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July 8 – Amazing grace

Behold, I am weighed down by you, as a cart is weighed down that is full of sheaves. – Amos 2:13

Scripture reading: Amos 2:9-16

The LORD God is weighed down by Israel like an overloaded cart. Of course, there is no weakness or shortcoming in God who “neither faints nor is weary” (Is.40:28). He is simply speaking in terms we can understand. The years of rebellion and hard-heartedness keep piling up and God will not bear with Israel much longer.

God is weary of their contempt for His grace. Their indifference to the plight of the poor and weak demonstrates a graceless heart. If they had truly grasped the overwhelming grace of God in their redemption, they would love their neighbor. When they were weak, He “destroyed the Amorite before them” and brought them into the land of Canaan. When they were oppressed in the land of Egypt, He rescued them. When they were vulnerable in the desert, He protected and provided for them. Their history was one of undeserved kindness. Yet their hearts remain unchanged.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. He blesses the poor in spirit with the kingdom of heaven. The humble and the poor in spirit are those who know that they owe God an unpayable debt of sin and that God has forgiven that debt at infinite cost to Himself. If we sing “Amazing Grace” in church on Sunday and then remain indifferent to the plight of the needy, what does that reveal about our hearts?

Who is the hungry person in your life right now? Or the stranger, the orphan, the widow? By grace you were saved. Now live it.

Suggestions for prayer

Confess to God where you have been taking His grace for granted. Pray for a heart that is transformed by the power of grace.

Rev. Gary Zekveld is the pastor of New Westminster United Reformed Church in British Columbia, This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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