Too close for comfort

To Follow Jesus

My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.

July/August 2016 Issue –  Seek Me and Live,  ‘let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream’ Amos 5:24

The text set for today’s reading and meditation (the key verse is highlighted):

Amos 2:4-5 (NIVUK): ”This is what the Lord says: ‘For three sins of Judah, even for four, I will not relent. (I will not turn back my wrath.) Because they have rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept his decrees, because they have been led astray by false gods, the gods their ancestors followed,

I will send fire on Judah that will consume the fortresses of Jerusalem.’”

In today’s passage, we hear Amos pronouncing judgment on his own country Judah. Judah is indicated for breaking the terms of the covenant relationship God made with His people at Sinai. ‘How tragic it is when God’s own people prove not to be part of God’s answer to the world’s rebellion but part of its problem.’

I think Selwyn’s summary is one we should all think about, he writes: “We, the people of God in this day and generation, need to ask ourselves – are we in danger of pointing an accusing finger at the world around us while ignoring what is going on in our own souls?

Consequently, I also like the prayer for today: “Gracious Father, forgive us if we are so busy and taken up with the faults and sins of others that we have no time to examine our own souls. May our prayer be: ‘Search us God, and know our hearts.’ In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

One area which concerns me today is the generally lack of understanding concerning sin – many people appears to ignore the so-called ‘small’ sins, such as anger or the enjoyment of lust as portrayed in many TV shows. In association, with this dismissal of the importance of the smallest of sins, is the growing tendency to modify biblical truths to suit popular customs or beliefs – same sex marriage is a good example of this issue.

Jesus is the same today, as He was two thousand years ago – He hasn’t changed one iota. Why do some think that our Almighty God has changed His mind on a number of important truths?

Lastly, a third issue is the lack of understanding concerning the term, ‘God is love’. Let us be clear about this – the love spoken about in the bible, which is used in the commands to love God and our neighbours is ‘agape’ (sacrificial) love. Agape is different to the type of love(s) expressed between friends, family and lovers. If you don’t understand the difference then you will not be able to discern which type of love is of God and which type is born in deceitful human hearts or inspired by the devil.

Your view?