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Today's Verse

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. — Amos 5:14 NIV

Devotion

You say that the Lord God Almighty is with you. You say that things are good between you and Him. In your mind, you have no reason to expect anything but good from the Lord. After all, you say in defense of yourself, you go to church on a regular basis, you pay your tithes faithfully, you mouth the right religious words when prompted, and you participate in the rituals of the church. Why wouldn't the Lord God be good to you? Why wouldn't He be merciful to you and protect you? From your point of view, you're salt of the earth. You have your religious life in proper order.

The trouble with you, however, is that it's all a sham. It's a religious façade that you've erected around yourself that masks the true you. Maybe you grew up in the church, maybe you've been attending one for a long time, so you know the routines. You know what it takes for your friends and fellow church-goers to think well of you. It's important to you that they think well of you, but that's as far as it goes. It's important to you that you look righteous and up-standing, but true righteousness and goodness are not your top priorities in life.

In point of fact, you're more than a little half-hearted when it comes to seeking good and not evil. You want to look good, but actually being good does not concern you. Like the ancient Israelites of the prophet Amos' day, you say that the Lord God Almighty is with you, you assume He will continue to bless you as He has in the past, but your heart is not in the right place. You look good on Sunday, but the rest of the week is something else altogether.

The message of the prophet is that you can't go on like this and expect the goodness of the Lord to continue for you. Don't allow His patience to fool you. His patience is meant to lead you to repentance. (Romans 2:4) It's not a confirmation of your assumption that He's actually with you.

Repent, then, and turn things around! Seek good and not evil. Then the Lord God Almighty will actually be with you and you will live.