What is your daily attitude like? Ever had something happen that makes you sad? Ever had something that makes you glad? Do you have a stabilizer for your emotions? Is there something that enables you no matter the circumstance to have joy? Are you able to let the joy of the Lord be your strength? Do you allow times of trials to be considered pure joy? Ever been downcast or depressed? Ever wondered how to get over or get passed being downcast? Ever gotten so down because of the circumstances you are facing that you wondered what can you do? For me the key is to trust in God! For me the solution was the power of forgiveness … for me and from me!
Let’s take a look into today’s reading and see what God has to say…
Sadness and Gladness
16“In a little while you will not see me any more, and then a little while later you will see me.” 17Some of his disciples asked among themselves, “What does this mean? He tells us that in a little while we will not see him, and then a little while later we will see him; and he also says, ‘It is because I am going to the Father.’ 18What does this ‘a little while’ mean? We don’t know what he is talking about!”
19Jesus knew that they wanted to question him, so he said to them, “I said, ‘In a little while you will not see me, and then a little while later you will see me.’ Is this what you are asking about among yourselves? 20I am telling you the truth: you will cry and weep, but the world will be glad; you will be sad, but your sadness will turn into gladness. 21When a woman is about to give birth, she is sad because her hour of suffering has come; but when the baby is born, she forgets her suffering, because she is happy that a baby has been born into the world. 22That is how it is with you: now you are sad, but I will see you again, and your hearts will be filled with gladness, the kind of gladness that no one can take away from you. 23“When that day comes, you will not ask me for anything. I am telling you the truth: the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your happiness may be complete.
–from John 16
So turn to God! Ask believing in what Jesus says! Allow God to be your source and reason and purpose for being happy and complete! Yes we will face trials of many kinds, but Jesus tells us to consider it pure joy because its work will be completed and we will end being complete and lacking nothing! Jesus is going to come back! He is able to use all things and turn them around and use them for good, even what the enemy may have tried to use to trip you up! Things may look impossible to man, but all things are possible for God! Jesus gave His all to make a way when there was no way we could have gone in our own strength!
The Scroll and the Lamb
1I saw a scroll in the right hand of the one who sits on the throne; it was covered with writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel, who announced in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3But there was no one in heaven or on earth or in the world below who could open the scroll and look inside it. 4I cried bitterly because no one could be found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside it. 5Then one of the elders said to me, “Don’t cry. Look! The Lion from Judah’s tribe, the great descendant of David, has won the victory, and he can break the seven seals and open the scroll.” 6Then I saw a Lamb standing in the center of the throne, surrounded by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb appeared to have been killed. It had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God that have been sent through the whole earth. 7The Lamb went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who sits on the throne. 8As he did so, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each had a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9They sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to break open its seals. For you were killed, and by your sacrificial death you bought for God people from every tribe, language, nation, and race. 10You have made them a kingdom of priests to serve our God, and they shall rule on earth.” 11Again I looked, and I heard angels, thousands and millions of them! They stood around the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders, 12and sang in a loud voice: “The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, and strength, honor, glory, and praise!” 13And I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, in the world below, and in the sea—all living beings in the universe—and they were singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, be praise and honor, glory and might, forever and ever!” 14The four living creatures answered, “Amen!” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
–from Revelation 5
It may not be about you! There might be a bigger reason! There may be a bigger purpose! Consider this, it may not be all about you! As I type that I reflect on the little stone in my pants pocket that is a reminder for this life, this weekend, and forever! Remember God wants to work in and through us! We are to be His ambassadors of grace and mercy to the world around us! It may be that you are the only “church” the only visible appearance of Jesus the person has or will ever see! It may be so that others realize it is beyond religion, it’s all about relationship!
1I have made a solemn promise never to look with lust at a woman. 2What does Almighty God do to us? How does he repay human deeds? 3He sends disaster and ruin to those who do wrong. 4God knows everything I do; he sees every step I take. 5I swear I have never acted wickedly and never tried to deceive others. 6Let God weigh me on honest scales, and he will see how innocent I am. 7If I have turned from the right path or let myself be attracted to evil, if my hands are stained with sin, 8then let my crops be destroyed, or let others eat the food I grow. 9If I have been attracted to my neighbor’s wife, and waited, hidden, outside her door, 10then let my wife cook another man’s food and sleep in another man’s bed. 11Such wickedness should be punished by death. 12It would be like a destructive, hellish fire, consuming everything I have. 13When any of my servants complained against me, I would listen and treat them fairly. 14If I did not, how could I then face God? What could I say when God came to judge me? 15The same God who created me created my servants also. 16I have never refused to help the poor; never have I let widows live in despair 17or let orphans go hungry while I ate. 18All my life I have taken care of them. 19When I found someone in need, too poor to buy clothes, 20I would give him clothing made of wool that had come from my own flock of sheep. Then he would praise me with all his heart. 21If I have ever cheated an orphan, knowing I could win in court, 22then may my arms be broken; may they be torn from my shoulders. 23Because I fear God’s punishment, I could never do such a thing. 24I have never trusted in riches 25or taken pride in my wealth. 26I have never worshiped the sun in its brightness or the moon in all its beauty. 27I have not been led astray to honor them by kissing my hand in reverence to them. 28Such a sin should be punished by death; it denies Almighty God. 29I have never been glad when my enemies suffered, or pleased when they met with disaster; 30I never sinned by praying for their death. 31All those who work for me know that I have always welcomed strangers. 32I invited travelers into my home and never let them sleep in the streets. 33Others try to hide their sins, but I have never concealed mine. 34I have never feared what people would say; I have never kept quiet or stayed indoors because I feared their scorn. 35Will no one listen to what I am saying? I swear that every word is true. Let Almighty God answer me. If the charges my opponent brings against me were written down so that I could see them, 36I would wear them proudly on my shoulder and place them on my head like a crown. 37I would tell God everything I have done, and hold my head high in his presence. 38If I have stolen the land I farm and taken it from its rightful owners—39if I have eaten the food that grew there but let the farmers that grew it starve—40then instead of wheat and barley, may weeds and thistles grow. The words of Job are ended.
