Accountability, Bible, Friends, God's Will, Gospel, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

GOOD FEET

NAHUM 1:15

“Behold, on the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, Judah, pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; he is eliminated completely.”

As I have gotten older my feet are starting to get ugly. Sorry, that’s just the facts. I’ve got this big bunion on my left big toe and my two little toes are starting to turn in. I see this a lot in older people. Their feet are not that pretty. But those feet that are carrying the gospel are beautiful to God, no matter how they look.

Nahum says something here that is used by Paul when he says in Romans 10:15, “But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” Those feet that bring good tidings are celebrated. Who doesn’t want to bring good news?

APPLICATION

How do your feet look? I don’t mean physically. I mean how do they look to God? Are you bringing the good news of Jesus to others? When we come to Christ, we are given the good news to share with others. But we seldom do that. We get stuck in our little Christian circles and don’t reach out to those who are in need of this news.

Let’s get our walking shoes on. Let’s begin sharing with whomever will listen. Let’s spread the news of Jesus to our lost friends. If they are truly our friends, don’t they need to know this? Aren’t you concerned about your lost neighbors? Don’t take on the whole neighborhood at once. Start with one.

I know my feet have been busy lately taking the good news to other parts of the world, but I have neglected those closest to me. Father, forgive me for not using my feet closest to home. I want to walk the good news to every neighbor. Will you join me?

Help me use my feet, Lord, to deliver the good news of Jesus to all who will hear.

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Accountability, Belief, Bible, Calling, Encouragement, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

REBUKE

MICAH 5:8

“The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, among many peoples like a lion among the animals of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which, if he passes through, tramples and tears, and there is no one who can rescue.”

No one likes to be rebuked or corrected. Well, at least I do not. I had much rather receive praise for something. Hadn’t you? I remember my high school football coaches rebuking me for a missed block or missed tackle. Their words were not so kind. They wanted to get my attention and correct my actions. It usually worked.

Micah told us in the last verse that the remnant would be like dewdrops. Not so much in this verse. Here the remnant is compared to a lion which “tramples and tears.” The remnant would be firm and strict in their exhortation to the sinners. This was no time to be gentle. A fierceness was needed.

APPLICATION

There is a time to be low key and soft-spoken. And there is a time to be direct. We are in that direct time, I believe. Time is running out. Christ could appear anytime. We need to share with everyone we can about the encroaching judgment.

I know, I know. People may get offended. Better to be offended and saved that unoffended and spend eternity in hell. I am not saying we should grab people by the collar and beat them with a big, black Bible. But I am saying we need to be bold in our witness without fear of being ridiculed.

The risk of being bold is that we may turn some people off. That is not our goal. Our goal is to turn them on to Jesus. I need to live what I preach. It does no good to preach Jesus and live like the devil. So, my sharing moves me to live more holy. I want others to see Jesus in me. I do not want them to simply hear my words. Will you share Him with someone today?

Lord, give me the courage and the boldness to witness to those around me today.

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Bible, Bitterness, Boasting, Conceit, Eternity, God's Will, Humility, Scripture, Witnessing

DISDAIN

MICAH 4:11

“‘And now many nations have been assembled against you who say, “Let her be defiled, and let our eyes gloat over Zion!”’”

I need to ask you a tough question. Have you ever looked with disdain on someone? You may ask, Carl, what does that mean? Well, let me explain. Disdain is the feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one’s consideration or respect. It is having contempt for that person or thing.

That was the feeling that the surrounding nations had for Israel. She (Israel) was just a piece of ground that was in their way. They saw the Israelites as beneath them. Of course, we know this feeling carried down through the ages. Everyone around them was always trying to defeat them. The Lord is simply reminding them of this.

APPLICATION

We have no right to ever look at anyone with disdain. Everyone needs Jesus. It does not matter what a person’s socioeconomic status is. It does not matter their race or ethnicity. No one should see others as beneath them. We are all in need of grace, and there is only one place to get it – Jesus.

