Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11 - True to Plumb

Today's Reading: 
Amos 7:1-9:15 
Mark 5:21-43 
Proverbs 25:1-10
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Focus Verses:
Amos 7:7-9; 9:14-15 
7:7 This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. 7:8 And the LORD asked me, "What do you see, Amos?" "A plumb line," I replied. Then the Lord said, "Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer. 7:9 "The high places of Isaac will be destroyed and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined; with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam." - - - 9:14 I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. 9:15 I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them," says the LORD your God.

God could no longer spare Israel from the consequences of their sinfulness, self-deception, inhumanity, and disregard for justice. If a builder discovers the entire foundation of a building site is not level, he may be forced to destroy what is there in order to start over. In the same way, God held a plumb line up to the nation of Israel and saw no way to fix the problems without taking everything down and starting over.

The good news was that the destruction and judgment of Israel was something God intended to use to create a new start. His ultimate purpose wasn't to tear them down, but rather to rebuild—to plant vineyards and gardens, and to do this all so well they would never again be uprooted.

Response and Action:
What things in my life need to be dismantled and thrown out in order for God to help me rebuild something good and lasting? I need to recognize that there are some things in my life that must be put to death before I can experience true life. God doesn't want to merely reform me, he wants to tear down the old self and make me new. He wants to build my life on the foundation of Christ Jesus.

O God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I realize there are so many ways I fall short of what I can be in you. I know that I have so far to go, but I also know you love me where I am. Help me to put to death every sin and evil desire that would turn me away from you. Help me to keep my eyes on Jesus who has begun a good work in me. By your grace and power, build me into the person you want me to be. Amen. 

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
Matthew 7:24-25
24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Counterfeit Gods
by Tim Keller

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