Lent 2018: The Words of Amos – Part 4

The Words of Amos – Part 4 An invitation to a funeral Amos 5:1-27 March 11th, 2018

I. SINGING a FUNERAL song. (v.1-3; Ecc.7:2)
A. Your whole LIFE ahead of you…NOT! (v.2)
B. A bad RETURN and a good RETURN. (v.3)

Amos seems to move from hard words to harder words. He spends time in chapter 5 explaining the context around the “funeral” of the northern kingdom of Israel. They are somber words and talk about the loss of all that could have been because of the people’s stubborn refusal to return to God.

1. What impact do funerals have on you? What would life be like with no funerals? What would we (as a society) lose?
2. When has good used struggle and difficulty in your own life? In what ways?

II. Seek GOD and LIVE. (v.4-27)
A. The PERSON, not the PLACE. (v.4-6, 8-9)
B. Your ACTIONS, not your ASSEMBLIES. (v.7-13, 21-26)
C. The FRUIT, not your FEELINGS. (v.7-13, 18-20)
D. WHAT will that day REVEAL? (v.18-27; I Cor. 3:9-15)

The key to all that Amos is calling the people to is summed up in one phrase: Seek God and live. It’s a call to open your heart to really seek God for who He is and not for what it does for us. This is the only thing that can last, the only way to build a life that is solid.

3. What does it mean to seek God? Try to explain it in words that people who’ve never been to church could understand?
4. How can we know if our own relationship with God has become more about places, rituals, and feelings than about God himself? What signs in our own lives could help us diagnose that?
5. Read I Cor. 3:9-15. What is your reaction to that passage? Does it inspire hope or fear and dread? Why?

III. SEEKING some simple TRUTHS…
A. Our PICTURE of God is IMPORTANT. (4:13; 5:8,9)
B. Christianity is a WHO not a WHAT. (v.4-5)
C. Who you KNOW shapes what you DO. (v.24)
D. LOVE Good, HATE Evil, WORSHIP fully. (Micah 6:8)

Hard words can overwhelm and cripple us. But the hope in this series is that these hard words compel us to surrender our lives to Jesus, allowing His grace to penetrate and transform all the darkness we carry inside. We need to refocus on some simple truths that allow these hard words to break us apart and remake us.

6. What is your own picture of God? How can you tell what that is? And if it is a good and true mental image?
7. How has your relationship with God impacted the way you live? Think of specific examples.
8. What does loving God, hating evil, and worshipping fully look like in your life this week?