Amos 9:9 A Great Shaking

Shaking out flavor

For I will give the command, and I will shake the people of Israel among the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground. Amos 9:9 

Shaking something up moves things around and changes everything. Sometimes it is done to mix things up, as in cooking, to get the flavor throughout the product. Other times it can be a shaking to remove loose and dead things.

Some businesses will go through a shaking in order to bring new life to them. For some people it will wake them up and get them going, while for others it will knock them out of the picture.

God warns the people that there will be a shaking going on in Israel. This shaking would be to scatter the people among the nations. The shaking would occur because of their sin and refusal to follow Him.

God is still in the business of shaking people and nations. His desire is for everyone to follow and obey Him. However many have chosen to not obey Him or even follow Him at all. Sin is chosen over serving God. And the church has fallen for this type of living.

The use of natural disasters and sicknesses are some ways God is able to shake people. He is shaking the church and nations to wake them up or move them out. Depending upon how a person takes the shaking, it can either stir them back to life with God, or destroy them and remove them.

Every believer who wants to serve God will be woke up as God shakes them. It will cause them to live more for God than ever before. Those who are lukewarm in their walk with God will roll over and stay asleep, dying in their sins rather than repenting and living for Him.

During this time of crisis around the world, God is doing a shaking. He may be allowing this shaking in your life to get your attention placed back upon Him and not the things of this world.

Do not allow yourself to live in fear or in the ways of this world, but to turn to God and His ways. Wake up and be the witness God has called you to be in this dark and dying world of sin. Move out of sin and into His righteousness and holiness, otherwise God will shake you out of His house.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be alive to God; that you will be His witness in this world; that God will fill you with His life; and that God will give you strength to turn from all sin. 

Joel 2:1 Sound The Alarm

Warning alarms

Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand–Joel 2:1 

Alarms are something that can be found nearly every place that a person goes. Cars have alarms to warn of someone attempting to get in without the proper key. Stores have alarms to tell that someone is shoplifting some item. Radios play warning messages of extremely dangerous weather that is coming up.

All these alarms are to bring to awareness that there is some type of problem occurring or about to occur. It gives people a chance to fix the problem or prepare for a problem that is arising.

Joel tells the people to blow trumpets as an alarm, to warn the people that God is about to bring on judgement upon the land.

Throughout history God has never wanted to just judge and destroy or punish people. His desire is that people would change, turn from their sins and follow Him. God is loving and merciful, but He is also a just God whose time of mercy will come to an end. A day will come in which He will judge and destroy those who choose to not follow Him.

There will be a final judgement when Jesus will judge and destroy all who refuse to obey Him. This will occur when He returns. However, there will be days of punishment while on this earth. Both will incur some or all of God’s wrath against people.

Every believer must be willing to sound the alarm that something is wrong, that people who are living in sin and refusing to obey God will be getting an eternal day of punishment. The world will continue to live in sin if no one will warn them of the coming judgement.

As a believer, at some point in your life, you had been given the warning signal that living in sin was wrong. You had chosen to begin to obey and follow Jesus. Continue to flee sin and obey God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Now it is time to sound the alarm and warn others of God’s coming judgement. Let everyone you know that God loves them, but cannot accept sin in their lives. Let them know what Jesus did for them. Be His witness and build His kingdom.

It is time to sound the alarm to all you meet.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s plans; that you will sound the warning of God’s coming judgement; and that you will be a witness of God’s love and mercy. 

Ezekiel 18:23 What God Really Wants

Graveyard

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? Ezekiel 18:23 

Over the centuries of time, there have been many different evil people rise to power and cause a lot of damage to the people. Attempts to cause genocide of groups of people have been done by some of these people. Often many in the world hate these people and want them removed.

One way that many want to see the person removed is by death. When one of these evil rulers get killed, many will often rejoice at his death or destruction. It is seen as a relief from an evil person and that he got what he had deserved.

Ezekiel talks about the death and life of people. God points out that people will die for their sins. However, God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. He would rather see them change and live.

Believers have often been right along side of the world in desiring the death of a wicked person. There have been some who have blown up doctors and their clinics that provide for abortion, thinking that they were doing what God is desiring in getting rid of the wicked person.

Judgement is often called for upon a wicked person by many believers. Yet, this is not what God really wants. God is a God of love, not judgement and destruction. He does not want to see anyone destroyed, but to come to repentance and live.

