Accountability, Bible, Confession, Confrontation, Consequences, Forgiveness, Holiness, Judgment, Scripture

FROTHING AT THE MOUTH

NAHUM 1:6

“Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath gushes forth like fire, and the rocks are broken up by Him.”

I had a football coach once who would get so mad that he would actually froth at the mouth. Do you know what that means? It means little pieces of foam appear in the corners of the mouth, and as you speak or yell, you spit white chunks from your lips. Very appealing, lol.

As unappealing as that may be, that is exactly the picture Nahum is describing in today’s verse. The Hebrew word for “indignation” gives us the picture of someone frothing at the mouth in anger and rage. God is fed up with Nineveh, and this time His full wrath will fall on the city.

APPLICATION

Excuse me, but that is not a sight I want to see. Thanks be to God; I never will have to face God’s frothing mouth of wrath. All that was done away with at Calvary. All I will experience is the peaceful, kind smile of my heavenly Father.

Maybe you are afraid today that you are going to face His indignation. Perhaps you are not a believer. If that is the case, you have much to fear. The justice He demands for your sins must be paid. Come to Him today.

Or maybe you are a believer but still think God is out to get you. You think He spends all His time finding new ways to entrap you. That is a lie of the devil. God’s desire is to show you His love through His Son, Jesus. He has paid the price so that you do not have to. Rest in Him today.

O Lord, thanks for rescuing me through Your Son from ever having to witness Your frothing wrath.

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Anger, Battles, Bible, Choices, Compassion, God's Will, Holiness, Judgment, Scripture

GOOD ANGER?

MICAH 5:15

“‘And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations which have not obeyed.’”

All our lives we are told to not get angry. When our favorite toy is broken by our sibling, do not get angry. When the car breaks down for the umpteenth time, do not get angry. When our friend stabs us in the back, do not get angry. So, why do we see God getting angry at the people of Israel and that is okay?

God’s anger is not our anger. Our anger is birthed out of sin and rage. His out of love. Our anger comes from our unchecked emotions. His out of love. Our anger comes from a desire to get even. His out of love. God’s anger in verse 15 today is due to His holiness. He cannot and will not tolerate sinful actions. Here His anger is directed towards those unruly nations who have oppressed His children. God’s anger is unreproachable.

APPLICATION

We do not have God’s discretion or patience. We lash out in anger and then justify it. We claim we have the right to be angry. Ephesians 4:26-27 comes to mind. “In your anger, do not sin and do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not give the devil a foothold.”

My wife and I decided to never go to bed angry. That has led to many sleepless nights. Lol. Just kidding. We do try to do that, but to be honest, we have gone to bed angry. Guess what? That anger does not disappear as you sleep. In fact, it can cause a very restless night.

I believe all conflicts among believers is due to either one or both individuals living out of their flesh rather than the Spirit. There is no situation too big for God to solve. When He says to not get angry, He is not talking about anger over seeing the righteous suffer or children being abused. He is referring to our flesh inspired anger toward each other. That anger must be defeated through our surrender to His Spirit in our lives. Look at your anger today. At whom is it direction? From where does it come?

Oh Father, I am thankful Your wrath over my sin has been taken care of by the blood of Your precious Son.

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Allegiance, Battles, Belief, Bible, Blasphemy, Darkness, Devil, Evil, Godliness, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Idols, Satan, Scripture

SORCERY FORBIDDEN

MICAH 5:12

“‘I will eliminate sorceries from your hand, and you will have no fortune-tellers.’”

I will never forget the evening when I lived in Lakeland, FL when my wife and I decided to go to the local outdoor mall. It was new to Lakeland and had become a major evening and weekend destination because of the shops, restaurants and entertainment. We were walking along, and while my wife looked in one shop, I decided to step into this store that caught my attention. As I walked in, a chill ran up my spine. All I saw was occultic images and products. I ran out of that store as fast as I could. Such darkness.

This is what the Lord is cutting out of the land. No sorcery or fortune telling would be allowed. These were based in the pagan idolatry of the land, the very thing the Lord had warned the people of when they came into the Promised Land. Nothing had changed. These evil practices were still around and were now going to be purged. Evil was evil then and still is now.

