Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Zephaniah Bible Sketches

God sings a song of affection over His creation! 

 

Our Lord calls us to sing a new song of thanksgiving to Him!

 

God looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good. Bible Hub

Sadly, some angels chose to rebel and fell away from God. Satan the Tempter is the chief fallen angel, the father of lies and evil demons. Eve fell for the lies. Adam took it further when he disobeyed God. When God questioned him, he could have honestly, humbly, swallowed his pride and told the truth. Instead, Adam blamed both Eve and God for his own problem. Eve blamed Satan rather than admitting her mistake. Blaming others is not good and there are consequences for refusal to own your own failures. 

Often, we don’t recognize the many ways we fall short of God’s standards. On our own, we can’t recover from guilt—we’ll never do enough [of what we think is good] to make up for our own brokenness. The curse of this world we live in is because of sin. Before creation, and while everything was perfect until pride entered the picture, God knew failure would happen. He’d already planned one Way back to Himself.

Complacency is vain confidence in—our behaviors, objects, processes—anything or anyone other than God.

Fallen human nature wants to replace or cancel our need for God. Corruption makes us apathetic and slothful—not caring about God’s Word. It magnifies personal desire, performance, money, affiliation, or someone we know. None of these arrogant behaviors make us right with God. Putting trust in anything but God alone makes for an indifferent attitude which allures us astray from the Truth toward perfectionism, envy and toxic selfishness. We are not forced to repentance, we are called to the Truth which leads us to it.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17
 

Romans 11:29, Zephaniah 3:17, Psalm 34:5

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:29.

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17.

Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. Psalm 34:5.

Jesus came, uncomplaining, to set us apart from the world.

He suffered for us, died on the cross, bodily rose from the dead and ascended to heaven where He intercedes to defend us. He did not sin, yet took the punishment for our sin and shame. Those who move forward in Christian living are joyfully content to be judged according to Christ’s righteousness.

In Baptism and by the Word of God, we receive the gift of faith to believe our hope is in Christ Jesus, our Prophet, Priest and King, to save us from God’s wrath over judgement that we are sinners. Scripture claims we are to expect divisions and many bad things will get even worse before the end of time on this earth. Then, there will be punishment for those who denied the Holy Spirit. The Good News is: Jesus will return for those who trust Him! Now, we are waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises.

“Only through the second Adam, Christ, were the ravages of the fall and its consequences (God's wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation) abundantly made good and the means of pardon and grace provided for all men”

By the faith given and grace received, we have

  • a merciful relationship with God, trusting His plan of forgiveness in the blood of Jesus
  • power to grasp the gift of faith which believes Christ is the only Way to true peace and salvation
  • grace to face God with the repentant heart He creates 
  • refuge from His anger over all types of sin
  • humility to pray for all people—self, loved ones, and enemies
  • insight and wisdom of His will 
  • contentment with God’s gifts and answers to prayer
  • His gifts of growth in the faith
  • desire to thank and praise Him
  • encouragement to share His love
  • joyful, wholesome confidence to trust in Him through the good and bad times

Believers—all who receive the true faith in Christ—have been made ready for death in this world and will never really die!

When Christians die, immediately their spirit is with Jesus in Heaven. They continue to live in the spirit, singing in harmony with God until the day of judgement when their bodies are restored to eternal perfection in a right relationship with Him.

Good texts, tunes, video and info

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Habakkuk Bible Sketch

When you have a complaint, who are your go-to people or what is something you do?

 

If you look to a person, drink, knowledge, or political affiliation, be careful not to put [him, her, it, them] above God.

 

Bring everything to your Creator in prayer with thanksgiving.

God hates disobedience, ingratitude and irreverence; so, our merciful Lord came to serve those who disobey, are ungrateful and irreverent. Our heavenly Father wants to teach us about goodness as well as listen to our complaints and frustrations. Our prayers are received in His perfect love. His Word blesses and covers us. Sometimes our inquiry, “why did this happen?” isn’t specifically satisfied as we desire, yet He knows every detail and answers in His way and time. Compassionately, He intercedes when we’re at a loss for words to pray. He works in our weakness and tears for our own benefit or that of someone else. Especially when this broken world displays just how shockingly evil it is, God is accomplishing His good purposes. He knows all of humanity is messed up and calls us to repentance. His Word points us to trust Christ in whom is certain hope for life and salvation.

