Monday, May 30, 2011

Recovery Devotional 360 The Day of the Lord

JMD Devotional 360 Amos 5:18-24 The Day of the Lord

Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you want the day of the Lord? It is darkness and not light; It is as if a man fled from a lion and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned with his hand against the wall and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light? Even very dark with no brightness in it? I hate, I despise your feasts, and I will not smell a savor or take delight in your solemn assemblies. Though you offer Me your burnt offerings and your cereal offerings, I will not accept them, neither will I look upon the peace or thank offerings of your fatted beasts. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice run down like waters and righteousness as a mighty and ever-flowing stream.

1 Peter 4:17-19 For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God? And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked? Therefore, those who are ill-treated and suffer in accordance with God's will must do right and commit their souls [in charge as a deposit] to the One Who created [them] and will never fail [them].

It is better to take your medicine up front, to fear God and turn from evil voluntarily, to search your soul for hypocrisy, to commit to live deliberately and carefully before God while it is still our day of choice. Many Christians pine away for the ‘Day of the Lord’, and have no idea that judgment begins with the Church. Our Age of Grace is not license for sin, indifference and neglect of spiritual duties. Judgment begins with us because we have been given more and we know more so more is required of us. We have the testimony of history. The pendulum at times needs to swing between comforting the afflicted to afflicting the comfortable. Does God love the Church in China, Indonesia and the Sudan any less than the U.S.? Self-righteousness is still sin. Can anyone take a good inventory of their sins of omission? God is love; but it is still wise to fear Him.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that [if] One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.

1 Corinthians 11:31-32 For if we searchingly examined ourselves [detecting our shortcomings and recognizing our own condition], we should not be judged and penalty decreed [by the divine judgment]. But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined and chastened, so that we may not [finally] be condemned [to eternal punishment along] with the world.

Dear God,
Everyone wants to believe that they are exempt from judgment; but You have warned that many people who thought they were serving You will be sadly mistaken (Matthew 7:22). Father, chastise and correct me up front: make me aware of my transgressions so I can cooperate with Your Holy Spirit, and change my heart, mind, and way of life. The kind of fear that breeds resentment is distorted, and does not comprehend Your Holiness and man’s utter depravity. Perfect my love for you: perfect love casts out that fear, even of the coming Judgment. Only as I abide in Christ am I truly shielded from the Judgment that will lay waste to this world.

All (but*) quotes are from The Amplified Bible, published by
the Lockman Foundation. (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
*New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
**Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. (Eugene Peterson's easy-to-read, contemporary Scripture translation)

I originally produced these blogs between 2006 and 2007, which were then published in my book, JMD Recovery Devotionals. In 2010, I am sending these out to a few people as I review them and see if my point of view has changed.

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