Nahum 2 The Lord will restore the splend

Nahum 2

The Lord will restore the splendour v2

I must share this story…

Matt Chandler in his book ‘The explicit gospel’ writes about a time he and a couple of his friends invited a young woman named Kim to a gospel concert. Chandler writes:
The preacher took the stage, and disaster ensued …. He gave a lot of statistics about STDs. There was a lot of, “You don’t want syphilis, do you?” …. His big illustration was to take out a single red rose. He smelled the rose dramatically … caressed its petals, and talked about how beautiful this rose was and how it had been fresh cut that day. [Then] he threw the rose out into the crowd, and he encouraged everyone to pass it around. As he neared the end of his message, he asked for the rose back …. [But by now] it was broken and drooping, and the petals were falling off. He held up this now-ugly rose for all to see, and his big finish was this: “Now who in the world would want this?” His word and his tone were merciless. His essential message, which was supposed to represent Jesus’ message to a world of sinners, was this: “Hey, don’t be a dirty rose.”
Matt didn’t hear from Kim for a few weeks, until one day her mother called Matt to inform him that Kim had been in an accident. Matt immediately went to visit her.
In the middle of our conversation, seemingly out of nowhere, she asked me, “Do you think I’m a dirty rose?” My heart sank inside of me, and I began to explain to her the whole weight of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that Jesus wants the rose. It’s Jesus’ desire to save, redeem, and restore the dirty rose.”

How many people feel just the same way today? Let us all commit to speak the restoring message of Christ.

Nahum 1 The Lord is good, v7 It’s good

Nahum 1

The Lord is good, v7

It’s good to be reminded.
Sometimes He doesn’t look good.
The circumstances appear to be anything but good.
But He is.
If we are the ones to measure good then often we wouldn’t want to attribute the Lord to it for fear of hypocrisy. But our good is not always His good.
He may withhold the good, but He is good.
He may say things that sound bad, but He is good.
He may bring things that on the surface don’t look good, but He is good.
The Lord is. This is His identity. Good is who He is.
Keep choosing nature above nurture.
The Lord is good.
Have you got it?

Micah 7 “He will turn again”v19 kjv. W

Micah 7

“He will turn again”v19 kjv.

We serve a God who turns back to us time and again.

In the middle of a collapsing world Christ will come again.

He cannot and will not turn His back for long.

The God who disciplined Israel so severely will “turn again” toward His chosen people, in compassion!

What about us? Will we turn to others again?
Who have you given up on?
Who has need of compassion?
Who has sinned against you?
Who needs you to be faithful?
Who did you turn away from?
Be like God …
Turn again.

Micah 6 V8 Here we have a clear summary

Micah 6

V8 Here we have a clear summary of how God wants us to live. To walk humbly with God is to know him intimately and to be attentive to what he desires and loves.
And what does that consist of? The text says to ‘do justice and love mercy’, which seems at first glance to be two different things, but they are not.
The term mercy is the Hebrew word chesedh, God’s unconditional grace and compassion.
The word for justice is the Hebrew word mishpat. Here in v8 mishpat puts the emphasis on the action, chesedh puts it on the attitude (or motive) behind the action.
To walk with God then, we must do justice out of merciful love.
The word mishpat in its various forms occurs over 200 times in the Hebrew Old Testament.
The most basic meaning is to treat people fairly, rightly.
It also means giving people their rights.
The mishpat or justness of a society according to the bible is evaluated by how it treats the groups of people found in Zechariah 7:10-11, which we will discuss soon:
This is what the Lord Almighty says: Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another. DO not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the immigrant or the poor.

This is one of the main things He does in the world. He identifies with the powerless, he takes up their cause.
This sets our God apart from all the other ancient gods whose power was always channelled through and identified with the elite of society. Our God was and is always on the side of the powerless and of justice for the poor, needy and vulnerable.
If God’s character includes zeal for justice that leads him to have the tenderest love and closet involvement with the socially weak then what should God’s people be like? They must be people who are likewise passionately concerned for the weak and vulnerable.

Today look around you and see how you can do justice out of merciful love.

Micah 5 It feels like Christmas reading

Micah 5

It feels like Christmas reading this today!

Though the circumstances are difficult.
Though your abilities seem inadequate.
It is always who is inside you that is of importance.
Greater is He that is in you than is in the world.

But you …
Bethlehem whose name we have to use the region of Ephrathah for because there are other Bethlehems, in order to determine which one we mean. You are not unique. There are others like you.
Well, not exactly like you, because you are small, weaker, insignificant actually.
However, King David was born in your town.

I love this.

I am writing today to those churches and Christians who on the surface do not feel they can influence the environment they are in. Their frontline is certainly a defensive approach. Holding their own. Struggling through life.

1.Look back.
See what God has done in previous years through you.
Bethlehem, King David was born in your town!!
He was your ruler, strong, majestic, secure and great.
You may need to go back to a previous generation or it may be within your own personal history, but God is there to be found.