Habakkuk 3:11

The sun and moon stood still in their place at the light of your arrows as they sped, at the flash of your glittering spear. Habakkuk 3:11 ESV
The sun and moon stood still in their place at the light of your arrows as they sped, at the flash of your glittering spear. Habakkuk 3:11 ESV

Tragedy, the very opposite of what you expect, just might be what the Creator allows to happen.

 

Historic heart-breaking family farm tragedy on Wednesday, July 21, 1937.

85 years later, my brother, sisters and I share faint memories of hearing about the casualty. My grandfather and his sons were out in a field doing their work loading a hay wagon. Grandpa, my dad’s pa, was on the metal hay loader when he was struck by lightning and did not wake up. Lightning always goes for the highest thing to be grounded. Our land on the Minnesota prairie, higher up by the lake, is where it hit. The strike speedily came down from a cloud without warning. Rain is possible even when the sun is shining. Though knocked down, the sons survived. My uncle had been the driver and had to deal with the horses’ runaway reaction. The hearse/ambulance got stuck and horses had to pull it out. On a portion of the ground, soggy from previous rain, horses could go through much more than wheels. Hay can be dry on top and wet below. On an anniversary of the calamity when we rode with Dad in the car, he gestured to the area this happened. Such a mournful subject was infrequently and minimally discussed. It must have been very traumatic for my grandma, aunt, two uncles, and the 15-year old who would eventually become my dad. They were so young to have to face that their husband/pa would not come home, ever. My great great grandfather had taken a homestead in Shible township, survived all the hardships of pioneer life, and lived past 100 years of age. No one would have imagined that two generations later, my grandfather would pass, instantly, just a few miles away in Hegbert township, only a month past 48 years of age.

It is normal to wonder how God works in distress

I’ve learned about Hope When Your Heart Breaks, navigating grief and loss. Comfort for challenges of family trauma pain come from within a faithful community when we remind each other of our shared confidence of mercy promised. The Word of God is balm for deep emotional wounds. The Holy Spirit carries us, encourages and restores broken hearts.

  • God hears our prayers why? and how long?
  • Though God allows or wills chaotic things to happen, doesn’t mean he endorses chaos.
  • For now until God returns, He is patient.
  • God is not idle.
  • God is powerful. 
  • God is God—you are not. The universe does not revolve around you. 
  • God’s ways are higher than humans can comprehend.
  • God cares for us in unexpected ways.
  • God’s commands are loving. He desires for our good, yet does not force us to comply.
  • God invites us to trust Him for strength and mercy.
  • Out of thanksgiving for God’s deep love for us, by grace, we love Him and extend love to others. 
 

Not by one’s own heritage, love, decision, work, reason or strength do we believe. 

Only in faith, the Gospel, through the waters of Holy Baptism and with the Word, the gift of the Holy Spirit lives within those who receive its repentance and forgiveness. We receive Jesus’s body and blood, in-with-under bread and wine and His Word, which forgives us and strengthens faith that has been given to us. God is always just. His wrath over sin was satisfied by His Son who perfectly proved His love for everyone. After He endured persecution and crucifixion, He was buried and descended into hell. Then, victoriously, He bodily rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. All this, so we may have mercy and grace!

At times, we struggle to The action and attitude of arrogantly insisting on lording control over what, or whom, is not ours to control, is forgivable. The Holy Spirit transforms it into humility which brings freedom to let go of heavy concerns at the foot of the cross. There is forgiveness for all of our failures.
 