As I travel over the globe, I get a chance to meet some incredible people. I am traveling, the Lord willing, to Burundi and Tanzania next month. I have never been to these two countries. I know I will meet a lot of people in these countries who need Jesus. Others I meet will know the Lord and are probably living for Him much better than I am. I want to learn from both groups of people.

We are in a lost world that is in need of a Savior, whether they know it or not. We cannot waste time looking down on someone. That person has a soul that will spend eternity somewhere. It is our mission as believers to try to reach them for the kingdom. So, the next time you start to think you are better than someone else, think again. The King is above us all.

I am not worthy to call You my Father, but I forever grateful You call me Your son.

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Bible, Calling, Evangelism, Gospel, Scripture, Witnessing

A CALL TO THE NATIONS

MICAH 4:2

“Many nations will come and say, ‘Come and let’s go up to the mountain of the LORD and to the house of the God of Jacob, so that He may teach us about His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.’ For from Zion will go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

I have been privileged to travel to many nations to teach and preach about the Lord Jesus Christ. In many of these nations I have trained pastors and other church leaders how to present the Gospel and how to make disciples. What a joy to see the Gospel spread far and wide.

Micah prophesies here of the end times when nations will return to the Lord. In the days of Micah, the people already knew of some of the vastness of our globe, but they had no idea just how big the world was. But they still could envision the throngs of people from all over coming to Jerusalem, to the “mountain of the LORD.” A little hope is given.

APPLICATION

We have a role in this end-time prophesy. We are to share with all who will listen about what Jesus has done. We will have a part in seeing these nations return to Him. You do not have to pack up and travel to some remote village. In our day, we can zoom around the world by computer, literally using Zoom. It is an amazing tool.

Covid shut down the world, but at the same time it opened it up. There were more sermons posted online than ever before. There were more live streamed church services than ever before. I have a friend in a small town in Kenya who is still streaming their church services each Sunday. His messages are traveling around the world.

But this all starts with our own Jerusalem. We need to be busy sharing with our neighbors and friends. We can change the world one person at a time. Will you join me today by sharing with at least one person about Jesus?

Father, I praise You for allowing me the privilege to share Jesus with all I meet.

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Accountability, Accused, Bible, Cleansing, Confrontation, Deception, Despair, Destruction, Evangelism, Gospel, Integrity, Leading, Scripture, Witnessing

DISHONEST GAIN

MICAH 3:10

“Who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with malice.”

In one of my earliest ministry experiences, I worked with a person who was in leadership on the campus where I served. That person would take gifts meant for the children we served and take them home for their grandchildren. They would also take pool chemicals purchased for the campus to use in their own pool a home. Dishonest gain!

Micah continues his prophecies against the leaders of Israel and Judah. They had made their way to the top by stepping all over the “little people.” The poor and less fortunate were used by these leaders so they could gain more wealth and prestige. It did not matter who they hurt to get ahead.

APPLICATION

There is nothing much worse than someone who will take advantage or steal from the poor. They must not have a conscience. Wickedness pours out of them. They do not care who they use, as long as they get what they want. We believers should be able to spot those individuals a mile off.

So, how do we deal with people like that? Just like Jesus. What did He do? He loved them (He even died for them), but He did not join in with them. He dealt with the Pharisees and Sadducees often. Many of these got their positions by these very means – using others. Jesus knew that. He confronted them of their sins. But He still loved them.

Loving someone like that is hard, but we are called to do just that. How else will they hear and see the Gospel. They may spurn your words. They may even threaten you. That is okay. You have planted the seed which can grow later. It is our calling to spread the good news to everyone. Will you do that today? Who knows that person just might repent and come to Christ because of a word you shared?

Thank You, Lord, for cleansing me of my selfishness. Give me a love for the unlovable so they can hear Your message of forgiveness.

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Abiding, Accountability, Accused, Affection, Bible, Disciplemaking, Evangelism, Judgment, Scripture, Witnessing

JUDGMENT ALL AROUND 

MICAH 1:11 

“Go on your way, inhabitant of Shaphir, in shameful nakedness. The inhabitant of Zaanan does not escape. The mourning of Beth-ezel: ‘He will take from you its support.’” 

