Straight or Crooked

Amos 7:7-8, “Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.  And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:”

If you and I were going to build a house or building we would need to put up walls that were straight.  They would need to be square also, so that the corners would meet up correctly.  Measuring the walls up and down to check for straightness can be done with a plumbline.  In our verses above the word “plumbline” means to be narrow.  This refers to using a string with a plumbett on the end to check to see if something is straight up and down.

This reminds me of God’s Word.  If we want to see where we are at all we need to do is compare ourselves to the Word of God.  It will show us were we are crooked or not straight.  Then we must make adjustments in our lives to make us align with God’s Word once again.  If you move the plumbline all you do is create more problems.  We have to make changes personally to conform to God’s measureing device called the Bible.

So, how are you doing?

Why Go

Amos 5:6, “Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.”

Do you go to Church?  Why do you attend Church?  One reason could be obedience.  Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Another reason people go to Church these days is to network.  Sadly, some people (usually found in larger assemblies) only go to Church so they can connect with other people to sell them something or so they can find a particular thing that they are looking for (it is usually not a spiritual thing either).

The word “Bethel” in our text means the house of God.  I know that we who have a close personal relationship with Christ want to be filled with His fire.  This verse is referring to the fire of judgement.God is dealing with a rebellious people and warning them of judgement to come if they did not turn back to Him.  Remember I Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”  It is time that we get back to worship at God’s house and get away from the other reasons.

So, how are you doing?


My Thoughts

Amos 4:13, “For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.”

Yesterday I set out to post the above verse of Scripture and when I began to write I went on a little different direction than I had planned.  So, here are some more thoughts on this verse.

As I was reading this verse I was caught by the phrase, “and declareth unto man what is his thought”.  God has written to us His love letter and He calls it the Bible.  It is sad that people cannot see that the Bible is God’s inspired Word to us (II Timothy 3:16-17).  I think a big part of it is that we do not want to be told what to do and what not to do.  There are far more “thou shalt” than there are “thou shalt not” in the Bible.  People just do not want to submit to God because they think all their ‘fun” will be over or some ignorant excuse like that.

I am thankful for God’s Word.  I find in the pages of God’s Word all the wisdom of the ages.  I find comfort for my pain and heartaches.  Most importantly I find the road that leads me to God Himself and I tells me how to have an eternal relationship with Him.  God knows our thoughts and He has given us an inexhaustible manual on how to live life and see good days.  It is up to us to read it and obey it.

Dr. William Forrester said, “You only believe as much of the Bible as you obey.”  So, how are you doing?



Amos 4:13, “For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.”

On Sunday morning we were privileged to have a special that I love.  A line from the song goes, “There’s a famine in the land, not of bread and not of water…”.  I have heard my wife sing this years ago and I love it.  Tears filled my eyes while I listened.

If there were to be a worldwide sickness people would be frantic to find the cure.  If someone had the vaccine to cure the disease they would be mauled by people trying to get the vaccine for themselves and their circle of people.

Here is the sad reality.  Every human being; with the exception of Jesus Christ, has been infected with something that causes death.  The sad reality is that We who are born-again have the remedy.  Yet, nobody is breaking down our doors to get the remedy.  This attitude of “I don’t need it” has brought on a famine of worldwide magnitude.

What is even worse is that people don’t care about this famine, nor do they care about this disease with a death sentence.  We must pray that God the Holy Spirit will cultivate within people a desire that can oly be quenched by God Himself.  Let’s get started battling this famine.

So, how are you doing?


I Corinthians 16:9, “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”

I remember growing up running through the Church basement with my friends.  On friend shut my finger in the door of a Sunday School classroom.  I still have a tiny scar from that to remind me of the incident.  I hold no bitterness over it; but, I do have a small mark.  I wish that door had been closed to me before I put my hand around the end of it to keep it from slamming shut and keeping me out.  Yet, the door was slammed shut by someone much stronger than I and the rest is history, as they say.

The word “effectual” means to be active, efficient or useable and workable.  Maybe you stand at a door wondering if it is open to you or not.  There is only one way to know if the door is opened to you or not.  You must try to open it.  If it opens then go through it.  If it does not open then you need to find the door that God has open for you.

One way to try a door to see if it is open is by prayer.  Look at James 5:16, “… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  The useable, workable prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  We need to be effectual not only in our prayer life; but, also our service to God.

