At Ease in Zion

At Ease in Zion

Mediocrity, complacency, laziness. They have commonality. These are conditions of the heart that reveal the callousness of a man’s heart. His lack of care for his world are exemplified through his attitudes, and his attitudes are reflected through his actions.

Consider the Israelites. Amos addressed the impending disaster for Israel. After imploring God’s people to return to Him, Amos told them what God thought. Concerning their complacent worship, the Lord Himself said,

“I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your failings.

Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps. But let justice roll down like and ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:21-24

Can you imagine God saying that to you of your worship? Can you imagine God saying that to you of your work? Can you imagine God saying that to you of your family life? What an indictment! And what brought that about? It’s explained in just a few short words.

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria…” Amos 6:1

Complacency does that. A student pastor once asked his youth group on a scale of 1 to 10 in your relationship with God, “How many of you are a 10–on fire for God?” A couple of students raised their hands. “How many are a 1–you couldn’t care less about God? A few raised their hands to this inquiry. How many of you are more in the middle with your feelings toward God? Almost the entire group raised their hands.

The youth leader read, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

Yes, those are the words of our God in Revelation 3.

Complacency, mediocrity–they don’t occur naturally in our lives. No, instead we are quietly lulled into that state by turning our thoughts from God to ourselves. As Dave Ramsey says, “mediocrity is not the norm.”

So how do we turn that around? Well, the Lord continues in Revelation 3 with the answer. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” You see, God is love. He is not sitting on His throne just looking for an opportunity to strike us, but as the perfect Father, He disciplines us back to good relationship with Him. He continues, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to Him and will dine with Him, and he with Me.”

Our loving Father desires fellowship with us. But who wants a relationship with someone who is apathetic about that relationship? God wants ALL of you. If you’ve been treating Him like a foreigner while sitting back lapping up a life of self-centered luxury, turn your attention back to Him.

“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?
"From the Rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised."--Psalm 113:3

Ever wonder what your name means or why your parents gave you the name you bear? Onomatology is the study of proper names, and it really helps in the quest to describe us. For instance, my parents named me Michael, ¬†which means “like God.” I’m sure that’s no surprise to those of you who know me!! Seriously, for me to know what my name really means to me, I must discover what God is like.

The next few weeks, I am going to be posting entries about the different names, or descriptions of God throughout the Bible. Each name is used to describe who God is and what He can do. I hope you’ll go along with me on this journey so that you can personally experience who God is for yourself. I’ve even prepare some graphics of each name of God. You’re welcomed to collect these if you like them.

There are some good reasons to understand the names of God:

  • God’s character is revealed through His names.
  • God reveals our need through His names.
  • The nature of our redemption is revealed through His names.
  • We can know what to expect of life through His names.
  • We can come to know God better through His names.
  • We can come to know the riches of our true identity through His names.
  • Praising the names of God brings to light that particular characteristic.

I invite you to walk this path with me, even if you don’t have a relationship with God. I further encourage you to post questions and comments about my posts. I look forward to sharing with you my great Savior, and through His names and by experience, you will have a greater understanding of who God really is.

You ready? Let’s go!