It should break the heart of a believer to see a wicked person die in his sins. That means a person is lost for eternity.

Every believer must keep in mind that at one time he was a wicked person in sin. It is only by the grace of God that he is now being saved. This salvation should be sought for every wicked person, not death.

You may be one who has rejoiced over the death of a wicked person. Rather than rejoicing, see that person as God does, one who is loved and is lost. Allow their death to break your heart as it breaks God’s heart.

Seek to be His witness to every person, no matter how ‘good’ or wicked they are. Pray that God can turn their heart and bring on salvation, rather than death. Do not rejoice in the death of the wicked, but weep.

I pray today that you will know God’s heart of love; that you will love all people as God loves you and them; that you will be His witness; and that you weep at the loss of life in sin. 

Jeremiah 16:17 God Sees All

Hidden deer

My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. Jeremiah 16:17 

People like their privacy. Large privacy fences are set up to keep others from seeing in. Actions are done behind closed doors or in the dark. Extreme passwords are put in place to protect their privacy online. Many will not talk about what is actually occurring in their private lives to others.

Some of this is done for protection, much of it is being done out of desire to hide the truth of what is occurring. Most criminals do their work in the middle of the night, while it is dark, because they do not want to be seen.

God tells Jeremiah that He can see everything the people are doing, all their ways and actions. This is to include their sin is revealed to Him.

Knowing that God can see everything can be a comfort or a fear. It depends upon what the person knows God is seeing in his life. For the person who is living for God, it is a comfort because he knows God is seeing his work to build His kingdom. For the person who does not follow God fully with all of his heart, it is a fear, because he knows that God is also seeing His secret sins.

Many believers live their lives holding on to secret sins, refusing to give them up. This brings fear of God seeing their lives.

For the believer who wants to live for God, knowing that God sees all of his sins can also be a comfort. It shows that God loves them, even in spite of their sins. It also allows God to reveal sins and allow for repentance and change.

God wants you to be the best that you can be. He wants you to be like Jesus–perfect and holy. He is willing to look deeply into your heart and soul and seek out what is wrong and show you the way to make it right. God is ready to forgive all sin and strengthen you to turn away from sin.

Instead of running from God’s vision for you, run towards Him. Run into His arms of love and mercy and find the forgiveness and strength you need to live for Him. Do not fear that God can see all of you, but embrace it and grow in Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will not fear God seeing you; that you will live as Jesus lived; that you will allow God to change you; and that God will see you living for Him. 

Jeremiah 14:20 Acknowledgement And Admission

Covering face

We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord, and the guilt of our ancestors; we have indeed sinned against you. Jeremiah 14:20 

Recognizing or realizing the truth is sometimes a difficult thing to do. Doing so may convict a person as being guilty of something wrong, and no one wants to be in the wrong. No one likes to be guilty of anything.

In order to prevent feeling guilty, people will ignore what is actually being done. They will ignore their actions as though they do not matter in any way. Or they will blame their actions upon someone else or some situation.

Jeremiah admits guilt for himself and all the people of Israel. He acknowledges their wickedness and sin against God.

Most people see themselves as basically a good person, not great, but definitely not bad or horrible. They know that they have some faults, but nothing great in their eyes.

This sounds good, until one measures them up against the standard of Jesus, who was perfect. Every person has sinned against God, in fact, most have sinned a lot against God. Sin is being wicked and evil, even in the ‘smallest’ of sins.

One of the first steps in being a believer and follower of Jesus is recognizing and acknowledging that one is a sinner–wicked in sin. Bringing this into the open with God is acknowledging the truth that He already knows.

Suppressing or hiding the truth of sin in one’s life does not change the truth of it. Repentance can only come when one recognizes and acknowledges his sin.

Once a person acknowledges the sin, he can repent of it and turn to God. In turn, God can forgive the sin and wipe it away, bringing about salvation and life.

Every believer needs to be willing to acknowledge every sin he has, so God can bring about change and forgiveness.

You may already be acknowledging many of the sins in your life. Allow God to examine you and see if there are any other sins you are missing.

How do your thoughts, actions and words line up with those of Jesus? It is easy to sin and then ignore it. Do not ignore it, but bring it before God. He knows about it already.

God is right there waiting to forgive you and help you change, if you will allow Him. Do not try to hide your sin, but admit is and move forward with God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will admit your guilt to God; that you will turn away from all sin towards God; and that you will accept God’s forgiveness in your life.