March 4, Friday

Updated Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on October 21, 2014.

Devotional Thoughts for This Morning

“A Timely Gift”

Proverbs 11:25

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”  

Knowing that the recently married Alex and Ana were preparing to go out on the mission field, I wanted to encourage them.  Having gone through it myself, I felt their anxiety.   So after a class, I gave Alex 500 pesos ($45), saying, “Take your wife to a nice restaurant; this is NOT a mission’s offering.”  I learned the importance of clarifying the money’s purpose from a supporter from the U.S., who sent $500 directly to us instead of our mission agency with a note: “Take a vacation with your family; this is not a mission’s offering.”  

What I gave was so insignificant; nonetheless, Alex profusely thanked me.  Shortly, when I returned from a teaching trip, my wife told me that Alex thanked her at church; the following Sunday, Ana thanked me!  Then, it dawned on me that a timely gift and words can refresh one’s soul.   Proverbs 15:23 says, “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word,” especially when the word is accompanied by cash for a date night with your wife.

Apostle Paul certainly gave many timely words and gifts to people in need during his lengthy ministry; but once, while he was under house arrest in Rome for two years, Paul was the recipient of a timely word and gifts.  Imagine the surprise when he saw Epaphroditus, a “messenger, whom [the church in Philippi] sent to take care of [his] needs” (Phil. 2:25).   Covering 700 miles to reach Rome, Epaphroditus didn’t come empty handed, for Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I have received . . . the gifts you sent.  They are a fragrant offering . . . pleasing to God” (4:18).   So encouraged and grateful was Paul that he added, “It was good of you to share in my troubles” (4:14).   

So, look around to see if anyone can benefit from your timely word and gift.  Maybe you are in need of encouragement.  Regardless of whether or not anyone refreshes you, you can always go to the Lord and receive his comfort, which is far better. 

Prayer: I praise you Lord this morning for your marvelous concern for me.  I thank you for sending me people to refresh my soul whenever I feel down.  I know I haven’t done much for those whom I know are going through a tough time.  Help me to share with them so that they may be reminded of your love for them. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Romans 3


Lunch Break Study

Read Luke 8:1-3 (NIV): After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others.  These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

Acts 16:13-5: On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate [Philippi] to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.

Questions to Consider

1. Feeding his twelve disciples for 3½ years was not easy for Jesus, since he didn’t always resort to his supernatural powers (e.g., the feeding of 5,000).  So, what was one supply source?  

2. What motivated these women and Lydia to be so generous?

3. What should that mean to us?  Pray about someone who can use your timely word and gift.

Notes

1. A group of women who voluntarily supported Jesus and his men out of their own “purse.”

2. They were motivated by gratitude for what the Lord had done for them.  For Mary Magdalene, she was finally freed from years of demonic oppression; for Lydia, she now had the real reason and meaning for living that her lucrative business had failed to deliver.

3. Since we also have benefitted and have been blessed by the Lord, then we should be as generous as these women were.   


Evening Reflection

Before turning in, say a prayer of thanksgiving for all that the Lord has done for you and given you; then pray for someone who is need of the same blessing.    

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