Updated Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on October 24, 2014.
Devotional Thoughts for This Morning
“Sins of the Past”
Matthew 10:26 (NIV)
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”
Heb. 13:4, 10:18 (NIV)
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure”;“their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
Many years ago, a young woman was dating this youth pastor, both of whom I knew well personally. Noticing that their relationship was becoming more serious, I advised the woman to tell him about her past, because I thought that it could hurt their future marriage and the ministry if it were to be divulged later. I reasoned that as long as the man knew and hopefully was able to deal with it, then things would be fine. But unfortunately, it wasn’t okay and they went their separate ways, which made me feel bad and wondered whether I had made a mistake. But a trip to Durango, Mexico in 2004 alleviated me of that– somewhat.
I went there to train a group of pastors at the invitation of their superintendent, without knowing that the young pastor of the church hosting the class had already informed the leaders of his resignation from the church. The reason for his leaving was neither a scandal nor a better offer to go elsewhere: He was seeking to divorce his wife of less than 2 years because, not long after the wedding, the he found out about the sordid past of his wife; and he just couldn’t cope with it. Knowing his denomination’s stance on divorce, he resigned rather than be removed.
Obviously, we needn’t tell everything we ever did to our future spouse; nevertheless, since “there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed” (Lk. 12:2), a prudent honesty is the best policy. Also, for those who desire to be married, it would seem best to save oneself for that special someone instead of engaging in activities that would bring shame later on.
The most important lesson here, however, is this: while man may not cope well with our sordid past, God certainly does. He declared, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” because “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb. 8:12, 10:10). Who doesn’t have a shameful past? So, come to God today who forgives and forgets.
Prayer: O God of forgiveness, how quickly I forget that You have chosen to forget everything of my shameful past, full of sins and transgressions. How swiftly have I forgotten your mercy that spared me of a just punishment and your grace that has given me an eternal life that I don’t deserve! Thank You, Lord. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Romans 7
Lunch Break Study
Read Matt. 1:5-6: “Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife….” Heb. 11:31: “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”
Questions to Consider
1. What is so significant about what happened to Rahab and her life?
2. Do you think Rahab was honest with Salmon about her past? Perhaps, he already knew. Assuming that he did, how do you think he dealt with it before deciding to marry her (think about the Hebrews passages given above)?
3. What are some things about your past that you need to share with those whom you should?
1. Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho but after coming to know the Lord, the authenticity of her faith was verified by her changed life: she married a man and stayed faithful to him, even producing a son who was going to be the great-grand father of King David.
2. I am sure Salmon already knew, since her earlier role in the eventual defeat of Jericho was very helpful to Israel. The only way for him to overcome Rahab’s sordid past was having an understanding of God’s love and mercy: “God has forgiven me (a sinner), who am I to hold judgment against Rahab?”
3. One thing that really upset my newlywed wife was that I had asked her, before getting married, whether she had any student loans, but I didn’t mention that I had $4,000 student loan (I had completely forgotten about it!). It wasn’t the amount of loan that bothered her, but she thought that I had hidden it from her.
The most important point to take away from today’s QT is God’s willingness to consider each day a new beginning for us. Isn’t that great? Why don’t we thank the Lord right now?