October 21, Saturday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 16-22 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian, who serves as the Fenway site pastor of Symphony Church in Boston. Shan, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Jenny; and they are the proud parents of their first baby Tyler.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Countering the Disease of More”

Genesis 14:17-20

After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19 And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Hall of Fame basketball coach Pat Riley talked about what he called “the disease of more.” He proposed that “success is often the first step towards disaster,” because once people ( a sports team especially) have experienced success, they start thinking selfishly and catching the disease of more—wanting more money, more playing time, more benefits, more recognition, etc. This is why sports dynasties are hard to come by because teams can so easily be infected by the disease of more and start clamoring for more.

If we think about how much success and wealth we have in our society, it’s pretty clear that we suffer from a severe case of the disease of more. Everyone is striving for more income, more social status, more affirmation, more recognition, etc. If we can be honest with ourselves, we can probably see disease of more in our own hearts. Especially when we experience success and achievement, we are rarely content but only have a craving for more.

Abram was a prime patient for the disease of more in Genesis 14. He had just achieved great victory, handily defeating his overwhelming numerous enemies with great courage and tact. At this point, he should have been basking in the glow of such great success. But thankfully, Abram did not succumb to the disease of more. Instead, he encountered this mysterious man named Melchizedek, a priest of God, who we meet only this one time in the Bible. Regardless of who he is, Melchizedek came to Abram in the afterglow of his victories, blessed him, and told him that God himself—the possessor or creator of heaven and earth—is the one who had delivered him, bringing him victory. We’re not told of any conversation between Abram and Melchizedek, but what we do see is that Abram proceeded to give Melchizedek a tenth of everything.

Abram didn’t fall prey to the disease of more because he knew where his success came from. He knew that neither his victory over the kings nor his wealth was because of himself, but it was all from God Most High. Abram knew he was blessed by the grace of God. Because of this, he doesn’t succumb to the disease of more, but instead, he willingly gave away a tenth of everything as a tithe.

How can we cure the disease of more within ourselves? By acknowledging the true source of success and victory. When we experience success and victory, we are tempted to credit ourselves, but instead, we must fight to know the truth and credit God alone. For people who are infected with the disease of more, the idea of tithing is preposterous, but for those who know where their success comes from, giving away a tenth of everything is easy, because they know it’s not theirs to keep anyways. Let us seek healing from the disease of more and give God the credit and the glory!

Prayer: Jesus, I thank You for all that You have given me, and I pray that I will not give credit to myself, but always give You the glory. You are the giver of every good and perfect gift, and You deserve all of the credit and glory. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 12-13

October 20, Friday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 16-22 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian, who serves as the Fenway site pastor of Symphony Church in Boston. Shan, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Jenny; and they are the proud parents of their first baby Tyler.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Impossible Odds”

Genesis 14:11-16

So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way. 13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.

I have always enjoyed movies where the good guys are few in number and facing impossible odds, with large and intimidating forces coming to destroy them. It’s inspiring to see how brave, resourceful, and cunning the underdogs are, as they repel their foes and beat the odds. I’m not fully sure why I like these kinds of stories so much, but maybe there’s something about them that makes me wonder if I would have what it takes to overcome in the face of overwhelming odds.

In Genesis 14, it’s easy to overlook the magnitude of what Abram does. Abram’s nephew Lot had been captured by an alliance of four kings and their armies from the east. This alliance of kings had handily defeated the armies of five kings of the Jordan Valley, and we can assume they had a massive and menacing force. What did Abram have? He had 318 men to fight. Just like one of those movies with a small group of good guys taking on impossible odds, Abram is unimaginably victorious. Not only does he defeat his enemies, but verse 14 tells us that he led his army and pursued the enemy “as far as Dan,” which would have likely been over 200 miles away from Abram’s home. His enemies were running for their lives—and all of this because of just 318 men. How was Abram able to not just overcome such impossible odds but decisively conquer his enemies? Because Abram knew the promises of the God that was with him.

