“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…)
“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…)
“It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.” (Hosea 11:3-4)
Before I was born again and became Christian, there were countless moments in my life where, looking back, I now realize God was providing for me and protecting me, although I didn’t know it. There were too many times where I should’ve ended up in a really bad situation, or even dead, but now in hindsight I realize that the Lord wasn’t done with me yet. (more…)
“Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord.” (Hosea 5:4)
Sin is a terrible thing. It is rebellion against God and His statutes, it disrupts His original design for creation causing pain, anguish, and turmoil, and its penalty is death- not only physical, but spiritual. (more…)