JOEL, AMOS, OBADIAH, AND JONAH
|I had a great day at Church yesterday. What a blessing! So good to be with God's people and see God moving in our midst. I hope that all went well with you and church yesterday as well. I'm in the Minor Prophets, and here are a few thoughts I had:|
1) THE PATH TO REPENTANCE- In Joel one, judgment is given by God to the people of Israel. The locust will destroy all that is good of the land. But in chapter two we see that repentance is possible. Here is what God says in Joel 2:12,13-
"Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil." So, there is a path to repentance: Turn with all your heart; Fast (an often neglected ingredient); weep and mourn (two other often neglected ingredients) We need to see this path to repentance, and use it when we need it!
2) THE PRESSURE OF THE MINISTRY- Amos 2:13, says: "Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves." The weight that bears down upon the pastor as he carries the load of the congregation. He feels the weight of people problems, and their wrong decisions that are harmful to themselves, and often times affect the church as well. One member affecting for evil another member. When to deal with it, when to let God deal with it, when to say something, when to be silent and pray about it, when to speak up about the needs of the church, when to just trust God to meet the needs without saying anything, when to share God's blessings, when to keep them to yourself thinking someone might think we are boasting, so many decisions that affect the church and affect the lives of people... pressure! The only way to handle it is to "cast all of your care upon Him, for He careth for you." God know, and God will let you know if we wait on Him. I cannot do things perfectly as a pastor, but I must be content with my best effort and accept my humanity and shortcomings as God's own way of helping me relate to the dear people I pastor. God helps both of us!
3) PLUMBLINE- In Amos 7:7, it reads: "Thus he showed me: and, behold, the LORD stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand." , God says to Israel that He is going to put them up against a plumbline. Now a plumbline is used to see if you are square. If you are in balance, to see if you are standing straight up. God uses His own measurements on us to check us out, and His measurements are accurate! (He stands on a wall made by a plumbline-- That means He (God) is standing square and straight, and true.... now He measures us!
4) GOD HATH PREPARED- Jonah is about a wayward prophet, a sinful people who repent, and a God who prepares. In these four short chapters, we see that God prepared: A great fish to swallow his servant; A gourd to give Jonah shade; A worm to eat the gourd; and a vehement east wind to come upon Jonah. It is about the mercy of God for a wayward prophet, and a people whose children still needed to be spared.
Well, so much for today! May God bless! Pastor Mike Mutchler