Amos: Hearing God Clearly Again
Contributed by Jim Butcher on Apr 14, 2020 (message contributor)
1. Unrepentant Sin Of The World Versus Unrepentant Sin Of The Church
Contributed on Apr 14, 2020
Does God treat the unrepentant sin of the church differently than the unrepentant sin of the world?
AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE: Amos opens with God’s wrath for everyone. - Amos 1:1-2:16. - Maybe just focus on the nations’ part under this point. - What does the “three sins, even four” mean? - God is not saying, “I would stop if you would do three or four sins,” although it kind of sounds like ...read more
2. Is God’s Will An Inscrutable Mystery?
Contributed on Apr 21, 2020
Many complain that God's will is impossible to discern. God proclaims here, though, that He is regularly and clearly speaking through His prophets.
KEEPING US IN THE DARK? Is God’s will an inscrutable mystery? - Amos 3:3-7. - It is a common complaint that God’s will is an inscrutable mystery? Who can discern that hand of God? Who can understand the mind of the Lord? - And so many presume that because it is an impossibility to understand ...read more
3. The False Security That Our Wealth Brings
Contributed on May 12, 2020
God thunders His displeasure with the wealthy. How can we find our security in God instead of money?
A GATED COMMUNITY: Money can bring a false sense of security. - Amos 3:15. - Some aspects: a. We use it separate ourselves. - You see this physically in the way in most places neighborhoods are divided by income. We’ve reached a certain level and so we don’t have to hang out with those from ...read more
4. Worship That Displeases God
Contributed on May 15, 2020
Israel was worshiping. They were even boasting about their worship. Yet it displeased God. What can we learn from them?
GOOD WORSHIP? Israel had lots of religious activity, but it was not pleasing to God. - Amos 4:4-5. - Religious activity is not always pleasing to God. - How can worship be bad? - It’s helpful to understand how evil works. Evil doesn’t usually come up with something altogether new. Instead, it ...read more
5. God’s Goal In Bringing Hardship
Contributed on May 20, 2020
It's shocking to many that God sometimes is the cause of hardship in our lives. When that happens, what is He hoping to accomplish?
“HE SAID WHAT?!”: Sometimes hardship is from God. - Amos 4:6-12. - This passage might have been shocking to you. “What do you mean God did all these things?” Today we sometimes think of Him exclusively as a kindly grandfather who would never say a cross word to anyone. That, however, is not ...read more
6. Who Cares About The Poor?
Contributed on May 27, 2020
God slams Israel for their actions, primarily trashing their treatment of the poor. What do we learn about how to respond in our own lives?
A PERPETUAL TRUTH: The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. - Amos 5: 7, 10, 11, 12. - It’s a cliché for a reason. It’s the way of the world. - The poor typically get trampled. - Let’s look briefly at the specific accusations levied by God against Israel. a. v. 7 – “You who turn ...read more
7. The Problem With Wanting Jesus To Come Back
Contributed on May 29, 2020
Israel cried out for the day of the Lord to come, but God warned them that they didn't really want that. Today many Christians say, "I just wish Jesus would come back!" but is that something we're actually ready for?
WHEN THE WORLD DEPRESSES US WITH ITS EVIL: “I just wish Jesus would come back!” - Amos 5:18-20. - The point of v. 19 is things going from bad to worse. - There are two illustrations. - In the first, a man runs from a lion. But then, exhausted, he runs right into a bear. - In the second, a man ...read more
8. The Problem With Prosperity
Contributed on Jun 3, 2020
The leaders of Israel were enjoying their prosperity. What does God have to say to them?
BLINDING: Money is not evil, but it is dangerous. - 1 Timothy 6:10. - The dangers of money are not a new problem. Here we are way back in the Old Testament and we see the same thing (although back then it was probably a lot smaller percentage of the population). - It’s a telling passage and it ...read more
9. The Good News And The Bad News About God
Contributed on Jun 9, 2020
We all like to make our own estimations of what we think God is like. This passage is a reminder to us that we must accept God for who He is, not who we wish He was.
- Opening image: the result explosion of Facebook avatars. They are cute and fun and I don’t have a problem with them. But if I may make a gentle observation: some of you don’t look like you think you look! - I’m sure some people intentionally upgraded their appearance, but there are others who ...read more
10. When We Ask God To Go Away
Contributed on Jun 16, 2020
There are times when we instantly reject the message of God because it offends us and hurts us. We don't even want to consider it's true. But what happens when we ask God to go away?
- Image: a broken mirror with most of the pieces missing. - Maybe do the image as a drawing on a piece of butcher paper, with four of the ten pieces colored in blue to look like a mirror. - Discuss how little of yourself you would know if you had such a limited mirror. We look at ourselves and ...read more
11. Would God Ever Take Away His Word?
Contributed on Jun 24, 2020
What would it mean if God withdrew the knowledge of His Word?
- Unpack vv. 11-12 and the threat to take away the word of the Lord. - We don’t really know what to do with that. Let’s try to figure it out. WHAT MIGHT THAT LOOK LIKE? 1. Rejecting God’s truth, people do what they want. 2. Things start falling apart. 3. The consequences of their sin make ...read more
12. Trying To Escape God’s Judgment
Contributed on Jun 26, 2020
We don't like to think about the Day of Judgment. And when we do, we like to impose our own thoughts on how it will go. What does this passage tell us about our ability to get away from God's judgment?
- There are additional things going on in this passage, but I want to focus on the overarching idea: trying to escape the judgment of God. UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS: 1. GOD IS THE JUDGE. - Genesis 18:25. - God plays many roles – Creator, Sustainer, Father. He also plays the role of Judge. 2. HE ...read more
13. Is It Naïve To Be Hopeful Amid All The Despair?
Contributed on Jul 7, 2020
The book of Amos contains some challenging and painful truths. Now, as the book ends, there is a word of hope. It speaks to us in our worry: is it naive for us to be hopeful amid all this world's despair?
- Set up a collapsed tent on state where the pulpit normally is. This is the image for the sermon. LIVING IN FRAUGHT TIME: Right now there is much to worry over. - Amos 9:11 – “David’s fallen tent.” - Think of all the references in the Old Testament to the “house of David.” With that in ...read more