Category Archives: Amos

Amos 4-6; Psalm 55; Matthew 14

What a statement that makes so much sense when I read the Old Testament – a people who were looking for love in all the wrong places.

For the Lord says to the house of Israel:

Seek Me and live!
Do not seek Bethel
or go to Gilgal
or journey to Beer-sheba,
for Gilgal will certainly go into exile,
and Bethel will come to nothing.

Seek Yahweh and live. – Amos 5:4-6a HCSB

It is also amazing to see the character of God remaining the same then as I see Him now. To “save” someone who refuses to be saved becomes contradictory and counter to God’s ultimate purpose for me – that I be a person who will choose to love and serve God.

My message to the world – God loves you – and He is saying, choose life.

God, listen to my prayer
and do not ignore[a] my plea for help.
Pay attention to me and answer me.

I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint,
because of the enemy’s voice,
because of the pressure[b] of the wicked.
For they bring down disaster on me[c]
and harass me in anger.

My heart shudders within me;
terrors of death sweep over me.
Fear and trembling grip me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “If only I had[d] wings like a dove!
I would fly away and find rest. – Psalm 55:1-6 HCSB

I need to know that God loves me for only then can this rule of Love allow me to imitate my Father when I love an enemy.

In choosing life and accepting God’s love, I continue to extend love to my enemies so that, in fact, I am perfecting love, which means maturing in love via the very involvement of fighting and wrestling when I am troubled. I do trample the waves of this world when I love my enemies. My example is Jesus, who loved His enemies so much that on the Cross He asked His Father to forgive.

My life is love.

Love is light. If I wish for death or for solitude in the midst of all my mess, I still have this one command – to love.

Even if I was to seek some reprieve, it does not mean that I do not love – just my body needs some rest. It is a place where I can pray.

Father, each day I choose to love. I did not see it as me choosing life, but I understand much better this morning. There are so many little things that could become big things, there are so many that feel there is not enough power in this world and they are trying to grab as much as they can and there are so many that walk in darkness who want to quench the light and those who do not choose love but rather hatred. For all of these I need You. Fill me so that my flesh does not react, that my mind is transformed and renewed. Make me like You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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1 Chronicles 11-12; Hebrews 13; Amos 7; Luke 2

I have been challenged to pray for many things today. Prayer is what is in the background, the foundation, of what others see in my action, my character.

David grew stronger and stronger, because the Lord Almighty was with him. – 1 Chronicles 11:9 GNT

Others may see me strong but it is only because I walk with God and He with me.

Issachar: 200 leaders, together with the men under their command (these leaders knew what Israel should do and the best time to do it). – 1 Chronicles 12:32 GNT

I want to be seen as a leader – someone who knows what should be done and the best time to do it. I pray for this to be part of my life.

Even so, I cannot forgot about the greatest power of all – love.

Keep on loving one another as Christians. Hebrews 13:1 GNT

While I was still a sinner, God love me and sent Jesus to take my place when it came to being punished for my sins. I pray to extend the same grace that I have been given.

I love the opportunity of praying for I know that I have been invited to participate in the plans of God.

In my vision I saw the locusts eat up every green thing in the land, and then I said, “Sovereign Lord, forgive your people! How can they survive? They are so small and weak!”

The Lord changed his mind and said, “What you saw will not take place.” – Amos 7:2-3 GNT

What if I did not pray or did not pray with passion? So much rests on me praying.

Anna would have agreed on this.

There was a very old prophet, a widow named Anna, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher. She had been married for only seven years and was now eighty-four years old.[a] She never left the Temple; day and night she worshiped God, fasting and praying. – Luke 2:36-37 GNT

What a walk of devotion. A woman who might have had every right to be bitter but even as a very old woman she had not lost hope. I believe, at the end of the day, it was because she was a woman of worship and prayer.

So much to pray about today.

Father, I look forward to our times together. I know the strength that others see in me comes from me spending time with You. I count on You as my leader in order for You to help me lead others as they count on me to know the what and when of things that need to be done. In the business of life, let me never forget to love the body of Christ. Let me never forget that praying matters. Let me walk a life of worshp and prayer so that my life counts and that I may be faithful in my walk with You. Thank You.

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 66 Books, Amos, Bible in a year reading plan, Hebrews, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

1 Chron.9,10; Heb.12; Amos 6; Luke 1:39-80

“A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting , Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” Luke 1:39-45 NLT

I think on Mary and Elizabeth’s friendship. Mary couldn’t wait to tell Elizabeth her news. Mary knew she was a friend who would encourage her and spur her on in her faith. There was no sign of jealously. I can see a deep trust between them. Is this why she hurried to see her? Who are the friends that I can’t wait to tell what God is doing in my life? Or ask to walk with me during hard times?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NLT

Who am I running my race with? It’s so easy to isolate myself. To forget that God has called me to be in community with others. Who am I encouraging and building up?