–from Job 31
Consider your attitude towards others! Consider your attitude towards your neighbors! Consider your attitude towards God’s people!
1These are the words of Amos, a shepherd from the town of Tekoa. Two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel, God revealed to Amos all these things about Israel. 2Amos said, “The Lord roars from Mount Zion; his voice thunders from Jerusalem. The pastures dry up, and the grass on Mount Carmel turns brown.”
God’s Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors
3The Lord says, “The people of Damascus have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They treated the people of Gilead with savage cruelty. 4So I will send fire upon the palace built by King Hazael and I will burn down the fortresses of King Benhadad. 5I will smash the city gates of Damascus and remove the inhabitants of Aven Valley and the ruler of Betheden. The people of Syria will be taken away as prisoners to the land of Kir.”
6The Lord says, “The people of Gaza have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They carried off a whole nation and sold them as slaves to the people of Edom. 7So I will send fire upon the city walls of Gaza and burn down its fortresses. 8I will remove the rulers of the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon. I will punish the city of Ekron, and all the Philistines who are left will die.”
9The Lord says, “The people of Tyre have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They carried off a whole nation into exile in the land of Edom, and did not keep the treaty of friendship they had made. 10So I will send fire upon the city walls of Tyre and burn down its fortresses.”
11The Lord says, “The people of Edom have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They hunted down their relatives, the Israelites, and showed them no mercy. Their anger had no limits, and they never let it die. 12So I will send fire upon the city of Teman and burn down the fortresses of Bozrah.”
13The Lord says, “The people of Ammon have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. In their wars for more territory they even ripped open pregnant women in Gilead. 14So I will send fire upon the city walls of Rabbah and burn down its fortresses. Then there will be shouts on the day of battle, and the fighting will rage like a storm. 15Their king and his officers will go into exile.”
–from Amos 1
We can’t justify ourselves! We can’t do enough to be right with God! We have messed up! We have tripped up! We have missed the mark! Jesus is the answer! Jesus is the way! We can’t save ourselves, however, through Jesus, we are saved by grace through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
1The Lord says, “The people of Moab have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They dishonored the bones of the king of Edom by burning them to ashes. 2I will send fire upon the land of Moab and burn down the fortresses of Kerioth. The people of Moab will die in the noise of battle while soldiers are shouting and trumpets are sounding. 3I will kill the ruler of Moab and all the leaders of the land.”
4The Lord says, “The people of Judah have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They have despised my teachings and have not kept my commands. They have been led astray by the same false gods that their ancestors served. 5So I will send fire upon Judah and burn down the fortresses of Jerusalem.”
God’s Judgment on Israel
6The Lord says, “The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They sell into slavery honest people who cannot pay their debts, the poor who cannot repay even the price of a pair of sandals. 7They trample down the weak and helpless and push the poor out of the way. A man and his father have intercourse with the same slave woman, and so profane my holy name. 8At every place of worship people sleep on clothing that they have taken from the poor as security for debts. In the temple of their God they drink wine which they have taken from those who owe them money.
9“And yet, my people, it was for your sake that I totally destroyed the Amorites, who were as tall as cedar trees and as strong as oaks. 10I brought you out of Egypt, led you through the desert for forty years, and gave you the land of the Amorites to be your own. 11I chose some of your sons to be prophets and some of your young men to be nazirites. Isn’t this true, people of Israel? I, the Lord, have spoken. 12But you made the nazirites drink wine, and ordered the prophets not to speak my message. 13And now I will crush you to the ground, and you will groan like a cart loaded with grain. 14Not even fast runners will escape; strong men will lose their strength, and soldiers will not be able to save their own lives. 15Archers will not stand their ground, fast runners will not get away, and men on horses will not escape with their lives. 16On that day even the bravest soldiers will drop their weapons and run.” The Lord has spoken.
–from Amos 2