“What We Wish For”

June 29, 2015 (Amos 4-6; Psalm 86-87; Titus 1)

From the Life Journal of Adam Proux:

Scripture: “What sorrow awaits you who say, “if only the day of the Lord were here!” You have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will bring darkness, not light.” (Amos 5:18 NLT)

Observation: Amos was sent by God to confront the Northern Kingdom of Israel with their sin and warn them of the coming judgment of God. He did not go to them with a warm, fuzzy message of passiveness, but rather with a stern message of conviction and discipline. He pointed out their many sins publicly, in their very presence, and called for repentance. Because the people ignored and rejected God’s warnings they would now face God’s judgment. “If only the day of The Lord were here!” many exclaimed, but Amos reminds them they knew not what they wished for. The day of God’s judgment will not be a joy filled day for the majority. In fact, it will be a day of darkness like no other time before, and no other time again. Amos provides us a clear understanding of the importance of heeding God’s warnings.

Application: There are so many warnings written for our benefit within the pages of God’s Word. Yet, we seem so easily to ignore His warnings and rush blindly to the destruction ahead. The Word of God clearly testifies how terrible the “Day of The Lord” will be, and yet we find ourselves at times actually wishing for it. But why do we wish for that day? Is it because of our great love for God and His righteousness? Or is it because we desire to see our enemies punished for their sins! The “Day of The Lord” will be an awful day when it comes. God’s wrath will be poured out like never before. There will be weeping, and gnashing of teeth. A painful day of punishment we wouldn’t wish upon our worst enemy. While the true follower of Christ looks forward to being with Him forever, I believe we should solemnly meditate on what the “Day of The Lord” will look like for most. Maybe then we would be moved with more compassion to truly be concerned about those bound by the chains of sin.

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for not meditating more about the coming day of your judgment. Your Word is clear how horrible that day will be. Fill me with the courage, and compassion, you filled Amos with. Teach me to speak words of truth that warn, convict, and lead to repentance. Thank you for your mercy and grace, how truly amazing they are! Thank you for your patience towards us. In Jesus name, Amen!

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“God’s Word Unchanged, God’s People Unmoved”

June 27, 2015 (2 Kings 13-14; 2 Chronicles 25; 2 Timothy 3)

From the Life Journal of Adam Proux:

Scripture: “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)

Observation: The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, and myths as the popular thought of our day would have you believe. The Word of God is alive and it’s timeless. It was, it is, and it forever will be. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the Word of God will always remain. It is for every generation that ever has been, and for every generation that ever will be. The Bible is the eternal standard of righteousness that teaches, reproves, corrects, and establishes a firm foundation a true faith in God can be built upon. God uses His Word to prepare and equip us to do every good work. He uses His word to comfort and encourage us along life’s path. He uses His word to warn us of things to come. He uses His word to enable us to avoid the mistakes, and sins committed by our forefathers. The Word of God has the answer to every question and the solution to every problem.

Application: How fitting that today’s reading would include this passage of scripture. The day after one of the most God defying laws of American history was placed in order by the United States Supreme Court, we are reminded of the standard that we all must refer to when making decisions. Our current society may find it pleasing to redefine the definitions of words that have been in existence for thousands of years, yet God’s Word still remains unchanged, and I still remain unmoved. Judges, appointed by men, that choose to deviate from the standards of righteousness given by God, will ultimately be held responsible for leading people down a treacherous path of sin and destruction. God has graciously given us His Word to guide us along the paths of righteousness and to reveal to us the things to come. These actions of evil should not catch us off guard or even be of any surprise to us. In fact, our shock and dismay over the Supreme Court’s decision really reveals the truth that we haven’t spent enough time searching God’s Word ourselves. Every event unfolding at this time can be discovered already written within the pages of the Bible. Yes, we probably have read the scriptures explaining the end times before, but have we believed what we read?

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for not trusting in your word more faithfully. Place the desire within me to search your Word more often and believe what your word proclaims more completely. Knowing God that your word testifies that these events are just the beginning; help me endure whatever you have planned until the very end. May your word be a lamp unto my feet directing me in the ways of righteousness. In Jesus name, Amen!

