Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 8 December 20:
Amos 5:1, 10 — “Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel…. They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks the truth.”
Amos delivered a “fire and brimstone” message from a genuine heart of compassion and concern. How would such a message be received today? Are you willing to be the hated one because you love others so much you are willing to proclaim the truth?
Amos 5:6, 14, 15, 18, 21, 23 — “Seek the Lord and live…. Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good…. I take no delight in your solemn assemblies…. Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light…. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.”
Life is a continual seeking of the Lord. Seeking the Lord involves seeking good and not evil. God is Good. Goodness starts and ends with God. We draw closer to Him when we seek to do His will from a right heart – “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Amos 5:18 — “Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light.”
Many outwardly religious people are hoping for End Times, wishing God’s punishment on those they would like to see get punished, rather than humbly responding to God’s mercy and grace with loving obedience and desperately hoping for the salvation of sinners from eternal separation from God. God delays so we might have a chance to reach the lost. Jesus said that one of the marks of a true believer is a love that far surpasses love the world shows – a love that loves the unloving, that truly loves enemies, that is willing to share the Gospel with those who persecute them for it. God has placed hateful people in your life for a reason, that you might show them the love of Christ and grow closer to Christ in the process. If you have trouble truly loving your enemy, you have a perspective problem – “…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Amos 6:12 — “Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow there with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood.”
Don’t be fooled: God doesn’t run with the unrighteous. There is really no such thing as a “carnal Christian.” God will not bless unfaithfulness, and everyone reaps what they sow.
- Galatians 6:7 — Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 8 December 20: Glorify God today by living with integrity before Him and proclaiming the truth to those around you. Share the Gospel today.