God had made a covenant with Abram that He would be with him and make him a great nation. And while at this point in Genesis, this promise had yet to be fully fulfilled, Abram knew the God who was with him, he knew what the outcome of his life would be, and he did not fear the seemingly impossible odds before him. In our world, we seem to have impossible situations: divisions, war, scandals, immorality, poverty, racism, etc. And in our own lives, we face overwhelming circumstances: trials, sicknesses, depression, difficult relationships, sin and brokenness. But in the face of such difficulties, like Abram, we can remember the promises of the God who is with us and has promised to be with us to the very end of the age. Whatever circumstances we face, we know what the outcome will be, and that gives us strength and courage to face impossible odds.

Prayer: Jesus, I thank You for the promise of Your presence with us always. I pray that in impossible situations, I will understand more and more that victory is assured in You. I will trust in You. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 11


Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 8:31-37: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Questions to Consider

  1. What does it mean to be “more than conquerors”?
  2. How do we know that victory is assured?
  3. How does understanding the victory we have in Jesus affect your life today?

Notes

  1. Paul specifically tells us that we are more than conquerors over tribulation, distress, persecution, etc., because of Jesus who died for us and rose from the dead. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, we can overcome and conquer any and every obstacle that we face in life.
  2. We know that victory is assured because God so freely gave up His own Son for us; and we know that He will also graciously give us all things that we need. God is the only one who can condemn or judge us, and yet it is God Himself who justifies us through Jesus, so our victory is assured.
  3. Personal reflection question.

Evening Reflection

Abram overcame impossible odds in Genesis 14 with great victory. What “impossible odds” are you facing today? Are you feeling defeated in any area of your life? Close out this day remembering the presence of God and His promise of victory.

October 19, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 16-22 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian, who serves as the Fenway site pastor of Symphony Church in Boston. Shan, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Jenny; and they are the proud parents of their first baby Tyler.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Wow!”

Genesis 13:14-18

The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” 18 So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

At the beginning of the movie The Lion King, Mufasa brings his son Simba to the top of a mountain at sunrise, and tells him that one day he would be king of all of the land that the light touches—it’s a majestic scene. Simba’s response is simply, “Wow,” for he is in awe of how great this promise is. The scene in Genesis 13 is uncannily similar to The Lion King, as God shows Abram (later Abraham) how great His promise is to him. Abram looks up at the land, and God says that “all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.” Here was Abraham—just one man. And though he was already advanced in age and had yet to even have a son, God, the Creator and ruler of the world, comes to him promising him that he and his many offspring would rule over all of this land. We’re not told what Abram’s immediate response was, but I can just imagine that as he stood there, looking in all directions, seeing how vast and great God’s promise was, that he just said, “Wow.”

There is a sense of awe when we realize that we are part of something so much greater and bigger than ourselves. Many of us might wonder, though, “When will I ever be involved with something that compares to the greatness of God’s promise to Abraham?” The truth is, if you’re a follower of Jesus, you already are! We might not be kings of Pride Rock or owning the land of Canaan, but we are the body of Christ, the church; and Ephesians 1:23 tell us that we as the body are the “fullness” of Christ. As believers, we are called to make Christ “full” to the world, to be the means through which the world hears the good news and knows of the love of Jesus. As the royal priesthood of Jesus, we are the ones whom God will use to proclaim His kingdom to the world. And one day, when we’re in heaven, we’ll look up and see a great multitude of every nation, tribe and tongue, and we’ll altogether worship before the throne of God!

This is what God promises us and if we realize this, I think our response should be, “Wow.”

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for inviting me to be a part of Your kingdom and a part of your body. I thank You that I can live for something greater than myself. Help me to be in awe of You and Your promises to me. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 10


Lunch Break Study

Read 2 Corinthians 9:12-14: For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the result of the ministry that Paul talks about in this passage?
  2. What then can be the result of the ministry that we do?
  3. How can you be living in such a way that others will give thanks to God and glorify Him?

Notes

  1. This ministry resulted in the needs of the saints being met, but more than that it resulted in “many thanksgivings to God” and God himself being glorified.
  2. It’s, of course, the same—meaning, if we, in the name of Jesus, serve and supply the needs of others, our ministry can glorify God and lead to people giving thanks to God. In this passage, Paul is talking specifically about giving financially, but for us, this can be any act of service that we do for the sake of the gospel.
  3. Personal reflection—but it can be anything that we do that is not about ourselves but for the kingdom of God.

