“Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, destroying them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet, you have not returned to me,” declares the LORD. Amos 4:9
In this chapter, Amos is quoting God, who is upset with Israel. They had chosen to walk away from God, so God brought on many different calamities, drought, plagues, and death. God had struck their gardens and vineyards, which is their livelihood and food. Yet, the people refused to return to Him. They chose to continue to live in their sinful ways, knowing God was angry with them.
Disaster strikes people all the time. Some of those disasters are caused by another person, while others are caused by the weather. The world looks at those disasters as a bad luck of the draw, part life. Many will blame others for the natural disasters, claiming that it is because of the way people run things. It is natural for the world to see things this way, because they do not know God and have never known Him.
For believers, it is a different story. When disaster strikes a believer, the first thing he should do is turn to God for help. Disaster can strike a believer for one of two main reasons: 1) God is trying to get his attention, because he has walked away from Him 2) God is allowing Satan to strike and test him. Either way, the believer should turn to God.
There are many believers do not choose to turn to God, but turn to other people and things of this world. They reject God’s help, especially when it is being done because of sin in their lives. They will seek help in medicine, drugs, alcohol, entertainment, music, people, and even doing more ministry work, everything but turning to God.
In your own personal life, things may be occurring that are making things extremely difficult for you. As you are going through these situations seek God out. Take a look at your life and see where you are really standing with God.
Are you walking with God? Then trust that He will give you the strength to make it through the situation.
Have you walked away from God? Then turn back to Him and repent of all sin. Seek to know His ways and then follow them.
I pray today that you will always follow Jesus; that you will not turn from the path God has for you; that when disaster strikes, you will turn to God first; and that you will know that God is always waiting for you to return to Him.
“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:1-2
Daniel is given one last final vision of the end of everything. There is a period of extreme distress and turmoil, such as never been seen before. Once that is done it is the time when Jesus returns and everyone is raised up for the final judgment. Those whose names are in the Book are raised to eternal life, while the rest are condemned to eternal contempt.
Most human being lives as though he is finite, that this world is all that they can or will ever know. They live for today and today only, rarely thinking about tomorrow or extremely far into the future. Those that do think about tomorrow are usually thinking about investments, retirement or vacations, not eternal life.
It is easy to understand why most people don’t think about eternity much, all people die, appearing to be at the end. The human body is finite, but the spirit never completely dies once made.
When Jesus returns, someday in the future, every person that has died will be raised from the dead and then will be judged. Those who have their name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, the book Jesus carries, those who have repented of their sins and follow Jesus, will be raised to eternal life. It will be an enjoyable life for eternity.
Those who do not have their names in that book will also be raised for judgment. They will also have life for eternity, but it will be one of condemnation and contempt. God will be set against them and cast them into the lake of fire for eternity for punishment. The punishment is for refusing to accept God’s offer for life, and to refuse follow and serve God with their whole lives.
What does your future hold? Is it one of eternal life with God?
Or is it one with eternal contempt, away from God?
You can choose to follow Jesus today and have eternal life in your future.
I pray today that you will serve Jesus with all of your life; that you will turn from all sin to follow God and His ways; that your name will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life; and that you will be a witness to others to lead them to Jesus.
Here is a short, but great verse to know and memorize.
This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. Ezekiel 37:5
God brought Ezekiel to a valley full of dry bones and asked him if those bones could live. Ezekiel states that only God knows the answer to that. God then tells him to tell the bones that He will breath life into them and they will live again.
Bones are a sign of something that is dead. All the flesh that was on the bones are gone. All the blood vessels that surrounded the bones are gone. Nothing is left but death.
Seeing a whole field of dry bones, would leave a person in horror or sadness. It is a sign of a lot of death. All hope of life appears to be gone and nothing can be done about it. It is just a large open graveyard that sits on top of the ground rather than being buried.
People live their lives just like the dead bones lying on the ground. They go through the motions of being alive, but in reality are dead. They are dead in sins, appearing to be enjoying the best of this life. All are living without any real hope or purpose in this world. Although they are physically walking around on this planet, they are dead in spirit, dead like those dry bones in the field.
Once a person believes in the work of Jesus, God puts on a new life on the person. He is clothed with the righteousness and life of Jesus. God gives him a new heart of flesh. There is new hope and life that was never there before.
If you are going through life and feeling like there is no purpose or real living, you need to give Jesus a chance to show you a new life. Following God can give you the real meaning of life on this earth. You do not have to go through each day with no hope, thinking it is all worthless with no meaning.
Life is there for the taking. With Jesus you will have joy and love that will strengthen you. You will become a new creation in Jesus. Your old bones will be renewed with new life. Do not remain dead in sins and be a pile of dry bones.
I pray today that you will know Jesus personally; that you will accept the life God has for you; that God will fill you with a new life and purpose; and that your bones will live in the power of God.
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
The question had been raised asking if a son will die for the sins of the father, and God answered no. He states that a person will die for his own sins, and that is regardless of how he lived prior to those sins. Along with that, God said that if a person had lived a sinful life, then changed his ways, he would live and not die because of the past sins. God does not look forward to someone dying in sin, but that they will change their ways and live.
Looking out on the world, there are many different types of people. When people read or hear about someone who has done a great crime against many people, they often want justice done and see the person destroyed. They do not see any hope for that person at all.
It can even happen in the small town, where a person knows someone who has been living a very bad lifestyle and it there seems to be no hope for him. People do not believe that he will ever be able to accept Christ and change.
On the other side, people see someone who is a great looking Christian, with a large ministry, fall away from God into some sinful lifestyle. Some people feel that God should still save him because of what he had done in his past.
God looks at the current situation of the heart of a man. God’s greatest desire is that every person will change their ways and follow Him, regardless of how bad or how good they were in the past. Jesus does not want anyone to perish.
Often Christians will condemn a person and never have hope that he will change. Or they do not believe it when he does start to change and serve God.
When you see a person, you must have hope that God will touch his heart and he will change. If someone who has served God falls away, your heart must also break with God’s, and pray that he returns.
Have the heart of God in being pleased when a person repents and turns to Him, do not doubt or get angry when a person is given life.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for people; that you will be pleased as God when a person turns to Him; that you will weep as God does when a person turns from Him; and that you will seek to tell all about Jesus.