Amos 8:1 A Basket Of Ripe Fruit

This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. “What do you see, Amos?” he asked. “A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered. Then the LORD said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.” Amos 8:1

God continues to give Amos visions of what is coming up with the nation of Israel. This time it is a vision of a basket full of ripe fruit. The meaning is that they are ripe for destruction. Israel had chosen to walk away from God and follow many idols. After many tries to get them to turn back, God is saying that He will no longer work with them, they are set to be destroyed.

Fruit that is ripe is fully mature ready to be picked and used. Usually that means it is  ready to be eaten in a positive way. In the case of Israel, they were ripe with a pungent, horrible smell ready to be destroyed. Their sin was rising before God as a horrible smell of death and destruction.

Nearly a thousand years later, Jesus came along and talked about fields being ripe. This time He was talking about them being ready to be harvested for good food. People were out there ready to hear the saving message of the gospel and to turn their hearts towards God.

In a large field, the crops will usually be ripe for something. There will always be some that are ripe for destruction. Something destroyed some of the crops and it is ready to be put into a burn pile. At the same time there is a lot of the crop that is ripe for the picking for the table to be eaten.

Today you are ripe for something. You are either ripe for salvation and doing things for God, or you are ripe for God’s destruction. You have a choice to make as to which thing are you ripe for . God does not want to have to destroy you, His desired choice is to give you an abundant, eternal life.

To know what you are ripe for, you must look at your life. Are you serving God? Or are you serving self and this world?

Allow yourself to be a part of a basket full of ripe fruit ready to be used by God, not destroyed by Him.

I pray today that you will choose God and His ways for your life; that you will not be found guilty of sin; that you will be ripe for being used by God; and that you will seek others who are ripe and bring them the gospel message of Jesus. 

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Amos 3:7 God Always Warns

Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

Amos brings out many warnings of coming judgment and destruction against various nations, including Israel. Their destruction is because of sin and rebellion against God. As Amos is giving these warnings, he reminds the people that God never does anything without revealing what He is about to do through the prophets.

Knowing what God is doing or going to do is a question that many people have all the time. People want to know how God is going to deal with a situation in their lives. They want to know when God is going to bring down judgment on those rebelling against Him.

If a person is open to hearing what the Bible says, he will be able to see that a lot of things that are occurring in life have already been prophesied about. The things that God is doing or is allowing to happen has already been promised by God.

Jesus and the prophets prophesied of trouble, persecution, hatred, sin, rebellion, natural disasters, and wars. At the same time they prophesied of judgment, destruction, building up, restoration, salvation, life, healing and more.

God is still doing things to this day. As each day goes by God is giving warnings of what is about to happen. He continually warns of coming judgment upon all people. At the same time He warns of salvation and restoration that He will bring to those who follow Jesus.

Jesus did not just suddenly appear on the earth without warning. God had already revealed what He was going to do. In the same way, Jesus will not suddenly re-appear at the second coming. God is already giving warnings.

In your life, God is wanting to do many different things. For each of those things, God is giving you a warning or revealing what He is going to do. Read the Bible to see what God says He is working on doing.

When a person is following Him with all of his heart, what does God say He will do?

When a person is rejecting God and following the world, what does God say He will do?

It will be no surprise as to what God will do, if you are willing to listen to God. He will reveal what He is going to do.

I pray today that your heart and ears will be open to hearing God; that you will understand the plans God has for you; that you will know what God is doing; and that you will live your life following Jesus.

Amos 1:6 Selling Communities

This is what the LORD says: “For three sins of Gaza, even for four, I will not relent. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom,” Amos 1:6

Amos starts out with the words of God against various towns and nations. Each of these are for capturing cities and selling the people and community to other nations. For each one it is listed as for three to four sins God was willing to not relent and bring on the judgment against them. It was a prophecy of destruction against nations that sin against God.

Even though, as a whole, slavery has been abolished across the world, there are many places that still allow it or have it occur on a very wide spread basis. People are bought and sold into various types of slavery all over the world, even in America. Most people will agree that slavery is wrong and should be done away with.

There is, however, another type of slavery that people are sold into on a regular basis, that most people don’t even recognize as slavery. It is slavery into sinful practice and ways.

Stores and bars populate most towns promoting getting drunk. Movie theaters push movies that promote sex, drugs, and every type of sin known to man as worth seeing and doing. Books are published promoting every type of sin there is as something good for a person. Television promotes sinful lifestyles as being acceptable and good. Musicians sing songs pushing sin. Pornography promotes free sex, immorality and lust.

All of these things are taking whole communities into captivity, selling them into slavery of sin. People are captivated by the sin promoted by others. While most people look at these things a freedom and rights, it is sin. Although the world states that a person has the freedom and right to sin, it is still wrong and there is a price to pay–life.

As a believer, you must not be caught up in these things. You must be careful that you are not one of those promoting sin in any shape, size or fashion.

Take captive your thoughts and focus them on God and His ways. Promote Jesus in this world and be His slave. Allow only God to be your master and not the things of this world. In this way God will not have to bring judgment upon you.