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“The Valley of Decision”

June 25, 2015 (Joel 1-3; 2 Timothy 1)

From the Life Journal of Adam Proux:

Scripture: “Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the day of the Lord will soon arrive.” (Joel 3:14 NLT)

Observation: The book of Joel is a picture of the judgment of God yet to come. Joel gives terrifying examples of what God’s judgment will look like and urges people to turn from their sin and turn back to God. Joel instructs parents to teach their children about the events that have taken place in history. Pass the story down from generation to generation so they will know the way of the Lord and will avoid the mistakes of those before them. Yet near the end of the book of Joel we find thousands upon thousands waiting in the valley of decision. What are they waiting for? Who are these people? Could they be your friends, your coworkers, fellow church members, and even you? The day of the Lord is coming; will He find you washed in the blood of Jesus or waiting in the valley of decision?

Application: Each of us will stand before God and give an account of our lives, none are exempt. But when that day comes where will God find you? Will your soul be found standing in the valley of decision or will it be found surrendered and subjected to Christ completely? What about your friends, coworkers, and neighbors; have you told them about the coming day of the Lord? What about your children, if the day of the Lord comes in their lifetime will they know what to expect, and will they be ready? How can they be, if we don’t take the responsibility of sharing the Word of God with them seriously? The judgment day of the Lord is coming and we all need to understand the severity of God’s final judgment. We need not only understand it and know about it, but we need to be sure we have received the hope that God has offered to see us through it.

Prayer: Dear Lord, so many I know are currently standing in the valley of decision. Help us understand the need we have to be delivered and set free. Give me the courage to tell those I come into contact with about the coming day of your judgment. Help me teach my children your word and prepare them for what is ahead. In Jesus name, Amen!

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“Courage to Act”

June 23, 2015 (2 Kings 10; 2 Chronicles 22-23; 1 Timothy 5)

From the Life Journal of Adam Proux:

Scripture: “In the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign, Jehoiada the priest decided to act. He summoned his courage and made a pact with five army commanders: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri.” (2 Chronicles 23:1 NLT)

Observation: Athaliah was the daughter of Jezebel and she was just as wicked as her mother. When she learned her son, king Ahaziah, had been killed she seized the opportunity to secure the throne for herself. After assuming the throne she killed all potential heirs to it, so she thought. But Jehosheba, Ahaziah’s sister took Ahaziah’s infant son Joash and hid him from Athaliah in order to save him from being murdered. He was hidden in the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled. It was in the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign that Jehoiada decided to act. Although it could have cost him his life, this priest did what was right, restoring the Temple worship and anointed Joash the new king. He summoned his courage and developed a plan to overthrow this wicked queen and rightfully anoint Joash as king.

Application: Sometimes we don’t understand the events that take place in our lives. Most often we desire for things to be easy and decisions to be clear, we enjoy knowing the outcome before we act. Yet many times God will lead us down pathways that are not so clear and smooth. Things will happen that make you question where God is and why is He not acting. Why does He allow evil to appear to win at times? How can He sit back and allow this to take place? Maybe sometimes He just wants us to summon our courage and act. He wants us to care enough about right to actually do right. He often times will use opposition to propel us to new heights in Him. Without a doubt my faith has grown more in times of great distress than any other.

Prayer: Dear Lord, without a doubt your ways are higher than my ways and your thoughts are greater than my thoughts. You are the beginning and the end therefore you know. Help me recognize the times you want me to summon my courage and act. Also help me know when to be still and wait. In Jesus name, Amen!

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“Keeping Watch”

June 22, 2015 (2 Kings 8-9; 2 Chronicles 21; 1 Timothy 4)

From the Life Journal of Adam Proux:

Scripture: “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16 NLT)

Observation: Paul worked hard to encourage Timothy and instruct him in the areas of life that could easily trip him up. Notice Paul didn’t tell Timothy to rest in the grace of God and not to worry about his life in Christ, but on the contrary Paul encouraged Timothy to keep a close watch on how he lived and what he believed! Paul knew many were trying to distort the gospel of Christ and that Timothy had to keep a close watch on what he believed in order to keep him from falling into sin. A corrupt belief system easily leads to a corrupt life. It was important for Timothy to keep a close watch on these areas of life for the sake of his salvation, and the salvation of those that heard him. Staying true to what is right is essential in living the Christian life.

Application: We live in an era where anything, and everything, is acceptable to think and believe. Standards are created within one’s own mind and should never be questioned or condemned by anyone else. We no longer have to keep a close eye on how we live because we haven’t kept a close eye on what we believed. Satan has easily led us astray by using his original tactics he used in the Garden of Eden. He simply corrupts our belief system and our corrupt actions soon follow. As a Christian our beliefs should align with the Word of God completely. If our beliefs differ from what God’s eternal word proclaims then we have forsaken God’s word and have a corrupted belief system that will ultimately lead us astray. The only way we can stay true to what is right is if we know and believe what is right. Even then we must keep a close eye on how we live and what we believe.