In Christ, we eagerly wait for judgement day! read more 

“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:28

When frustrating questions of why and how long turn into trust of God, there’s restorative rest. By grace we may go to God for refuge and let go of temptation to anxiously dread His wrath. Worry can be replaced by prayer which helps Scripture makes sense. Gentle words in proper timing are given to the mind to share. Jesus is enough. It’s not all about us; it is all about Jesus who took our sin to save people from hell. The gift of the Holy Spirit should not be rejected. All who receive its saving faith in Jesus Christ have repentance and mercy. Truth of new life to come brings healing, patience and a peace which surpasses understanding to those who receive the Holy Spirit. All who trust Jesus loved us with His life, pass through death and unite in heaven where the ascended Redeemer’s love flows eternally.

“How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider me and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13

Thank the Lord for guiding the Church to share hope and teach Christ. Praise and honor God for the gift of Prayer during times of trouble! Remember, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Feedback to prayer, timing, spiritual growth, and all things are in God’s caring hands which were outstretched and nailed to the cross.

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:17-19

 

Read, listen, watch

 

Family History Notebook

Write notes about your family history and ancestors! You may learn about and purchase my print and digital editions of Family Tree Notebooks and Charts at

They make wonderful gifts and are great conversation pieces! Thanks for supporting small business artists.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Nahum Bible Sketch

God is grieved about the oppression of His people by those who are violent and arrogant.

 

Even though God is slow to anger, He won’t leave evil unpunished. 

 

Jesus protects and saves His faithful people from sin.

God is powerful and won’t allow destructive behavior which hurts and causes suffering of the innocent to endure forever. He disciplines, out of love, to bring people to repentance and forgiveness. It is extremely important to know who Jesus is and to depend on Him. Read more about Jesus Christ.

Nahum

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. Nahum 1:7 ESV
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. Nahum 1:7 ESV
 

God’s glory doesn’t change from age to age concerning the cycle of violence.

Creation was perfectly designed, but sin brought evil. No one is immune to the effects and consequences of the fall. Whether it be weakness, an unhealthy attitude, an addiction, cancer, illness, hostility, broken relationship, natural disaster, or approaching death, everyone has or will face some type of trouble or difficulty. While experiencing such things, you may feel lonely, yet you are not alone.

Throughout history and still now, God uses evil to destroy evil and bring about His purposes. He wants to be kind, good and merciful to all. God’s Word shapes and forms us as He intends. We are free to either receive faith and believe Scripture as true; or reject the gift of faith and turn away from the wisdom and help it contains. Only God has perfect knowledge—seeing within hearts of who receives as well as who refuses.

Jesus died and was resurrected to save humankind. God is faithful to all who turn to Him for forgiveness and cleansing from sin. Made holy by the power of God’s gifts of repentance and faith, in confidence which consoles and encourages the terrified mind, they are safe by grace. He cares for, keeps and guides believers who trust His Word which fills them with tenacity, resilience and assurance of hope in Christ. The Holy Spirit provides strength to expect difficulty and death, yet joyfully move forward in this life, honored to share peace with everyone—the certain hope of eternal life with Jesus when there will be no more pain or tears in heavenly paradise.

“The risen Jesus brought the cycle of violence to an end by bringing his non-violent kingdom and overcoming our violence by his self-giving love. Despite the fact so much evil still pervades the world today, we have to hold onto the same hope as the Hebrew prophets, that God is at work bringing about his redemptive plans. We have the great privilege of knowing the name of the world’s gracious judge: Jesus, the Messiah who reigns as King, and who will return one day to finish the work he started on the cross.” Aeron Sullivan

“For Nineveh, God’s patience came to an end. The evil nation of Assyria that had tyrannized surrounding peoples, acquiring wealth and power at their expense, was overthrown, and it disappeared from the annals of history. God’s wrath is revealed against all unrighteousness (Rm 1:18). Because of our sins, we also deserve His wrath and displeasure. Yet ‘God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Th 5:9). God’s wrath was poured out on Christ, and by faith in Him we have pardon and peace.” The Lutheran Study Bible

God’s patience comes to an end for all who suppress truth and refuse mercy. The action of rejecting the Holy Spirit incurs judgement, punishment of eternal death, separation from Christ.

  “…if we think our efforts are able to earn freedom for our souls, we too get it wrong.” The Rev. Dr. Tyler Arnold

Read, Listen and Watch

Prayer

“Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Your mighty deliverance; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”
Rev. Dr. R. Lee Hagan

Monday, September 26, 2022

Micah Bible Sketch

Our Perfect Gift…

 

Light for Us!