APPLICATION

So many Christians today dabble in the occult, thinking it is frivolous or meaningless. Satan loves for us to believe that. I am not saying that a demon is going jump out of the Ouija board and tackle you to the ground, but the devil has a way to hook us into this stuff. Tarot cards and astrology are still listed in God’s eyes as sorcery and fortune-telling. That has not changed.

If you are into these things or have been in the past, let me urge you to put them down and confess that as sin. Renounce any allegiance you had to these items and get rid of them. Burn them if you can. Does this all sound extreme? You bet. Our battle with the forces of darkness is real and extreme. You must have your armor on and be free from any form of darkness.

Once you do that and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, He will make you very sensitive to these things. You will be able to recognize any form of idolatry. God wants you and me to walk in holiness, free from the entanglements of evil. Walking free is so much easier than dragging around a chain of darkness.

O Father, thank You for protecting me from evil. I know You have my back at all times.

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Accountability, Accused, Advocate, Bible, Cleansing, Confession, God's Will, Holiness, Idols, Judgment, Listening, Repentance, Scripture

NO ANSWER

MICAH 3:7

“The seers will be put to shame, and the diviners will be ashamed. Indeed, they will all cover their lips because there is no answer from God.”

You may not remember the days when you called someone on their phone and did not get an answer. This was the days before voicemail or answering machines. You could not leave a message. You just had to keep calling back until you reached them. I wish sometimes that was still the case. Lol

The false prophets (called seers and diviners here) could not hear God speak to them. Why? Because they were not seeking Him. They were living lives that were displeasing to God, so He had shut His mouth. He was not delivering any messages to them. They cried out only because He was delivering His judgment. How sad that they could not have surrendered to His Will, which would have opened up that line of communication again.

APPLICATION

Oh, brothers and sisters, before we cast too many stones at these false prophets, don’t we do the same? We live our lives as we wish and then when we get into trouble and call on God, He is quiet. We get perturbed with Him because He did not answer us. How dare He?

Well…God demands holiness from us. That’s right. He expects us to live according to His laws and commands. He does not expect perfection, but He does want us to strive to be more like Him and less like the world. If we want God to speak, we must stop, repent and listen.

This week there has been a verse on my mind a lot. Psalm 84:11 says, “The Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Did you get that? No good thing does He withhold. But there is a condition – from those who walk uprightly. So, my question to you is – are you walking uprightly today?

O Lord, I do not want to be like one of those false prophets who could not hear Your voice. Speak to me Lord!

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Accused, Bible, Comfort, Dreams, Goodness, Holiness, Inspirational

DREAMING OF SIN

MICAH 2:1

“Woe to those who devise wrongdoing, who practice evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, because it is in the power of their hands.

I do not dream a lot. I do have a few, though, that stick in my head. I have dreamt of falling and find myself jerking awake. I have also dreamt about trips I have made. Before Christ I would dream about sinful stuff. That is the thought behind today’s verse.

The audience receiving Micah’s message were accused of even dreaming about sin, dreaming about how they could practice evil. And a first light, they would do it. Wow! They had abused a holy sanctuary of the bed with their sinful thoughts and desires. They had not allowed that place to be a place of peace and rest, but rather a place of chaos and rebellion.

APPLICATION

I have a friend who practices HWLW. That stands for His Word Last Word. He meditates on a passage of Scripture, usually one he is in the process of memorizing, right before bed. That way the last thing on his mind is the Word of God. He swears that gives him peaceful nights and dreams.

Another friend will place his memorization verse pack next to his bed. Just before he goes to sleep, he will review some verses. The Word of God is the last thing on his mind also. He wants God’s Word to permeate his life, even his sleep. I have not asked him how he sleeps, but I bet it’s good.

How are you sleeping at night? Are you having bad dreams? Try HWLW. Let God’s Word be the last thing on your mind. Often, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I will either start praying or start quoting verses in my head. Before I know it, I am back to sleep. God’s Word can be better than a sleeping pill. Put it to the test and see.