I pray today that you will only be captured by God; that you will only be a slave to Jesus; that you will not be guilty of enslaving others into sin; and that you will be a light of Jesus to this world.

Daniel 12:1-2 What Will You Arise To?

“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. 

Daniel 5:26-27 Found Wanting

“Here is what these words mean: MENE: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. TEKEL: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.” Daniel 5:26-27

Belshazzar was king of Babylon and his kingdom was prospering very well. However, unlike Nebuchadnezzar, he did not honor or follow God at all. He worshipped various idols and used articles from the temple to party with.

One day while he and all his officials were having a party, God made a hand visible that wrote some words on the wall. No one was able to understand what those words meant, until Daniel was called. He stated that God said that Belshazzar’s days were numbered as a king and that he had been found wanting. Later that night he would be killed and Babylon would be over taken by the Medes.

Many people have gone to a store to purchase an item and use their debit card to pay for it. When the cashier runs the card, it comes up short on funds in the account. The person is found wanting more money than what he has. It can be embarrassing to the person, because he is short on money.

Millions of people today are living their lives in their own way. Often going to church and claiming to be a believer. Yet, they do not have a relationship with Jesus and are not living for Him in any way. The only thing that they do is go to church. During the week, they never read the Bible, witness, or even pray. The only thing that they do is live a “good” life by not living in extreme sins and by going to church.

When Jesus returns or when He calls those people home, they will be found wanting. Jesus will turn them away for never knowing them. They will be needing the salvation that He provides, but will not have it. The reality of their life will be exposed.

As you are going through this life, you must live your life in a way that you will not be found wanting when you stand before God. Put all of your trust in Jesus and live for Him. Show your love for Him by obeying Him. If you live your life your own way, you will be found wanting and lose in the end.

How do the scales weigh you today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus in a personal way; that you will live for God; that God will be able to speak well of you; and that you will trust God with all of your life.

Ezekiel 31:10-11 Being Cast Aside

” ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, I gave it into the hands of the rulers of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside,’ ” Ezekiel 31:10-11

God had been claiming judgment upon the nation of Egypt. He had raised Egypt up to be a great nation, one of the most powerful nations upon the earth. The Pharaoh had chosen to claim all the power for himself, as though it was his own doing. He claimed he was a god. Therefore God was going to break Egypt down.

God points the people to look at Assyria, whom God had raised up to be a really great nation. Yet, when pride got in the way of the king, God also tore the nation back down. They were destroyed because of their wickedness.

Nations and people are raised up by God to do great things for Him. The more nations and people do for God, the greater God will allow them to become. However, when either the nation or a person starts to do things for themselves or reject God’s ways, God will cast them aside.

There is no place for sin in God’s kingdom. It was because of sin in the lives of people, that Jesus came to the earth to die upon a cross. He came to remove all the sin from every person.

Sin can show up in the lives of a person in many different ways. All of the ways come down to personal pride and greed. People want things their own way, rather than following the ways of God. Many people want to be the one who is in control, rather than accepting that God is the one who is in control and allowing Him to have that control.

As you look at your life, you may not be living in some massive sinful lifestyle, but are you allowing sin in your life on purpose?

Pride and greed can show up in many different ways in your life, if you allow them to do so. Reject pride and greed and allow God to have all the credit and power. Do not give Him a reason to have to cast you aside and tear you down.

I pray today that God will use you in great ways to build His kingdom; that you will give God all the credit and power for everything in your life; and that you will not allow sin to get in the way of your relationship with God.

Ezekiel 24:14 Judged By Your Actions

“I the LORD have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign LORD.” Ezekiel 24:14

God was bringing severe judgment upon Jerusalem and Israel. They had chosen as a nation to reject God and His commands. Over and over God had sent prophets to the people to get them to change, but they refused. God was finally done with their actions and was going to strike them with no pity. They were going to be judged by their own actions.

Being judged is something most people do not like to have happen. Some will accept certain people to be judged, but most do not even like anyone to be judged. It is commonly accepted that everyone must accept everyone, regardless of who they are or what they have done or are doing.

There are churches today that claim that anyone can get into heaven as long as they believe in God and strive to live a good life. Their thoughts have nothing to do with Jesus or what He said. It has become a ‘feel good’ society. If it feels good, it must be good, thus one can do it.

A person’s actions are what determines how God will look at them. Although God always looks at a person in love, He cannot tolerate or accept any sin of any type at all. God holds each person responsible for his own actions, both good and bad. Once a person has sinned, however, one cannot do enough good to pay for the action of that one sin. Only Jesus can remove that sin.

Your actions will be judged someday. Everything will hinge on whether you believe in Jesus Christ for your salvation or you believe in yourself or someone else for salvation. The action of believing in Jesus for your salvation is the action that will bring about your salvation. God will look at what Jesus has done in your life and keep you alive.

By not believing in Jesus, you have chosen the action of refusing to believe, thus sealing your death sentence with God.

When God looks at all of your actions what will He see?

Trying to save self?

Or trust in Jesus for salvation?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your savior; that your actions will show belief in Jesus; that you will allow Jesus to cleanse you from all sin; and that your life will be patterned after that of Jesus.