Devotional – A Not So Famous Amos

Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet’s son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’” Amos 7:14-15 ESV

There was nothing special about Amos. By all appearances he was just a regular person going about his own business as a shepherd and a farmer. He had no experience as a prophet, nor did he come from a family of prophets.

Amos was simply going about his own vocation. However, God had a plan and a calling for Amos to prophesy to the people of Israel.

If you want to be used of God to do great things, first be faithful where you are right now! No matter how mundane or boring your daily responsibilities are, go about your daily routine for God’s glory.

God called Amos out of his daily routine to preach to kings and kingdoms. If you are faithful going about your daily routine God may call you to do even greater things than Amos did!

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Editorial note: Originally published September 15, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – 36,200 Feet Deep

He will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19b ESV

Satan loves to remind us of our sin. He doesn’t care Christ has fully paid the price of our sin! He doesn’t care God has forgiven us and chooses to never remember our sins again!

Satan wants to derail our spiritual life and render us ineffective in the Lord’s service. He often does this by holding our old sins over us and whispering in our ear, “Shame on you! You’re no good! Look at what an awful sinner you are! God could never use someone like you!”

Thankfully Micah reminds us that our sins have been fully dealt with by the blood of Jesus Christ! Micah tells us God has trampled our sins under foot, and cast them into the depths of the sea!

The ocean is deep. Very deep. According to NOAA the average depth of the World’s oceans is 12,100 feet deep (2.3 miles!). The deepest point in the ocean is 36,200 feet or a stunning 6.85 miles below the surface!

When your old sins come to mind remind yourself that God chooses not to remember those sins and has buried them in the deepest grave for all of eternity.

The next time Satan tries to remind you of your sins you can tell him to take a long walk on a short pier.

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Editorial note: Originally published September 9, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – Andrew

[Andrew] brought [Simon] to Jesus… John 1:42 ESV

 Andrew… said to [Jesus] there is a boy here who has barley loaves and two fish… John 6:8,9 ESV

Some Greeks… asked Philip… ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. John 12:20-22 ESV

We only read of Andrew a few times in the Gospels.  But, when we do read of him he is always bringing someone to Jesus. First we read of Andrew bringing his family to Jesus… specifically his brother Simon whom the Lord would latter call Peter.

Next, he brings to Jesus a young fellow who was willing to give all that he had – a few barley loaves of bread and two fish.
Lastly, he brought foreigners to Christ.  When some Greeks asked Philip to see Jesus, Philip went and consulted with Andrew! Certainly Andrew would know what to do!

Andrew was never in the limelight.  He was content to work quietly in the background as an evangelist.  In the same way, you do not need to be in the spotlight to do great things for Jesus Christ.

Who will you bring to Jesus today?

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Editorial note: Originally published January 28, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – The God of All Power

Is anything too hard for the LORD? Genesis 18:14 ESV

Ah, Lord GOD… Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 ESV

In the Greek language omni means “all” and potent means “power.” This is where our English word omnipotence originates. So, when we speak of God’s attribute of omnipotence we are actually saying He possess “all power.”

In Genesis 18 the LORD gives Abraham the amazing news that his aged wife Sarah will give birth a child in about a year’s time. Overhearing this Sarah was incredulous – how could a woman well beyond her childbearing years possibly have a child?
Knowing her thoughts, God asked the rhetorical question “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” Many years later the prophet Jeremiah decisively declared, “Nothing is too hard for [God].”

Do you believe this? Do you really believe God possesses all power? Do you really believe nothing is too hard for God? Even in your life?

If you truly believe this… if you have truly placed your full, unconditional trust in Him, you have no reason to fear any challenge you may face. No matter how impossible it may seem. You can rest in the full confidence of knowing that nothing is too hard for God!

Father, You are omnipotent. There is nothing too hard for You, for You possess all power. Please help me to fully rest in you, while placing no confidence in the flesh.

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Editorial note: Originally published January 23, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – What Will You Reap?

The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. Proverbs 14:14 ESV

There is a universal principle taught throughout the Scriptures: “Whatever one sows, that he will also reap” Galatians 6:7b ESV. Seems simple enough: sow a few corn seeds, reap a small harvest of corn; sow 100 acres of corn, reap a large harvest of corn.

This principle not only applies to farming, it applies to every aspect of life. Paul goes on to say to the Galatians: “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life” Galatians 6:8 ESV.

Do you desire to abound in the things of the Lord? Do you desire a healthy, vibrant, and blessed Christian life? Then you must sow to the Spirit! Feast on His Word. Fall to your knees in prayer. Think on those things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

If, however, you sow to the flesh by thinking on those things that are not worthy of praise, less than excellent, not commendable, unlovely, impure, unjust, or dishonorable, then you cannot possibly expect the blessings of God. Rather, just the opposite: you will reap corruption.

Today and this day forward, sow bountifully to the Spirit and you will reap a bountiful harvest of spiritual blessings.

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Editorial note: Originally published January 17, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – Getting a Closer Look

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. Genesis 11:5 ESV

The people desired to make a name for themselves (Genesis 11:4) so they devised an audacious plan on the grandest scale. “Come,” they said, “let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens.”