Evening Reflection

Jesus invites every single one of us to be a part of His kingdom, as well as part of His royal priesthood, proclaiming His kingdom to the world. We may feel like we’re insignificant in the big scheme of things, but each one of us has a role to play as members of His body. Consider what purpose(s) Jesus has for you in His kingdom.

October 18, Wednesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 16-22 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian, who serves as the Fenway site pastor of Symphony Church in Boston. Shan, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Jenny; and they are the proud parents of their first baby Tyler.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“It seemed like a good idea at the time…”

Genesis 13:10-13

And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other.  12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom.13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time…” is the start of many stories of regret. For me, every time I drive by a KFC or Popeyes, it seems like a great idea to go and get a bucket of some fried chicken; but every time I’ve done it, it’s ended up in regret because of an upset stomach or a debilitating food coma. Whether it’s making that purchase, going to that particular event, hanging out with that crowd, or dating that person, all of these things that we regret later on started off as great ideas.

I could imagine this is what Lot was thinking as he surveyed the land that was before him: His uncle Abram had offered to let him choose the land that he would settle in, so Genesis tells us that Lot “lifted his eyes.” He looked up at the Jordan Valley, and at the time, it seemed like a great idea to take the land that was green and lush and well watered, making a decision based on what his eyes were fixed on. But what was a great idea at the time ended up in disaster, as we discover later in Genesis 19. And that disaster came because while Lot’s eyes saw the lush and well watered land, they failed to notice what the people there were like: verse 13 notes that Lot’s neighbors of Sodom were wicked and great sinners.

The story of Lot is a warning for us to avoid lives of regret and to not make choices based on what our human eyes can see. Every bad decision that has ever been made seemed like a good idea at the time because every bad decision is made based on what we see with our own eyes. When we it comes to the crossroads of our lives, when there are decisions to be made—big or small—instead of trusting our own eyes or our own point of view, we need to depend on the perspective of the One who can see all.

Prayer: Jesus, help me through every decision I make today. I don’t want to look back on this day with regret, but instead, I pray that You will help me to choose to follow You and find joy in my walk with You this day. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 9


Lunch Break Study

Read Ephesians 5:15-17: 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. 

Questions to Consider

  1. Why should we be careful about how we walk?
  2. What does “making the best use of time” have to do with walking carefully or living with wisdom?
  3. How can we make the most of every decision in our lives with wisdom?

Notes

  1. Paul is telling us to be careful because “the days are evil.” When he says “look carefully then how you walk,” it’s a picture of walking on a dangerous path where it might be easy to slip and fall. So this exhortation to be careful how we walk is because the days are evil and it’s easy to stumble or slip if we’re not careful and intentional about how we live our lives.
  2. “Making the best use of time” can also be understood as “making the most of every opportunity.” In an economic sense, it would be like trying to maximize the amount of money we make in every sale or deal. But when it comes to our spiritual lives, it means living our lives in such a way that maximizes God’s glory and our own joy. And so when Paul is exhorting us to live with wisdom, it means that we should walk carefully and intentionally, in such a way that we don’t slip and fall but that God is glorified, and we find joy in our relationship with Him.
  3. We should do as Paul commands and look carefully how we walk, but we should also note what he says at the end of verse 17: “understand what the will of the Lord is.” In any decision we make, big or small, whether it’s what job to take or what to eat for lunch, we should seek to understand God’s will for us.

Evening Reflection

Consider some of the choices you made today. Were they wise decisions or do you regret some of them already? While we are encouraged to walk carefully with wisdom, we should not expect to walk perfectly on this side of heaven. Bring your successes and failures of today to Jesus and thank Him for his grace.

October 17, Tuesday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 16-22 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian, who serves as the Fenway site pastor of Symphony Church in Boston. Shan, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Jenny; and they are the proud parents of their first baby Tyler.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Being Second”

Genesis 13:5-9

And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, 6 so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, 7 and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land. 8 Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” 

In our world, we place a premium on being first in line. If we’re about to check out of the grocery store, we hope to be the first in line at the register. When it’s opening night of a new blockbuster movie, we want to be first in line if we can. And of course when there’s a big job promotion coming up, we want to be first in line to receive it. Being first in line means more opportunities, more choices, better seats, higher income, etc. So, of course, if we have the choice, we’ll always choose to be first in line.

