Safe and secure

Hosea 9

Let’s be careful what we do in the name of safety and prosperity.

As Americans, those are two high priorities for us. In many ways, we judge our quality of life by how safe and prosperous we are. Or how safe and prosperous we feel.

It makes sense, of course, to want to be safe. To want our children to live in safety. And I’m quite accustomed to my central AC and ability to drive anywhere I want. Those are two simple signs of prosperity we could take for granted.

As Christians, though, we are to be careful how we pursue those good things. We can’t let them be the totality of what we expect out of life. It is possible to lose our sense of fidelity to God and love of neighbor if we do. We see this happening when when we don’t care to know how our decisions impact others. Or when we can easily justify how our decisions impact others.

Some prophets in Hosea’s day stirred the people’s desire for safety and prosperity. As such, the people consider Hosea a fool (Hosea 9:7-9). Others used their prophetic voice to soothe the people. There was no call to obedience. It was okay to take advantage of the poor and needy if you had what you wanted. You can believe that’s not God’s voice!

Love of God and love of neighbor is the foundation of who we are to be as the body of Christ. As we look more and more into the ministry of Jesus, we notice how much that may require of us. G.K. Chesterton famously wrote, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.”

How safe or prosperous was Jesus?

Modern Christians like to point to the folly of those waiting for Messiah in Jesus’ day. We say they had a wrong vision of the coming king. They were waiting for a warrior who would annihilate Rome. Their outlook on how God would save them kept them from recognizing the reality of Jesus.

Much of our political talk today sounds the same.

It’s easy to call Jesus king. But our goal is to live like he is. If we keep Jesus in a spiritual corner, we miss the full reality of his lordship. We must allow his sense of love and mercy to guide every aspect of our lives. So, how we pursue safety and prosperity must fall in line with the lordship of Christ.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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