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

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Accountability, Affliction, Battles, Bible, Enemies, Holiness, Judgment, Modeling, Sanctification, Scripture, Suffering, Surrender, Trials

RISE UP

AMOS 6:14

“‘For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you, House of Israel,’ declares the LORD God of armies, ‘and they will torment you from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of the Arabah.’”

I have learned from personal experience how God can raise up things in my life to teach me a lesson(s) that I need to learn. Now, hear me clearly. This is how He has worked in my life. I can only speak to that. But I know for a fact that He allowed my health issues to grow me more like Him.

That is always His purpose behind our trials. Amos speaks forth God’s words declaring the coming of a nation that He is sending to bring God’s judgment on Israel. It would a full judgment stretching from the northern most point to the southern most point of the country. God’s judgments are always complete.

APPLICATION

If you are in the middle of a trial right now, thank God. Yes, I said thank Him. Why in the world would you want to do that? Because every trial sent our way is meant to make us more like Jesus. God doesn’t allow trials in our life to toy with us or to just cause havoc. Every single aspect of that trial is orchestrated by Him to make us holy.

You may be ready for the trial to be over. Can God see Himself in you yet? Are you surrendering your all to Him? Do others see God portrayed in your life through this trial? That’s what God is doing. Rest assured – this trial won’t be over until God says so. He doesn’t leave it half done. He will complete it.

So, come on God. Enough already. I’m good enough. Obviously not. Every trial has a beginning and an end. God will bring you to fulfillment. And oh, when He is finished, you will look so much more like Him. You will see later what He was doing in that trial. You may not see it until you get to heaven, but you will. Rest in Him. Trust the process and give Him glory.

You’re still working on me to make me what I ought to be. I know that and am willing to be molded into whatever You want me to be.

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Bible, Contentment, Hatred, Holiness

NO LOVE HERE

AMOS 6:8

“The Lord GOD has sworn by Himself, the LORD God of armies has declared: ‘I loathe the arrogance of Jacob, and detest his citadels; Therefore I will give up the city and all it contains.’”

To loathe and detest something requires someone to really, really not like it. I loathe brussel sprouts. I detest sauerkraut. I’ve tried them both and have vowed they will never pass my lips again. Lol

But God is stating here that He loathes and detests. I thought God was all about love. How could He loathe anything? That word “loathe” is only used right here in the whole Bible. It has the idea of someone puffing their mouth at something in disgust. And the word “detest” literally just means hate. God loathes and detests anything that is not holy, and their arrogance and pride led Him to this point.

APPLICATION

I pray you only loathe and detest those things that are not holy. Otherwise, your heart is just not right. There is no room in the heart of a believer for hate. It just doesn’t belong there. You should never hate another person. We may hate their actions, but the person is redeemable.

I just got back from seeing one of my many doctors I see on a regular basis. After examining me, she said rather boldly, “You’re fixable.” That was great news. I wanted to tell someone. And then I thought about how that applies to all of us spiritually.

Before Christ, I was riddled with sin and saw no way out. After believing Satan’s lies for so long, I turned my heart to Jesus. He fixed me. He gave me a new life. He promised me eternity. Wow! I was lost but now I’m found. I was blind but now I see. Fixed – just like that.

Father, I am so thankful You called me as Your own. I desire to rid myself of anything that is not holy.

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Accountability, Bible, Commands, Disciplemaking, Discipline, Following, Holiness, Holy Spirit

WHEN THE FUN STOPS

AMOS 6:7

“Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles, and the revelry of those who lounge around will come to an end.”

I remember as a teenager, before I came to Christ, participating in some pretty, wild parties. Someone would announce at school about a party taking place at this old, abandoned house in the country. Those parties got real crazy. Often, the sheriff’s office would be called by someone. When they arrived, the party was over.

Very similarly, the Israelites’ party was over. Their “revelry” had come to an end. The sheriff had arrived. Jehovah God said this was enough. And unlike me, who was just sent home, the Israelites were led into exile. Their judgment was tough.

