Accountability, Belief, Bible, Cleansing, Destruction, Eternity, Fire, Judgment

A CONSUMING FIRE

AMOS 7:4

“So the Lord GOD showed me, and behold, the Lord GOD was calling to contend with them by fire, and it consumed the great deep and began to consume the farmland.”

I have mentioned I grew up in a rural community. That meant I was surrounded by farmland. Every once in a while, a farmer would burn off his field. It was a controlled burn, but it still was hot and moved fast. I have watched farmers do this and have even helped on occasion. The fire destroyed everything in its path.

Fire is a symbol of God’s judgment. Amos had just stilled God’s hand in verse 3 (God relented). But here, we see God once again sending forth His judgment on the land. And just like that fire that farmer set, His fire will destroy whatever is in its path. His judgment is sure.

APPLICATION

Don’t think for a second that you can escape the fires of God’s judgment. He won’t excuse us. We have been warned. Many live their lives with no fear of eternity. Just because they don’t believe doesn’t make it untrue. God is real! His Word is true! God will have the last word.

And when God’s judgment comes, it will be too late to say, “Hold on God. I was going to get around to accepting Your Son.” Nope, that won’t work. If you are a believer, praise Him for your salvation. If you haven’t made that decision to follow Jesus, do it today.

I do not fear God’s judgment because I know I am secure. I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and am headed to heaven. But there are many I know that aren’t secure. They haven’t made that decision. Others I know aren’t walking with the Lord. They are living to please the flesh and not the Spirit. Will you join me today in living for His Son? Will you trust Him to secure your eternity?

O God, my Savior, I praise You for the security I have in You. I pray others will come and experience the freedom they can have in You.

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Accountability, Battles, Bible, Cleansing, Fire, Godliness, Idols, Judgment, Obedience, Purity, Scripture

UNEXTINGUISHABLE

AMOS 5:6

“Seek the LORD so that you may live, or He will break through like a fire, house of Joseph, and it will consume with no one to extinguish it for Bethel,”

Recently, there was a wildfire that swept through parts of Colorado near to where some friends of mine live. They had to evacuate their home and flee for safety. Thankfully, their home was spared, but many homes and businesses were totally consumed. This fire was aided by over 100 mile per hour winds. It seemed it was unextinguishable, but firefighters finally got it under control.

God’s fire is unextinguishable. No one or nothing can put out His fire. Amos warns Israel that the result of not seeking after God is His fires of judgment. He will consume everything in His path. God’s fire will purify the nation of Israel. Bethel, the site of their rebellion, will be consumed.

APPLICATION

What is standing between you and your loyalty to God? We need to put those things down or risk the fires of God. As believers in Christ, our salvation is sure. Nothing can take that away. But all those things that are “wood, hay and stubble” will be burnt away.

Can you name some things right now in your life that you need to lay down? For me, it’s television. I can get lost watching a ballgame or some movie. Before I know it, I have spent 3-4 hours in front of that “one-eyed monster.” I am choosing to lay that down this year.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying television is evil. But when I spend more time in front of it than I do in God’s Word, something’s wrong. Will you join me in evaluating your own life? Instead of facing the fire of judgment, let’s enjoy the fire of the Holy Spirit. Let’s let our fire burn brightly so others can be drawn to Him.

May the things in my life that prevent me from being with You, Lord, be burned away. I want to be fireproof when I face You at judgment.

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Abiding, Accountability, Alone, Bible, Encouragement, Fire, Friends, Relationships, Scripture

LOG FIRE

AMOS 4:11

“‘I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a log snatched from a fire; yet you have not returned to Me,’ declares the LORD.”

There’s a simple rule about log fires. They burn much longer when there is more than one log on the fire. I guess you could call that fire synergy. The combined heat and fire of all the logs is much more than the heat and fire of the individual logs added together. Confused?

God uses this analogy in today’s verse. A log snatched from a fire will soon go out. It will quit burning. Israel had lost its fire. It refused to return to the Lord and was overthrown – just like Sodom and Gomorrah, two wicked cities destroyed by God with hellfire and brimstone during the days of Lot.

APPLICATION

If you are trying to “burn your fire” all alone, it won’t last long. We are made to do life alone. First of all, you need the Lord in your life to give you direction and purpose. Secondly, you need other believers to encourage you and help you along. You need those other “logs” in your life to keep your fire going.

I pray you have other “logs” in your life right now. If you don’t, you need to find some. Get in a church where you can be loved on and supported. Find a group of fellow believers with whom you can do life. Their fires will help fuel your fires, and together you can build a bonfire for the Lord.

I have said it before, but I need others in my life. I need other men to hold me accountable. I need friends with whom I can share my needs and hurts. God has made us this way. Don’t fight it. Embrace it. Ask Him today to put others in your life. Don’t be a log snatched from the fire, slowly burning out and losing its flame.

I want to burn brightly for You, O Lord. I know to do that I need others in my life who can help me.

