REPOST Today’s AMI Devotional Thought, first posted on April 12, 2016, is provided by Pastor Yohan Lee. He is a friend of AMI who in the past has served as a staff at several AMI churches. He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).
Devotional Thoughts for This Morning
“Don’t Be a Know-It-All”
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.
My wife teaches advanced nursing at UCSF, so most of her students have been practicing as registered nurses for several years. Generally, she likes her job and her students, but every so often, she will tell me about a few who try her nerves. The commonality among these students is that when the class gets to topics that they are familiar with –because they have years of experience in these areas—they become know-it-alls and quite opinionated about what is being taught. I have found this experience common in a lot of settings. Some classes in seminary were difficult to get through, simply because everyone had an opinion or criticism about the book we were reading. The point I am trying to make is, that many want to be teachers (or critics), but few are willing to be students.
If you’ve been in the church for a while, you’ve probably heard preachers praise the practices of the Berean Jews. These Bereans, upon hearing Paul’s message, examined the Old Testament to confirm the truth of what was being taught. So the common exhortation is that everyone should study the Word and make sure the preacher is teaching soundly. While I obviously don’t want to discourage this practice, I do want to point out one important detail: In v. 11, we read that the Bereans received the Word with great eagerness. Because the Bereans loved Paul’s message, they eagerly searched the Scriptures, hoping that he and the gospel message were correct and trustworthy. In other words, the reason they searched the Scriptures so intently was that they were genuinely interested in learning more than teaching.
As we get older and more seasoned, we become less teachable, don’t we? And as we become less teachable, things become more mundane and dull, don’t they? One of the signs that you are still teachable is eagerness and excitement. Are you eager to read the Bible or go to church? In your heart of hearts, do you feel like you’ve read that or heard that before—“same old, same old”? This morning, let’s remind ourselves that the infinite God has more than enough tricks for our finite selves to keep us from getting bored; let’s be eager for God’s presence and being!
Prayer: Lord, give me excitement in getting to know You. Let me never feel like I’ve heard it all or read it all or experienced it all. Give me a teachable spirit and an open heart. Let me fall in love with You anew. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 3
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 2: Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 7 I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You shall break[b] them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” 10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Questions to Consider
Generally ascribed to David, Psalm 2 is a royal Psalm that speaks about the Lord’s sovereign rule and His volition to establish David’s monarchy. This Psalm will find its fullest ministry in the reign of Christ.
1. How do the “nations” respond to the Lord’s rule in vv. 1-3? How are you sometimes like them?
2. What is the Lord’s response in vv. 4-6? And whose rule is established in vv. 7-9?
3. How does the psalmist’s exhortation in vv.10-12 apply to you?
1. The nations rebel against the Lord and His anointed One. Sometimes, it is helpful to take the Psalms personally: Ask yourself, “Do you ever rebel, or desire to rebel, against the Lord’s rule?”
2. Ultimately, the nations’ rebellion has insignificant impact on the Lord; He laughs at these attempts (v. 3). The Psalm may have originally been about David’s reign; however, it is ultimately fulfilled in Christ. Jesus’ reign is firmly and unshakably established.
3. Question: Are you fully satisfied under the Lord’s rule? Do you embrace His lordship over your life and strive to serve Him faithfully? Or, do you desire to rebel?
Today, we discussed two themes: This morning, it was about having a teachable heart and being eager to know and love God more; while this afternoon, it was about living joyfully under the Lord’s sovereign rule. These themes are somewhat related, as they both require faith— faith to believe that God’s rule is good and trustworthy, and faith to believe that God knows more than you and you have much to learn about Him. As you reflect on these ideas, pray for whatever may be lacking in your faith.