Have you ever been misjudged, falsely accused, or passed over by someone in leadership? Have you ever been hurt or mistreated? What do you think about at those times? How can you learn to trust God in a greater way?
Also, find out why God would call a group of women “cows of Bashan” and how we can be sure we don’t act like them.
Well, we are nearing the end of our journey on “the Bible bus” as J. Vernon McGee used to call it. I’d love to know how reading through the Bible has impacted you. Please take a few minutes and let me know. What has been your favorite book so far? What has changed in your life? How have you been able to apply what you are learning (the most important question of all)?
Are you already thinking about the coming year? I know I am. Every year is an exciting adventure in knowing God better through His Word! I’ll continue these “read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year” posts in 2018, along with other topical posts. I hope you’ll join me. You can read about it here or signup to receive the daily encouragement and my thoughts on our readings.
On to the magnificent Word …
When You’re Treated Unfairly
God’s Unstoppable Plans
“Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice for man comes from the LORD.”
Have you ever been misjudged, falsely accused, or passed over by someone in leadership? Have you ever been hurt or mistreated?
What do you think about at those times? As believers, we need to meditate on God’s wonderful attributes and remember who is really in control.
First of all, we need to remember that He is good! If He allows us to go through some test or trial, it’s for our good (Rom. 8.28-29). It’s intended to help us grow in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5.22-23) and come to trust Him more.
Second, God is Sovereign—He is completely in control. He is omnipotent—all powerful. He has the power and the ability to bring about whatever He chooses (“justice for man comes from the LORD”).
Job 42.2 says, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”
Think about that; God’s unstoppable plans, His perfect plans and purposes, will come to pass.
He is, also, omnipresent. He is present everywhere and at all times! He is omniscient. He knows everything. Nothing we think about, nothing we do, and nothing that happens to us is a secret to Him.
He is a God of love, a God of mercy, and perfectly holy. But He is also a God of justice.
So, since He knows everything, He has the power to do whatever He needs to do, He is completely sovereign, a God of justice, and He loves His children, He is well able to take care of You and make all things right in His time. Put your faith and trust in Him. He is our faithful, loving Father! Trust in His unstoppable, wonderful plans!
Today’s Other Readings:
You Cows of Bashan!
Amos was written primarily to the Northern tribes (Samaria) during a time of relative peace and prosperity. In chapter 4 Amos begins by addressing the women of Samaria calling them “cows of Bashan.” Wow, that’s pretty harsh!
The problem was that these women were living in luxury and encouraging their husbands to focus on material prosperity. Verse 1, “Who say to your husbands, ‘Bring wine, let us drink!’” And they had no regard for those less fortunate, “Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy …”
As wives and mothers and sisters, we have much more influence over our families than we think or like to admit. How are we influencing them? What is our focus? Could we be acting like the “cows of Bashan”? Are we saying we want our husbands to be godly leaders and our sons to grow up to be godly men … all the while putting our focus on material things, pushing them to get a better job, more education, and provide more “stuff”?
Or do we encourage them to consider the spiritual implications of a job or career first? Will it allow them time to serve the Lord? Will having that bigger house make it difficult to give to the work of God? How do our lifestyles, our careers, and our goals fit with God’s plans and purposes? Whose agenda are we on, His or ours?
And husbands, are you leading your wives in this area? You are to wash us with the water of the Word (Eph. 5.26), pray for us, help us to grow spiritually, and lead by example.
Matthew 6 says:
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Where is your treasure and therefore your heart?
Chapter 141.5, “Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it.”
Proverbs 27.6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
How do you respond to criticism? Do you welcome it, taking it to God and asking Him to show you how you need to grow and change? Or do you get defensive and choose to be offended? God can even use ungodly, unfair criticism for our good if we will take it to Him and ask Him to show us any element of truth in it.
The Reason We Celebrate
This next section of the book starts out with a glimpse into the throne room of heaven. We see the church represented by the 24 elders worshiping God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
We also see the number seven multiple times. Seven represents perfection or completeness in the Bible. In this chapter, there are the “seven Spirits of God” (not really seven different spirits, but perfection). Tomorrow we will read about “seven seals,” “seven eyes,” and “seven horns.”
What an awesome privilege that God would include in His Eternal Word this glimpse into heaven for our encouragement and blessing!
That same “Eternal Word,” personified in Jesus Christ, laid down His right to be in heaven, allowed Himself to be born in the body of a baby, lived a perfect sinless life, and offered Himself as the Lamb of God who takes away our sins. He not only brings about justice in this life, but He made it possible for each of us to be justified in the eyes of God, the only justification that will really matter for eternity!
HE IS THE REASON WE CELEBRATE THIS SEASON!
How has God spoken to you today? Did you see a passage in a new light? Did you see an area where you need to grow and change? Did you find a promise to hold on to? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In the next few days, we’ll talk about grace, being a Christian single, the responsibility involved in being a true friend, the Tribulation, the opening the 7 seals in Revelation, and pose the question, “Does what goes around come around?”
Be sure to sign up here so you won’t miss any of these upcoming daily posts. Sign up now for a chance to win a bible and journal. See the details below.
Getting ready for 2018 with a Chance to Win a Bible & Journal
The holidays are just around the corner and the new year will be on us before we know it. What will you do to make Bible reading and prayer an ongoing habit in the coming year? I’d like to encourage you to set a goal to read through the Bible and to sign up for my daily encouragement. This year I’ll be adding Scripture-based prayers to each day’s post. If you sign up before December 15 you’ll have a chance to win a MacArthur Daily Bible and a journal to record your thoughts and those Scripture-based prayers. Email subscribers will also be automatically entered into a drawing for monthly giveaways throughout 2018.
I hope you’ll sign up for my daily email. It can serve as a gentle reminder to stay on track. I try to make comments that are relevant to the daily struggles and questions that I hear in my counseling and discipleship ministries.
Start today so you can begin the habit and it will be a regular part of your day come January.
You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+. Just click on the social media icons. But nothing replaces having the daily devotion pop up in your inbox each day. It, usually (once in a while life gets in the way), goes out at 3 a.m. MST, so it’s there for early risers no matter what time zone you’re in.
So will you join me and, possibly, encourage someone else to do the same. (Why not email or call them right now?) Let’s get ready and grow in our relationship with Him together.
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It’s Not Fair!: Finding Hope When Times Are Tough
If you have ever been tempted to complain about your lot in life, thinking God is not treating you as He should, this book would be invaluable in helping you (or others) understand what God does in and through our difficulties. “It’s Not Fair!” comes alongside each person where they are, and moves them to a place where they can finally rest in God’s attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, love, and justice through the use of sound biblical encouragement.