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Bible, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Fire, Following, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Modeling, Salvation, Scripture, Witnessing

THE FIRE WITHIN

AMOS 1:14

“‘So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah, and it will consume her citadels amid war cries on the day of battle, and amid a storm on the day of tempest.’”

Many a nation has fallen from within. The Great Roman Empire is said to have fallen, not so much by outside forces, but because of the immorality of the nation. When a nation becomes so corrupt, it turns on itself. History repeats itself over and over again. That’s my personal fear for my country, the United States of America. I fear we will turn on ourselves, and America will fall.

Notice when the Lord speaks here through Amos that He doesn’t repeat the same line he has against the other nations He has referred to already. Instead of saying He will “send” fire on their walls He says He will “kindle a fire.” That implies that the fire will start from within. Perhaps God will raise up someone there who will return to the Lord and carry out God’s judgment. However God chooses to do it, He will see that judgment will fall.

APPLICATION

Has God kindled a fire within you? There was a song in the 70’s that began with the words “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” That is so true. Perhaps the Lord wants to use you to ignite a fire in your community or church. I don’t mean a literal fire, lol. I mean a spiritual fire that could sweep across man-made barriers.

Fires don’t just destroy. They also purify. All through Scripture we see examples of God’s refining fire. I love the fact that the Apostles had tongues of fire resting on their heads when they received the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer, you have that same “fire-breathing” Holy Spirit in you. You only have to be willing to be used by the Spirit. Let your flame out.

Our goal is not to consume, but to purify. We should want our lives to draw others to Christ. When we purify ourselves and live obedient lives, others do see us as different. We then can pour our lives into them. We can live out the love of Jesus. We can share the good news with them. We just shared our flame.O God, I want to share my flame with others. Keep my flame shining bright.

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Accountability, Advocate, Battles, Bible, Destruction, Fire, God's Will, Judgment, Obedience, Redemption, Salvation, Scripture

HERE WE GO AGAIN

AMOS 1:10

“‘So I will send fire on the wall of Tyre, and it will consume her citadels.’”

I love American football. I love everything about it. It’s such a great sport. Anyone who has watched the game will notice something. Once a coach discovers a weakness in the other team’s defense, he will continue to exploit it. He will run plays which will allow his team to succeed. Unless the other team makes adjustments, they will certainly lose.

Once again, for the third time, the Lord is raining fire down on His enemies. He attacks the fortified towers or the citadels to show that nothing can hold back the judgment of the Almighty. Tyre’s walls and towers are no match for God. His wrath cannot be contained. They are helpless before Him.

APPLICATION

I pray that you know that you are no match for God. If you choose to fight against Him, you will lose. He knows all. None of your plans to outwit Him will work. No secrets are hidden. Your best decision is to submit to His lordship and accept Jesus as Your Savior.

So many of us fight against Him. We might not call it fighting, but it is. Unless we have surrendered our will to His, we are enemies of God. Until we give our hearts and lives to Jesus, we are pulling for the other side. But the very moment we take that first step toward the Savior, He rushes in to save us. Hallelujah. We simply lay down our desires and allow Him to refresh us.

I am so glad I have done that. I fought Him for years. I thought I was getting by. I thought I was fooling everyone. I said I believed in God, but my behavior said differently. I lived for pleasure and self-fulfillment. When I finally came to the end of myself, He moved in. I was changed instantly. My citadel is Jesus. He is the One who protects and fortifies me. And His walls are impenetrable. I am safe and secure inside His tower of defense. Are you?O God, You are such an awesome God. You are faithful to protect and defend me.

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Accountability, Advice, Bible, Commands, Consequences, Destruction, Eternity, Fire, God's Will, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Inspirational, Judgment, Scripture

BURNED UP

AMOS 1:4

“‘So I will send fire upon the house of Hazael, and it will consume the citadels of Ben-hadad.’”

Fires burn everything in their path. Here in the U.S., forest fires happen occasionally. Our brave fire fighters risk their lives to protect people’s homes and property from the encroaching flames. Hours and hours are spent dousing the flames with water and flame retardants in an attempt to slow down their approach. But fires consume quickly and are very hard to stop.

God is promising fire, probably literal fire, upon the house of Hazael. He was a wicked ruler who gained his throne by bloodshed. He was told by the prophet Elisha about the evil things he would do. He fulfilled them all. So, God’s judgment upon him was right. Hazael thought himself above God. He found out differently.

APPLICATION

I don’t think we have to worry about God sending fire upon our citadels. But we do need to be aware of God’s commandments. He gives us His Word to follow to protect us, not deprive us. Some Christians live as if God is the ultimate party pooper. Not true. The “fun” of the world seldom, if ever, is productive. God would rather us live abundant lives in His presence.

Just as Elisha foretold Hazael’s sins, God knows how and when we will sin. He knows everything. He also knows you have the power to not sin, if you surrender to Him. Our hearts and our flesh are wicked. Left unrestrained we would slide right back into a life of sin. But because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we can resist the urge to sin. You do not have to sin!

