Prepare to Meet Your God Part 2

Pastor Mike will be speaking on Prepare to Meet Your God Part 2. He will be reading out of Amos 4:1-13.

As you’re walking through your day, sometimes thoughts might enter your mind that cause you to be discouraged in your walk and your journey of faith. Listen to me align your thoughts with the truth of God and worship Him from your heart because everything that I think and everything that I believe is not always right.

Hello, this is Pastor Mike Sanders from The Open Door Church and we welcome you to the Hopeworth Having Radio program. Thank you for tuning into this broadcast today. We’re continuing our study in Amos chapter 4.

We’re learning about preparing to meet our God. This is part two and I want you to come to God’s Word open and ready to receive His truth into your life. So let’s begin our study at this time. After the dust of the earth, which is on the head of the poor and pervert the way of the humble, a man and his father go into the same girl to defile my holy name.

We see these outrageous behaviors and listen, we’re not talking about unbelievers, we’re talking about these are the people of God who have so spiraled out of control in their behavior and they have rejected a God and they are not ready to meet God.

But for us church, let us learn how to meet our God by being just the opposite, living our lives compassionate towards others. Galatians 2 .10, the apostle when reflecting about his commission, of Barnabas and him to go to the mission field that the apostles said that they desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I was eager to do.

How do we express compassion to the poor? I think first of all, it begins with prayer that you and I begin to pray for those that are needy among us. We’re not just talking about financially. It could be needy in other areas.

Jesus taught us to be poor in spirit, that is that we are to acknowledge our spiritual bankruptcy before Him. And there are many who are spiritually poor, who are spiritually bankrupt, but they have not come to grips with that reality yet.

We need to pray for those who are needy. Among us when it comes to health and it comes to emotional needs But we are always praying This is how we express our compassion prayer is not just a ritual it’s not just something that we go through to make ourselves feel good before God, but rather it is an important part of our ministry and that we recognize that God works in prayer and through prayer to other people and Nothing of eternal significance happens apart from God’s people praying if you want to see a spiritual awakening in the hearts of your family members it begins it with prayer if You want to see God reach out and help the needy it begins With prayer, let us not be guilty of self -indulgence How else can we be compassionate?

I think we need to ask the Lord for a passion for the needy Did you hear what the Apostle said? I was eager to do that when the Apostles Commissioned Paul and Barnabas to go to the mission field. They said as you’re going out there.

Don’t forget the poor Don’t forget those who are needy Don’t overlook them Paul said man, I was eager to do that. Are you eager? Are you passionate? Have you found yourself being so focused on your own needs or wants that you have forgotten about others that you’ve lost your passion for Souls to come to Christ that you’ve lost your passion to help your fellow man That you’ve lost your passion to reach out to others.

We can become cynical We can become I’m so critical of others, we can say to people, well, you made your bed, and you lie in it. I am glad Jesus didn’t treat me that way. I’m glad that when I was a mess, that Jesus reached down and showed grace to me.

Mercy, and he lifted me up out of that mess, and he set my feet on a solid rock, and put within my heart a hope and a strength to continue to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, my friends, we understand that people make choices, and they make decisions that can be very detrimental, but we have this responsibility to remember the poor, and being passionate about it.

I think we have to have a plan. If we’re gonna be compassionate, we not only need to pray and be passionate. but we need to have a plan. I would encourage you to think about ways in which through the church, through your community, maybe even where you are serving and working, how you can do special things, plan out special opportunities to help the poor, to help those who are in need.

So many times we just sit back and we complain about everything around us. I’m more of a guy who says quit the complaining and start doing something about it, amen. How do you eat an elephant one bite at a time?

The problem may be mammoth, it may seem overwhelming, but let’s just start chipping away at it little by little and let’s see what God will do because Jesus can take a little boy’s lunch and he can multiply it and he can feed thousands of people.

What could God do in your life that if you would surrender your heart to him and say, Lord, I have a burden for these people, I have a burden for these individuals that have particular needs and this burden of mine has prompted me and motivated me to do something about it.

