Summary: The same fruits evident in Amos’ basket are still around in our churches today. Are we keeping them fresh by obeying God’s pattern for them? Or are we allowing them to become overripe and rotten by our disobedience?
1. Introduction (8:1-2)
2. The first fruit in God’s basket of obedience is the fruit of worship. (movement from songs to howling to silence)—Amos 8:3
3. The second fruit in God’s basket of obedience is the fruit of stewardship. (movement from commerce to consumerism to condemnation)—Amos 8:4-8
4. The third fruit in God’s basket of obedience is the fruit of the Word. (movement from feast to famine to falling)—Amos 8:9-14
If you look on the calendar, today is the first day of fall. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the cooler weather. The changing leaves. I enjoy just about everything that comes with fall. Just about everything, but not quite. You see, fall means that the time for all of those fresh fruits and vegetables is just about over. We didn’t have a garden this year. But even though we didn’t have a garden, many of you kept us well-stocked with tomatoes. There’s nothing better than a fresh garden tomato, is there? But they don’t have a very long shelf life, do they? The other day, I was looking for one. We had gone through all of the tomatoes we had, but I just happened to find one in the bottom of a vegetable bowl in the kitchen. Somehow it had gotten hidden in there. You would have thought I had struck gold. It was that good deep red color. It was beautiful. I couldn’t wait to throw that thing between a couple of slices of bread. But I didn’t notice the little bit of liquid in the bottom of the bowl. I didn’t notice it till I grabbed hold of that tomato. As soon as I touched it, I knew. It was squishy. The skin just about fell off when I tried to pick it up. You see, even though that tomato looked red and ripe and beautiful, it was really completely rotten. It had sat there festering in its own juices for so long that it wasn’t any good any more. The only thing it was good for was to throw away. It had become disgusting. Fit only for destruction. That is the picture that God gave Amos here in this vision. He showed Amos that Israel had become like a basket of summer fruit to Him. That sounds appealing. Just like that tomato looked appealing to me. But it wasn’t. They had taken the wonderfully good fruits of God and allowed them to over ripen and turn into sin. For Israel, God’s good fruits of worship, stewardship and the Word of God had gone from fresh and ripe to overripe. And they would soon be rotten. Because Israel hadn’t kept God’s fruits fresh, He would allow each of them to completely rot in affliction. Just like He did for Israel, God still gives good fruits today. As a matter of fact, He gives the same fruits today. The same fruits that were evident in Amos’ basket are still around in our church today. Are we keeping them fresh by obeying God’s pattern for them? Or are we allowing them to become overripe and rotten by our disobedience? Tonight, I want our church to keep the fruit God has given us fresh. I want us to keep it fresh by obeying Him in all we do. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three fruits in God’s basket of obedience. The first fruit is the fruit of worship. Look with me at verse 3.