One of my favorite things about the Chronological Bible is that the words of the prophets are placed into the reading so they are talking straight at the kings and people who God called them to warn.
God sent the prophet Amos to both Israel and Judah to call out the current religious establishment. The religious leaders in Judah were leading their people to develop meaningless religious traditions while refusing to do what God really wanted them to do – give mercy and justice to the oppressed and needy.
Israel was experiencing a time of prosperity which led them to a lifestyle of greed and immorality.
Sound familiar? Do we see any of this in our culture today? Immorality – have you turned on your TV lately? Have you looked at billboards along the freeways? Greed – there are so many examples its hard to figure out where to start. People will do anything these days for money.
As I read the book of Amos, God speaks to my heart and asks me to critically evaluate my religious habits and my ethical conduct. He also warns me against complacency – getting too comfortable.
I’m careful to keep my relationship with God as my first priority, not religious habits. When someone tells me they aren’t into organized religion, I tell them I’m not either – I’m totally into having a close relationship with God. That always gets their attention.
But I know what God means by being too comfortable. I used to live in a nice Christian bubble. All of my close friends were Christian. Everyone on my social calendar was a Christian. I knew some non-Christians at work but everyone in my personal world was a believer.
This is the definition of complacent.
For God so loved the world……we have been commissioned to tell the world the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. That’s not comfortable – that’s being stretched and reaching into the mess that is our culture today with the love of Jesus. Now my calendar always includes places and relationships where I can be the light and let the love of God flow through me out to people who don’t know him.
Take a close look at your life. Have you wandered into some immorality? Or greed? Or meaningless religious traditions? Or complacency?
If that’s true, it’s time to turn back to God. “Seek me and live” God tells us in Amos 5:6. When we repent, he restores. And he renews. And he changes us from the inside out.
Thank you, Abba Father.