seek the Lord

Amos 5


Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour [it], and [there be] none to quench [it] in Bethel.
(I added the emphasis.)

Amos 5 is a real call to "seek the Lord."


But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

They were offering things to the Lord, but He wouldn't accept them because what He really wanted was just judgment and righteousness.


For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:
It talked about how they were offering things to the Lord, like making music for Him, but they were going after their sins of idolatry at the same time.


Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

The way it talked about their idols made me think about the way I've wasted time on the Internet when I should be doing other things first. That can be an idol. We shouldn't do things like that.


But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.

We should seek the Lord and His righteousness first.

Matthew 6:33a

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness...


2 Peter 2 - Key


The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Sometimes I'm in difficult situations with unjust people and temptations. I should just be faithful to the Lord. I should trust Him to deliver me and to deal with the unjust people, at the right time.


When I'm in temptation, I'll be faithful, remembering the promise that the Lord will deliver me.


2 Peter 2 - Outline

false teachers will be judged quickly, and the Lord will deliver the godly
false teachers say evil things about powerful spiritual beings they don't understand
false teachers are so far gone, they're deceitful, they can't stop sinning, and they love it and think it's fun... but they have no reward of value in store
false teachers knew the Lord but got tangled in the pollutions of the world again, and they draw other people away after them


don't oppress the poor

Amos 4


Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that [are] in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.

We shouldn't oppress poor and needy people, but we should be generous to them.


Hebrews 12 - Key


Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

It says to "Follow peace with all...".

When I stand for holiness, it often seems to me that I have conflicts with other people because of that. Some of that is unavoidable. However, we should seek to be at peace as much as possible while following after holiness.


When I have a conflict with other people because I'm standing for the Lord, I'll try to be as pleasant about it as possible.

Romans 12:18

If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.


Hebrews 12 - Outline

considerations to encourage endurance
endure chastening because it's for our profit
encourage each other so profane people don't spring up
we haven't come to the fearful mountain of the old law
we've come to a much better mountain, and to Jesus
God will shake heaven and earth and destroy them, so fear Him


the Lord GOD has spoken

Amos 3


The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

Preaching is kind of like prophesy, because prophesy is revealing things from the Lord. We should be ready to preach.


punishment of Judah

Amos 2


Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

They "despised the law of the LORD." When it's time for me to read the Bible, I shouldn't read the news or something else first instead.


2 Peter 1 - Key


And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

I've been thinking about how true it is, that we need real faith, trusting in the Lord, in order to be patient in situations. Also, we really need faith and patience in order to have brotherly kindness.

I think about the story of Joseph. How much faith he must have had to keep following the Lord when he was sold into slavery in Egypt! How much patience he must have had the many years he suffered because of things that weren't right between him and his brothers, until he finally saw them again. How much he needed faith and patience when he saw them again, to still have that amazing brotherly kindness for them.

Genesis 50:20

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.
This is a great and precious promise. When we're in situations that just seem to be getting worse, and seem like they'll never stop despite how much we pray, and seem like nothing good could possibly come to anyone because of them... Remember God's promise.

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.


2 Peter 1:7 talks about our need to have brotherly kindness. This makes me think of what I just learned in Amos.


2 Peter 1 - Outline

He gave us everything we need to be godly
if you do these things you will never fall
while we're alive we should use the opportunity to stir people up by reminding them of the truth
the Word came from God, not man


the brotherly covenant

Amos 1


Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:

This chapter mentions the Israel's neighboring countries and some of their cities and rulers. The neighbors seem to have been in the regions that are the present day Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The chapter tells how the Lord would punish them for 3 and 4 of each of their sins. Like:

  • violence against Israel
  • cooperating with taking Jews captive
  • disregarding a treaty of brotherhood
I especially noticed how Tyrus "remembered not the brotherly covenant". Romans 12:10 says,
[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Siblings are supposed to have a special care for each other. We should make sure we're /caring about our brothers and sisters/ the way we should.


Hebrews 11 - Key


Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

Moses' faith determined his values. He would rather do what pleased God and suffer, than enjoy worldly pleasures and sin. He trusted the Lord to provide a better reward for him if he would follow the Lord. We should trust the Lord to reward us for making choices for Him.


When I have a hard time because of giving up sin and doing what the Lord wants, I'll remember His reward, like Moses did, and rejoice.


Hebrews 11 - Outline

what faith is
the earliest examples of men of faith, knew that faith was the way to please God
Abraham and Sara looked for a better country
Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, blessed and spoke about the future by faith
Moses decided to suffer for God instead of enjoying the pleasures of sin for a time
v30 & 31
examples from Jericho
many other examples
v39 & 40
this kind of faith is for us- not just for all of those people


our hope and strength

Joel 3


The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

Joel 3 seems to describe one of the last battles, like the battle of Armageddon or the battle at the end of the millennium.

This is a great promise that "the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel." The Lord will be our hope and strength. We should hope in Him, and He'll give us the strength we need, both physical and otherwise.


turn to Me with all your heart

Joel 2


Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where [is] their God?

The Lord wanted His people to turn to Him with their whole heart like this. They cried, "Spare thy people, O LORD." The Lord promised He would do great things for them if they would turn to Him. He would turn their terrible situation around.

We should pray like that.


cry unto the LORD

Joel 1


Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders [and] all the inhabitants of the land [into] the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD,

Worms were eating the plants and the fruit trees and grapevines were withering. The people lacked grain including wheat and barely. They were short of figs, apples, and pomegranates. They were running out of wine, food oil, and even water. The cattle and sheep were starving. That sounds like an economic crisis to me.

