Tag Archives: Amos

Oh My Stars!

In the book of Amos, the prophet Amos was hanging out with the cowboys of the day, the herdmen of Tekoa, when God began to create the book we know as Amos in his soul. It was a word of judgement again and again for Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, Judah and Israel. God had had enough of their false idols, wicked sacrifices and jaded religion. It was a “come to Jesus” moment for them all and Amos was the bearer of the bad news. I sometimes feel like an Amos. My brokenness for the church leads me into a tirade on more than one occasion with the platform of this blog or the ear of friend who just happened to call on a bad day. I had one such day Saturday.

I want the world to see Jesus. I want them to see the Jesus that I know. He is a righteous judge that looks on the depravity of man with a willingness to love us anyway, forgive us and convict us of the errors of our ways, and then patiently wait while we slowly make our way in His direction. He is rejected over and over and yet at the first turn towards Him, His arms are open wide for us to fall into. Oh my goodness I stand in awe! Or I should say, “Oh my stars, I stand in awe!” Because that’s what Amos said.

Amos had just ran down a list of everyone who had turned their back to God. I had a list like that on Saturday at an event that wasn’t supported by our local churches. I was hurt for those who had set up the event, I was hurt for the little preacher that preached like he was preaching to 1,000, and I was most hurt for God who certainly deserved better. So this blog is for any servant of God who’s ever been let down. Amos went through his list as God instructed, he said… judgment’s coming. But then he turned his eyes to the skies in chapter 5, verse 8:

Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:

Amos took his mind off the earth and the issue surrounding himself and turned his thoughts toward the Almighty God. He stood in awe of God! As a herdman he had stood beneath the stars and adored their Creator. Orion is a group of stars that appeared in the winter and is a sign of bad weather. Amos stood amazed at the wondrous works of God through the climate to make the rain come and go and the seasons change and the blessings that came from it all.

One of my favorite songs in my repertoire of music right now is an Elevation Worship song called, “There is a Cloud.” It’s from the book of Kings, chapter 18, verse 44 and speaks of a cloud the size of a man’s hand that turned into a massive rain. Amos had tuned out the of the trouble of the day and was tuned into the Maker of the sea and the controller of the clouds and he knew that if man would just turn to back to God, all the trials that were coming upon God’s people could be turned into a blessing. If only they’d realize and acknowledge Who God was. The Creator of all could take those storms and turn them into an abundant harvest.

How true that is for America? If only the churches of today, who’ve gotten so caught up in the world would fall back in love with God, and stand in awe of His ability, what would He do with us? If our priorities would get back in line, would He pour down the rain upon our churches that would draw a thirsty lost world into the doors of the church? I believe He would! And I’m seeking Him that made those seven stars, Jesus Christ, Lord of all, is His name.

Now… the church needs to show up.

We are without excuse

#WithoutExcuse

We’re without excuse. I look about me this morning and I’m grateful for the “raisin’ up” I had in the hills of West Virginia. This is where God placed me and by His grace I was placed in the hands of two wonderful Holy Spirit filled parents. But were I not, I’d still be without excuse. And though I was, that still did not guarantee me to become who I am; a child of God. We all get to grace the same way, by accepting what Christ did; not by being born into a certain family. The world is so full of excuses. This morning I’ve had my eyeballs full…

  • The World says: “So and so made me who I am.”
    • No, “so and so” may have hurt you, but you decided who you are.”
  • The world says: “All religions lead to Heaven.”
    • No religion is just the practice of a learned behavior, Heaven comes from a relationship with Christ. Side note: If you have a relationship with someone, you’re pretty close.
  • The world says: “We control our destiny.”
    • Only so far as God allows. So technically you don’t.
  • The world says: “There is no God.”
    • Those who say that are without excuse because we’ve been raised better.

Gene and Violet Hardway raised me, but God raised me up.

Amos 2:11-13 says

And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

It is God who put me in a higher place that I may have the privilege of sharing the gospel. Not because I am great, but because I am His. A privilege afforded anyone who accepts the holiness, sacrifice and will of God. He has a purpose for you just as He had a purpose for Israel, and still does. But they rejected Him. Here God tells them I raised up your sons for prophets. God selected and set into place men of God to shine the light to Israel but they chose to ignore it; continually falling back into the ways of the world until disaster struck and then they’d call on God.  But there came a day when God had been rejected one too many times. (His eyeballs eventually got full too I guess.)

Is America there? God raised up prophets and of those He set aside the Nazarite men, many in the prime of their life vowed themselves to the service of God to the extreme, and today we have as those as well. Sure, there are those in the ministry who do not walk the walk they profess, but there are those who do. They’re not perfect, no man is, but they live what they preach. America is without excuse. I speak collectively. I’m an American, but my country is not here, my homeland awaits on the other side of Jordan.

I understand Amos’ frustration at Israel. That’s how I feel about the arrogant lot of people in my face every day. Those who justify their immoral behavior because of how they were raised or treated. I am truthfully sorry for your heartache… but you’re without excuse. Someone else may have hurt you, but Christ, the Creator of all the earth,  loved you enough to die for you and longs to be in a relationship with you through the Holy Spirit and you have hurt and turned your back on Him. He who is your perfect friend and Father. You are without excuse.

The trash talkers of the waves tell the world that all religions are right. Tell me any other than Christianity who’s God died for them.  None. Tell me any other religion that has the moral standards that every human being in their soul knows is right. None but Christianity. Tell me any other that puts themselves in the role of a servant to a heathen nation that rejects them so they might be saved. None but Christian. … Yes… I’m with Amos!

Our destiny is written in the scripture of old. It’s done. Or in Christ’s words, “It is finished.” The only thing we control is self-will; God has the power at any time to stop the world from spinning and throw us into space. Dwell on that thought for a second. God has put the evidence of Himself through His creation before us and He sent messengers to tell the world of His desire to be our Father. I am one.

Amos prophesied that when judgement came, and it would, it would feel like a cart bogged down with weight to the point it couldn’t move. How many in America feel like that today? I love America… but I do not love what she has become. I love her people… but I’m not fool enough to think that God won’t wipe that arrogance off of their faces through judgement so harsh I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.   Saved and unsaved we are without excuse.

There’s no excuse for rejecting Christ.

There’s no excuse for not telling someone about Him.