UPDATEDToday’s AMI QT Devotional, which was first posted on January 31, 2013, is provided by Pastor Ryun Chang who serves as AMI Teaching Pastor.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“We Can Still Make a Difference”
In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain. 2 For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. 3 When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
When I first heard Pastor E. V. Hill, a Black American, at my college graduation ceremony, I was mesmerized by his booming voice as he kept decrying that the foundations of America were being destroyed. That was 1984. If Hill were alive today, what he would say? I mean, if he thought that things were bad then, where our culture is today is off the charts!
Nevertheless, as we find ourselves in a sinking ship called fallen world that is going from bad to worse by the minute, we must not give up hope that we can still make a difference. As the great Yankee Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” The righteous still can make a difference, one person at a time.
How? Share Christ with someone today! Share His spiritual and moral truths with those who are lost in sin! Pray that the Holy Spirit will regenerate that person. That’s how we can resurrect our society at the brink of disintegration. Pray.
Prayer: Dear Father, in the midst of the daily grind and personal problems, I often forget my responsibility to be concerned about my community and country. Open my eyes so that I may be bothered by injustice, poverty and immorality that are sinking our culture into a deeper hole. Amen
Bible Reading for Today: Malachi 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Judges 2:10-19: After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress. 16 Then the Lord raised up judges,[c] who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
Questions to Consider
1. It is said: Without God, lawlessness will reign. Then, what’s so amazing about the lawlessness seen in the Judges? What should it mean to us? (Jud. 2:10-9).
2. What is the 1st institution that God established on earth (Gn. 1:27, 2:24, 4:1)? What is its nature and why is it important to a society (Gn. 1:28)?
3. For a just God, what are two judicial missteps that really anger Him3 (Prov. 17:15; Is. 5:22-3)?
1. The Israelites during the time of Judges grew up with parents who knew the LORD (Jud. 2:10), but they themselves hadn’t experienced His power personally. Whenever the judges were alive, they, at least, gave a half-hearted effort to serve God, but as soon as their leaders died, they quickly reverted to their old ways (Jud. 2:18-9). This shows that merely believing in God’s existence is as good as not believing in Him; one has to personally know Him as both a loving and just God.
2. The first is the institution of marriage between man and a woman, without which self-propagation won’t occur. There are other reasons for this institution, but that’s the functional component.
3. It’s when the guilty party is declared innocent on account of some procedural oversight or when the innocent person is sentenced for a crime that he did not commit (perhaps because he is of a certain color).
Love the Lord your God with . . . all your mind (Matt. 22:37)
The Christian faith, from the very beginning, countered attempts to stifle its growth through persecution and distortion. Today is no different. The thought associated with the ancient Greek philosopher Gorgias—that there is no divine presence in the universe, which had been dormant for 2,500 years—have reared their ugliness through the deconstruction of postmodernism that does away with any meaningful attempts to understand biblical text. It is also true that postmodernism, which tends to respect the viewpoints of nonwhites, offers correctives to curb the excess of Western rationalism that has long infected our understanding of Scripture. In that respect, John’s gospel is very unique because he contextualized a transcendent message given under the Jewish culture to communicate with polytheistic Greeks, in whom John found something redeeming. As you read John’s gospel, think on how its discourses may speak to people who are unduly affected by postmodernity. Read the Bible with your thinking caps on while praying earnestly! Let’s understand postmodernism to win those who are immersed in it since God loves them.