They had a war and a food crisis, and the joy and gladness were taken away. It was time to lament, weep, and howl. Most of all, it was time to call on the Lord.


O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.
We should cry to the Lord for the serious problems the Lord's people have.


the calves of our lips

Hosea 14


Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive [us] graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.

Rendering the calves of our lips is talking about how they used to sacrifice cattle to the Lord. It means we'll give our speech to the Lord like sacrifices of calves. We can do that by praising Him.

In order to turn to the Lord, we should make our speech to be pleasing to Him.


they have forgotten Me

Hosea 13


According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.
The Lord pointed out that when the tribe of Ephraim was doing fine, they forgot the Lord.


Yet I [am] the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for [there is] no saviour beside me.

This chapter is about how Ephraim sinned by idolatry with Baal and the calves. The Lord warned of terrible judgment for it.

We can have spiritual idolatry by exalting something else in our lives in God's place, for example, sleeping in instead of spending time in the Word, or surfing the web instead of doing the work the Lord wants us to.

We should be warned about the Lord's judgment, and we should make sure to not forget Him.


Hebrews 10 - Key


For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

There's a fearful judgment if we know the Lord but we sin anyway, because we want to. I think the root of my sin recently has been a lack of faith.


Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
It says, "in full assurance of faith." We need a strong conviction that the Lord really will reward us for diligently seeking Him.


A sin I've been struggling with lately is the use of my time. I know it's wrong, so I seriously need to stop wasting time. It will help me redeem the time to have real faith that if I use my time for the Lord, He will make that worth it for me.

I'll trust the Lord to reward me for using my time the way He wants me to, instead of wasting it when I know better than that.


Hebrews 10 - Outline

animal sacrifices weren't perfect, as they needed to be repeated
Christ's once-for-all sacrifice /is/ perfect
Because of Christ's perfect sacrifice:
  • enter in,
  • draw near,
  • and hold fast
  • boldness,
  • the full assurance of faith,
  • and a pure conscience
warning of judgment for the Lord's people, who know better, but still sin... willfully
patiently endure afflictions... by faith


turn to God and wait on God

Hosea 12


Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.

Ephraim did evil things and didn't listen to the prophets. Israel was successful with God before, so God's people should turn to Him and wait on Him.


bent to backsliding

Hosea 11


And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt [him].

The Lord's people were bent on backsliding from Him, even though He called them.

This was convicting to me about the way I use my time. I've known it isn't right, but I've wasted time anyway.

We should exalt the Lord and do what's right. We should redeem the time.


time to seek the LORD

Hosea 10


Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

Go after the things in your life that you can change for the Lord. The Lord will reward us plentifully for making an honest effort for Him.


the great hatred

Hosea 9


The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know [it]: the prophet [is] a fool, the spiritual man [is] mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.

I was encouraged by something I read lately, to confess not just the symptoms of sin, but the root sins in my heart. I thought about when I talked angrily to people, how I was doing that because I didn't love them the way I should. I apologized for talking angrily to them, and for the root of the problem, of not loving them the way I should.

What is the opposite of love? Hate. When we lack the love we should have for other people, the sin of hating them creeps in. That was one of the great sins of Israel that Hosea spoke of. We need to make sure we don't have hatred, and that we love others the way we should.


great things of His law

Hosea 8


I have written to him the great things of my law, [but] they were counted as a strange thing.

The Lord has written His Word for us, and it's full of great things. Sometimes we treat the things in His Word like strangers, like far away things we don't really know.

We should treat the things the Lord has written to us in His Word, as great things, not as strange things.


Hebrews 9 - Key


And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Sometimes life gets discouraging. When it does, it's nice to know that there's a *promise of eternal inheritance*.


When I start to get unhappy down here, I'll encourage myself by remembering that I really do have something great in the Lord.


Hebrews 9 - Outline

the pattern of the worldly sanctuary of the first covenant
the separation of the holiest place symbolized that there was a better way coming
Christ is so much better, as He can purge our conscience and give us a promise of eternal inheritance
the old testament sacrifices showed that, like with a will, death and blood are needed to make a contract effective, and they are needed to take sin away
Christ's sacrifice is effective forever, not being offered repeatedly, but only one time


imagining mischief againt Him

Hosea 7


Though I have bound [and] strengthened their arms, yet do they imagine mischief against me.

The Lord would have healed His people, but they wouldn't return to Him. Even though He had helped them, they sinned against Him.

I noticed it says, *they imagine mischief against Me.* That convicted me about my thinking. The things we imagine shouldn't be mischief that's against the Lord.


let us return unto the LORD

Hosea 6


Then shall we know, [if] we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter [and] former rain unto the earth.

We shouldn't have goodness like a cloud, that we do something good for the Lord for a while, but then deal treacherously and don't return to Him. We should *follow on to know the LORD.*


1 Peter 5 - Key


Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

I think this part of 1 Peter 5 is talking specifically about the ordained overseers of the assemblies. However, it made me think of helping take care of children, like supervising younger siblings.

We should be willing to take the responsibility of overseeing the Lord's people. We should take initiative to do it voluntarily, not like somebody has to make us do it. We shouldn't always have to be paid for it.


I'll help take care of kids the way this passage teaches to *feed the flock of God*.


1 Peter 5 - Outline

elders, feed God's flock
everyone be subject to each other, and cast all your care on the Lord
v8 & 9
be aware of our enemy
v10 & 11
glory and dominion to God
greet each other with love
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