Amos 5:4 Seek God And Live

Seeking on a boat

This is what the Lord says to Israel: “Seek me and live;” Amos 5:4 

Most people want to live. They appear to do everything that they can to keep from dying. People go to the doctor to get medicine and surgery to cure them of sicknesses and injuries in order to prevent death.

During the time of COVID 19, people are putting on masks and isolating themselves to prevent sickness and death. People fear dying and will do whatever it takes to prevent it, accept for the one thing that will prevent death.

Amos tells the people that God is telling them to seek Him in order to live.

In a world that is dying, many are living in fear of death. Yet, many are turning away from God, refusing to accept that Jesus is the only way to life. God does not want to punish and destroy anyone, yet His holiness demands it. God’s grace has made a way to stop the judgement of death upon every person.

There have been many in the church that have turned their backs upon God and sought life in other ways, the ways of the world. The sinful ways of this world, however, will only bring about chaos, death and destruction. Their ways will only bring about temporary life, a moment of joy that will flee very quickly into depression and death.

All a person must do is seek God and His ways to find life. Jesus died so that everyone else may live. He is willing to give that life away for free, just by believing and following Him.

As the world is seeking ways to live, the believer has the answer and needs to point the way. The church has life, but must be willing to live it and share it with this lost and dying world.

You have access to true life that will never end, an eternal life. It is your choice if you will seek God or you will choose to seek other people and things. One brings eternal, true life, the other brings temporary life, then death.

Focus your life on seeking after God and what He desires for you. In spite of the death and sickness all around you, you will live for eternity. This body of yours is only a temporary dwelling place on this earth. It will not last forever, but your soul will.

Who, or what are you seeking today? Seek God and live.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will seek God and His ways for your life; that you will live your life by God’s standards; that God will strengthen to turn away from the ways of this world; and that you will know life in Jesus. 

Jeremiah 46:27 Do Not Be Afraid

Child standing by lake

Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jeremiah 46:27 

Throughout history there have been times of great death and destruction. Nations fighting nations. People fighting people. Sickness, death being rampant among groups of people.

As these things occur, many people are afraid. They are scared of dying. They fear the pain and suffering that could be coming to them. Many desire to escape what is occurring around them, yet, appear to have no way out.

God tells the people of Judah and Israel to not fear. They are in exile and are beginning to see the destruction of nations around them. They are fearing that the destruction will come upon them. Yet, God tells them that He will save them from the destruction.

Death and destruction of nations and people are still occurring to this day. God raises up and breaks down nations. People are scared of dying and sickness.

In the middle of all of this death and destruction are the believers. In a sense believers are in exile from their real home of heaven with God. They have to live their physical lives out here on this earth amidst the death.

Many see what is occurring around them and begin to fear. They wonder if God is really in control or if they will die in the process also.

God tells every believer to not be afraid. God has given His promise to save everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus and believes in Him.

At some point every believer will be called to go home to heaven to be with the Father for eternity. He will be removed from this death and destruction on this earth. There is no reason to fear what is happening.

As you watch what is going on around you, you may see a lot of death and destruction. Chaos is destroying nations, families, businesses, and more. You may wonder if you will be a part of the dying statistics.

Do not forget that Jesus has promised you His salvation for you. Even if you should die, you will live in the end. This world is not your final home. You have eternity with God to look forward too.

While you keep this in mind, all fear can be removed. While the world will end in destruction around you, you will live for eternity. Do not fear.

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus gives; that you will know God’s plan for you; that God will remove all fear of death in your heart; and that you will be a witness of God’s control and love.

Fruit of the Spirit: Peace

Peace word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Over the last two weeks I have looked at the fruit of love and joy. Now I will look at peace. Peace is something that most people want. They desire that the world would be at peace. Most do not like to have any turmoil or troubles in their life.

Nearly everywhere one goes, there is always someone who is seeking peace. People all over the world have days that are filled with stress. Some are wondering if they will still have a job soon, some worry about their health or the health of a loved one, some are stressed about politics or wars, stressed about the economy, and stressed about many other things. They want to slow down in life and be able to relax with no worries or concerns.

Relax by water

The common belief is that if there is peace, there is no battles, wars or troubles of any sort. There is only tranquility and calmness. Everything looks picture perfect where there is peace.

However. that is not the picture that the bible presents with peace. The peace that God gives is much deeper than simple tranquility and no wars or trouble.

Jesus said:

John 14+27

Jesus said He was giving us His peace. It was a different peace than that which the world gives. This peace is tranquility, but not in the same way that the world views tranquility. It is peace in spite of trouble. It is a peace that surpasses the troubles of this world.

Later Jesus said:

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 

There will be trouble in this world. The reason there is trouble is because of sin. Ever since Adam and Eve had sinned and were cast out of the Garden of Eden, there has been trouble and sin.

Looking at the this world, it may appear as if sin and the devil are winning the battle. Sin appears to increase more and more. Nations that once were founded on Christian principles are no longer holding to those principles and are actually making rules against those principles.