Now you gotta take your passion and turn it into a plan. You’ve got to understand things don’t just happen, but they are organized and they are mobilized and you’ve gotta work together to make something happen and so friends, we encourage you to be just the opposite but to be compassionate so that when we stand before God that he will look upon our faith and he will know that we are authentic because our faith has demonstrated the works of compassion to our fellow man.

The second way that we can… and prepare to meet God is by truly worshiping God. The people of Israel not only fail to care, but they fail to worship God properly. Now look at verse four. Come to Bethel and transgress.

At Gilgal, multiply transgressions. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days. Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven. Proclaim and announce the free will offerings for this you love.

You children of Israel, says the Lord God. In verse four Amos is being sarcastic. He’s saying come on, keep it up. And what you’re gonna see is the futility of your religious activity. Go ahead, come every three days with your offerings.

Go ahead. Multiply the transgressions Bethel and Gilgal were places that were set up by the Northern Kingdom to come and worship God. And they were called to bring their sacrifices every morning, their tithes every three days.

But what you will note, they were failing to worship God properly. Amos recognized the evil of worshiping other gods. You say other gods? Yes, because they were not worshiping the true Yahweh, the true Jehovah, the true God of creation and the Lord of history.

They were worshiping the God of their minds, the God of their hearts, the kind of God that they wanted. And so he points out a few things in verse 5 that we see how they were misguided in their worship.

First you will note in verse 5, their worship had become an exercise of congratulating self. Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven. Proclaim and announce the free will offering. They came into the house of the Lord and said, look at me.

Look at me. Look what I’m doing. Look what I’m giving to God. Please everybody, give your attention to me. I want you to note what I am doing. This, my friends, bragging about their contribution to God’s work and God’s ministry.

This is why Jesus told us that when we give, we give in secret. We don’t have to proclaim. through the years, people have been upset with Pastor Mike, but yet no one has ever been able to bring a Bible verse to me.

But they get upset that the pastor would say, why do we have to name something after someone? Why? Why do we have to do that, church? If anybody deserves a name, it’s Jesus. Jesus, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, I’m not against you honoring your loved ones.

And showing gratitude for their legacy of faith, but no one needs to say, I gave this. I want a plaque that says, I gave a coat rack. Now, first of all, I would feel guilty about that. I wouldn’t want to be honored for giving a coat rack, okay?

But second of all, the Bible tells me to give secretly. The Bible tells me not to brag. What did the people of God do? Why were they not ready to meet their God? Why was Amos hammering down on them? Because when they went into the house of God, they were congratulating themselves, patting themselves on the back.

That a boy. You’re doing a good job. Oh, we like what you gave, thank you. And what kind of worship is that? That’s a worship that’s all about man, and certainly not about God. The second thing we note in verse five is that their worship ignored the word of God.

Did you catch that in verse five? Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven. Did you know that the Bible teaches in the book of Leviticus that they were to bring offerings of unleavened bread? Because leaven is a picture of sin, and it is a picture of sin spreading throughout one’s life, spreading throughout the body of Christ, and hear the people of God wanting to do their way.

So we’re not gonna do what the Bible says, we’re gonna do what we want. How sad. When worship ignores the word of God. But I also want you to know that their worship had become man -centered, rather than God -centered.

It had glorified man, rather than glorifying God. Look at verse five again. He says, offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, proclaim and announce the free will offerings, for this you love. You love this.

You love this. You love to proclaim yourself. You love that it’s about you. You love to come into the house of God and it’s man -centered, it’s people -centered, it’s not God -centered worship. This is an important principle that we must learn because we live in times of misunderstandings of what is true worship to God.

And we want to remind you that everything that we do is an act of worship to God, that worship is not limited to eight o ‘clock in the morning, it is not limited to a few sets of songs, it is not limited to the teaching of the word of God, it is not limited to our gifts and offerings that we give to God, but my friends, every day and every moment of my life is an act of worship to the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is it that should motivate you to do your best as you go into work every day, to bring your A -game, and to make sure everything is done with excellence is so that it would reflect. the glory of God in your life, that when people see you, that they see something unique about you, and that you would give glory to God, that He gives me the mindset, the wisdom, the strength, the opportunity, the resources, everything that I have, comes from Him, and He is worthy of all my worship.

