Prepare to Meet Your God

Today’ s readings are Amos 4 and 1 Cor. 10:1-22.

This is the conclusion of the matter, “This is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel” (Amos 4:12).

Question, “How did it come to this?”

Answer, as a result of indulgence, a self-focused life style and living in a world that is all about me.

Let me explain. The well fed cattle mentioned in Amos 4 were considered the best breed in ancient times and especially in the area surrounding Canaan. “Cows of Bashan” was a harsh but fitting symbol for Israel’s wealthy, pampered, self indulgent women who maintained their lifestyles while exploiting others, especially the poor.

Amos even called them to have more “sinful worship” at their illegitimate places of worship (vs. 4-5). Yes, he is being sarcastic and  putting them down. He went further by stating in vs 6-11 that God himself brought a series of covenant curses upon the people because they and never truly met him in worship. Again and again he says, “yet you have not returned to me.” This was all going to result in the reality that they would soon meet their God!

Makes you think. Makes you think about our world today. What practices are we involved that are also self indulgent? How do we reach out to the poor? What does genuine worship look like in 2015?

Next time you gather with your brother and sisters, ask yourself the question, “how do I walk into church?”

In 2015, just like in Israel’s day, God is still looking for people who seek an encounter with him. To gather with a sense of his presence, an appreciation of his holiness, a sense of awe and heart of thanks and a willing spirit to praise his name. Remember all that we do, can also become just as repeated and mundane as those who have gone before us.

May we all walk in humble submission before our God. Genuine worship engages us in a living relationship with God based on his own revelations through his word which good deeds will always flow out of. Finally, ask yourself today, “have you returned to God?”

Blessings, Ian Barnett.

 

 

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One thought on “Prepare to Meet Your God

  1. Thank you Ian. I know a woman who loves church. The time that she spends in church on a Sunday is the highlight of her week. She goes week after week hoping to encounter just a taste of Heaven for a window of an hour or so every week. She goes with an attitude what can I give to God today? How can I show Him how much I love Him and are so thankful for forgiving me from my sin? Who can I be a blessing to? She goes expecting. She knows that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with the living God. She would love to go to both the morning and evening service at her church but she can’t. When she comes home from church on a Sunday her husband won’t talk to her. He just is annoyed that she has been,”to church”, again. She can’t be as involved as others who go to her church because of how things are at home. She doesn’t understand why people murmur when opportunities come up for a prayer meeting, or an event that why people wouldn’t just flock to be a part of ,”doing church in all its fullness”. Church for her is precious because she hasn’t taken it for granted. She remembers when she had to go because it was expected of her as a child. But when she encountered Christ and was given a new heart nothing could keep her away.

    I hear of Christians in China who walk for very long distances thru the harsh winter snow just to get to church. We are too comfortable and we must be very careful not to take the privilege of meeting as one forgranted. And if God shows up what should we do? These wise words from Don Carson may be helpful –

    “When God graciously manifests Himself in abnormal and even spectacular ways, the wisest step that the leaders participating in such a movement may take is to curb the excesses, focus attention on the centre of Christ, on loving discipleship, on self sacrificing service and obedience on God Himself – and not on the phenomena”. Are we ready????

    Man looks upon the outward appearances but God looks upon the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

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