However, in our passage, Abram goes completely against this tendency and instead chooses to be second. Genesis 13 tells us that there was strife between Abram and Lot’s households, and so Abram knows that the best solution for him and his nephew is to go their separate ways. At this point, Abram had every right to be first in line. Abram was not only older than Lot, but as his uncle, he had familial authority over Lot. Also, Abram knew he was favored by God. He was entitled to put himself first in line to choose the best land for settlement. Yet despite the power and privilege that could have easily justified a choice to be first, Abram chose to be second.

Why would anyone choose to be second? Abram was willing to give up his place in line out of love for Lot. Love is demonstrated by our willingness to put others before ourselves, and Abram clearly loved Lot because he gave up his power and privilege for the sake of his nephew. Every day we carry an entitlement that drives our desire to be first; to walk through a door first, to take what we deserve, to have first pick. But each day yields opportunities to be second and to demonstrate love to our family members, friends, co-workers and the world by giving up our privilege and putting others before ourselves. If we choose to be second, we’re not only demonstrating our love to others, but we’re demonstrating the sacrificial love of Jesus to the world. Let’s strive to be second today!

Prayer: Jesus, help me to lay down my privilege and entitlement and put others before myself this day. I remember that this is what You did as you humbled yourself on the cross for us. I pray that I can love others like You love me. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 8


Lunch Break Study

Read Philippians 2:1-4: So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Questions to Consider

  1. According to this passage, from where do we find the foundation for humility?
  2. What is the definition of humility according to Philippians 2? How might this go against our own definitions of humility?
  3. How can we have more humility in our lives? What keeps us from being humble?

Notes

  1. The foundation is found in verse 1, where Paul tells us to be humble on the condition that we have received any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love or any work of the Spirit or any affection or sympathy. In sum, the foundation of humility is if we have received anything from Jesus.
  2. The definition of humility from this passage would be to count others more significant than ourselves by looking out for the needs of others. Humility is not looking down on ourselves or thinking of ourselves as worthless, lowly, or and poor. Humility is putting others before ourselves in spite of our own privilege or entitlement.
  3. Humility has to start with our relationship with Jesus. If we spend time with Jesus, then we will come to realize that humility comes from experiencing grace, and not because of our own works. When we recognize this, it empowers us to let go of privilege or entitlement and to put others first and ourselves second. What keeps us from being humble is when we put ourselves not only before others but above Jesus himself.

Evening Reflection

Think about the events of this day. Did you have opportunities to be second today, and if so, did you take them? It’s hard for us to let go of entitlement because we’re naturally selfish; it is only through God’s grace that we can genuinely put the needs of others before our own. However this day was, go to Jesus tonight and ask Him for the strength and humility to love others.

October 16, Monday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 16-22 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian, who serves as the Fenway site pastor of Symphony Church in Boston. Shan, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Gordon Conwell Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Jenny; and they are the proud parents of their first baby Tyler.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Being Rich”

Genesis 13:1-4

So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb. 2 Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. 3 And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, 4 to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. 

Many of us tend to have a paradoxical view of wealth and possessions. While so many people strive for greater and greater wealth, these same people feel contempt towards those who have great wealth. One example of this is how much people love the classic stories of Robin Hood. They are exciting and inspiring stories about the bravery of Robin Hood and his merry outlaws as they fight injustice. Robin Hood is a hero to most because he steals from the rich to give to the poor, yet people tend to ignore the fact that what he’s doing is theft; and since most people themselves would love to be rich, Robin Hood would be stealing from them!

Some have a negative view of the wealthy for a variety of reasons: perhaps we think of the wealthy as being conceited, selfish, or entitled. Yet at the same time, most people would love to have that problem.

