UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 30, 2013.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Are You Rich? You Will Be Surprised”
Psalm 10:12, 14, 17
“Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. 14 But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless. 17 You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry …”
It can be stated that those folks who are on the very opposite of the group alluded in today’s passage are those people who are the top 1% income earners in our globe. It would seem that they are neither helpless nor afflicted. So who are these top earners in a global sense? According to one source, they are those who make slightly above $34,000 a year. This threshold should certainly include everyone who is reading this blog, which would make all of us very rich folks!
Nonetheless, these top earners who live in relative affluence—again, all of us—often forget that “God has chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith” (James 2:5); in fact, too focused on our wants and needs, we often neglect them. Along that line, spoiled by Bless-Me-Here-&-Now theology, we often complain at the slightest inconvenience to our comfortable living and become ungrateful because someone is making more money than us.
But we are reminded today that our troubles can be an opportunity to experience the comforting presence of God. If you feel afflicted for whatever reasons, thank the LORD for it and seek His presence. Furthermore, be thankful for all that you have received from the Lord, for the apostle Paul reminds us, “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Cor. 4:7).
So what would “committing yourself to God” in your present situation mean to you? Before leaving home today, spend a moment in Him about this matter.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, despite Your beatitude of “Blessed are the poor in the spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” I confess that I dislike being poor in anything. Thus, help me to see and accept that when I feel poor, whether financial, emotional or spiritual, I can truly experience You, which is a good thing. Amen
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Luke 21:1-4:“As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”
1 Corinthians 1:27-9: “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.”
Question to Consider
1. In terms of assessing our lives, whose assessment is most important?
2. In the above story, who is praised by Jesus at the expense of whom? Why?
3. Why does God favor the poor?
1. Suffice it to say, what really matters is how God assesses our lives. There is a very telling statement of Jesus recorded in Luke 16:15b: “What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”
2. A poor widow is praised over wealthy people, who, in fact, gave more money than her, because she gave all that she had to live on.
3. God simply won’t share His glory with anyone. While the weak and the lowly don’t have much in themselves to aid God’s work, the wise and the strong typically think that they do. Thus, God prefers to use the weak and despised in His work so that no one can take credit for something He did. This shows that making ourselves available to God’s work with humility is more important than showing up with our talents, pedigree and gadgets.
As you look back on today, were you aware of God’s presence? Too busy to notice Him? Write about it and let us do better tomorrow.