APPLICATION

Are your too busy with your “revelry” to bother with being holy? If you are a believer, you are commanded to live like Jesus, to be holy because He is holy. We don’t think that is possible, so we just ignore that command. We live like we want to and expect God to bless it or at least ignore it.

God still demands obedience. He may not lead us into a physical exile to another country by a conquering horde, but He may lead us into a spiritual exile until we come to our senses. Now, don’t mishear me. God is not intent on punishing us just because we disobeyed. He disciplines us to draw us to Himself.

I know if the Holy Spirit didn’t get my attention every day, I would be drawn into the life of revelry. Who doesn’t like a party? Who wouldn’t rather do as they please? But because of my love for my Savior, I follow Him. I don’t do it to escape punishment. I do it simply because I love Him. How about you?

Lord God, You are so patient and kind towards me. Please forgive me when I stray and draw me back.

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Abiding, Advocate, Bible, Following, Godliness, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Modeling

I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GET UP

AMOS 5:2

“She has fallen, she will not rise again— the virgin Israel. She lies unnoticed on her land; there is no one to raise her up.”

Unless you’ve been under a rock the past several years, you have probably seen the commercial for a “life-saving” device. It shows an elderly person lying on the floor. They have this device around their neck, and they push a button and say “Help, I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.” They have sold millions of these devices.

Israel is going to fall. Amos is prophesying that to them. He calls her “virgin Israel.” Why? Well, when God first took her to Himself as His chosen people, she was seen as a virgin – pure and undefiled. But now, that name is used in ridicule. She has given herself to other gods and played the harlot with them. She is truly no longer the virgin Israel, and for that she will fall and not get up.

APPLICATION

We have an obligation as believers to live undefiled lives. We are called to be holy. Ephesians 5:3 says, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” It’s that simple. Keep yourself holy.

But Carl, I can’t be holy! Yes, you can. If God tells us to do something, then we can do it. He would never ask us to do it if we couldn’t. Now, we can’t on our own. That’s for sure. But through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can. We may still fall, but we can push our button (the Holy Spirit) and get back up.

I hope I never need that device sold on television. I pray I will always be able to get back up once I’ve fallen. But I am thankful that no matter how hard I may fall, I have the Holy Spirit to help me get back up spiritually. Aren’t you glad for that? Give the Lord praise today.

Praise You, Lord, for picking me up when I fall. I want to walk holy before You and avoid all those traps that would bring me down.

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Abiding, Accountability, Bible, Cleansing, Confession, Deceit, Disciplemaking, Following, Godliness, Holiness, Modeling, Relationships

LEAVEN

AMOS 4:5

“‘Offer a thanksgiving offering also from that which is leavened, and proclaim voluntary offerings, make them known. For so you love to do, you sons of Israel,’ declares the Lord GOD.”

I have been guilty of coming to the Lord with guilty hands. I went through all the motions and appeared from the outside to be doing all the right things. It’s easy to fool others in the church. As long as you attend regularly, give your offering and serve somewhere, people think you are living holy. That is not necessarily true.

Just look at the Israelites. They were offering their sacrifices and making them known. From the outside they appeared to be doing it right. But look closely. They were offering leavened bread in their sacrifices which was clearly forbidden. In Leviticus 2:11 it says, “‘No grain offering, which you bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the LORD.’” You see, they knew that but did what was convenient to them.

APPLICATION

I am sure you have never been guilty of that. Of course not, Carl. I am always living right. Yeah, right. We all pretend, don’t we? We don’t want others knowing we are struggling in our faith. We don’t want our friends, especially at church, to know we aren’t living right.

But those are exactly the right people to turn to. If you are not in a small group right now, find one. You need people in your life to whom you can pour out your heart. We all need others in our life to hold us accountable. Doing life with others is what Christ wants for us.

My wife and I are in a small group at church with two other couples. These couples are dear friends to us. We can share just about anything with them. But there is the problem. We should be able to share everything with them. Right? Would you pray for us that we could all share everything, knowing that we have these people in our lives who love us and want what is best for us.

Thank You, Lord, that You hold me to a higher standard. I must live holy before You and offer only the best I have to You.

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