REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotionals, first posted on November 7, 2017, is provided by Pastor Paul Liu who pastors the Grace Covenant Church Singapore. He is a graduate of University of Illinois (BA) and Biblical Theological Seminary (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Don’t Ignore the Warning Signs of God”
Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.
I’m not sure if this is a trait more common to men or women, but I’ve often been guilty of testing fate by letting the gas tank run all the way to empty. I know I shouldn’t do this, and it’s probably an excuse to say I’m testing the fuel efficiency of my car or wanting to know how many miles to the gallon I’m getting. But I keep doing it, in spite of all the warning systems around me: my wife, the actual light on the dashboard, the occasional loss of power when I press the gas… When will I ever learn?
Warnings are all around us. In fact, if you just look around you, there are probably a dozen in plain view—labels describing proper dosages, the battery indicator on your phone, weather alerts, what not to do with your electronics, etc. Most of these warnings are common sense. And when life is at stake, the signs get noticeably bolder: “Peanut-Free Zone,” “Construction Area,” and the always effective, “Danger.” Warnings save lives.
So when Lot’s guests cause all the men in the city to go blind, the warning lights come on. And when these messengers of God inform Lot that Sodom is facing God’s judgment, he takes the warning to heart. Knowing the severity of the danger brought out an urgency in Lot’s heart. He immediately goes to and begs his future son-in-laws to flee the impending doom. Sadly, they thought it was all a joke. Maybe because it seemed unlikely; maybe because the city had great security; likely because they shared the brazen confidence of Sodom’s citizens—who thought nothing of abusing strangers to satisfy their own appetites. They did what they wanted. Why listen to God? Again, confirming the lack of righteousness in their midst, the warning of God went unheeded.
As we think on this passage, we must ask ourselves: Are there any warning signs in my life that I am willfully or unintentionally ignoring? Am I taking seriously the warnings of God’s word about the priorities and values that lead to flourishing, and the way that leads to disgrace? What warnings do those around me need to hear? And how urgently do I sense their need of it?
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for the truth of Your word, which informs and inspires but also warns. Give us a teachable spirit that we might learn from You and live in a manner that brings You glory. Stir in us urgency for those around us who live with an unfounded security in their own strength, in the foolishness of men, and in the lies of the Enemy. And give us opportunities to share Your truth with gentleness and respect. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 2
Read Ephesians 5:15-21: Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Questions to Consider
- What activities does Paul suggest would lead us to wisdom?
- What warnings does Paul give about our times?
- Think of one way in which you can invest in wise living and heed the warning of this passage?
- Positively, the wise person has learned the value of self-evaluation (v.15), maximizing time (v.16), and seeking God’s will (v.17). This person also avoids that which dulls his/her senses (i.e. wine in v.18) and pursues that which stimulates his devotion (corporate worship in v.19-20). Ultimately, what we need to live wisely is not just lectures or experience, we need the Holy Spirit , who leads us into truth (John 16:13). Lastly, the wise person knows to invest in relationships. There is strength in numbers and a strengthening that comes when we choose to submit to other believers.
- Paul is a realist about both the struggles and the adversity these early Christians would face. He reminds them that a “walk” –meaning, a way of life—can be compromised by carelessness, laziness, and foolishness. So they must be vigilant and self-aware. He also tells them “the days are evil,” not to scare them, but to remind them that until Christ returns, there is a real battle that is being waged for our integrity, our faith, and the souls of men and women. This is again a call to vigilance and consistency in our worship and self-watch.
3. Personal response.
While it’s true everyone needs encouragement in order to persevere in faith, it’s also true that God’s word rebukes and corrects us (2 Timothy 3:16). How regular is your time in God’s word? Think about how often you sense the conviction of the Holy Spirit about sin in your life. If it’s very rare, begin to ask the Holy Spirit to make you more sensitive to His activity in your life.