Follow by Email

Friday, October 31, 2014

King of Glory

God’s Conversion of Israel is found in Micah 7:16-20. Nations will see and be ashamed, deprived of all their power.
They will put their hands over their mouths and their ears will become deaf. They will lick dust like a snake, like creatures that crawl on the ground. They will come trembling out of their dens;
    they will turn in fear to the Lord our God  and will be afraid of you. Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.

God really does care for all humanity. It’s all about confession of sin and confidence that God forgives. But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior, my God will hear me. Micah 7:7 
What do these verses say to you? How can they be applied?

Remember it’s all about God’s glory! Doing it His way not ours. He is the King of Glory - Amen?

Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Psalm 24:7-8  

How can we give God the glory this week?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sanctifying Savior

Chapters 6 and 7 of Micah shows us a beautiful picture Sanctifying Savior. In verses 1 and 2 we see God’s case against Israel;  Listen to what the Lord says:
“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;  let the hills hear what you have to say.“Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.
There is charge against His people. God is looking for an ethical response. There are 3 things required by God; He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. These same things are required from all Christ followers. We are to be obedient and that starts with conviction to do it God's way and not our own.

 We then see God’s Compassion for Israel:
 “My people, what have I done to you?
    How have I burdened you? Answer me.
 I brought you up out of Egypt
    and redeemed you from the land of slavery.
I sent Moses to lead you,
    also Aaron and Miriam.
 My people, remember
    what Balak king of Moab plotted
    and what Balaam son of Beor answered.
Remember your journey from Shittim to Gilgal,
    that you may know the righteous acts of the Lord.”
 With what shall I come before the Lord
    and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? Micah 6:3-7

 Even in the midst of our trials, troubles, chaos, hard times, and confusion He is compassionate – Each person makes their own decision, and it can cause division in families.

Jesus quotes Micah 7:6 in teaching Matthew 10:32—39: “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—  a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

What is He saying to you today?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holiness

Micah transitions in the last three chapters to a time of restoration and renewal. David knew the key to being forgiven and revived. Who can climb Mount God? Who can scale the holy north-face? Only the clean-handed, only the pure-hearted;
Men who won’t cheat, women who won’t seduce.
God is at their side; with God’s help they make it.
This, Jacob, is what happens to God-seekers, God-questers. -The Message

In Micah 4:6-5:5 we see a description of how the Lord intends to prepare Jerusalem to be a glorious place at the head of all the earth. In 5:2-4 we first see the prophecy of Messiah being born in Bethlehem. Its name means the House of Bread. The Bread of life was born into the world there.

In Micah 5:10-15 we see that holiness is relying upon God’s ways and resources and turning from your own. Understand that God will eventually root out any dependence we show upon things that He has not established or way He has not directed.


What are some things we need to remove before the glorious King can fully reign in our lives?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

King of Kings

Today we will continue our study of Micah. We will then spend the rest of the week looking at the last two chapters. Below are study notes. Micah pronounces judgment on Judah as Amos had done 50 years earlier.  Micah’s prophecies contain much more hope for future restoration than did Amos’ because the focus is on the person of the majestic Lord. At the beginning of the book God is calling His rebellious people in to “court” to answer for their sins.

Read verses 1-7 and describe the following aspects of this courtroom scene.  The defendants – The witness – The arrival of the Judge – The occasion – The sentence

In Micah 2:1-5 what is the offense and sentence against oppressive landowners?

In Micah 2:6-11 describe the message which the Lord as Judge pronounced against lying prophets.

What are the keys to wise living found in Micah 2:6, 7, and 11?

Describe the Lord’s deliverance of Jerusalem by the Lord, the awesome Judge, from the besieging Assyrians in Micah 2:12-13?


In chapters 3-5 of Micah, the Lord concerns Himself with the leadership of His people. First He critically examines the deficiencies of current leadership. Then He looks ahead to the glories of the Messiah as King of kings.

