“About that time, serious trouble developed in Ephesus concerning the Way………
Everyone rushed to the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, who were Paul’s traveling companions from Macedonia. Paul wanted to go in, too, but the believers wouldn’t let him. Some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, also sent a message to him, begging him not to risk his life by entering the amphitheater. Inside the people were all shouting, some one thing and some another. Everything was in confusion, in fact, most of them didn’t even know why they were there.” Acts 19:23; 29:32
“Everything was in confusion, in fact, most of them didn’t even know why they were there.” This is how I see our country right now. With everything going on most people jump on bandwagons just because everybody else is doing it, never really knowing why they are there. Our country is in turmoil and most people don’t even know why they are joining in a fight. It looks right, is feels right, it must be right, right? We can’t say this or that because it may offend someone even though it is in God’s word. So, a fight ensues and hate is spread and we break God’s heart in the process. The devil has spread the lie that if I don’t agree with your life choices then I hate you. That simply isn’t true. We are called to love each other in the body of Christ despite our sin. That doesn’t mean that we have to make allowances for sin. We touched on this at Montreat. Our worship leader sparked conversation among the youth about this topic.
Being familiar with God’s word is about so much more than reciting scripture to fit your needs or your situation to make you feel better. God’s word is honest and most times gets uncomfortable because it calls us out on our sin and that isn’t fun. How else will we ask for forgiveness if we don’t know what to ask forgiveness for? Reading God’s word is about strengthening your relationship with Christ. If we aren’t reading God’s word how will we ever know the difference in God’s truth and the world’s truth? The world’s truth is taking hold at an alarming rate. If we aren’t careful we’ll be just like the Ephesians in Ephesus that day in the amphitheater shouting and not even know why we are there in the first place.
When the Pharisee’s asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was He told them to love God and love His people Matthew 22:37-38. I believe that with my entire being. In fact, it is what I tell the youth all the time. Stop trying to be perfect and live up to some standard of Christianity and the legalism that can so often cripple us. Simply love God then love His people. Surely, however, loving God means being obedient to His word and all of His word. That only happens when we make a choice to die to ourselves and live for Him.
Loving and Just God, please help me to be faithful in reading your word every single day. Let this not be on my checklist of things to do today, but instead a true privilege to get to know you on a deeper level through your word. Help me to stand firm on your truth and speak it with love. Let me not get lost in worldly things and instead be so consumed doing your good works that nothing else matters. Help me to remember not to be overcome by the legalism of our faith and instead focus on a relationship with you and getting lost in your grace and mercy. In Jesus Name, Amen.