Are we right to keep a respectful eye out for God’s verdict on our lives?

 “As for you, Tyre and Sidon and Philistia, why should I bother with you?
Are you trying to get back at me for something I did to you?
If you are, forget it. I’ll see to it that it boomerangs on you.
You robbed me, cleaned me out of silver and gold, carted off everything valuable to furnish your own temples. You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem into slavery to the Greeks in faraway places. But I’m going to reverse your crime. I’m going to free those slaves. I’ll have done to you what you did to them: I’ll sell your children as slaves to your neighbors, And they’ll sell them to the far-off Sabeans.” God’s Verdict. Joel 3:4-8 (The Message)

Is our spiritual attitude short changing God. Do we take, without thought of repaying his kindness? Are we so focused on our own need that we don’t give a thought to what God wants of us?

I ask these questions in the light of the prophetic message of Joel. God had judged his people by using the forces of the nations that surrounded them. Those nations had, however, treated the God of Israel, and his people with disregard and disrespect (to say the least). As God’s people had turned away from their own sinfulness the sin of those that God was using to discipline them came right back into sight. So, the tables are turned and the nations of  Tyre and Sidon and Philistia faced the music.

When we are following the spiritual life it is not a life of internalized reflection alone but of an overt commitment to the way of Christ. We are not simply to be receivers of God’s grace but to be catalysts of it. In this way we live as those who are respectful of God’s verdict on all creation and accutely conscious of his holy presence within and without.

Lord, you are the judge of all people. You keep us in the way of Christ through your grace and holiness. May my life today reflect your way and give grace and your holy presence to every situation as I live through you today. Amen.

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