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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Daniel 11:36 The Leader Will Exalt Himself

The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place. Daniel 11:36

Daniel was given a vision of some future kings and battles. One of the kings had chosen to do whatever pleases himself and would set himself up to be above God and all false gods. He would be successful in everything that he does, but only for a set amount of time. In the end, he will be destroyed by another king.

Leaders all over the world come and go all the time. Some change leadership every few years, such as in America, no more than every eight years. While others don’t change until the leader dies, some of whom have lasted over 40 years or more.

Each leader leads in their own way and some people like what they do and others do not. Christians often get very upset with various leaders in position. The leader makes rules that go against God’s word and promote sinful activities.

While it is understandable why someone might be upset with the leader, one must understand also that God has placed that leader in that position for a reason. The king that Daniel saw in his vision was placed there by God, and that king set himself up as greater than God. God did it for a purpose. In this case it was for punishment to a nation.

Every leader that God puts in place, He does so for a purpose and for a set amount of time. As a believer, you must keep this in mind. First you must pray for that leader to know and serve God. Then  you must pray that every believer will be strong and true to God, regardless of what is going on around them. Finally you must know that the leader is only there for a time, not for eternity.

Do your part in this world by being a witness of who Jesus is and the love of God. Work to bring all to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Trust God in leading this world that it needs to be led. And know that in the end God will be the ultimate King for all eternity.

I pray that you will be a witness for God; that God will remove your fear of leaders in this world; that you will trust God’s placement of leaders in this world; and that all leaders will know and serve God.

Daniel 10:12 Set Your Mind

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” Daniel 10:12

Daniel had a vision that troubled him and he could not understand what it meant. He chose to fast and pray, setting his mind to wait for God to give him the answer. When the person came to answer him, he was told that God had already dispatched the answer twenty-one days before, but was detained by the enemy.

There are many times that a person will want an answer from God about some situation in their life. He will pray for a moment, asking for the answer, then will give up on waiting for that answer. The prayers of many will not last more than a few moments, a few times, before many give up.

The reasons for giving up can be of several reasons. Some feel that they are not worth getting the answer, others are because they are impatient and give up on God, others feel God will not answer them, and still others just don’t make the time to wait on God for the answer.

Most people are in an instant, microwave set of mind in this world. They want the answer and they want it now. If God does not answer immediately, they immediately give up on God. Daniel did not do that, he set his mind and waited for God to answer.

God is always ready to answer, but He does not always answer immediately. Sometimes a person is not ready for the answer, while, as in Daniel’s case, the enemy holds back getting the answer. And when God does answer your prayer, be willing to accept His answer to you. Do not reject it because it was not the answer you desired. Let God be the one in control of your life.

When you are in need of God for an answer, you must set your mind to getting that answer. Deny yourself of yourself and focus on God and Him alone until you get the answer. Spend more than two minutes in prayer. Take time to fast, denying yourself the pleasures of this world. God will answer, in His time and way.

I pray today that you will set your mind to hear God’s voice and direction; that you will trust God to answer all of your prayers; that you will accept all of God’s answers for your life; and that you will not give up on God.

Daniel 7:27 Future Power And Authority

Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. Daniel 7:27

While the nation of Israel has been brought into captivity, Daniel receives a vision of the future. God reveals to Him what Jesus will accomplish. In the end, Jesus will be the sovereign ruler of the entire world. As the supreme ruler, He will hand over all the kingdoms of the earth to all the believers. At that point, every ruler on the earth will worship and obey Him.

When a person looks around at all the nations of the world today, he will see very little unity and no one person in absolute control. There is chaos, fighting and wars everywhere one looks. Sinning against God is rampant and promoted everywhere. At times it appears as though no one is even attempting to serve God at all. Churches seem to be dying at a rapid rate and no one cares. A person may wonder if God is really in control.

Even though it seems no one is following God and that God is not in control, it is not true. God still has a remnant of believers in this world who are faithfully serving Him. Jesus had stated that the road to heaven is narrow and only a few will find it.

God is still at work to this day. He is working to save as many as possible and holding off the final judgment against all mankind. Despite what people may think, that day is coming. Once Jesus returns and judges the world, He will be in absolute control, with everyone, who is left, serving Him. At that point, all the power and authority of all the kingdoms will be handed over to all the believers. Peace and unity will reign on the earth.

As you are going through your day-to-day living, it may seem like chaos and that God is not in control. It may seem hopeless and never coming to an end. Keep your eyes on Jesus, looking for His return. There will come a day when all the sin and chaos of this world will come to an end. It is closer today than it was when Daniel saw His vision, and it is still true.