So, how are you doing?

to be active, efficient

Psalm 23 Nuggets

Psalm 23:1, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

The other Wednesday evening we were challenged to begin a consistent, daily Bible study.  We were encouraged to write down things concerning this study.  Here is what I received in my devotions today on Psalm 23:

vs. 1 – “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”  So, if I am in “want” it means that I am not allowing the LORD to be my Shepherd.
vs. 2a.) “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:” – That’s protection.
vs. 2b.) “he leadeth me beside the still waters.” – That’s comfort.
vs. 3a.) “He restoreth my soul:” – That’s compassion or mercy.
vs. 3b.) “he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – That’s leadership (righteous influence)
vs. 4a.) “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;” – That’s omnipresence.
vs. 4b.) “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” – That’s correction.
vs. 5a.) “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:” – That’s provision.
vs. 5b.) “thou anointest my head with oil;” – That’s the trinity.  (oil representing the Holy Spirit)
vs. 5c.) “my cup runneth over.” – That’s prosperity.
vs. 6a.) “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:” –
vs. 6b.) ” and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” – That’s eternality.

Your Crop

Hosea 8:7, “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”

Everywhere you look in central Indiana you can see the devastating effects of the drought of 2012.  I don’t remember seeing corn in the field as short as I have seen it this year.  The corn crop is lost and the soybeans will probably not be so bad.

As I was reading our Scripture passage for today I was reminded of one man who said, “You cannot sow your wild oats and then pray for crop failure.”  It just does not work this way.  As another man said, “One day your chickens will come home to roost.”  Dr. Charles Stanley puts it this way, “You will reap more than you sow, later than you sow…”.

We need to live our lives conscious that our actions effect others as well as ourselves. If people would think through the whole process when they are about to indulge in sin, I don’t think they would continue.  I am including myself in this too.  If I consciously choose to overindulge myself in food that is bad for my health I need to realize that I am cutting my life short which effects my whole family.  We don’t think like that though.  We live for the moment.  What satisfaction can I get right this second.  We justify whatever it is by this line of thinking.  God help us.  The only way to over come this is a life yielded to Jesus.

So, how are you doing?

No Man

Psalm 142:4, “I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.”

Some days in life are very dark days.  As I was reading our passage for today I was reminded of this reality (not that I really need a reminder).  You look out the window and the sun shines so bright and yet, inside it is black as night.  Some would call this depression, I suppose.  I see it as having place our focus in the wrong place.

You are wondering what brings me to this conclusion.  As I was reading our passage of Scripture for today the phrase, “no man cared for my soul” jumped out at me.  It is said that David penned this while hiding in a cave from king Saul, who wanted to kill him.  This is a seemingly depressing situation.  David could have had a momentary lapse and began to think on his situation.

In the very next verse he changes his focus to God and acknowledges that God is his refuge.  Sometimes you and I overlook people and we miss the opportunity to point them to Jesus and they too think that “no man cared for my soul”.  This is tragic!  We need to be soul-conscious.

So, how are you doing?

You Got A Problem With Me

Hosea 4:1, “Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.”

Today’s Scripture jumped out at me as I was reading.  I realize this is penned for the nation of Israel; but, it unfortunately is true of America today as well.  The phrase that caught my ever shrinking attention is, “for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land,”.  The word controversy means a contest (personal or legal).

When I was in school it was en vogue to look at someone and say, “You gotta problem with me?”  This verse is God’s warning to His chosen people Israel to tell them He has a problem with them.  Like Israel in their day, I rest assured that God has a “controversy” with us in our day also.  The thing is that it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what the “controversy” is either.  We murder the unborn innocents, we call good evil and evil good, we call an abomination just an alternative lifestyle and the list goes on ad-nausium.

What can we do about this.  All you and I can do is a self evaluation based upon the Word of God.  Then we must confess and forsake all sin.  Then when we are right with God we must pray for our nation and do all we can to turn her around to the place where she began.  God help us!

So, how are you doing?

Have Compassion

Jude vs. 22, “And of some have compassion, making a difference:”

The other day I had the privilege to go sit as a member of a panel of four parents who were asked questions by high school students who have expressed an interest in being a peer facilitator in the special education program at their particular school.  I was asked last year for the first time.  It was an amazing experience!  I was glad to be asked again this year and it was again an emotion-packed time.  Students were crying the four of us were crying; but, it was a time of honest sharing so these students get a snapshot of our heart and get information to help them in their choice.

As I sat in the media room of the high school; which is not in our immediate area, one thing kept coming to my mind.  That thought is our Scripture passage for today.  I kept thinking, “You must have compassion on these students you work with; but, don’t buy in to them so far that you are fooled by them.”  There were accounts of debilitating disease, strokes before and shortly after birth and others.  The tears flowed like rain.  It is heart-touching when you see these young adults stand up and say, “I will go the extra mile and help someone.”

Listen to the words of Matthew 14:14, “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.”  Compassion motivated Jesus Christ into action.  I believe compassion is what has motivated those students we sat in front of the other day too.  What will move you?  Will you be like Jesus and let compassion motivate you to service?  I hope it does.

So, how are you doing?