When I read in 2 Kings 8 about the atrocities of Hazael, which Elisha predicted, I realize just how close I am to doing the same without Christ in my life. Evil will be around us until we are taken to heaven or until Christ returns to set up His reign here on earth. I choose to live holy because I love my Lord and want to please Him. Will you choose holiness today?

I want to live holy today, O Lord. Help me surrender to Your Will today.

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Abiding, Accountability, Advocate, Battles, Bible, Consequences, Destruction, Drought, Fire, Horror, Opponents

FIRES IN YOUR LIFE

JOEL 1:19

“To You, LORD, I cry out; for fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame has burned up all the trees of the field.

I’ve never been in a forest fire. I’ve only seen them on the tv. They look horrible, scary and extremely dangerous. The men and women who fight them are courageous. They risk their lives to protect someone else’s property and stop the advancing flames. It really doesn’t matter how they started. They will consume anything in their path.

Joel is crying out to God for relief from the fires that were devouring the pastures and trees. Drought had laid the perfect environment for such fires. Drought was brought on my little rain. Little rain was due to God’s judgment on the nation. Do you see the ripple effect?

APPLICATION

What kind of fires are raging in your life right now? You may not be facing actual flames, but the damage is still horrific. Relationship fires can consume trust and loyalty. Fires that erupt in families can lead to divorce and wayward children. How do you fight these kind of flames? What can extinguish them?

It’s lucky that we know someone. Jesus is the living water, so He can put out those flames. Jesus is the peacemaker, so he can douse the fire that is destroying you and those around you. But you have to allow Him access to you. He can’t extinguish flames that He can’t reach.

I don’t like putting out fires in my life. It takes so much energy and time. It is much easier to live without fire and smoke blinding me all the time. Will you let Jesus extinguish your fires? Fires can burn and maim you, if you let them. Put them out.

Put out the fires in my life, Lord. I want to walk free without the threat of flames.

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Adultery, Bible, Blasphemy, Commands, Deceit, Devil, Fire, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Obedience, Satan, Scripture, Self-control, Sin

FRESH BREAD

HOSEA 7:4

They are all adulterers, like an oven heated by the baker, who stops stoking the fire from the time the dough is kneaded until it is leavened.”

I don’t think there is any smell quite as good as fresh baked bread. There is just something so comforting about it. I have a friend who bakes bread a lot. She gives it away to people to bless them. I love her bread heated with a pat of butter. Excuse me while I drool. Lol

What does this analogy of bread have to do with the people committing adultery? Just like the oven heated by the baker, they were heated in their lust to commit adultery both spiritually and physically. Once that “oven” is turned on and heated up, it can quickly burn whatever is put within it.

APPLICATION

Are you burning? Are you heated up? Our flesh is prone to go that way unless we turn the oven down. Do you understand that we have a temperature control knob on our flesh? Yep! As a believer, the Holy Spirit dwells within us to do just that. When we yield to Him, He can control that knob. He can turn down the temperature.

The problem is we are in a spiritual arm wrestle for that knob. We want the temperature to stay up. We like the heat. Or so we think. When the heat gets too high and we start to burn, we want out. But Satan has one of those oven door locks that slams shut when the heat gets high. He wants us trapped in that oven.

So, what do we do? Stay out of the oven! Stay away from temptation. Know your surroundings. Ask the Lord each day to guard you from the evil one. He will. But stay out of the oven. It’s not that hard, if you yield to Him. If you don’t, watch out. That oven will burn you.

Keep me safe, Lord. I trust You to guide me. I desire to be out of the oven and safely in Your arms.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christ's Return, Destruction, Fire, Heaven, Hell, Judgment, Mentoring, Parenting, Punishment, Rescue, Scripture

FIRE ALARM

2 PETER 3:7

“But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”

What do you do when you hear a fire alarm? You look for the nearest exit and get out quick. We conduct fire drills all the time in our schools to keep our children safe. Businesses conduct fire drills to keep employees safe. Hmmm! Why is that so important?

I ask that question because I want you to think about this verse. Fire is coming. We are told that in Scripture. The “present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire.” God will destroy the world with fire one day. So, why aren’t we having fire drills for that? Why aren’t we screaming, “Fire, it’s coming!”?

APPLICATION

Do you have fire drills in your home? You should. You and your family should have a plan in case of a fire. You should all know what door to take. You should have a second story escape plan. Why don’t you practice that with your family tonight?

When you come back in from that, talk about the real fire drill. Does all your family know Christ? What a great time to talk about the certain escape plan. Jesus offers us security and safety in His heavenly home. All we have to do is accept the plan God laid out at the foundation of the world.

If you have that plan nailed down, why not share it with someone else? Why not spread the good news? So many around us are going to burn eternally unless we can usher them into God’s plan. Take a moment and think of someone you can share with today. You will be so glad you did.

I hate the thought of anyone being caught in that fire, Lord. Help me spread the good news to all I meet.

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