11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. - 1 Timothy 6

Monday, October 27, 2014

Just Like Jesus

This week we will be studying the prophet Micah. Micah’s name means – Who is like the Lord. Sounds like a question or maybe a riddle. I believe the answer can be found in Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” In other words – We are to be like the Lord!

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 1 John 4:13-17

What does this looking real life?

What is God’s expectation of Christ followers?

Pray right now for the Lord to help you make the changes necessary to be more like Jesus. Amen?


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Repent and Revive

In the book of Jonah we read about one of the greatest revivals of all time, but Jonah was a reluctant evangelist. He was disobedient and tried to run away, but after a three day “fish trip” found himself doing what God had commanded. When God’s messengers brings forth the Word of God three things will occur, and true revival will break out.

First of all people Respond to the Gospel.  Jonah’s message was simple and direct. He said God was going to destroy them because of their evilness. The response was immediate. “They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.” Our sin has separated us from God, and we are doomed unless we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. Have you responded to God’s Word?

The second thing we see in revival is that people Repent of their sins.  In Jonah’s time, the king declared a national time of fasting and repentance. They prayed for forgiveness, and that they would turn from their evil ways. Many people came with tears and brokenness before the Lord. They also prayed for forgiveness, and cleansing. God calls for His people to repent. Jesus said, “ Unless you repent, you too will perish.” When you have asked for forgiveness did you truly repent?

Salvation is complete when people are Reconciled to God.  God saw what the Ninevites did and how they had turned from their evil ways. He had compassion, and did not destroy them.  In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us that we become a new creation when we accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. We are reconciled with God through Him. All believers are to be Christ’s ambassadors, and are given the ministry of reconciling man to God. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Where are you at in your relationship with God today? 

As the body of Christ, let us continue to pray for revival in our lives, our families, our churches, our city, our country, and throughout the world. Amen?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

God Angry

Christ told us to love our enemies. If God is willing to forgive His enemies then do we have the right not forgive ours?
Let’s take a look at Jonah 4:1-4  But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry.  He prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.  Now, LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”  But the LORD replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”

Four attributes of God that we need to follow are:
1. God is gracious and compassionate.
2. God is slow to anger.
3. God is abounding in love.
4. God relents from sending calamity.

We have the right to question God but, He also has the right to question us!

What is He asking you to get over and move on from?

Don’t miss giving the grace that you have received and more that God wants to give you.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Loving Jesus

Usually when we hear of someone that is sinning and being disobedient the last thing we'd expect is for them to break out in praise. Consider the following prayer.
I was as far down as a body can go,
    and the gates were slamming shut behind me forever
Yet you pulled me up from that grave alive,
    O God, my God!
When my life was slipping away,
    I remembered God,
And my prayer got through to you,
    made it all the way to your Holy Temple.
Those who worship hollow gods, god-frauds,
    walk away from their only true love.
But I’m worshiping you, God,
    calling out in thanksgiving!
And I’ll do what I promised I’d do!
    Salvation belongs to God!”*
Do you know who this is? It's Jonah! After he was throne over board and swallowed by a "big fish", he decided to that he should turn to God. Life is easier and better to follow God's direction from the beginning. Jesus said in John 14:15, 15 “If you love me, keep my commands".
Today and always love Jesus - focus on and be obedient to Him.
*Jonah 2:6-10 The Message

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Love your Enemy?

 Jonah's name means Dove. This is pretty ironic in that the inhabitants of Nineveh were a war like people, and Jonah himself was hoping they would be destroyed by God.  We can learn a lot  from this minor prophet in the following areas: Dealing with Hate and Fear: Jonah 1, Obedience: Jonah 2, Giving Glory: Jonah 3 
What was the difference between the 1st day in Nineveh and Israel’s response to God’s warnings? 

We see an example of not giving glory in Jonah 4. But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. 2 He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” 4 But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”  

Did Jonah’s national loyalties overpower his spiritual loyalties?

