God will one day judge the whole world. This is a certainty. All injustices, wrongdoing, wickedness, and brutality will be avenged … Justice DELAYED is NOT Justice DENIED! The book of Amos opens with the roar of God’s judgment. God’s pronouncement of judgment upon these nations is a reminder and representation of His coming judgment on all people. The Roar of the Lion helps us review our own lives and values. It helps us to reflect and consider: Does our lifestyle reflect the heart of God? Do we share the self-seeking heart of the indifference of Amos’ day?
The book of Amos teaches us several valuable lessons. The core message of Amos is God’s judgment for sin. YES, God IS patient and slow to anger BUT His patience does have limits. Sin, rebellion, corruption, injustice, and every form of evil behavior will be judged. Every person and EVERY Nation who breaks God’s laws AND refuses to repent will be judged. The message of Amos is needed today as much as ever.
We have been predestined not only to adoption and to holiness, but also to “an inheritance” Our Inheritance is, in a word…..heaven. It is the sum total of all God has promised to us in and thru salvation. God gives us this inheritance so that we will live forever in the new heavens and earth as a perfect demonstration of His glory. There we will give praise to the glory of His grace, love and mercy extended to those who are in Christ. Even now…we are enabled to give thanks and praise unto Him…even in our trials and difficulties…because we have His guarantee that we will receive what He has promised.
Because we are FORGIVEN we (1) have been Justified, (2) are being Sanctified and (3) will be Glorified. Our Justification is behind us. In Christ, we are saved from the PENALTY of sin. Our Sanctification is ongoing. In Christ, we are being saved from the POWER of sin. Our Glorification is coming. In Christ, we will be saved from the PRESENCE of sin. God’s offer of forgiveness and redemption is available to everyone but it is only effective for those who actually repent and receive Jesus Christ as their LORD & SAVIOR.
We have turned Christianity into a ME THING: I get to go to Heaven, I get to be with Jesus, I get to walk the streets of gold, I get to reunite with lost loved ones, etc. Our Faith is not about us and it is ALL about Him! He CHOSE us…in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be HOLY and BLAMELESS…before Him. You will note that all three Persons of the Godhead are involved in our salvation: As far as God the Father is concerned, salvation BEGAN when He chose you IN Christ BEFORE the Foundation of the world…but that alone did not save you; As far as God the Son is concerned, salvation was PURCHASED when He DIED on the cross and ROSE from the dead…but that alone did not save you; as far as God the Spirit is concerned, salvation is COMPLETED when you YEILD to His conviction and RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior. What BEGAN before the FOUNDATION of the WORLD was FULFILLED in time present, and WILL CONTINUE for all eternity and NOTHING….i repeat NOTHING…can separate you from the Love of God!
James has had a great deal to say about the tongue, and this chapter is no exception. He mentioned some of the lowest uses of the tongue: complaining (vs. 9) and swearing (vs. 12), but he also named some of the highest uses of the tongue: proclaiming God’s Word (vs. 10) and praying and praising God (vs. 13). Prayer is certainly a high and holy privilege. Just think, as God’s Children, we can come freely & boldly to His throne and share with Him our needs. Seven times in this section James mentioned prayer. The mature Believer is PRAYERFUL in the troubles of life. “Taking it to the Lord in prayer” is certainly a mark of spiritual maturity.
James never said it was a sin to be rich. After all, Abraham was a wealthy man, yet he walked with God and was greatly used by God to bless the whole world. James was concerned about the selfishness of the rich. What James condemned was the wrong use of wealth, James condemned the ones who use their wealth as a weapon and not as a tool with which to build up the Kingdom of God. May we all realize that what we have is because of who He is. We have been blessed….so now let’s be a blessing to those that are in need.