JOEL & AMOS
Today, I am leaving for home. It has been a wonderful Pastor's School and I have learned some things that I know will help me be a better man, a better pastor, and help me be used of God to help reach a world with the Gospel. I have enjoyed it greatly, but I am so glad to get back into the area God has called me and to the good people I pastor. In the Minor Prophets and I have a few things to share from Joel and Amos:
1) THE LOCUST DEVOUR- Joel 1:4, names four types of locust that devoured up the crops of Israel and God's hope was that this would bring them back to repentance but it did not. It seems that people who disobey do not repent lightly. Only when they are at their wits end do they look to God and confess and repent. Let's decide that we will not be among such people as that. Let us keep a tender heart to the things of God and let the Holy Spirit nudge us gently when we are going astray, and let us respond!
2) HUMILITY GETS GOD'S ATTENTION- Joel 1:8, 1:13; 2:13 says "Lament, and howl" and Joel 1:14, and 2:15 says: "sanctify ye a fast". God responds to humility. In Jonah, we see the wicked city of Nineveh judged, but when they repent, God extend mercy to them. God will extend mercy to the wicked IF they only repent and humble themselves in His presence.... how much more so we, who are His children. How humble are you? When is the last time you wept over your sins and failures as a child of God? I know and you know we are saved by grace.... but If we want God's attention, we had better learn humility and brokenness over our sins. "A broken and contrite heart O God, thou wilt not despise." This is the great lesson in today's reading.
3) WHAT NEEDS FIXING- Joel 2:13 says: "rend your heart, and not your garments". God is always looking for the inward change. Now the inward will affect the outward, but the outward will never affect the inward. What happens on the inside will affect both inside and outside. "rend" means to "tear". The idea is to "tear" open our hearts to see it for what it really is, and then to get right with God.
4) LIVING WITH PRESSURE- Amos 2:13 "Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves." One reason we are to "remember them that have the rule over you", is because of the pressure they minister under. Even when things are going well, there are conflicts in individual member's lives that put pressure upon the man of God. This is why the Bible says: "live peacable with all men" and "endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace." This is why I love Sunday's so much.... it shows me that the church is healthy and thriving, but during the week, I'm handling the troubles of a very few lives that create pressure for the ministry. BUT... God is good!!
Hope you have a great day. I will be traveling today and be home by late afternoon. May God bless your home! Dr. Mike Mutchler, Pastor