Day 349: Humble and Kind (Amos 4-6; Revelation 6)

“Hate evil, love good; establish justice justice in the gate.” -Amos 5:15

At the time this book was written, Israel was filled with false accusations, bribery, injustice and corruption, so the Lord urged them to reform their legal and social system.

The same problems plague our societies and communities today. It is easy to turn a blind eye though – pretend the problems don’t exist, cast the blame on the other political party, or claim that we’re too young or just unable to make a difference.

But that isn’t true. If you look at world history and the stories in the Bible, some of the most radical changes began with one courageous person with a just and good character.

We all love stories where the good person who is often in the shadows suddenly steps into the limelight and changes how things were always done. It’s why fairy tales and novels are filled with ordinary girls who become princesses and then change kingdoms.

What makes those kinds of people special is that they remain the same even when they suddenly achieve fame, wealth or power. They are gracious, just, and good to all people even when they are “nobodies,” and because their character is established on a firm foundation of humility, kindness and justice, when God gives them more, they are able to transform the world around them to be more like them.

Maybe you feel like you have very little influence today to impact a cause or situation where you see corruption, evil or injustice. That’s okay. Some day you will. For now, start small. Stand up for the girl being cyber bullied in your grade. Get involved to volunteer on a political campaign or for a non-profit that advocates a cause you are passionate about.

Be good and just in all of your daily interactions with all types of people  – from how you react to a mistake at work to your friendships and finances. Be faithful in the small things and some day, God will entrust you with more.

Day 348: Warning Signs (Amos 1-3, Revelation 5)

“Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” -Amos 3:7-8

As we read the book of Amos this week, you’ll notice a lot of foreshadowing as God warns the people of Israel of the judgement their future holds for the iniquities they committed.

We often get the same warnings. They’re not always out of the mouth of a prophet, but God is faithful in giving us a chance to fix our ways before the consequences rain down upon us. It’s the moment after you said something you wish you could take back in a heated argument, but your pride holds you back. And then things begin to fall apart in that relationship and you wish you had taken that moment to say you’re sorry and to mend the broken fences before it was too late. It’s the red flags in a new relationship that warn of danger ahead.

In our spiritual lives, the Holy Spirit also gives us warning signs when we’re about to wander off His path. But we only hear the warnings if we’re listening. And the warnings are only effective if we obey.

So, how do you hear or see these warnings? First, you must be on the same wave length to be able to hear. That means regular Bible study and prayer. Second, when you know the word of God, you can more easily spot when something is a fraud. Third, be open to the input of people in your life – often times our friends and family can spot red flags in our relationships, careers, friendships, and health. Overall though, it’s about having a pliable heart that is wiling to listen and obey.

Are there warning signs in your life that you may be missing or ignoring?