Devotional July 10, 2016

Week of July 10, 2016

Growing with the Prophets: Amos

Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream (Amos 5:24)

 

Monday: The book of Amos begins with a series of oracles against Israel’s neighbors for crimes against humanity.  All the nations are accountable to God.

Read Amos 1:1-2:5

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. Amos was a shepherd not a professional prophet, yet God called him to speak challenging words during a smooth time.  When have you felt unqualified to do something but did it anyway?

2. What issues may God be trying to point out that are wrong today?

Prayer Focus

Pray that you might see our world/nation/city as God sees it.

 

Tuesday: Amos now turns to Israel and announces God’s judgment for sin and injustice.  Israel and her neighbors are judged by the same standards.  Israel’s sin is more offensive because of her special relationship with God.

Read Amos 2:6 – 3:15

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. Are we as a nation blind to our own sins?  What would Amos see?

2. What excuses do we make to avoid looking honestly at our condition?

3. Why is it important to honestly name the sins of a

 nation – especially our own?

Prayer Focus

Pray for those who are exploited or oppressed.

 

Wednesday: Israel has not returned to the Lord, rather they have given themselves over to luxurious excesses and vain piety.  How the needy are treated is the way a people are judged.

Read Amos 4:1 – 5:27

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. How are you/we doing in terms of trying to alleviate poverty and oppression?

2. How would you describe your relationship with God using Amos’ lens?

Prayer Focus

Pray for a growing relationship with God through the way you treat the poor and oppressed.

 

Thursday: Amos proclaims God’s judgment over complacency and pride.  He also has a confrontation with the priest Amaziah who tells him to go back to Judah.

Read Amos 6:1 – 7:17

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. Why is God so disturbed by complacency and pride?

2. What is the difference between pride and confidence?  How can you develop confidence without pride?

Prayer Focus

Pray for confidence without pride.

 

Friday: The last two chapters of the book contain five visions of God’s judgment and then with a vision of Israel’s restoration.

Read Amos 8:1 – 9:15

Questions for Reflection and Application

1. What is the central word from God that you hear after reading through the book of Amos this week?

2. What is your response to that Word?

Prayer Focus

Pray that the Holy Spirit would empower your response.

 

Small Group Format

Welcome

Introductions/getting acquainted

Mutual Invitation question:  Whose life would you most like to emulate?

Opening Prayer

Song (optional)

Reflection on the weekly Scripture readings

Have someone read Amos 1:1-2:5

Discuss observations about the text

What word or phrase strikes you the most?

What do you think is the most important point of the text?

Summarize the Sunday message and its connection to this text.

Use some of the daily questions for discussion in the devotional.

Choose another day to read a different text and discuss the questions.

Share your faith (in groups of 3)

How have you experienced God recently in your life?

(this will be a weekly question – it may be difficult to answer at first, but if you ask it each week, you may start to notice God more in your life)

Pray for each other

Refreshments (optional)

 

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Sun, 07/10/2016 - 09:30