“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.” Hebrews 12:28 NLT

Dear Father, help me to be like Mary and not hesitate when you call me. Give me strength and courage. Thank you for the friends that you have given me. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Amos 1-3; Matthew 13

When I was younger we build forts and fought other kids in the neighbourhood for their treasure.  Buried treasure was a big thing for us as we checked out our local vacant fields for signs of what others had left behind.  I learned early that treasure was important and something to hang on to, maybe, if necessary to fight for.

So why was it in my adult life that I forget what treasure was?  Why did I forget that my relationship with God was my greatest treasure.  Why was it that I forget to seek first God’s kingdom and everything else would be taken care of?  Why did I stop panting like a deer pants for water to meet the Lord each morning?

And so the Lord God has sworn
    that they will be surrounded.
Enemies will break through
their defenses
    and steal their treasures. – Amos 3:11  CEV

God knew that I would have these desert moments in my life and He kept me safe and kept my treasure safe for me.  It did not take me long to realize that I had stepped away.  I become a follower of Christ who not only knew Him as Saviour but also as Lord.

The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when someone finds a treasure hidden in a field and buries it again. A person like that is happy and goes and sells everything in order to buy that field. – Matthew 13:44  CEV

So if Satan comes only to steal, kill and destroy and Jesus has come to give me life and to give me life abundantly, then it speaks well for me to embrace Him and allow Him into every arena of my heart and my life.  In welcoming Him into my space with His life-changing Word, I have the incredible opportunity to speak that Word into the lives of others.  Not only do I share the old treasures with new perspectives, but I also see new treasures that I and others have missed. I become a disciple of Jesus who has become a disciple-maker of others.

So he told them, “Every student of the Scriptures who becomes a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like someone who brings out new and old treasures from the storeroom.” – Matthew 13:52

Lord, You are my only treasure. Every treasure You have given me I lay gladly back at Your feet and only wish to glorify You through them.  There is nothing like sharing Your Word with someone and see their eyes light up and the light bulb goes off as Your Holy Spirit illuminates who You are.  Thank you that I can be used to give Your treasure to others. Amen

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Amos, Bible in a year reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

I Chronicles 5, 6; Hebrews 10; Amos 4; Psalm 148-150

Sometimes I am conflicted about the will of God in my life. “Should I move or should I stay” is a line in a Third Day song that mimics my own questions. When nothing seems to be working out as I would like or had expected, I doubt my heart and look for sin or some other barrier deafening me to God’s will. I feel like the rejected firstborn or one of a whole lineage of people that God judged as unfaithful. When I search my heart I see the after effects of trauma, unresolved grief, periods of isolation from God’s community of believers, and the constant dripping of remorse. Still, I hold tenaciously to Jesus Christ, the One who knows me intimately – my Creator. Amos 4:13 says,

“For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind, who declares to man what his heart is, and makes the morning darkness, who treads the high places of the earth…the Lord God of hosts is His name.”He is the One who declares what my heart is – no matter that I am unaware of this heart’s condition.

Even when convicted of sin, my Lord Jesus does not leave me. He could have. He could have saved only Israel through the Levitical practice of offering sacrifices and left me in the dust. I Chronicles 6:49 describes the importance of the high priest’s function:

“But Aaron and his sons offered sacrifices on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense for all the work of the Most Holy Place, and to make atonement for Israel…” However, Jesus Christ, said to God,

“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices of sin You had no pleasure. Then I [Christ] said, ‘Behold, I have come…to do Your will, O God,’”(Hebrews 10:5-7).

That once and for all sacrifice, that unwavering willingness of Christ to die for me, that love and understanding of my human frailty, is my inspiration to hold fast to what I know: God is faithful even when I cannot readily see His will for me. He encourages me through Scripture, through friends, through study, and through prayer.

“And let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching,” (Hebrews 10:23-25).

For example, I was reminded yesterday by one of my ‘golden’ friends to praise God in all things – in my sorrow, in my joy, in my confusion, in the most difficult and dark times. And today, God punctuated His reminder to praise Him as I read the last three chapters in the Book of Psalms which exhort Creation from “the heavens to the human heart,” (commentary) to praise God for His mighty works, for the assembly (the church), to praise God for His salvation and judgments, and finally for all things to praise Him:

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,” (Psalm 148-150).

So, my Lord God, with the breath You have graciously given me to know Your heart and to breathe in Your love for me, I praise You today – in word, in deed, in song, in quietness, and in loud “Halleluiahs!” You have a way of cutting through the fog and clearing the path to see that You are before me, always with me, and upholding me through all that has been and is to come. Most wonderful of all, I praise You for Your very Presence even now! Thank You Jesus, Lord and Savior!

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

All Scripture and commentary quotes from: The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.

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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 66 Books, Amos, Bible in a year reading plan, Hebrews, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized