Seek God and Live
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Amos 5:1-17, Isaiah 55:6-7, Colossians 3:1-17
BY Beverly Berrus
In 1960, 50 percent of infants and one out of three pregnant women died after childbirth in what is now the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan invited medical professionals to help. Two Christian missionaries, Drs. Pat and Marian Kennedy, answered the call.
With time, birth rates improved, and mothers and babies survived. They even opened a hospital where future rulers would be born. They served the Emirati people before there were big cities, major roads, and even stable electricity, proclaiming the love of Christ with their words and actions. It was evident that they were driven by compassionate love, not personal gain.
The Sheikh noted that these Christians came before the UAE gained wealth from oil. Because of their actions, this Muslim ruler granted religious protections to Christians living in the UAE.
God wants His people to be a life-giving presence wherever they go, much like the Kennedys. The Israelites of Amos’s day, however, demonstrated the opposite. Claiming to be God’s people, they committed wicked acts of injustice, brutally oppressing, cheating, and corrupting other image-bearers. So God pronounced fatal judgments upon them for their “crimes” and “sins innumerable” (Amos 5:12). Instead of contributing to the flourishing of society, the Israelites were like a plague—bringing decay, destruction, and death.
Society may reject the message of God’s people, but it shouldn’t be able to deny a concern for goodness, justice, and compassionate love in our actions. If God, who is holy and righteous, cares about these things, then we, as His people, must care about them too.
God warned the Israelites to seek Him and live; to pursue good, reject evil, and establish justice (Amos 5:6,14–15). In essence, He graciously called them to repent and return to Him while He may still be found (Isaiah 55:6).
Here’s the irony: by God asking sinful people to seek Him, He was seeking them first. And hasn’t that always been the case?
The Lord pursued you and me while we were still sinners. What should our daily response be to God’s initiating love in Christ? Letting His kindness drive us to joyful repentance again and again (Romans 2:4).
And with His help and grace, let us continue to seek the things above, where Jesus is (Colossians 3:1). When we set our minds on Him, our lives will align with His heavenly priorities. Are we pursuing good, establishing justice, and rejecting evil as God’s people? Our presence should encourage the thriving of others—in our homes, workplaces, communities, and countries. Sisters, seek God and live. Seek God so that others may live as well.
31 thoughts on "Seek God and Live"
Sorry for a second post, but I wanted to add amen to RHONDA J, LISA CHAPEK, and SARAH SULLIVAN.
I was reminded of David as I thought of this week’s verses. He was a ‘man after God’s own heart’- even though God punished him for his wrong actions, he did not lose his allegiance to his God. It’s all about the heart. Does it belong to God or the world.
K – More on WORMWOOD:
From the NET translation footnotes:22
tn There is an interesting wordplay here with the verb הָפַךְ (hafakh, “overturn, turn”). Israel “turns” justice into wormwood (cf. 6:12), while the Lord “turns” darkness into morning (v. 8; cf. 4:11; 8:10). Israel’s turning is for evil, whereas the Lord’s is to demonstrate his absolute power and sovereignty.
1. a woody shrub with a bitter aromatic taste, used as an ingredient of vermouth and absinthe and in medicine.
2. a state or source of bitterness or grief
He has filled me with bitterness; He has sated me with wormwood.
Have a wonderful and safe weekend, Shes, and thanks again for the prayers as I remember your requests!
Amen @Sarah Sullivan! I agree, a lot has been allowed it seems to wake us up and to finally speak up for where the nation has been led astray!
Take my yoke upon you…submit to my wills and my ways. My yoke is easy and light.
I want to walk in obedience to Him! In the midst of my burdens, sorrows and trouble. In the good times, and the bad. I want to show his ways to those around me by carrying the fruits of the spirit. I want to show meekness, patience, and love. I want to seek the Lord in all my ways. Nothing blesses me more than hearing and seeing the needs of someone hurting and being able to hug them. “Bear one another’s burdens.” And now I am becoming more comfortable in praying for them automatically. With the Holy Spirit living inside me, it enables me. I cannot do this on my own. Isn’t it amazing that God chose us to be his hands and feet to turn others to him?! Let us get excited in the weary, frustrating time we are living in! He will give us exactly what we need at the exact time. We may not even know the impact we have in the moment, but years later, or on the other side.
@Kimbery Z. I agree with @Searching, your story impacted me so much when you shared last year, and comes to mind so often! Keep sharing with anyone you can of how God uses those terrible situations and turns them for good! You are a blessing!
Love you all She’s!
“Let the wicked abandon his way and the sinful one his thoughts.” How often it seems to come back to this: wickedness is sinful thoughts acted out. It matters what I’m thinking and what I allow into my mind. It occurred to me that all the “putting off and putting on” in Colossians is not just an excercise. We put off so that there is room in us for the heavenly things that our minds are supposed to be set on. It’s our spiritual spring cleaning so that we can live in the goodness and freedom we were created to live in and will live in for eternity!
Imagine what our world would look like if Chrsitians were living for God and not getting caught up in the things of this world. It can be easy to blame all the bad things happening in our world on sin and Satan, but how much of it does God allow as a way to draw His people, draw us, back to Him?
Amos 5:7 confused me, and the meaning felt significant especially in today’s age. In Spurgeon’s exposition, he notes that “Justice as wormwood” + throwing righteousness to the ground speaks to ritualism without godly character. God, show me how to live out your way of Justice, not in a performative way – but in humility and in truth.
After todays reading I’m left with “it sounds so easy” and then I am reminded that it is- God seemed me first! Thank you Lord. Help me to continue our relationship daily, minute by minute, fill my heart with Your words of truth, my mouth with words of encouragement so others may live as well and lastly my actions with justice and righteousness! Thank you Lord for Your goodness. Lifting you sisters in prayer!
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