READING: Deuteronomy 28-29, Mark 14:54-72
“And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord.”
As I look at the newspaper today, I read about people in Syria, Thailand, France, Somalia, Iran, Israel, Kenya, and others. In fact, the newspaper reminds me that the world is much larger than my world in North Carolina. We live in a big, big world made up of many different people groups and nations – all that God loves. The 7.5 billion people are made in His image, and they matter to Him. Every one of them.
That’s not a new theme, though. In the Old Testament, God called the Israelites to be His people. He called them to be a holy people, set apart, different, and unique for a purpose. They were to walk according to His commands so that “all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you” (Deut. 28:10). The other nations would fear them, knowing that the power of almighty God rested on them as His people. In the end, the people of God were to be a light to the nations through their walking in His ways.
The Israelites failed in that task, but their failure did not negate the plan of God. He calls us to be His people, and we’re to be His witnesses to the nations. Moreover, we’re to be His witnesses to our neighbors who live in our Jerusalem. That may be where, in fact, our choice to follow God’s ways becomes most evident. We can talk about reaching the nations from a distance, but we have to live next door to our neighbors. They hear our words. They see our actions. They watch how we love our spouse and how we parent our children. They often recognize when our actions don’t correspond to our claimed Christianity.
On the other hand, they also see when we’re different. They know that godliness is unique. Those godly choices then open the door for us to talk about the God who made us His own.
- Choose to live today so your neighbors know that you’re different. Make godly choices.
- Pray that others truly would see your transformed life and perhaps even ask about it.
PRAYER: “God, I want to walk with You and reap Your blessings, not Your curses. I commit myself to walk in Your ways.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Deuteronomy 30-31, Mark 15:1-25