By Luke Brown, Soul Survivor:Called to Lead
Todays Readings Are:
When I was younger I decided that it wasn’t a great idea to tell my friends at school that I was a Christian. I basically thought that no one would like me if they knew I went to church. So I lied. I lied to my school friends about my faith and I never told anyone at home or at church that I was doing this. Until one year I went to a summer Christian conference, and one evening when I was there I was prayed for by someone I hadn’t met who had no knowledge of my situation and he said to me, “I think God’s saying that you need to tell your friends you’re a Christian”.
Wow! I was blown away.
This is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m so grateful that the person who was praying for me went for it, he spoke out what God was saying to him even though it probably wasn’t an easy thing to do. And I think that Amos was in a similar situation. He knew he had this tough message to bring to Israel, a message of judgment, a message that wouldn’t be easy to swallow, especially from a shepherd. But he went for it and it was exactly what Israel needed to hear.
In the New Testament reading we find Paul also bringing a challenge. He’s writing to the church in Rome and in this part of the letter he’s addressing a discussion that’s been going on about circumcision and highlights the importance of having our hearts made right with God over the keeping of traditions and that that process is done by the Holy Spirit not by the written laws (2:29).
He is echoing much of the teaching of Jesus about how much God cares about our where our hearts are at. So often we can get caught up in what we do: how much we pray or how far behind we are in Bible in a year that we can feel down on ourselves. But the truth is that it is by the Spirit of God that we are changed. By Him and through Him. However, as Paul says in chapter 3:5-8, we can’t just do whatever we want with no consequence.
So let’s look at our hearts today, take hold of the grace He give to us each morning and not be afraid to speak out God’s words and stand up for him.
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The pictures will need to be a pretty good resolution (we use 640px by 360 px so at least as big as that), landscape photos work best and if you include the day of the reading in the picture then make sure you send it to us a good few days before that reading, so we have time to include it in that day’s post! We’ll credit all photographers!