We must allow the knowledge of God’s nature (love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace) to shape our character. Never underestimate the lord’s grace and willingness to allow people to repent. Our response should always be to rejoice repentance – even if it is our enemy.

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. - Matthew 5:43-48



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Boasting in God


Obadiah means: Servant of the Lord. Let's consider the lessons we can learn from this short but powerful book.

1. Relationships: The Edomites are the descendents of Esau, twin brother of Jacob (Israel). (Edom means “Red” Esau was born red, red was the color of the stew he sold his birthright, and red is the rocks and cliffs of Edom)In Genesis 25:21-34 we see the birth of Jacob and Esau, in Genesis 27 Esau tricked out of his birthright, in Genesis 32-33 the brothers meet again, Edom refuses safe passage during the Exodus Numbers 20:14-21, broke from Israel after Solomon. How would you describe this “family” relationship?

2. Pride: Obadiah 1-4 (read) They were secure in their protection (because of their geography) and wisdom (legendary), but God spoke directly against this pride with His Judgment in 5-9 How does pride destroy?

3. Consequences of actions found in: Obadiah 10-14 (read) and Punishment described in 15-21(read) What is the emphasis on in verse 15?


Compare Obadiah to 1 Corinthians 1:19-31,
 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”  

Are you “boasting” in God?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Compassion in Action

Jesus gives us the confidence to come to Him during our times of need. He gave us a great example of how we can come to the needs of others as well. Read the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. Why didn’t the other two men help the beaten man? How would you respond? The short answer is that the two men did not have or show compassion. 

We can learn a lot from Obadiah and Jonah and their stories of  from two bad groups of people that had God’s judgment upon them. There are three areas on which we should seek answers.

1. How we can do things for God we really don’t want to do? Israel had a long (bad) history with the Edomites. Jonah would rather die than go to Nineveh. What are things you would not want to do (and why)?

2. How to minister to people we do not like. What keeps us from “liking” someone?


3. How to give God the glory. Where is your focus? Is it on what we don’t want to do with people we don’t like or is your focus on God and His ways?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame,and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. - Hebrews 12:1-3 
Amen?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Really?

Let's be honest. Everyone of us have said or thought, "There is no way I could talk/deal/serve a certain person or group of people. Jesus knows our hearts and our short comings. I think that's why He shared the story of the Good Samaritan, but don't miss the exchange that took place just before the story. On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” - Luke 10:25-29

What is Jesus telling you? What "neighbor" has He laid on your heart?

This week we will be studying Obadiah and Jonah. Both men were called to do something they didn't want to do and to a group of people who they really hated. I think there is a lot we will be able to learn. Read both books (only three pages) and let's see what God wants us to learn from these Minor prophets. Thank you for taking this journey through God's Word together with me.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Get It Right

Like most of the Minor prophets we get to see God's promises for when Christ returns. To the Jews He promises to rebuild Jerusalem and restore Israel as a powerful nation.  “But also on that Judgment Day I will restore David’s house that has fallen to pieces. I’ll repair the holes in the roof, replace the broken windows, fix it up like new. David’s people will be strong again and seize what’s left of enemy Edom, plus everyone else under my sovereign judgment.” GOD’s Decree. He will do this. “Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” GOD’s Decree. “Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel: “They’ll rebuild their ruined cities. They’ll plant vineyards and drink good wine. They’ll work their gardens and eat fresh vegetables. And I’ll plant them, plant them on their own land. They’ll never again be uprooted from the land I’ve given them.” GOD, your God, says so. Amos 9:11-15 The Message

God’s great grace helps us to rebuild and restore our lives after we turn our hearts back to Him. Pray today for Jesus to lead you to the place where He can restore and rebuild your life. At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:25-30

