“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…)
“‘Woman,’ he said, ‘why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?’ Thinking he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher). (John 20:15-16)
I was 24 years old when I believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. When I share my testimony with people, I always mention that there was a church service I went to in which with absolute 100% certainty, I knew that God was speaking directly to me. It was the moment I recognized that He knew my name. (more…)
“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)
Because we are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23), we are condemned to eternal punishment and separation from God from the start. While this sounds like a really unfair and cruel way for God to position us within this world, the fact of the matter is that our own sin got us there… but He has given us a way out. (more…)