I pray today that you will know God’s peace in your life; that you will serve and obey God with all of your life; that you will know Jesus will return someday soon; and that you will be His witness on this earth.

Ezekiel 1:20 Going With God’s Spirit

Wherever the spirit would go, they would  go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. Ezekiel 1:20

Ezekiel had a vision of some creatures with multiple faces and some wheels. He noticed that they would move without ever turning. The wheels would follow the creatures because the spirit of the living creatures was in them. Any time the creatures would move, the wheels would move.

Following someone closely is something that can be difficult to do at times. People change over time and continuing to follow may create conflict. Most people separate after a time because of different interests.

During high school, many students have friends that they hang around with. They always seem to be traveling in a group together. Once high school comes to an end, however, they tend to go different ways. Each one works a different job, or goes to a different school. They will get married and move away. Separation occurs.

The reason the wheels followed so closely was that they had the same spirit in them as the creatures had. Believers are supposed to be following God as those wheels followed the creatures. No matter where God goes, the believer must go. Just like a group of high schoolers are always seen together, the believer must always be seen with God.

God does not turn as He travels. He is always going forward, building His kingdom. He is always building His people to be just like Jesus, perfect and holy.

As you are going through life, you will most likely have to follow someone else. Your primary focus of travel should be following on the path God has for you. God has placed His Holy Spirit in you to lead and guide you through this life. He will guide you into paths of righteousness and holiness.

There will come times when you do not want to go down the path God has for you, but it is what is best for your life. Do not allow yourself to be led astray by something else. Stay focused on what God has for you. When God moves, you move. When God stands still, you stand still. Let God’s Spirit live in you.

I pray today that you will know God’s path for your life; that you will follow God each day; that you will not move unless God moves you; and that you will know God’s Spirit in your life.

Jeremiah 24:6-7 God Is Watching Over You

My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:6-7

Jeremiah was given a vision of two baskets of figs, one of which were very good, and the other was very bad. God said that the good figs were like His people who were good and followed His commands. He would watch over them, even while it captivity and bring them back to their land. God planned to build them up again, because the followed Him with all their heart.

In themselves, no person is good. Every person is filled with sin and cannot cleanse himself.  Their condition changes when they accept Jesus. He cleanses them from all sin, when they turn to Him with all of their heart.

A lot of people feel that God is only out to get them and harm them. Nothing good seems to come their way. Many will not even attempt to serve God because of the bad things that have occurred in their lives. Believers often struggle with this same challenge.

When you turn to God with all of your heart and trust Jesus for cleansing of your sin, God is more than willing to cleanse you. He will then watch over you to build you up, not tear you down. God will use the hardships of this life to make you into the person He wants you to be.

As you turn to God with all of your heart, God will turn towards you. He will work at changing your heart so that you may know Him more and more. You get to know God so that you can live the way He plans for you. God has the best plans for your life and you need to trust His plans.

Do you want to stay down in the dumps, because things are not going as you planned (in exile)?

Or do you want to trust God in the dumps to build you back up in His way and in His time?

God is watching you to build you up, not tear you down.

I pray today that you will turn to God with all of your heart; that you will obey all God’s commands; that you will trust God with all of your life; and that you will know God is there for you.

Genesis 28:16-17 The House Of God

“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. He was afraid and said, How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:16-17

Jacob was in the process of fleeing from his brother Esau. Esau was out to kill him because he had taken his birthright and blessings. When Jacob went to sleep one night God gave him a vision. It was a vision of a ladder going up into heaven with angels going up and down that ladder. When Jacob woke up, he realized that the place he was in was the house of God and that God was there.

Most people think about the house of God being a church building somewhere. They feel that in order to meet with God you must go to a church building. This happens all the time in movies. A person is searching for God and they go sit in some big church building.

The truth is that God is everywhere. God will be found by anyone who seeks Him. Jesus said that He is with every believer at all times. He said He would never leave or forsake you.

When you accepted what Jesus had done for you, God came into you and set up His home there. You are now a temple of God. You are a dwelling place for God.

As Jacob said, ” How awesome is this place!” Think about that for a moment. The God who made the universe and everything you see, is living inside of you. He made His home in you and with you.

Many people are searching for God. You can show them God. Show them by your life and how God is living in you.

Also remember that if God is living in you, you will want to keep your house clean. Stay away from all sin. Repent of all sin and allow Jesus clean you up so God can continue to stay there. Be the House of God.

I pray today that God will reveal His presence to you; that you will be the house of God; that you will allow Jesus to cleanse you from all sin; that people will see that God lives in you; and that you will show people who Jesus is.