Repentance is a gift from our loving Creator who gives and strengthens faith in Jesus. We desperately need to to receive the Light not only for our own forgiveness, but also to be cleansed of sins committed against us. The ways God brings us forgiveness, cleansing, and strength are The Means of Grace.

Micah 7:18

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. Micah 7:18
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. Micah 7:18

God’s character is of mercy. 

God’s love is different than human love in that it is unwavering and it never ceases or changes. In accusations and warnings of judgement about rebellion and falsehood, God’s purpose is not to destroy, but to give hope and restoration. His promises of the Messiah have been fulfilled. He casts all our sin into the depths of the sea. Jesus is peace for the world.

 “Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Watch, listen, sing!

  1. Rejoice, my heart, be glad and sing,
    A cheerful trust maintain;
    For God, the source of ev’rything,
    Your portion shall remain.
  2. He is your treasure, He your joy,
    Your life and light and Lord,
    Your Counselor when doubts annoy,
    Your shield and great reward.
  3. Why spend the day in blank despair,
    In restless thought the night?
    On your Creator cast your care;
    He makes your burdens light.
  4. Did not His love and truth and pow’r
    Guard ev’ry childhood day?
    And did He not in threat’ning hour
    Turn dreaded ills away?
  5. He only will with patience chide,
    His rod falls gently down;
    And all your sins He casts aside
    In ocean depths to drown.
  6. His wisdom never plans in vain
    Nor falters nor mistakes.
    All that His counsels may ordain
    A blessed ending makes.
  7. Upon your lips, then, lay your hand,
    And trust His guiding love;
    Then like a rock thy peace shall stand
    Here and in heav’n above.
    Lutheran Service Book #737

Monday, August 29, 2022

Jonah Bible Sketch

Don’t run away and hide from God.

 

Run to Him in honesty.


Gracious God knows exactly how rebellion hurts people.

A few examples of human rebellion are to

  • fail to love God and the people He created
  • act in ways which tempt others to worry or misbehave
  • fret over things that are not ours to control
  • ruminate on past failures which have already been confessed and absolved

Jonah 2:1

…“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me… Jonah 2:1
“Jonah deserves death, not deliverance. Yet the Lord graciously rescues him by miraculous intervention. Jonah recognizes the greatness of the Lord’s compassion and expresses his thanks in prayer. The apostle Paul, like Jonah, once felt that he had “received the sentence of death,” but the God “who raises the dead” delivered him… All sinners deserve the sentence of everlasting death. But the God to whom salvation belongs has, in Christ, rescued us and given us new life. • Gracious God and Father, thank you for redeeming me from sin, death, and the power of the devil. Move my tongue to glorify you in praise and witness. Amen.” The Lutheran Study Bible
“No God, no truth. Know God, know truth.” author unknown
Apart from Christ…
  • grace and mercy seem too good to be true
  • human arrogance takes priority over Christ’s humility
  • there’s no regret when integrity fails
  • outlook is hopeless and negativity sets in

Light reminds us we cannot hide darkness, nor can we fix it on our own. 

God created us to instinctively know right from wrong. God knows motives. Darkness of our own and others proves no one can always make things right. Neglect, isolation, doubt, and lies damage or wreck healthy attitudes and emit oppression, estrangement and unjust blame onto others and toward God.

God pursues us to save us with His goodness.

Christ’s goodness became ours when He took our own mistakes upon Himself at the cross and brings us into His Light. Patiently, He points us to recognize the reality of sin, run from evil, and turn toward Him. In mercy, He forgives believers who fear Him; He saves sinners from the of punishment and condemnation reserved for those who continually reject the Holy Spirit’s work of repentance.

God infinitely keeps His promise in Christ.

The loving-kindness of our Lord is higher than our finite minds can comprehend. Scripture is a fountain which pours goodness into the empty cracks and depressed pits of our imperfect lives. The Word softens hearts and shapes minds with wisdom for grace-filled communication—power to confess, receive confessions, forgive and receive forgiveness. Confidence and gratitude flow from reception of the Word of Truth. 

