Malachi: Drift

This is the last of our series in the minor prophets. After Malachi, God stopped speaking through prophets for 400 years. Malachi wants to prevent the drift away from God he sees in Israel, as evidenced by their cheapened worship & unfaithful marriages. We can apply this final lesson three ways. First, receive correction from God, especially knowing that since it often comes through other believers, this takes humility. Second, obey as a matter intentionality. Finally, make our first things God's first things.

 

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Zephaniah: Biblical Fear produces Biblical Faith

A Biblical fear of God comes in two aromas, and the prophet Zephaniah has us breathe them both deeply. The first could be called Pure Terror, which is what we will smell when we find ourselves face to face with the one true, but unknown God. This is the fear of God that forces us to see ourselves in a great need of forgiveness.

Once we accept God's offer of forgiveness the aroma changes to Secure Thrill! This is the fear of God that is respectful, awed, amazed, and safe in his protection. "In that day you will feel no shame because of all your deeds by which you have rebelled against Me; for I will remove them from among you... I will thrill over you with joy!"

 

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Habakkuk: Why to Who

Times were dark in the land of Judah.  But God's solution seemed too much for the prophet Habakkuk. There had to be a better way. So Habakkuk asks "Why?" He didn't really hear God's answer well, so he whines a bit, "But, why should Babylon's evil be allowed to crush 'bad, but not-so-bad' Judah?"  This time the answer gets through: "You're asking the wrong question! The important question is Who, who am I?" The correct answer to the correct question is critical for everyone in difficult times: our God is loving, sovereign and wise, we can believe that even when there is nothing, no one at our side. Seeing a good God during our difficulties brings joy and awe: "Though the fig tree should not blossom, And there be no fruit on the vines, ... Yet I will exult in the Lord..." (Habakkuk 3:17 & 18)

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Nahum: Two Days

The vast majority of humankind from all history stands between two momentous days, one past one future. These two days are often perceived as distant from us, and thus irrelevant. One is the day of Christ's sin payment on the cross, about 2000 years ago. The other is the Day of the Lord during which Christ comes to judge the earth, in the near but unknown future. What we do between these two days makes all the difference.

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Micah: Where is your trust?

The prophet Micah sets a beautiful contrast between the way to go, and the other way. Wanting much for ourselves (call it greed if you want) is a way that produces injustice. The way to go, it turns out, is an impossible way though a nobel and beautiful ideal: "to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." But wait, there is hope! A shepherd, promised by Micah can lead us in this way if we will trust him to do it!

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Jonah: The God who is...

Jonah. You know the story, the fish with the big mouth. But the bigger story is how much there is here about what God is like. The book of Jonah is full of irony, strange twists and at least three simultaneous, surprising plots. The story ends with Jonah paused at a crossroads, undecided. We must not be so timid before our God who is showing himself compassionate, on a mission to save the lost and able to carry out any number of his purposes all at once, no problem. Our part is to reflect his compassion and mission mindset.

 

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Obadiah: Your Father Says...

This is the shortest of the minor prophets, one chapter long. Speaking as a father to Israel about a powerful but wayward cousin nation, Edom, God gives three instructions on what not to do when you have the advantage.

 

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Amos: Come Back!

Pastor Dan DeRoche is in the book of Amos as part of our summer tour of the minor prophets. Things are going well in Israel, but not the main thing, because Israel is drifting away from God. What should we do in times of prosperity to prevent drift? Seek God for God alone - not for what he can do for us. When we do wander it's his kindness that brings us back. Finally with whatever He is giving us, share it.

 

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Joel: The Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord

Pastor Jordan Huffman takes us to the prophet Joel for a big-screen, double feature end-of-the world block buster drama. The first drama entails a devastating plague that was occurring as the book was written. The second feature is, well, the end of the world as we know it. Really. As it turns out, the world will end in one of two ways for each of us: we choose the ending now, and Joel shows us how to choose.

 

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Hosea: Faithful marries Faithless

In this twelve-week series we will be studying together the last twelve books of the Old Testament, taking one book a week. They are called Minor Prophets not because they are of minor importance, but simply because they are short in length. These books are often overlooked, little known, or completely forgotten. Yet, they contain rich content that points us to Christ and reveals God's heart for us.

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