 500 people, it felt like everyone was staring at my sockless feet. Once reaching the podium, just with the Bible and a desperate heart (no notes, no PowerPoint), I preached a message I knew by heart slightly out of season. God had mercy on me that night as many responded to the message.
Today, if someone asked you about Christ, would you know what to say? Peter says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15a).
Prayer: Father God, I confess that while I spend much time trying to learn about many frivolous things, I don’t put nearly as much effort to know your Word. Forgive me. I know that there is nothing more precious and powerful in the world than your Word. Help me to hunger and thirst for it. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 53
Lunch Break Study
The following incident occurred in Athens where Paul had just arrived.
Read Acts 17:18-22: Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new. 22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens . . .”
Questions to Consider
1. Was this speaking opportunity planned? What does it mean that he got to speak at Areopagus?
2. How did Paul respond to this sudden challenge? Who was he dealing with? What does this say about his overall preparation for ministry?
3. How is your preparation? Is there anyone whom you need to talk to?
1. This golden opportunity to share wasn’t planned, but it just fell on Paul’s lap at the most influential place in town, the high court of appeal for criminal and civil cases (Areopagus).
2. He didn’t have any time to prepare; whatever he was about to say had to be something he had been preparing throughout his life. And he couldn’t just say anything since he was dealing with the Stoics and Epicureans, the two leading philosophical groups. But Paul held his own ground because he was prepared.
3. 1 Peter 3:15 is an apt reminder: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who ask you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
If you were a book, what did people read from the pages of your life today? Did you have a chance to let anyone know of God’s existence and His love? Pray for someone who needs to know the Lord.