While we muddle through the confusion of this life, it is necessary to grasp the abundant opportunities to regularly hear the Word. Worshiping alongside other sinners sitting in the pews, we receive gifts of pardon and peace which come to us in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Together, we are reminded we may trust Jesus who bled for and shields us from danger. We worship Him with music and prayer.

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. … For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,” Hebrews 2:1,11

Everyone messes up—knowingly or not. Everyone will face damaging, disturbing, confusing, goofed-up, unhealthy situations in one form or another.

Consequences we own, guilt we carry, distress we combat, things gone wrong we fail to fix throughout life—Jesus compassionately knows every hardship, weakness and screw-up. 

Christ humbled Himself to love, cleanse and heal us and our enemies.

God’s own Son was forsaken to leave His place of glory, come to us through Mary’s womb to grow up perfectly obedient, willingly suffer, be executed, lay in a tomb for three days (where he left our sin in the belly of the earth) and rise from the dead! He spoke, prayed, wept, ate, and walked among us. His painful, sweaty, bloody work paid the price to rescue us from hell and give us peace. Jesus ascended to live with God the Father who hears confessions through Christ’s intercessions for us. His gracious merciful love for us allows us to openly lay our burdens down at the foot of His cross. The sacrifice He made covers believers with grace, forgiveness and redemption. His benediction is spoken in church.

God’s desire is to restore and nurture. Everyone who receives His blessing trusts Him and lives joyfully now with certain hope of forever.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to counsel and comfort us in this life until the next. He listens to the people He created who trust Him and answers according to His will. As God sent Jonah to preach to sinners, the Holy Spirit empowers believing sinners to be there with and for others, to take the first step toward sharing the Gospel. Jonah didn’t expect things to turn out like they did. We don’t always completely understand why God allows the suffering He does, nor His tough-love plans, nor His perfect timing and will. Outcomes of His plans sometimes become clear, yet, they might not always be revealed in our lifetime. By God-given strength, we tell of the preservation and protection given to us, honestly look at what repentance truly is, and trust Him to refresh and renew us despite our weakness. Only God knows the heart of those with whom we share our peace and if they will receive or reject His gift of faith.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
“Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20

Why is God’s Word so important to take seriously? It is the power to believe Christ’s atonement for all sin is 100% necessary for salvation.

Faith in Christ comes by hearing, so, listen! On the Last Day He will return to…

  • receive faithful believers to live forever with Him in perfect peace and glory—where all types of illness, weakness, sin, confusion, pain, distress, tears and even death will no longer exist, ever!
  • separate from Himself unfaithful people who reject the Truth; unbelievers will suffer forever. 

It is a mystery that we won’t sleep; we will be changed in a moment.

“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’”
1 Corinthians 15:54

More on Jonah

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Obadiah Bible Sketch

Judgement will be a day of accountability.

 

Because of sin, all people die. God determines every person’s eternal destiny.

 

Believers in Christ have God’s mercy. Apart from Christ, it will be a day of wrath. 

God warns us to not neglect His Word or cover up the reality of our sin. God didn’t create robots. He allows His people to make good and poor choices. We make both kinds. God patiently offers grace and spiritual maturity to all who seek Him. Grieved over spiritual rebellion and corruption, eventually, His wrath brings down destruction on the high and mighty—the prideful and the oppressor. To blame others, hide, justify, or minimize the seriousness of one’s own wrongdoing, is, by one’s own choice, to throw away God’s precious gift of forgiveness and to reject His redemption. In and of ourselves, we are hungry, empty, and aren’t able to be fruitful. Energy depleted, we become cold, angry, distracted, anxious, troubled and selfish. We can’t trust ourselves. We constantly need to be filled and nourished by the Word.

Who will deliver me?

