~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Amos 4:1-6:14 ~ Revelation 2:18-3:6
Psalm 130:1-8 ~ Proverbs 29:21-22
Old Testament - Today in Amos chapters 4, 5, & 6 we read about Israel's failure to listen, a call to repentance, and warning of coming Judgment. In chapter 4 verse 13 jumped out at me in today's readings - "For the LORD is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his every thought. He turns the light of dawn into darkness and treads the mountains under his feet. The LORD God Almighty is his name!" Here we are reminded that God is the creator of all things, and he still is in control of what happens in the present time. He is the past, present, and future. I like that phrase, "reveals his every thought." Meaning, God wants his ways, his character, his thoughts, his love to be know by all. Do you believe God reveals his every thought to us? Where might you best find out what God's every thought is?
I think chapter 5 verse 14 today is a good reminder and warning to each of us - "Do what is good and run from evil--that you may live! Then the LORD God Almighty will truly be your helper, just as you have claimed he is." I think sometimes we think we can overcome evil through our own sheer will power. Or we can change evil. This verse reminds us to simply RUN. :) I like that reminder. Sometimes you just gotta get out of Dodge to avoid evil influencing you or overtaking you. (As one of my favorite musicians David Wilcox tells us in his song Rule #1 on dating - "If he's rude to the waiter, and it makes your heart confused. This is lesson number 1. RUN! Get up and run, don't walk, don't wait. Rule #1 don't hesitate. Your date is done. RUN.") Are there temptations / bad habits in your life that you have been trying to overcome, battle, change - and perhaps you should just Run from them? Flee from them? So that you may truly live?
Amos chapter 6 verse 5 jumped out at me for some reason today - "You sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and you fancy yourselves to be great musicians, as King David was." I guess a couple of things jumped out at me here. First, the singing idle songs to the sound of the harp made me ask myself, are we sometimes idle with our time? When perhaps God is wanting us to be purposeful or intentional with our time? Don't get me wrong - rest is good. But, is idleness good? I think rest can be purposeful and intentional and healthy. Or it can potentially be the opposite... Next - do we sometimes fancy ourselves to be "great musicians as King David was" - meaning, do we sometimes try to pretend to be someone who we are not? Are we masking over who we really are, and playing fake? Should we instead be real? And sincere? And intentional and purposeful? I guess I'm just getting at here - are there times when we are poseurs, fakers, and wannabees? (a Great title of a book written by Jim Hancock and Brennan Manning! And I've heard a good book too by the way). When, perhaps God is simply calling us to be real?
New Testament - Revelation chapter 2 verse 19 is awesome as Jesus says - ""I know all the things you do--your love, your faith, your service, and your patient endurance. And I can see your constant improvement in all these things." How are we doing on these areas in our life? Are we focusing on love, faith, service and patience? Are we constantly improving in these areas in our life?
Revelation chapter 3 verse 3 is powerful from Jesus - "Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly and turn to me again." The thought here is that sometimes we are so on fire for our faith in Jesus and God - when we first believe. And then this fire and initial strong faith begins to wane over time. And to a degree, this is okay. We will not be on the "mountaintop" all the time - but must traverse through the valleys as well. But, is it possible that we might need to go back to what we heard and believed at first? Might we need to hold to these first beliefs more firmly? And turn to Jesus again?
Psalms - Psalm 130 is awesome today! Each verse is jam packed with good stuff to think about.... Actually - if you get a chance - please read through each of these verses again, and meditate for a moment on each one and what each verse might be speaking into your life and your heart. I think you will find tons of relevant meditations in this Psalm for your life....
I'll simply highlight verse 5 today, since we're going through the One Year Bible here... :) - "I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word." Are you counting on God in your life? Really counting on him? Have you put your hope in his Word, the Bible? Do you believe that reading and meditating and reflecting on the Bible can transform your life and your relationship with God?
Proverbs 29 verse 21 is a good reminder not to spoil others - and maybe ourselves? - too much.... For some reason this verse reminds me of the paraphrased quote here - "God, please don't make me too rich that I forget about you. Nor, too poor that I curse you."
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!