“But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.” (Jonah 1:3a)
I love the book of Jonah, as it is rich with lessons from God, gives a foreshadowing of Jesus’s resurrection, and speaks to the complexities of human desire and emotion- even for a prophet of God. (more…)
“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.” (Amos 5:21-23)
If we put verses 21-23 in the modern context, how many of us go to church gatherings and meetings (feasts and assemblies)? How many of us tithe to the church or donate money or other resources (burnt offerings and grain offerings)? How many of us give or serve to simply appease God or others (peace or fellowship offerings)? How many of us take part in worshipful activities such as sing praise songs at church (noise of your songs)?
The answer is probably most, if not all, of people who call themselves Christian do all of these things. But when they are done without truly accepting Jesus, not only as Savior of our lives, but as LORD of our lives (meaning dying to ourselves and giving our life fully to Him), HE WILL NOT ACCEPT OR REGARD THEM. We have put our hope in the wrong things. (more…)
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:14)
“Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon. The Lord dwells in Zion!” (Joel 3:20-21)
While the book of Joel begins with a description of God’s impending judgment for the nation of Judah’s sins, it ends with the promise of restoration. For the children of God, our ending will always contain full assurance of His forgiveness and mercy! (more…)
“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten– the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm– my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.” (Joel 2:25-26)
After reading through the chilling description of “the day of the Lord” in Joel 1, some may be left with an unnerving feeling. But praise God, as more of the prophecy unfolds in Joel 2!
The second chapter of the book of Joel is such a rich and encouraging passage of the Bible, with many notable prophecies and a clear presentation of God’s love and gospel plan in response to His judgment. (more…)
“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruits of our lips.'” (Hosea 14:1-2)
It still blows my mind that when we sin against the Lord, because of His love, grace, mercy, and compassion, He still offers us forgiveness. (more…)