Holy Baptism and the Word bring on a free gift of faith. With any gift, there are two choices: 

  1. receive it [good]
  2. reject it [bad]

God creates and perfects faith because He cares. Faith believes and depends on God’s mercy in the work of His Son Jesus who endured our shame. He died for us on the cross, bodily rose from the dead, ascended and lives with God the Father. His compassionate Spirit cleanses, defends, and empowers us to face and grow through difficulties of life. Faith in us prompts a desire to repent and helps us to walk in the Light with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Even when God’s people have a loss for words to pray, there is One who intercedes for us to rescue and deliver us from evil. Loyal to love and tirelessly lavish forgiveness and restoration, Christ’s redeeming work at the cross saves all who receive the faith to fear God. We trust Jesus the Savior who offers protection from God’s harsh judgement.


Obadiah 15, 17a

“For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.… But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape, and it shall be holy,” Obadiah1517a
“For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head.… But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape, and it shall be holy,” Obadiah 15,17a
 “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. …but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. ” Romans 3:19, 5:8-9

Learn more

Listen to a Bible study discussion about Obadiah.

Obadiah tells of God’s harsh judgment. Watch an illustrated overview.

Zion is the name of the church I attend. I hope you find a similar church in your area. There’s more behind the meaning of Zion in the Bible—not only a mountain, it generally refers to the people of God and another name for the Holy Christian Church of all believers in Christ.

Prayer of the Day

  “Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love You and worthily magnify Your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. (211)” Treasury of Daily Prayer

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Amos Bible Sketch

How can there be justice in my mess?


No matter what my or your mess is, Truth defeats lies of the devil, the world, and our fallen human nature. 

 

Righteousness is promised in the Word

God’s justification is where His peace enters the life of a sinner in the form of a divine gift. God creates faith to believe in Jesus. Thankfully, He knows us better than we know ourselves and His love for us doesn’t change upon circumstance or His Divine Knowledge of how depraved we are.

 “For I know how many are your transgressions and how great are your sins” Amos 5:12

The difficult things God allows are for His purpose to bring people to contrition, confession, and change for their own (or another person’s) present or eternal good. In an act of grace, His Spirit supports people through the process of confession and life of faith. Still, God’s good grace is a gift which can be received or rejected.

“Let love be genuine; abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” Romans 12:9 read the chapter

We cannot save ourselves from the messes we make, nor those we protest.

Jesus died and was raised to forgive and clear us from our disordered position. All who receive His righteousness grow in knowledge, strength, trust, and joy! His perfect work heals and saves—it blesses and reverses the curse for the life to come.

Our Creator tenderly and constantly is doing reconciling work in our lives. 

The earth’s groaning in earthquakes and hardships are reminders to repent and turn to God for mercy. Beware of complacency. We do not deserve anything, yet forgiveness is made possible by the powerful, everflowing stream of Christ’s compassionate understanding, love and grace. His Spirit encourages us to serve Him and others by blessing us with words at the right moments—opportunities God provides for us to share this life-saving Good News. In gratitude, we share with others and cherish others who connect with us regarding the Gospel.

Amos 5:24

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24
But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24


God wants justice for the oppressed. 

Injustices are constant in the world. Integrity is doing what God says when we allow Him to guide us.

“God’s people are to produce justice continually and swiftly, like the flow of a river. Just as plants and animals need a steady supply of water to survive, so also human communities can flourish only when justice and righteousness prevail.” The Lutheran Study Bible

God’s commands are to show our need for Him; also, to help us love Him and each other. He wants us to have right relationships. He will take actions to correct injustice. God confronts evil for His purposes to have mercy on us and restore us to walk in newness of life.

God and God Alone 
by Steve Green

God and God alone created all these things we call our own

From the mighty to the small, the Glory in them all is God’s and God’s alone

God and God alone reveals the truth of all we call unknown

and the best and worst of man won’t change the Master’s plan it’s God’s and God’s alone

God and God alone is fit to take the universe’s throne

Let everything that lives reserve its truest praise for God and God alone

Listen to a Bible study discussion about how God works through means, even uncomfortable ones. 

Read a Christian perspective on the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Dobbs v. Jackson reversal of Roe v. Wade, stating the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion and returning the issue to the states. This positive action makes pro-life faithful people thankful for potential measures to protect lives of the most vulnerable. We pray individuals and states would step up and take responsibility to protect unborn babies.

Read more about