… Lord I come, I confess
Bowing here, I find my rest
Without You, I fall apart
You’re the one that guides my heart

… Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour, I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Are we all show, no go when it comes to helping people find and follow Jesus? 

… Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

… Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour, I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Do we represent ourselves as being “Christ-like” only when necessary but avoid the “likeness” when it gets hard or gets in our way of what we have established as a way of life?

… So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand, I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

… Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour, I need You
My one defense, my righteousness

Oh God, how I need You
You’re my one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Do we say a hearty yes to Jesus in corporate worship in a great show of oneness, but in real life brush away the command to love each other as Jesus loves us and continue to walk in our own way that is more convenient?

… My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You…

Israel has fallen and she can’t get up.  God’s people are all show, no go—with no substantial foundation to stand on or hold them up in faith and following God.  Arrogance and pride, ignoring God, falling for idols and perverted behaviors are not legs to stand on when it comes to serving God with all that is in them. 

Do we fall into these traits?  Yes.  “So, seek God and live! You don’t want to end up with nothing to show for your life…” Amos tells God’s people.

Amos 5, The Message

All Show, No Substance

Listen to this, family of Israel,
    this Message I’m sending in bold print, this tragic warning:

“Virgin Israel has fallen flat on her face.
    She’ll never stand up again.
She’s been left where she’s fallen.
    No one offers to help her up.”

This is the Message, God’s Word:

“The city that marches out with a thousand
    will end up with a hundred.
The city that marches out with a hundred
    will end up with ten. Oh, family of Israel!”

4-5 God’s Message to the family of Israel:

“Seek me and live.
    Don’t fool around at those shrines of Bethel,
Don’t waste time taking trips to Gilgal,
    and don’t bother going down to Beer-sheba.
Gilgal is here today and gone tomorrow
    and Bethel is all show, no substance.”

So seek God and live! You don’t want to end up
    with nothing to show for your life
But a pile of ashes, a house burned to the ground.
    For God will send just such a fire,
    and the firefighters will show up too late.

Raw Truth Is Never Popular

7-9 Woe to you who turn justice to vinegar

 and stomp righteousness into the mud.
Do you realize where you are? You’re in a cosmos
    star-flung with constellations by God,
A world God wakes up each morning
    and puts to bed each night.
God dips water from the ocean
    and gives the land a drink.
    God, God-revealed, does all this.
And he can destroy it as easily as make it.
    He can turn this vast wonder into total waste.

10-12 People hate this kind of talk.
    Raw truth is never popular.

But here it is, bluntly spoken:
    Because you run roughshod over the poor
    and take the bread right out of their mouths,
You’re never going to move into
    the luxury homes you have built.
You’re never going to drink wine
    from the expensive vineyards you’ve planted.
I know precisely the extent of your violations,
    the enormity of your sins. Appalling!
You bully right-living people,
    taking bribes right and left and kicking the poor when they’re down.

13 Justice is a lost cause. Evil is epidemic.
    Decent people throw up their hands.
Protest and rebuke are useless,
    a waste of breath.

14 Seek good and not evil—
    and live!
You talk about God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    being your best friend.
Well, live like it,
    and maybe it will happen.

15 Hate evil and love good,
    then work it out in the public square.
Maybe God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    will notice your remnant and be gracious.

16-17 Now again, my Master’s Message, God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

“Go out into the streets and lament loudly!
    Fill the malls and shops with cries of doom!
Weep loudly, ‘Not me! Not us, Not now!’
    Empty offices, stores, factories, workplaces.
Enlist everyone in the general lament.
    I want to hear it loud and clear when I make my visit.”
        God’s Decree.

Time to Face Hard Reality, Not Fantasy

18-20 Woe to all of you who want God’s Judgment Day!
    Why would you want to see God, want him to come?
When God comes, it will be bad news before it’s good news,
    the worst of times, not the best of times.
Here’s what it’s like: A man runs from a lion
    right into the jaws of a bear.
A woman goes home after a hard day’s work
    and is raped by a neighbor.
At God’s coming we face hard reality, not fantasy—
    a black cloud with no silver lining.

21-24 I can’t stand your religious meetings.
    I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
    your pretentious slogans and goals.

I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
    your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
    When was the last time you sang to me?

Do you know what I want?
    I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
    That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

25-27 Didn’t you, dear family of Israel, worship me faithfully for forty years in the wilderness, bringing the sacrifices and offerings I commanded? How is it you’ve stooped to dragging gimcrack statues of your so-called rulers around, hauling the cheap images of all your star-gods here and there? Since you like them so much, you can take them with you when I drive you into exile beyond Damascus.” God’s Message, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.


It begins with the awareness of who is living life around you.  Realize the life does not revolve around you and your busyness as validation for your importance and significance.  Our lives revolve around Jesus.  This can begin with merely opening a door for someone else.  Wait, what?!?

The Etiquette (or Selfless Kindness) of the Open Door:

When you approach a door that pulls open, reach out to open it then, continuing to hold the door open, stand aside so the person you’re with may enter. When you approach a door that pushes open, go on through as you hold the door, standing aside as you continue to hold it so others may enter. 

Yep, that’s how it works.  Baby steps, friends, baby steps…

Step two is looking a person in the eyes with the love of Christ in your heart.

Step three:  Show the love Jesus has given to you by calling you by name and simply introducing yourself.  Ask them for their name.  Use their name in an encouraging sentence or comment so you won’t forget.  There are more steps but we will stop here with baby steps to get us started.

I have a story that will bring tears to your eyes… “The Door Guy”

Holding a door open for someone else is a polite gesture that often goes unnoticed. But for a boy named Josh, opening doors for others became an act of courage that changed his whole life.

Josh’s story has been taking the internet by storm: After being bullied at his high school, he changed schools to try to make a fresh start. At his new school he wanted to find a way to distinguish himself from the other kids. He decided to start by opening doors for his classmates and offering a greeting to every person as they passed.  Josh’s small act of kindness has transformed his life and his future,

See the whole story here:

So, taking this story to heart, I talked to a young couple after church service.  They are  about to have their second child next month.  Randy and I have been there, done that, having three kids of our own “back in the day.”  The mom’s eyes lit up when I told her how I made faces at their adorable two-year-old in church last week.  The dad smiled when we told him how his recent testimony and baptism touched our hearts. 

Two minutes of encouraging kindness—even as you walk out the door of your church– can lift hearts.  We aren’t the only ones in the room.  We aren’t the only ones living life in our world outside the building we call church.  Be the church inside AND outside the building.  We all struggle to remain close to Jesus.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  But we are redeemed and called to show Jesus to others.

More instruction of how to be like Jesus to others is found throughout the Bible, but a clearly concise “list” of behaviors can be found in Romans 12, one of my favorite places to go for help.  Here are a few snapshots of the whole picture:

“Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.” 

“…it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.”

“If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.”

“Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.”

Our response? Look for opportunities to say a kind word.  Like Josh found out, kindness is revolutionary and life-changing.  Mm, and so was Jesus!  Be like Jesus!

Oh God, how we need You
You’re our one defense, our righteousness
Oh God, how we need You…


Helps us to love like you love us—without conditions.  Our response is to believe, truly believe that you are who you say you are so we can be who you created us to be in you.  Help us to walk humbly with you as we help others know you, too, through acts of generous kindness.

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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