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[thoughts] Warnings (August 4-10, 2003)

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  • Mark Roth
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    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8, 2003
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      I have no control over and hereby disclaim ads/links above.

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      (Joel 2:1, 2, 11-14)


      God is merciful as well as just. His people had once again turned
      their hearts away from His heart and His ways. Their sin and
      rebellion demanded judgment and punishment from the Judge of all
      the earth. Their frail human condition required mercy and help from
      their Shepherd. So in mercy He warned His people that His judgment
      was coming, calling them to save themselves by repenting and
      turning back to Him.

      Did they listen and amend their ways? Did repentance find room in
      their hearts? Did they respond positively to God's call: "Turn ye
      even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping,
      and with mourning" (Joel 2:12)? The terrible things that came upon
      God's people show conclusively that they ignored Him, His warning,
      and His call to repentance.

      As we stand at this viewpoint and gaze out on the panorama of
      history, we shake our heads in wonder at the stubborn blindness and
      evil disobedience of those people long ago. We point in judgment at
      the flaws in their character and their decisions. We nod our heads
      in agreement with God's mercy and judgment.

      But what about our own selves? It seems to me that God's people
      still have a way of missing the warnings that God has for them. I
      think it is quite likely that we have our own areas of blindness,
      neglect, and outright disobedience. Are we so different from those
      people long ago? I am determined that I *will* be different and I
      imagine that you have a similar determination. So let's humble
      ourselves before God and one another, and let's open our eyes and
      hearts to what He is saying to *us*. Listen!

      "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth
      not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke
      12:15). Most of the time I think I do fairly well at rejecting
      covetousness and discontentment. But I do have my struggles and
      moments of forgetfulness. I *would* like to drive a better rig and
      have my own (nicer) place to live, you know. But like I say, I tend
      to forget (at times) that God clearly warns me against temporal
      values and laying up treasures on earth (Matthew 6:19). But I ask
      you this: In saying all that, am I excusing my own failings and
      disobedience? I suspect that's one way the people in Joel's time
      marched to their own doom. So I'm not so different from them. Are

      "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your
      Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:15). Oh ouch! Another
      hard one for me! Less than a day ago (or was it less than an hour
      ago?) I found myself dealing again with almost-ten-year-old
      stirrings of disgust and sourness (anger and bitterness?). I think
      it was 1993 when a "certain thing" happened to me at the hands of
      some in the church. I still go through those infrequent moments
      when I have to forgive them all over again. But why does it still
      have to be such a struggle?! Hmmm. Maybe Joel's contemporaries
      weren't so strange and abnormal after all.

      "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance
      of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation"
      (Romans 13:2). Well, I zeroed in on myself for two warnings, so
      I'll turn the spotlight on you for just a little. How is your
      submission? How conscientious are you about the laws, guidelines,
      and expectations of those in authority over you? Remember, no


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