January 5

Genesis 2:18 (NIV) 18The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

Man was not meant to be a hermit. A solitary condition is not good. God designed Eve as a helper suitable for Adam. That is God's plan and God's intention for women. I can hear the howls of derision from those with secular minds. The Biblical view of a helper is a team member not a slave. What they accomplish together is their accomplishment and not his alone. He must share the glory with his helper. In the upside down world of the Kingdom, the servant is the greatest. They need each other and are incomplete without each other.

The spiritual picture here is of Christ and the church. We were made new creatures from the blood that flowed from His side, just as Eve was made from the blood flowing from Adam's side. We are to be His helper. That is why He calls us co-laborers. It is not as though He could not do it by Himself, but that He wants to include us in what He is doing. He wants to share His work with us for our benefit. It is not good for us to be alone. We need to be at His side, laboring with Him for His glory.

Genesis 2:24 (NIV) For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. We are to be joined to Him so that all other attachments are a distant second. Does that describe your relationship with the groom, Christ Jesus? By His Spirit, are you a suitable helper for Him?

Prayer: Help me to be the helper You intend me to be as I yield to Your life in me.

January 5

Amos 5:21-24 (NIV) 21"I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. 22Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. 23Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Amos was a shepherd that was called by God to prophesy to the nations. His ministry came during the height of Israel's prosperity under Jeroboam II. The prosperity of the people had caused them to forget God who had made them prosperous and given them the land.

In the passage today, we see that they went through the rituals in the Law. They even worshipped in song as David had instructed them; yet, they were oppressing the poor and perverting justice to maintain their lifestyle. Their religious ritual meant nothing if it did not affect their life. In fact, God said that He hated and couldn't stand it! Those are pretty harsh words. Can you imagine a preacher today saying these things to a congregation? There are surely many places in which it needs to be said.

If our religious routine does not affect our life, God detests that show of religion. It gives a detrimental witness to those who observe us. It misrepresents God. Let us all be careful to see that what we hear from God's word and what we sing in our services are a real part of our daily lives. Let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Prayer: Lord, forgive us where we have been hypocritical. Help us to worship with sincere hearts. Help us walk our talk.