Prayer: Dear Lord, teach me what is right. Let my beliefs be established upon Your Word. Open my blinded eyes that I may clearly see and believe what is right. For the sake of your salvation help me keep a close watch on how I live and believe. In Jesus name, Amen!

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“Follow the Rules!”

June 16, 2015 (1 Kings 17-19; Colossians 2)

From the Life Journal of Adam Proux:

Scripture: “These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.” (Colossians 2:23 NLT)

Observation: Religious leaders often times enjoy placing heavy burdens on those they desire to rule over. This simple, yet effective, tactic has brought many under subjection and led many astray. Paul was making the Colossian church aware of these elementary tactics and encouraged them to understand the importance of living right before God for the right reasons. We do not earn God’s approval by observing rituals created by man, nor do we gain His acceptance by any pious works of righteousness we produce. Only through Christ Jesus are we made holy and acceptable to God. Only by His blood sacrifice are we justified and washed clean. Only by The Holy Spirit are we able to conquer the evil desires within us and rightly live in a manner that is pleasing to God.

Application: We all have a desire to be successful somewhere within us. And this desire for success makes it easy to fall into the trap of legalism. When we are successful, in our own eyes, at staying true to a listed set of do’s and don’ts we get a false sense of accomplishment that sooths our prideful ego. At this very critical moment in our lives our focus shifts away from Christ and instead directs our hope and confidence to our own abilities. Soon we begin to measure and compare ourselves to others instead of Christ. This leads to self-righteousness because we quickly learn how to spot someone that is not living up to our high standards. All the while we go along thinking God is pleased with us because we don’t live like those heathen sinners, yet we fail to recognize that we are being led by our evil desires instead of The Holy Spirit. Strong devotion, self-denial, and bodily discipline produce good fruit when they are a result of a clean heart completely submitted to Christ.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for this wonderful day you have provided for us. Thank you for your Holy Spirit that reminds me to measure and compare myself to Christ only. Help me live better today than I did yesterday for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen!

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“The Entire Message”

June 15, 2015 (1 Kings 16; 2 Chronicles 15-16; Colossians 1)

From the Life Journal of Adam Proux:

Scripture: “God has given me the responsibility of serving His church by proclaiming his entire message to you.” (Colossians 1:25 NLT)

Observation: Paul was chosen to be an Apostle to the Gentile people. The Gentile people had been denied the benefit of hearing God’s word and were considered less than second class people. Yet God in His marvelous grace gave Paul the responsibility of serving His church by proclaiming the entire gospel message to these people that were considered dogs in comparison to the chosen ones. When Paul took the Gospel message to the Gentile people he didn’t start a new denomination or a new religion. He simply preached the entire message that was given him. This message included the fact that Christ lives in us and that His mercy and grace was available to all of us as well. Peace was made between us and God through the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We come to know, understand, and receive of this supreme sacrifice when the entire gospel message is proclaimed unto us.

Application: As ministers of the gospel we have the same responsibility today that Paul had in his day. We have been commissioned to preach the entire gospel message to those that are separated from God by sin. We must cease creating new religions, new denominations, and new age movements that distort the true gospel message and simply deliver the pure, life changing, gospel message that was once delivered to us. It is our responsibility to preach, and teach, the entire message, not just the parts that give folks the warm and fuzzy feelings of comfort. Repentance from sin is not a suggestive part of God’s plan it is a mandatory requirement. Repentance is more than asking for forgiveness, it is a complete forsaking of anything that is contrary to God’s Holy Word. We must follow the example of Christ by willingly submitting completely to the Fathers will regardless of how surrender affects our feelings. We receive the gospel message by faith, not by feeling. Repentance is the beginning work of Salvation; a beginning work that crucifies our own will and births an entire new life completely submitted to the will of God. We can only receive this type freedom by accepting the entire gospel message.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for delivering the entire gospel message to me. Thank you for your mercy and grace that enables me to accept and submit to your ways even when I don’t understand them. This morning I pray for every minister that is called according to your purpose. I pray you give each of us courage to proclaim your entire message no matter what the cost may be. In Jesus name, Amen!

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