Love Your Neighbor
Amos 1:1-6:14Amos 1:1,3, “This message was given to Amos, a shepherd from the town of Tekoa in Judah … when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, was king of Israel. … This is what the Lord says: ’The people of Damascus have sinned again and again, and I will not let them go unpunished! They beat down my people in Gilead as grain is threshed with iron sledges.’”
“Love your neighbor.” How many times have we heard that? It seems so simple, and in theory, it is. But it’s not as easy to live it out. Think about it. How many times have you passed by someone in need and maybe even felt a nudge in your heart to stop and help them and kept going? It may not happen all the time, but we’ve all been guilty of it at some point. Conversely, think about how our blood boils when we see or hear about people being taken advantage of by those who wield far more resources and power? We say, “Somebody should do something!” Yet, we fail to stop and consider that we may be that “somebody” God wants to use to bring about justice.Today’s reading covers the majority of the book of Amos. He was a “somebody” God called into action. A man of simple means, he had a heart for the poor, downtrodden, and abused during a time of unparalleled success in Israel. The rich were unceremoniously taking advantage of the less fortunate — they had no love for their neighbor. Their arrogance, materialism, and overall sinfulness angered God, who is patient — but even He has a fuse length! So, did they listen to Amos’ repeated warnings? No! They considered him a mere nuisance despite his pleas for them to look beyond themselves and show others lovingkindness and compassion. They would soon come to realize God’s utter disdain for their hypocrisy and face judgment.What can we learn from this? Everybody can be a somebody. No matter how much or how little we have, when we obediently place ourselves in Jesus' care, He can use us — like Amos — to help right wrongs and be His hands and feet.Bottom line: Love God and others as you avail yourself to His service. You never know what amazing purpose He has chosen for YOU to fulfill!
Lord, Open my heart to the needs of others and help me to better “love my neighbor.” Alert me when arrogance or materialism get in the way of me fulfilling Your purpose. I want to be “somebody” who's available to serve You, Father. Amen.