Monday, October 6, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Witness of the People of God


Varghese Thomas
Long Island MTC, NY
12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there;

Here we see two distinct individuals. Amaziah, a priest and Amos, a shepherd turned prophet.

What distinguished them? By training and experience, one was a priest and the other a shepherd. The priest was trying to maintain the status quo and protect his turf in Bethel, while the novice prophet was trying to declare God’s looming judgment on the kingdom and the people.

There are two sides in the story; one receiving the message and the other giving the message.

On the one side, we pride ourselves to be a chosen people, a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). As a community, how receptive will we be if an outsider comes to our church and delivers a critical message of judgment? It is probably easier to receive a message if we focus on the message, instead of the messenger. Often, our perception of a particular messenger may hinder our reception of a beneficial message. As we see with Amos and many other individuals in the Bible, God uses people of all background to deliver His message.

On the other side, we pride ourselves to be Marthomites, where each one of us is called to be a missionary and spread the Gospel. Will we be like Amos and declare the Word where God leads us?  Or will we fold and leave, looking for an audience that is complacent, hospitable and accommodating? God chooses one to proclaim His Gospel truthfully, regardless of the consequences. Amaziah’s report to the king, accusing Amos of conspiracy, did not stop Amos from prophesying but rather seems to have invigorated him to deliver a sharper message.

Let us be the ones that lead others to Christ, and not the ones who cause others to stumble (Luke 17:2). 

PRAYER

Merciful God, thank you for your Word. Help us to be receptive to your message regardless of place, persons and time. We pray that you give us the courage to declare your Word wherever you place us. Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends - (2 Corinthians 10:18)