In Genesis 13, it is made very clear that Abram is very rich. He is loaded with tons of livestock, silver and gold. If Abram were our neighbor, he would’ve been the one with the biggest house, the nicest cars, and the best clothes. But what we see about Abram’s life in this passage is far from any mental picture we have of conceited, rich people. Instead, we see from Genesis a man who is not defined by what he has but in whom he trusts with his life. He is not this selfish or entitled man who looks down on others or don’t have need for others; instead, we meet a man who trusted not in himself, but called upon the name of the Lord in worship.

Having lots of money or possessions is not inherently wrong or sinful, but they can lead us to be conceited or entitled if they define us and lead us away from trusting in God. In fact the opposite can be true as well: not having a lot of money and possessions can lead us away from trusting in God if in our lack, there is an unhealthy striving for more. The only way for us to have a healthy relationship with our possessions and wealth is to follow Abram’s example—and that is to call upon the name of the Lord and worship Him and Him alone. Let us not be defined by our possessions and wealth but let us seek to trust only in God!

Prayer: Jesus, I entrust my life to You today. I pray that I will not let myself be defined but what I have or don’t have, but instead, I will be defined by who You are and what You have done for me. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 7


Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Timothy 6:6-10: But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is the biggest enemy of contentment, according to this passage?
  2. Verse 10 is often misquoted as saying that the “money is the root of all evil” instead of “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” There’s a slight difference in wording but there’s a drastic difference in meaning and application. What is the difference for our lives?
  3. How have you seen the love of money be a hindrance to your own walk with God? What steps can we take to be more content?

Notes

  1. The biggest enemy of contentment is the love of money—the desire to be rich. This love/desire is what plunges “people into ruin and destruction” and leads them away from faith.
  2. To say that “money is the root of all evil” implies that money itself is what corrupts us, which is wrong because is money is not inherently good or bad; rather, it is “love of money” that is the source of “all kinds of evil.” And that means that it is the sinful desires of our own hearts that is the source of many kinds of evil. Money is not the problem but it is our relationship with money that leads us away from contentment and trusting in God.
  3. Personal reflection question.

Evening Reflection

In what ways are you defining yourself by your possessions or wealth? The desire for more is something that we all struggle with and something that we all need to bring before God in prayer. Surrender your heart and desires to God and seek to trust in Him alone.

October 15, Sunday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 9-15 are provided by Pastor Peter Yoon of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego.  Peter is a graduate of U.C. Riverside and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.).  He and his wife Jessica have three very active children: Nathan, Abigail, and Jason.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Lying with Benefits”

Genesis 12:11-17

As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” 14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. 17 But the LORD inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 

If you could lie about something and not only get away with it but receive nice benefits along the way, would you do it?

I know lying to parents is a serious matter, for I cannot see a bit of humor when my children lie to me. Jason’s lips and mouth will be covered with residues of ice cream, and when I ask him, “What did you just eat before dinner?” he will actually say, “Nothing,” thinking that he can actually get away with it. My other son once attempted to have me sign a form, stating that I had reviewed his poorly taken exam; he knew that in my busyness, I’d sign anything trustingly, whereas his mother would thoroughly inspect the form before signing it.

We’ve all tried to fool our parents as kids. But on a more serious note, where do you find yourself still trying to fool others, because either you can get away with it, or you find yourself in a more beneficial state than before?

Abram must have been a pretty good liar. He fools Pharaoh along with all of the Egyptian officials into believing that Sarai was indeed Abram’s sister and not his wife. As a result, Pharaoh treated Abram “well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.” Abram came into Egypt fearing for his life, but by lying he had received a king’s hospitality and generosity.

Thankfully, the omniscient Lord had a different and better purpose for Abram and Sarai. Their lives weren’t destined for a life of opulence in a foreign land while living under the guile as siblings (poor Sarai, I can’t imagine what she was thinking)—it was much more than that. They were called from a pagan land to have a friendship with God and start a family which would eventually become a nation through whom the Savior of the world would arrive on earth. We try to fool others to gain fame, reputation, wealth, or just about anything that seem to benefit us; and we might even get really good at fooling others. However, our omniscient Lord cannot be fooled, nor does He allow His people to sow into deception. Because He loves us so much and has a totally different destiny for our lives, He just might let truth surface so that we might be free.

Prayer: Lord, You are the God of truth. Help me to trust in You and live in truth. In Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 6