Prayer for the day
Open my lips, O LORD and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Scripture for the day
It’s one of the saddest phrases in the Scriptures: “Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart.”
This phrase echoes over and over in my mind as I read the First Testament accounts of the kings of Israel and Judah. Here were rulers who were placed above the people of God, who were set there to care for the people and direct them, politically, socially, and spiritually. These people had an enormous responsibility on their shoulders: the fate of the nation rested largely on their decisions.
Yet over and over again the words reverberate: he was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart.
In the Second Testament account for today, John recounts the story of John the Baptist, a man who seemed to have divine insight into the nature and person of Jesus. Yet even one as close as John the Baptist doesn’t actually know what he’s looking at when he looks at the Lord. Regardless of his vision, John’s focus doesn’t waver from preaching the coming of the kingdom and the lordship of the one who is to come.
Not only does John follow whole-heartedly, but the ones who are called after John, Simon, Andrew, Nathanael and the others follow. Jesus issues a simple call: leave everything and follow me with everything that you are. Jesus calls them to a whole-hearted commitment to the law of God. He calls them to give everything to the cause. And they do.
This kind of commitment doesn’t happen accidentally. It’s borne out of a call from God and a recognition of the importance of that call. It comes after counting the cost, and it comes out of a life that is prepared for this kind of commitment.
Are you ready to give your whole heart?