Today’s Bible Reading: Hosea 4-5:15; 2 John 1:1-13; Psalm 125:1-5; Proverbs 29:9-11
Where there is no knowledge of God there is no truth and there is no mercy (Hosea 4:1). Truth cannot be rooted in personal opinion otherwise each person is truth unto themself, creating a lack of societal truth. This in-turn results in a society that continually questions what is right and what is wrong. Without mercy – the looking out for the best interests of others – society breaks down and becomes essentially a free-for-all (Hosea 4:2).
We are living a time in the United States where children who were brought up without God are now adults who have no knowledge of Him. And as a result we are seeing our society behave exactly as God (through Hosea) said it would. The children have grown up and are now decision makers but have a very hard time deciding what is right and what is wrong. Fewer and fewer activities are considered wrong. Things that were “wrong” just a generation or less ago are now “right”.
Without a relationship with God we cannot know Him and society crumbles (Hosea 4:3, 6). A relationship with God is all dependent upon us. God is always ready, willing, and able to spend time with us, mentor us, and care for us. The ball is our court. Sadly, we refuse to accept God’s offer of relationship. We’d rather suffer the consequences of our own stupidity than accept the blessings of a God who loves us.
Part of the problem is that our spiritual and political leaders aren’t doing their job (Hosea 5:1). There are too many false-religions in the world whose message sounds more appealing than God’s. Even in some so-called Christian churches the pastors have watered down the message so it is more palatable but in so doing are taking people down a path that does not lead to God. Some churches teach there is no hell. Some teach that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is acceptable. People will be drawn to what they want to hear. But that doesn’t make it true.
Not only are church leaders responsible for leading people to God, so are political leaders. The concept of separation of church and state is not only not in The Constitution it is not in the Bible. God clearly holds kings, presidents and other leaders responsible for shepherding their citizens towards God, not away from Him. Its safe to say that many US presidents will have a lot to answer for after they die and come face-to-face with Jesus. When God puts 300,000,000+ people in your care you better do the job He expects.
Instead our leaders are corrupt (Hosea 5:10). The job of a leader is to take other people where they cannot go by the sacrifice of his/her own gain. This is exactly how Jesus lead. Jesus didn’t have a home or a chariot. He didn’t have lots of money or a fully-stocked refrigerator. He had nothing. Yet He spent 3 years mentoring 12 young men (all teenagers, except for Peter), training them to be leaders themselves. Jesus never once looked out for Himself. He didn’t spin events so they would look good in His autobiography. His goal was leading people to God. All leaders since should have the same goal.
Today we read the one-chapter letter of 2 John which was seemingly written to a specific woman and her children. Since the woman is unnamed we don’t know who the recipient was. Perhaps John did not mention her because of the persecution of Christians that was going on at this time. If his letter had been intercepted she would have been identified and put at risk. Some commentators believe that this letter was not written to a person at all but to a church who John calls the “lady”.
The message of John’s letter is a warning to stick to truth. When two or more people share God’s truth there is a bond between them (2 John 1). We are also happy when we find others living according to that truth (2 John 4) because there are many false teachers in the world who deny Jesus (2 John 7). But denying Jesus is also denying God. We can’t get to God any other way except through Jesus, despite what the false teachers will tell you (2 John 9).
We should turn away anyone who comes into our church or Bible study spreading lies about Jesus (2 John 10). This is a fine line. We obviously don’t want to be rude or unfriendly. But being too hospitable would be an encouragement to their false beliefs and would put the members of our church/study at risk.
In our day of email and texting, its nice to read that John valued face-to-face communication over less personal communication methods, like letter writing (2 John 10). So should we.
Some people are insecure about their appearance or personalities. Some go through life clinging to other people. Some fear a stock-market crash, losing their job, illness or some other calamity. There is no need for any of this. We can be as secure as a mountain if we just trust in God (Psalm 125:1).
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