Today’s Bible Reading: Amos 4

Scripture: Amos 4:1-3 (NLT)

Listen to me, you “fat cows” of Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and who are always asking your husbands for another drink!

The Sovereign Lord has sworn this by his holiness: “The time will come when you will be led away with hooks in your noses. Every last one of you will be dragged away like a fish on a hook!

You will leave by going straight through the breaks in the wall; you will be thrown from your fortresses. I, the Lord, have spoken!

Observation
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “It is for cake that we all run in debt.” (from Bible Exposition Commentary – Old Testament). These verses show God’s anger at the people who are living in luxary while they “oppress the poor and crush needy.” Their priorities were all wrong. They were self-centered and self-indulgent, rather than looking out for the need of others.

Application
Are we being wise stewards of what God is providing for us? What most other people in this world would consider luxaries, we consider necessities. How can we live more simply, live debt-free, and use more of what God is providing us with for his glory? No more “keeping up with the Joneses.” 

Prayer
Lord, help us to know the differences between necessities and luxaries. I want to be a good steward of all that you provide us with. I want to use what we are given for your kingdom, not for our own self-centered desires. I want to teach our kids how to manage thier money well and to see it as a way to make an impact, not live a life of self-indulgence. I need your wisdom and strength and encouragement in this area, Lord. This is a spiritual battle.

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Michael Mack has been involved in small group ministry as a pastor, writer, trainer, and speaker for more than 25 years. He founded SmallGroups.com in 1995 and started Small Group Leadership in 2012. He became the 12th editor of Christian Standard magazine in 2017 and continues to speak in churches about small groups, discipleship, and leadership. He lives in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (just outside Louisville), with his wife Heidi. They have four young adult children. Michael enjoys mountain and road biking with a group of friends. See the "About Michael Mack" page under About Us for more about him.

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