What is it that motivates you to come, even on a Sunday morning, and to be a blessing to people, instead of saying, I wanna be blessed? Oh, Mike, do something, lift me up, rather coming in and saying, Lord, use me.

I am here to serve you. I wanna encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to strengthen them. I want to motivate them. I wanna stir them up to love you more, and to love people more. What is it that would bring us to that moment in our life?

It is the desire that God would be glorified in everything that we do, from the moment that we step on this campus, all the way to the moment that we step off, that it’s all about Him from beginning to end.

He is worthy of all my worship. Now, how do we get there? How do we get there? I think Jesus makes it clear in John 4, 24, that God is the Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit, and in truth.

If you’re familiar with this chapter in the Gospel of John, you know that the woman at the well was debating with Jesus about the place of worship, and Jesus was trying to help her to understand it’s not about a place, it’s about a person, and the person is Christ, and the person is the Messiah, the person is God Himself.

That’s what worship is all about, and it doesn’t matter where you’re at, it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, it’s all about worship. It’s all about Jesus Christ and lifting him up. That’s why the Bible says God is the Spirit.

They that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth. Here’s what it means, two things to help me truly worship God and be ready to meet my God. Number one is to worship God authentically. That means from my heart, be real with Jesus.

In every moment of your life, don’t be a pretender. I mean, you could put on the facade, but God already knows your heart, right? God knows if we’re real or fake, God knows what we’re thinking, what’s within us, and he knows what we need to deal with, and he knows where we need to come clean with him.

And so let’s just be honest with God, let’s just be real with him, and let’s worship him from our spirit. Let’s not come into the house of the Lord with walls. Let’s not begin every day, building walls in our life, pushing people out of our life, and saying we’re not gonna be real with God, we’re just gonna be a pretender all our life, and we’re just going to live a fake life.

What I would say to you is prepare to meet your God. Because on that day, the mask, but the mask is coming off. So we worship him authentically, but we worship him accurately. For he teaches us that we are to worship him in spirit and in truth, that is, accurately, according to the word of God.

We worship him as God teaches us. When we think about our worship songs at the Open Door Church, we don’t just look at the top 10 contemporary latest songs that have been sung. As a matter of fact, many times I find that a lot of those songs are not aligning with the Bible.

And you say, but pastor, they’re popular. I heard them on the radio. And what’s your point? I remember a song just recently, not too long ago, came out, it was before COVID, ironically. But it said that God, love was reckless.

And I wanna tell you, I told pastor Conroe, who was our worship leader at the time, we will not sing that song here, because there’s nothing about God that is reckless. His love is relentless, but would you please read the word reckless?

Either words mean something or they don’t. We gotta make our decisions. We can redefine words, we can relabel things, that’s fine. But for me, I just am in the old fashioned, and words mean something.

And I’m not gonna sing a song claiming that my God, who was revealed in his word, is reckless. Because my friends, God is not reckless. He is sovereign, he is in full control. And there’s nothing chaotic about God.

God. As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us that chaos and confusion does not emanate from God. That God is a God of peace. Anything that is chaotic, anything that is confusing comes from either the world, the flesh, or the devil, but it certainly does not come from a sovereign God who is in charge.

So we worship God in truth. Let me tell you, let me help you. As you’re walking through your day each and every day, sometimes thoughts might enter your life and your mind that cause you to be discouraged or defeated in your walk and your journey of faith.

Listen to me, align your thoughts with the truth of God and worship Him from your heart with the truth of God because everything that I think and everything that I feel and everything that I believe is not always right.

And I’m telling you that if you don’t live your life according to His truth, you’re going to find that left to yourself, you’ll deceive yourself. The Bible teaches us the hardest, deceitful, who can know it.

Number three, how do we prepare to meet our God? By learning from history. By learning from history. Now, as we read through verse six through 11, and I’m not going to have time to read every one of it, but we certainly encourage you to do that on your own.

