Is it the day of destruction?

wordswag_1496919240577Bad news, dire predictions, conspiracy theories – I’m not a fan of all that. Some people are so eager, it seems to me, to see the worst.  It’s not all gloom and doom! I am not, however, content to be like the proverbial ostrich with my head in the sand as troubles come. My experience of life is a mix – trials and blessings, good days as well as bad, sunshine and rain.  What I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that I cannot resign myself to fate!  Life is shaped by choices and I have the privilege of understanding the world in which I live and helping to make it a better place. And, above all, I trust in a God of justice Who will sit to judge, and I know that I, and no one else, can stand His fiery gaze unless we are graced with the salvation of Christ Jesus received by faith.

Amos, a shepherd among the Jews of Judah, heard the voice of the Spirit and left the farm to go preach. His message was one of pending judgment, presented in the most colorful words.  He spoke of the injustice the rich visited on the poor, calling the noble women ‘cows of Bashan!’ They were, he said, overfed, fat, and self-indulgent.  He spoke of Israel being torn apart and the remnant being like what a “shepherd saves from the lion’s mouth- only two leg bones or a piece of an ear.’  He spoke of the nation being like a basket of ripe fruit, meaning that it was on the edge of spoiling. He compared them to a wall built without a plumb line, therefore not straight, and leaning; ready to collapse.   This humble preacher invited real repentance, genuine heart change, and a return to God. “Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:23-24, NIV)

But, nobody wanted to hear his sermons. The king sent him a message.  “Get out of here, you prophet! Go on back to the land of Judah, and earn your living by prophesying there! Don’t bother us with your prophecies here in Bethel. This is the king’s sanctuary and the national place of worship!” But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees.” (Amos 7:12-14, NLT) Amos wasn’t paid to sit on panels of talking heads to issue predictions of doom. He was stirred by the Spirit of God to warn the people of the consequences of their sins.

But, it was not all dire prophecies of destruction. His message was finished with promise! Seeing beyond the judgment, he heard the Lord’s word. “In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,” declares the Lord, who will do these things.” (Amos 9:11-12, NIV)

My friend are you ready to hear the whole counsel of God?
Will you hear His invitation to real change, to a holy life?
Will you understand that He is just and quite capable of bringing judgment?
Or, will you just sing louder, drowning out the voice of the Spirit with cheery positive messages of blue skies and prosperity?

There is hope, in the mercy of God. Our word from the Word is an invitation to life. Let’s hear it, the whole truth, of sin, of judgment, of repentance, and of restoration through love and grace.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”
(Isaiah 55:6-13, NIV)

___________________

Lord I Need You

Lord I come I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
And without You I fall apart
You’re the one that guides my heart

 Lord I need You oh I need You
Ev’ry hour I need You
My one defense my righteousness
Oh God how I need You 

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

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
Ev’ry hour I need You
My one defense my righteousness
Oh God how I need You 

Christy Nockels | Daniel Carson | Jesse Reeves | Kristian Stanfill | Matt Maher

© 2011 sixsteps Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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