Amos 4:9 Getting Your Attention

“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.

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Isaiah 19:22 A Strike, Then Repair

The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them. Isaiah 19:22

Egypt was one of the many nations that God had planned to strike and break down. They had refused to follow Him, so He chose to strike them. During the process of being struck down, the Egyptians would turn to God and cry out to Him. God would hear their cries and stop the time of destruction and heal them. He would pour out blessings on Egypt in the end.

Punishment comes in many forms all around the world. It occurs with individuals, all the way up to entire nations. Most nations are very quick to punish someone for doing something wrong. The purpose of the punishment is to make the person pay for the wrong that they did.

Once the punishment is over, however, very few nations or people, strive to rebuild the person or nation back up again. Once a person is punished, most will leave that person there in the position, saying that is the price that is paid for doing wrong. The individual has to fight for himself to build himself back up.

God works in a different way. His purpose of punishment is to get the person to focus back on Him. Once the purpose is accomplished, God will build that person back up.

God listens to the cries of every person in this world. As that person cries out repentance and seeks forgiveness, God is ready to forgive and build that person back up correctly.

In your own life you must realize God may be allowing you to go through a touch time right now to get your focus back on Him. Turn to Him and allow Him to build you up.

Along with getting repaired yourself, work to build others up who have harmed you. There will be people who have done you wrong. As they seek forgiveness, give it to them. And then work to build them back up.

Those who have made bad choices in their life give you an opportunity to love and build up in Jesus. Don’t force the person to stay down. Show God’s love and mercy to them and lift them up from the mud. Allow God to use you to rebuild their lives for Him.

I pray today that you will see God’s hand to rebuild lives; that you will learn from God’s corrections in your life; that God will use you to build others up; and that you will cry out to God for your own life and the lives of others.

Revelation 18:4-5 Get Out

“Then I heard another voice from heaven say: Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.” Revelation 18:4-5

Just before this verse, John talks about how an angel comes down and cries out that Babylon has fallen. Babylon had been a major power in the world, but because of sinful practices, had fallen and all those with her.

Now another voice cries out for God’s people to get out of Babylon. The purpose of getting out of Babylon is so that the people do not share in the sins being committed.

The description of sins is tremendous. They are piled up to heaven. The idea of this would be as if you listed every sin that was being done in Babylon on a sheet of paper. That paper would be so long it would go up to the heavens, far out of sight.

God knows every sin and has a record of them. He is about to maker Babylon pay for those sins. There will be many plagues and torment.

God does not want His people to be caught up in His wrath against Babylon. You are to flee all sin. Do not take a part in the sins of others.

Even today, there are sinful practices everywhere. Are you taking a part in those sins or are you running away from them? As a believer in Jesus you should be fleeing with everything in you.

Every believer is to be in the world but not a part of this world. Do not fall into the temptation of the sins of this world. Your sins have been forgiven by Jesus and are forgotten. Do not pick up more sins and build up a new record against you.

The best way to prevent this is by fleeing all sin. Run to God and His people and you will keep from sin.

I pray today that God will strengthen you to flee all sin; that God will open your eyes to see what is sinful; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide you; that God will not remember your sins anymore; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.