But just want to highlight a few things. What is the intent here is that God is sending warning signs to His people. He keeps sending warning signs to them, and yet they do not respond to Him. What is His purpose?

Look at verse six. Why would God send these little warning signs? He says at the end of verse six, you have not returned to Me, says the Lord. We look at verse eight, He says, Yet you have not returned to Me, says the Lord.

Look at verse nine, yet you have not returned to Me, says the Lord. Look at verse 10, yet you have not returned to Me, says the Lord. Or look at verse 11, yet you have not returned to me, says the Lord.

I told you, I don’t know how much you listen, but I hope you do. Good Bible study? Two things that are important to look for. Ask good questions and look for repetition. I think when God says something over and over, He is trying to tell us something.

Are you with me? He is trying to say something to us, church. What are you saying to the people of God in the nation of Israel at that time in the Northern Kingdom is I keep sending you warning signs.

Some of those warning signs were natural disasters. Some of those warning signs were political problems. Some of those warning signs were spiritual judgments. Over and over again, every time, as we read through the text, they do not return to the Lord.

They just go back to the way that it was. They never learn from their history. You remember? How many of you remember 9 -11? I remember 9 -11. I remember what that was like. Pastor Chuck was with me in Indiana, and he came into my office and he said, did you hear?

And I said, no. He said, the towers, a plane just flew into the towers in New York City. What? So we had a television ministry there. We ran up to look at the. Camera, television, all that, and you know how it goes.

And I remember that after that moment, how people were so receptive, and that attendance was up for like several months, and everybody wanted to come to church, but it wasn’t long before everybody went back to their own ways.

God keeps sending warning signs to this nation. He keeps sending warning signs to us as a people. And what do we do? We do not learn from history. COVID has really shaken things up. COVID has really revealed where people are.

It has. You may get upset with me, but that’s okay. Because I’m just being honest. I’m just being real with you. COVID has exposed some things that people need to deal with in their heart. And God keeps sending warning signs.

I know how it goes. I know how it goes. After a while, when we get beyond COVID, it’s back to our busy lives. It’s back to all the religious activity. It’s back to doing what we wanna do. It’s back to saying, God is not first in my life, but everything else is.

It’s back to the way it used to be. It’s back to what Amos says, you have not returned to me. But let us be different. Let us understand that the times that we live in, that as we see, These divine warning signs to a covenant people that are revealed to our hearts That we would be moved to repentance towards God that we would recognize that we are truly living in some unique times and the signs of the times of his soon return are upon us and if we can see the key leaves and if the signs that Jesus revealed to us of his second coming are upon us and we can begin to recognize the changing of the seasons and not just physically but spiritually How much closer are we to the rapture of the church?

Learn from history church and prepare to meet your God My final point and I have to fast -track And that is, we prepare to meet God by bowing in awe before Him. Verse 12, Therefore, thus will I do to you, O Israel, because I will do this to you.

Prepare to meet your God, O Israel. For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the winds, who declares to man what His thought is, and makes the morning darkness, who treads the high places of the earth, the Lord God of hosts is His name.

Israel failed to engage with God, and they failed to take Him seriously. They rejected His warning signs. They became apathetic to His truth. This morning, may God lead each one of us to bow before the Lord of creation, which is what verse 13 is all about, and the God of history.

Let us bow before Him in great awe, and let us step back and say, our awesome, sovereign God, the Lord of hosts, is at work. Let us prepare to meet our God. For those of us who are in Christ meeting God, it’s going to be joyous.

It’s going to be full of great praise to Him. But for those who do not know Jesus, it is going to be tragic. Prepare to meet your God. How do we prepare to meet God? Well, it just simply begins by confessing our sin and acknowledging that Jesus Christ died on the cross, believing that He did it for you and calling upon His name to save your soul.

And when you do that, my friend, you receive Christ, truly born again, and you call upon His name, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. And I pray that’s true in your life today.

I want to encourage you to check out our Twitter account. We have Hope Worth Having on Twitter and just type in Hope Worth Having. We’re sharing different podcasts. We’re sharing programs, videos, interviews, content that will help you to grow in your faith and to be ready to meet your God.

This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope. worth having.

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