Busy people

This can be stressful for the believer if he does not have the proper perspective of what is really going on. If you do not have the Holy Spirit in you opening your spiritual eyes to see what God is doing, you will be stressed out and without peace.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit and following Jesus with all of your heart will give you a peace that the world cannot understand nor have. You first of all have peace between you and God.

When a person does not follow Jesus, he is an enemy of God. There are some people who claim that they are not against Jesus, but just don’t want to follow Him. To not follow Jesus is to be His enemy. You are not doing what He wants you to do, doing what is best for your life.

Soldier with weapon

The other peace you have in being filled with His Holy Spirit and bearing His fruit is peace in knowing that God is in control. Regardless of how ugly this world gets, regardless of the persecution one may go through, God is still in control.

As you are struggling with the troubles of this world, breakdowns, debt, death, sickness and more, you can be at peace knowing God has your best interests in mind. He is allowing what is best for you as long as you follow Him.

The peace, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, will show up in your calmness during times of tragedy and troubles. When people hurt you or cut you down, you will be able to respond in love because you are at peace.

Calm mountain lake

God’s peace is an internal peace that comes from the heart, not outward circumstances going a certain way.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 

Your life needs to be one of peace. An inner peace that comes from God’s Holy Spirit. Peace that the world does not understand or have.

As you know and have the love of God and His joy, your life will be characterized by His peace. Love for others will cause you to strive to have peace with others. Love for God will cause you to obey Him and keep peace with Him. Joy will take away all anger and anxiety and replace it with peace.

Woman at peace

I trust that you will allow the fruit of the Spirit–peace to shine in your life, evident in every area of your life for God’s glory and praise.

Thank you for continuing to go along with me on this study of the fruit of the Spirit. I hope you are being blessed by this study. Please feel free to share this with anyone you think may need it.

Next week I will be looking at the fruit of the Spirit–forbearance. I hope you will return to continue this study.

Judges 21:25 Doing As You Want

Traffic lights

In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. Judges 21:25

For several hundred years, after the Israelites had taken over the land of Canaan, they had different men who would lead the nation. While a judge would lead the people, they would follow God. As soon as the person died, they would walk away from God.

Once they walked away from God, He would allow them to be overrun by another nation. While being overrun, they would cry out to God for help and God would send another leader. This occurred over and over.

After the last judge had died, the people had no leader, nor any king. At this time, every person did whatever he wanted, when he wanted and how he wanted. It was a time of chaos.

The hearts of people have not changed since that time with the Israelites. People still want to do what they want, when they want and how they want. They strive to find ways around the laws to be able to do their own thing. Often many will just break the law to what they want to do.

Many in the church have also fallen into the same pattern as the Israelites. They want to do whatever they want to do with no regard to God and His commands. It is common to see open sin accepted and even promoted inside a church. People do not care about what God wants or desires. Some do this out of ignorance of God’s commands, while many do it ignoring God’s commands.

It is during this time of actions, that people do not have a king. The king of every believer is supposed to be Jesus, however, they are not really following Him. They are following this world and themselves. Every person needs a leader to guide them correctly. God gave Jesus, who gave His Holy Spirit to lead and guide His people.

Although in the world’s eyes you may have the right to do whatever you want to do, however you belong to God. You are to do what He desires you to do.

Allow yourself to be led by the King of kings and Lord of lords. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in the ways of God, not your own ways.

Do not be guilty of doing your own thing as the Israelites were. Let God guide you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior and King; that you will know what God wants of you; that you will not live as the world does; that you will be led by the Holy Spirit; and that you will serve God with all of your life. 

John 16:33 How To Find Peace

Man Worships God

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus is giving His last minute warnings about what is about to happen to the disciples. He lets them know that He is about to leave for a time and that there will be much trouble in the world. Jesus lets them know that He told them these things so that they could have His peace because He has already overcome the world.

It is very easy to see that there is trouble in this world. Turn on any news channel and one will see very little outside of troubles. Very few people are not have troubles in their own personal lives. Trouble with jobs, relationships, addictions, bills, marriages, families, and the list of troubles never seem to stop. There does not seem to be any peace.

Then the believers look at the world and see even more trouble. Refusal to believe in Jesus, promotion of more sin than ever before, persecution of Christians on the rise and, again, the list goes on. There does not seem to be any peace to be found.

Many believers are worried about finding peace in this world. Yet, Jesus said He told believers things so that they would have peace. He had already stated that there would be trouble, but they could still have peace. That peace is found in Him. He has already overcome the world.

If Jesus has overcome this world, there is nothing to worry about with all the troubles that one may have to see or go through.

Believers are to be excited, because Jesus has overcome the world. He said, “Take heart!” He told you what was going to happen before it did. He also stated that He had overcome the world. If one statement is proving true, the other one will be true also. This can give you peace.

The peace is not that everything appears to be going perfectly in this world, but that everything is happening under God’s control, just as He said it would. If all these things are happening as He said it would, that also means Jesus will return as He said He would.

As a believer you have an eternity to look forward to in heaven with God. Take heart and be at peace!

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will believe the words of Jesus; and that you will know the peace Jesus gives to you.