2.Believe again.
It can happen again. God can come again.
Out of you will come for me one …
And not just one but The One.
The One who is everlasting, who is from of old, from ancient times, the One who is peace.

3.Live in the light of that fact:-
You are called to thrive, v7-8
In the way you live with the enemy, live victoriously, v9.
In the truth that a new day will come, where God does move miraculously in the things you cannot do yourself, v10

Micah 4 In the last days … Many are ex

Micah 4

In the last days …

Many are experiencing their last days right now.
Yesterday I sat in the reception of a hospital and I looked around at people in their last days.
Today I think of the girls in India found hanging from trees, killed by men who are not men but animals, supposedly for honour but as despicable as it can get. They were in their last days.
Tomorrow ISIS may invade Baghdad, I pray they don’t and yet in some other place ordinary people like you and me will experience their last days at the hands of the wicked who are so deceived they think they have a holy cause.
Some people know it’s their last days and others haven’t got a clue.
The prophet says God has last days too. Not for himself but for His story that Is being played out here on earth.
Are we in those last days? Micah doesn’t say. But he does tell us what God will be doing and if we are able we could join Him today doing those exact things for some people who may be facing their own last days.
We can be involved in:-
Gathering of people.

Micah 3 But as for me …. We need peopl

Micah 3

But as for me ….

We need people who know when to say BUT. When enough is enough and who can in an environment of oppression press the pause button to announce they are different.
The need is great BUT
The injustices are many BUT
There is more cursing than blessing BUT
Visionaries are bringing blindness BUT
The prophets are becoming rich BUT
The future is bleak BUT
So long as there is YOU we have hope.
You who has God
You who is filled with God
You whose power is from God
You who stands for the justice of God
You who is not afraid to speak out for God.

Micah 2 I am certainly not the worlds ex

Micah 2

I am certainly not the worlds expert on Israel and don’t claim to be. There are many crazy interpretations of the Bible from groups pursuing some cause or another for the Jews. It puts me off to be honest and I end up not focusing as I should.
What I do know is that from 70AD to 1948 there was no nation of Israel. But on 12th May 1948 the Israeli Declaration of Independence was made.

In a prophetic fulfilment of v12 God is restoring the nation of Israel by the return of the Jews. This has not been just a few Jews, this has been many and Jerusalem when I was there a few years ago was a loud city full of people, “the place will throng with people”.
Since the 1980s hundreds of Russians have moved to Israel.
In 1991 14,500 Ethiopian Jews were flown to Israel.
Jews from China, the U.S, Scandinavia, Australia, South America have moved back home.
But the best is yet to happen as Jesus will soon physically return to the land He once walked in, v13

For those of us who are not Jews we watch in amazement and we wait for his return.
However we also rejoice in these prophecies:
He who restores Israel also restores our lives.
He who breaks open the way is the one who clears the path for us. He is our leader who will overcome every obstacle to lead us forward.

Micah 1 In the early years of my work as

Micah 1

In the early years of my work as a Pastor I would attend many conferences to become better at what I was trying to do.
During the 90’s I remember sitting listening to one leader suggest that we need to understand what kind of leader we are. Are we a city Pastor or a town Pastor? Should we focus on the agricultural people or the business people? Are we the right people in the right place?
To be honest, I didn’t know what I was. I only knew God had called me to Dewsbury, which at the time was a church of 55,000 people. Not exactly a city.
There were times when I wondered if being a city Pastor you had ‘arrived’ but as a town Pastor well, who wants to hear from a town Pastor?
I knew Pastors who longed to be city Pastors and did everything they could to be one. They got their dream, they had become someone, now people would notice them.
I knew city Pastors who looked at town Pastors and would have done anything to swap.
Why do I mention all this under Micah chapter 1.
Moresheth where Micah came from was about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem on the border lands between Judah and the Philistines. Micah was from the country but was sent to bring the word of The Lord in the city.

There are times when God asks you to move outside of your experience and speak for Him.
Doing so does not guarantee you a greater degree of success.
What the ‘city’ needs may be found in the ‘country’. Micah would prophecy that out of the smallest, Bethlehem, the Messiah would come. Therefore the city is of no greater importance than the country. You haven’t arrived when you arrive in the city.
Don’t let anyone look down on you where you are serving God.
Be ready to return to the place of the unknown after you have done what God has required. That’s what Micah did.
Understand what the application is for what is your ‘country’ and ‘city’ and resist the temptation to be or do what God is not asking of you.

Jonah 4 Be careful where you go when you

Jonah 4

Be careful where you go when you are angry.
Jonah went out to the place east of the city.
He became detached from what God was doing.

Be careful what becomes your comfort when you are angry.
Jonah fell in love with the vine.
He became a lover of self.

Be careful what justifies your anger.
God continues to ask the same question: Have you the right to be angry?
The answer was YES but it should have been NO.