Thank You Jesus.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Calling

We see a great teaching on the calling God has for each one of us in Amos 7:10-17. According to the Bible the Lord "calls" or summons people to do certain things. God calls and commands all people everywhere to repent and receive Christ, but it is a call to the individual. God personally and individually invites and commands each individual to accept the blessings of His redemption. This call is given outwardly by the gospel [2Thes. 2:14] and inwardly by the Holy Spirit [Rev. 22:17]. Those who refuse God's gracious call will be eternally held accountable for their refusal [John 12:48]. After one has answered the call to salvation and received Christ, God calls him to other callings which affect a believer’s attitude and conduct. He has called believers to "fellowship with Christ" [1Cor. 1:9], to "holiness" [1Thes. 4:7], to obedience, to "peace" [1Cor. 7:15], and to "virtue" [2Pet. 1:3]. Believers are to "walk worthy" of the calling they have received [Eph. 4:1]. But there is still another calling that is even more personal than the moral callings. It is God's call to the individual believer for a specific ministry. Regardless of your background He calls some to be teachers, evangelists, preachers, prophets, and for special service for His kingdom. God wants to use you! Seek His calling to take a stand and speak His truth to a country who needs it so badly. Amen?

Friday, October 17, 2014

God's Standard

The Lord used, and uses, a "plumbline," His Word, to determine how upright His people truly are in His sight. How upright they think they are, or how upright they proclaim themselves to be, means nothing to God. There is a standard, a right and wrong, things we’re to do, and things to refrain from. We must focus on God and His Word to make sure we are in His will.

Joshua learned that leasson, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:7-9

Contemplate on these verses today. Use the Bible to make sure your life is "plumb" with God's plan and purpose for your life. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Plumb Line in Life

The revelation (or vision) of the future of God’s people is found in Amos chapters 7-9.  What is God Revealing? He revealing His truth - which we to learn and apply to our lives. Look what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:11-12. These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

We see the Plumb Line revealed in Amos 7:7-9 as a way God will measure His peoples obedience and faithfulness. Definition: A plumb line is a simple but accurate tool used for determining whether or not something is perfectly vertical i.e. upright. Used since very ancient times, a plumb line consists merely of a line and a weight of some sort, at first just a stone, but later a weight made from lead. The Latin word for lead is plumbum, from which the weight came to be called a plummet (hence also the origin of plumber, originally a worker of lead - including lead pipes)

Plumb lines were known to many people throughout Bible History, including Jesus Christ who would have owned a set of various weights of them for His use in the building trade. He wants all of us to be perfect line with God - Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48).

The Lord desires us to want only the things that please Him, and puts us in the right relationship with Him. So here is the plan -  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. - Jesus in Matthew 6:33.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

God's Wrath

In a court of law we call on witnesses to tell us what they have seen. They attest to the truth of the matter. In Bible times 2 or 3 witnesses to a heinous crime would mean someones execution. When we get to the recipients of God’s judgment. as found in chapters 1 and 2 of Amos we see an interesting statement from God. "For three sins of (the country) even for four I will not turn back my wrath" What God is saying in His great grace is that they have sinned multiple times - more than enough to bring about His judgement.

In your study today look up these verses and answer the following questions. What is their sin? What is their sentence?  Damascus (1:3-5), Philistia (or Gaza) (1:6-8), Tyre (1:9-10), Edom (1:11-12), Ammon (1:13-15), Moab (2:1-3), Judah (2:4-50, AND Israel (2:6-16)


We find the record of three sermons (preached by Amos) in chapters 3-6. The First sermon (3:1-15) Spells out Israel’s privileges, her perversions, and the prophecy against the people. The Second Sermon (4:1-13) Amos denounces Israel and defends God. The Third Sermon (5:1 – 6:14) Is God’s indictment of Israel, and His invitation to repent.