People all around us are reaping the consequences of a sinful lifestyle. I am not talking about a sin that you committed by accident. I am referring to lifestyles that are ungodly and rebellious. When we see those Individuals suffer for their wrong, what is our response? 

Shaphir, Zaanan and Beth-ezel were all cities or villages in Judah. They were all guilty of sinning against the Lord, and therefore, they would suffer the wrath of a holy God. That last phrase, “He will take from you its support,” is a frightful message. No one wants to live their lives without God’s support. 

APPLICATION 

If we know judgment is going to fall all around us, how should we respond? We should be about the Father’s business. There are people in our neighborhood who are clueless about the coming judgment of God. There are others who may have heard, but just don’t believe. And there are still others who believe it is coming but just don’t care. What do we do? 

We preach Jesus to them all. We have to believe that His Word will not come back void (Isaiah 55:11). If we are consistent and true to His calling, He will use us to get His message out. The results are totally up to Him. We cannot predict how anyone will respond to the Gospel. 

I want to share with someone every day. I would love to see all my neighbors and friends embrace my Lord. If you are like me, you probably have family members who are going to face judgment one day without Christ. Let’s all commit to reach out to those loved ones with the love of Christ. 

O God, I praise You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to pay the price for my sin so that I will never face that judgment. 

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Belief, Bible, Commands, Compassion, Disciplemaking, Eternity, Forgiveness, God's Will, Innocent, Salvation, Scripture, Witnessing

THE INNOCENT

JONAH 4:11

“‘Should I not also have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 people, who do not know the difference between their right hand and their left, as well as many animals?’”

For many, many years I worked with children. Some of those were very young. Young children do not yet understand that their actions have consequences. They do not have the mental capacity to make life altering decisions. They are innocent in so many ways. God does not hold the innocent in the same light as those who know exactly what they are doing.

We see that here in today’s verse. Those 120,000 are referring to those who are innocent of the guilt of Nineveh. This verse reminds me of the passage in Genesis when Abraham asks God if He would spare Sodom and Gomorrah if ten innocent people could be found. Do you remember what He said? He said yes He would. But ten were not found, so He destroyed those cities. God says here, “Shouldn’t I save these 120,000 souls?” He even mentions saving the animals.

APPLICATION

Who have you written off as lost and unredeemable? Anyone? I have to confess that I have done that with a couple of people. I realize I am not God. He is able to do far more than I can even imagine, including saving those people I have marked off. So, what do I do with this knowledge?

First of all, I must pray for those lost individuals. I must claim them for Christ. I must look for every opportunity to be Jesus to them and also to share the good news. I must see them as Jesus  does – someone He loves and wants to come home. I have a responsibility to do that. God expects me to do that.

The next time you say Oh, that person is just too far gone, think about all the saints in the Bible who God redeemed and used for His glory. And think of all of those lives who will spend eternity in eternal damnation without the saving power of Jesus. Let’s be bolder in our witness. Let’s risk ridicule for the sake of the cross.

I want to see everyone as You see them, Lord. Give me eternal eyes.

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Accountability, Bible, Christ's Return, Commands, Creation, God's Will, Judgment, Obedience, Salvation, Scripture, Witnessing

THE FOUR ELEMENTS

JONAH 4:8

“And when the sun came up God designated a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint, and he begged with all his soul to die, saying, ‘Death is better to me than life!’”

Can you name the four basic elements of matter? No, this is not a science test. They are earth, water, air and fire. Now, we all know Who created these elements, don’t we? The Supreme Creator of all creation spoke these into existence thousands of years ago (that’s right, I said thousands, not millions). He controlled them then and does now.

Do you realize God used all four of these, plus a few created things, to speak to Jonah? He used the sea (water) and the fish, the plant (earth), the scorching east wind (air) and the sun (fire). I wonder if God was trying to send Jonah a message about just Who He was. There was nothing that God could not and would not use to accomplish His Will.

