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Wishes

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24 NRSV


Be careful what you wish for! I'm sure we've all heard that warning. In our desire for something, or someone, we overlook what it means to get it. We fully understand the cost only after attaining that item and looking back.


Preceding today's verse, God tells those of Israel who desire the Lord to come to be careful about their wishes. They are so caught up in their religiosity, sacrifices, and songs that they have failed to obey the most essential elements of God's instructions. God tells them their offerings, and music makes him sick; he desires justice and righteousness.


Several years ago, Kyle Idleman wrote a book called, "Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus." Idleman distinguishes between the fans, those Sunday morning Christians and dedicated followers, and those who walk the walk and talk the talk all the days of the week.


Yes, it's great to attend church! We should absolutely join together in worship, praising our God of grace. But we're not to let that relationship with Christ end when the doors close behind us on Sunday morning. We are to carry that Holy Spirit into the world, bringing light into darkness.


Jesus says when he returns, there will be a separation of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46). The measure of judgment is not based on our stringent religiosity–the frequency of our attendance and our positions in the church, but on our actions. How have we lived our lives? At that time, it will be found that some goats are masquerading as sheep. The choice of which group we will be included in is ours.


Yes, we know that Jesus is returning, we don't know the timing, but it will happen. Given the world's evil, we may even desire this "twinkling of an eye moment" to be now. But we must ensure our souls are ready for that goat-sorting moment.


Jesus, thank you for bringing us salvation. Please help us as we seek to be committed followers, living lives centered on compassion, justice, and righteousness. We want to be ready for the Day of the Lord. Amen.


Blessings,

Pastor Tim


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