Friday, September 10, 2010

Daily Devotional for September 10, 2010

Bill Rice Ranch - First Light Devotionals 
Amos 5:18-19  "Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.  As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him?"
From Bad to Worse
Do you know the meaning of the phrase "from bad to worse"?  Do some examples come to mind?  Bad is walking on thin ice; worse is falling in!  The Bible gives us another example of bad to worse in Amos 5: while running for his life from a lion, a man runs into a bear!  And when he finally gets to the safety of his house, there is a rattlesnake ready to strike him!  I don't know what you think of when you hear "from bad to worse," but that scenario is pretty rough!
What is even worse than the story above-and what the passage this morning is getting at-is thinking, "I can't wait until the Lord judges this wicked world," when a little bit of the wicked world is in your heart.  God says, "Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light."  Bad to worse is thinking that you want God's judgment on this world if you are not right with Him yourself!
The people in Amos were more concerned with going to a place to worship the Lord, while He was (and is) concerned about the heart.  These folks thought that they could pacify God with the religious things they were doing, yet their heart was not right with Him.  God says of their religious deeds, "I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell. . . . I will not accept them. . . . Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear. . . ." (verses 21-23)
They thought that worship was something you have in your hand or a place to which your feet go, but worship is in the heart.  They were sacrificing, going to Bethel, and even making beautiful music, but they were also taking bribes and oppressing the poor (verse 12).  They were not right with God because their heart was not right. All the good deeds they did and the sacrifices they made could never justify their wicked hearts.
God is not impressed by what you do, if your heart is not right.  A right heart begins with how you treat others.  You are not right with God if you are not right with other people.  No amount of good deeds can make up for a wicked heart toward others.  Wishing for God's judgment on the wicked when your heart is not right is going from bad to worse!
We should live a life that does not need to fear the coming judgment of the "day of the Lord."  The way to live that kind of life is to have a heart that is right with God and right with others.  That is the kind of heart that God will respond to and provide everything that is needed.
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Bill Rice Ranch | 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road | Murfreesboro | TN | 37128

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