Before we get "self-righteous" and shake our heads at these countries let's look in the mirror at ourselves. Remember what Jesus said. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. - Matthew 7:1-5 The sins were focused on the cruelty of the social injustice and moral decline of each country. 
How far have we strayed from God's truth? Praise God for His great grace. Amen?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Lord Roars

The reality of God’s judgment is spoke in the first two verses of Amos. It says, "The Lord roars". Good news does not follow. In a vision from God the prophet receives his calling and sees divine wrath falling on certain nations.  

The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboamson of Jehoash was king of Israel.  He said: “The Lord roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers.”- Amos 1:1-2 

We have seen so far that the Lord has not been happy with Israel. In Hosea it was adultery. In Joel it was faithlessness. In Amos it is social corruption and moral decline. The judgement here is not just for Israel but for six other nations as well. 

We will see that even those that are not "chosen" are also under God's rule and judgement. Ignorance of God's law and ways is not an excuse. Everyone in His creation is responsible for their actions. The psalmist said, 
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
    We bless you from the Lord’s house.
The Lord is God, and he has given us light.
    March in a festival procession
        with branches to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I give thanks to you.
    My God, I honor you highly.
Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
    because his mercy endures forever. - Psalm 118:26-29 (GW)
Keep your focus where it belongs (vertical) and share the Truth (God's Word) with the world around you today.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Truth Hurts

This weeks study is on the book of Amos. It could have two sub
 titles:  The Truth about Injustice  or God Rebuilds and Restores, 
because both ideas are found in the writings of this great "minor"
prophet. I encourage you to read the whole book.

Amos brought to light and attacked injustice in his world. He spoke for God, and his attacks were rooted in the absolute justice of the law of God. His writing describes his vision of God’s judgment on seven Middle East nations.  In Amos’ opening charges against Israel and her neighbors did not include the typical trappings of injustice: abuse of power, irresponsibility, or wealth. Instead he focused on the cruelty of the injustices. 

Amos saw the behavior of these nations in the same light as the treatment Cain showed to Abel in Genesis 4:1-10 Adam slept with Eve his wife. She conceived and had Cain. She said, “I’ve gotten a man, with God’s help!” Then she had another baby, Abel. Abel was a herdsman and Cain a farmer. Time passed. Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval. Cain lost his temper and went into a sulk.  God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” Cain had words with his brother. They were out in the field; Cain came at Abel his brother and killed him. God said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “How should I know? Am I his babysitter?” God said, “What have you done! The voice of your brother’s blood is calling to me from the ground. From now on you’ll get nothing but curses from this ground; you’ll be driven from this ground that has opened its arms to receive the blood of your murdered brother. You’ll farm this ground, but it will no longer give you its best. You’ll be a homeless wanderer on Earth.”

There are always repercussions to our actions. If God sent a prophet to talk to you about your behavior and service to God. How do you think it would end? Allow the truth to bring restoration and healing to your life.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Always

We are getting ready to start week three of our study of the Minor Prophets with our third prophet Amos. He was a regular guy, a farmer, who God chose to bring His message to the surrounding community. God wasn't happy with how they had violated His law and principles. This got me to thinking about what we've learned so far in this study. The take-away as they say. What message would we take to our community?

Well, mine would probably two-fold. 1. A message of hope! Regardless of how bad you have been God still loves you. If you are willing to repent and turn back to God and your back to worldly things you are in for a great life (and after-life). 2. Bad things happen! Trouble comes to the wicked and the righteous. We better make sure we are in the right relationship with God regardless of our circumstances. He's coming back soon. Be doing the things that will put a smile on His face, and quit complaining! 

If we keep our focus vertical and not horizontal we will be in the proper position for a well lived life. Bad stuff happens in this life. I don't like it that my wife has cancer and is having major surgery this week. I know there is a lot of "I don't likes" out there. But you know what? We don't go through Valleys of Trouble or the shadow of Death alone.

Thank you Jesus for never leaving or forsaking us. We look to where our help comes from and lift up our voice in praise, glory and honor to our Deliverer and King! Praise Thank You for forgiving us and offering Your mercy, love, and great grace... always.