And, so, they began their great project constructing a tower that would be so large, and so tall it would reach into the heavens. Impressive. Yet, in one of the more humorous Bible verses we are told the Lord “came down to see the city and the tower!” LOL. From God’s viewpoint their tower wasn’t so impressive.

Their building project was so puny! It was so infinitesimally small God implies He couldn’t even see it from Heaven! God ‘had to’ come down to ‘see it.’

What about you? Are you working on ‘great’ projects attempting to make a name for yourself? Or, are you busy making His name known?

Lord, today, would you help me to glorify your name?  And help me to make your name known and glorified on the Earth? Amen.

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Editorial note: Originally published January 11, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – Speaking the Lord’s Message


the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s message Haggai 1:13 NKJV

Seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? Of course the Lord’s messenger spoke the Lord’s message!  What other message would he speak? Sadly, there are many today who claim to be the Lord’s messenger but are, in reality, not. One may speak messages that sound wonderful but are not God’s message. One may even speak messages that elicit endearing accolades from their audiences, but are not God’s message.

God’s standard is God’s Word. Any message that is at variance with the Scriptures is not the Lord’s message; the one who spoke the message is not the Lord’s messenger!

Lord, today, would you help me to judge all that I hear and read with Your Word?  And, Lord, would you guard my lips from speaking any message that is not your message.  Amen.

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Editorial note: Originally published January 3, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – What Jesus Never Said

“Thus says the Lord…” Jeremiah 2:2 ESV

“I say to you…” Matthew 5:18 ESV

Throughout the long history of the Nation of Israel God sent many prophets to speak His words to the people.

A prophet was simply a human messenger. A mere mortal chosen by God to speak the words given to him by God. A prophet’s authority did not come from himself, rather it came from God. A prophet’s words did not come from himself, rather his words came from God. To underscore this truth, prophets often prefaced their prophesies with the phrase “Thus says the Lord.” In fact, this phrase is repeated well over 400 times in the Old Testament.

Then came the Lord Jesus Christ.

Not once did he ever utter the phrase “thus says the Lord.” Rather, He often prefaced His words with the phrase “I say to you.” Some 87 times He boldly proclaimed this astounding phrase!

Jesus Christ was not just another prophet. Jesus Christ was not merely a human messenger sent on behalf of God! No!

Jesus Christ was, and is God incarnate! Jesus Christ did not need to say “thus says the Lord” because He is the Lord! He is God! Every time Jesus Christ said “I say to you” He was boldly declaring that His words ARE God’s words.

“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority.” Mark 1:22 ESV

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Editorial note: Originally published May 3, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – Happy Easter!

“He is not here.” Mark 16:6

When I was a freshman in college I had the opportunity to spend an entire month in the Holy Land.  I was so excited… I could hardly wait to see and experience all of the places that I had heard of in Sunday School and read about in the Bible.

The Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Olives, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Jordan River, and the Temple Mount. From Dan to Beersheba I wanted to see it all!

However, the place I waned to visit the most was the Garden Tomb.  I had heard from others who traveled there before me that the highlight of their trip was the Garden Tomb just outside of the city of Jerusalem.

I will never forget that day.

As I approached the tomb it looked exactly like all the photographs that I had previously seen… a nondescript doorway carved out of a hillside.  As I entered through the door I was a bit disappointed.  I expected to see something amazing.  Yet, all I saw before me was a dark, dusty, empty, manmade cave.  I went expecting to see something; instead I saw nothing.  I went expecting to feel something spiritual, something supernatural even– instead I felt a tinge of disappointment.

I traveled thousands of miles to see nothing?!

Disappointed, I turned to leave and that is when I saw the four words written on the door of the tomb “He is not here.” That is when it hit me!  I saw NOTHING because there was nothing to see!  The tomb IS empty.  He was NOT there!  Looking back again at the empty tomb I was overcome by a tidal wave emotion.  My Savior lives!

 Up from the grave He arose,

with a mighty triumph o’er His foes;

He arose a Victor from the dark domain,

and He lives forever with His saints to reign:

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

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Editorial note: Originally published April 5, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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Devotional – His Unparalleled Mercy

Devotional Sun Icon

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 ESV

The beautiful hymn Great God of Wonders! asks the rhetorical question “Who is a pardoning God like thee?” The answer, of course, is none! There is no other God who pardons sins like the Lord God Jehovah!

His mercy is unparalleled, His grace unequalled and His love unchanging! Praise God He delights in love! Praise God He does not retain His anger forever.

Great God of wonders all Thy ways
Display Thine attributes divine;
But the bright glories of Thy grace
Above Thine other wonders shine:
Who is a pard’ing God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

Such deep transgressions to forgive!
Such guilty sinners thus to spare!
This is thy grand prerogative,
And in this honor none shall share:
Who is a pard’ing God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

Pardon from an offended God!
Pardon for sins of deepest dye!
Pardon bestowed through Jesus’ blood!
Pardon that bring the rebel nigh!
Who is a pard’ing God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

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Credit:
“Great God of Wonders! by Samuel Davies.” Hymns of Worship and Remembrance. Belle Chasse, LA: Truth and Praise, Inc., 1950. Hymn #15. Print. Note: Other versions of this hymn can be easily found online.

Editorial note:
Originally published September 3, 2015 at assemblyHUB.com

 

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