APPLICATION

God is sending us messages today through all of these. The Word says that all of creation will moan as the day nears for His Son to return. Man, have we seen the earth moan in the past few years? There has been a dramatic increase in earthquakes, storms, weather extremes, etc. The scientific community explains these away as global warming or some other theory. Did you know there have been 10 earthquakes in the past three days measuring 5.5 or greater?

God is trying to get our attention just as He did Jonah. We read this story about Jonah and easily point fingers and judge. But we are just as guilty. What was God trying to show Jonah? That He was a merciful God who desires that all come to Him. We are just as unwilling to share the good news as Jonah. We may not run to Tarshish and board a ship, but we sit idly by while the earth tumbles into eternity.

Do not wait for the earth, air, fire or water to send you the message. Pick up your copy of God’s Word and go share the good news with a lost and dying world. Tell your neighbors. Tell your waitress at the restaurant. Tell everyone you meet that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives, if only they will turn to Him.

I love to tell the story. It will be my theme in glory. To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

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Accountability, Bible, Calling, Commands, Courage, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faithfulness, Gospel, Testimony, Witnessing

SPILL THE BEANS

JONAH 1:8

“Then they said to him, ‘Tell us, now! On whose account has this catastrophe struck us? What is your occupation, and where do you come from? What is your country, and from what people are you?’”

Have you ever been asked to “spill the beans”? We are often asked to share information about someone or something, revealing something that was unknown to the asker. But did you ever stop to think about where that phrase came from? It probably originated from the ancient Greek process of voting. Votes were cast by using two different colored beans. After all had voted, the beans were spilled out to reveal the outcome.

The beans had been spilled. Jonah had been chosen by lots. Now the questions began. The sailors wanted to know what Jonah was doing and why his God was so upset with him. Remember, up to this time, they probably didn’t know exactly who God was. They were soon going to find out.

APPLICATION

When was the last time you were grilled with questions about something? It’s bad when you get those questions and don’t have the answers. It’s even harder when you have the answers but aren’t sure how to give them. Kind of like being in between a rock and a hard place.

Let me encourage you to share the truth, no matter the consequences. If you are asked to “spill the beans” about why you are the way you are, go for it. Testify of the amazing works of the Spirit in your life. Tell them about God’s saving power in your life. Give your testimony from salvation to the present. Spill the beans!

I try to spill the beans whenever I can. I want to tell others about the Lord. Sometimes, that is not received well. Other times it is. My job is simply to share. So is yours. Will you help me spill the beans more and more to a lost and dying world?

Lord God, You have commanded me to share the good news to the poor. Give me the opportunities to do that.

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Belief, Bible, Calling, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Eternity, Gospel, Modeling, Prophesy, Scripture, Testimony, Witnessing

DON’T DO THAT HERE

AMOS 7:13

“But do not prophesy at Bethel any longer, for it is a sanctuary of the king and a royal residence.”

Some people can get on your last nerve. Am I right? They have a way of annoying you and don’t even realize it. Some of the things they do aren’t bad. They are just irritating. For instance, someone who hums a lot can push you to your limit. The humming isn’t bad. It just never stops. You want to tell them to go hum someplace else.

Amaziah continues speaking to Amos in verse 13. That’s basically what he says. He tells Amos if he is gong to prophesy, do it someplace else. The king can’t be bothered. What Amos was saying might upset the king, and Amaziah didn’t want to see that. Hmmm, I wonder why.

APPLICATION

We should be so annoying. Let me explain. I don’t really want us to annoy people, but I do want us to continue to talk about Jesus. I want people to see me coming and know they are going to hear something about Jesus. I pray I say it in a way that encourages them and does not drive them away.

Being consistent in our witness is challenging. My circle of influence seems to be around “church folks.” I don’t get much exposure to non-believers. I have to purposely seek out that group. But that is something I need to be more consistent in doing.

My prayer for us today is that we all get busy. I pray we all can be as “annoying” as Amos was to Amaziah. I pray everything we say is true and points to Jesus. I pray the Lord leads people into our lives who need to hear this message of forgiveness and grace. Amen?

Lord, help us reach others with Your Word. Put those in our path today who need this lifegiving word from You.

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