In my reading this morning, I was drawn to Amos 7 and I am reminded how often times the truth hurts. Amos is accused of being a "seer" because he is giving a "bad" report to Jeroboam. When in reality, Amos had been called to speak the truth about the future of Israel.
 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words.  For thus Amos has said,
“‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
and Israel must go into exile
away from his land.’”
 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there,  but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”
 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs.  But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’  Now therefore hear the word of the LORD.
“You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’
 Therefore thus says the LORD:
“‘Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city,
and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
and your land shall be divided up with a measuring line;
you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’” (Amos 7:10-17 ESV)
I am so challenged and reminded that many of us need TRUTH in our lives. We need people that love us, speaking truth into our lives with compassion and grace. Our responsibility, "Are we seeking truth?" Do we have someone in our life who loves us, who is wise in the wisdom from the Lord that encourages us and tells us hard things?
In this passage Amos speaks a difficult truth that God has given him to communicate. We then see Amaziah question Amos' credentials and I love how Amos responds. Amos is not a prophet but a herdsman and a dresser of fig trees. Amos is not even the son of a prophet but he left his livelihood to be obedient to the Lord. He was willing to communicate the truth when so many others were more concerned about the consequences of telling the truth. So motivated on several fronts this morning
First, am I seeking wisdom from the Lord? Am I living out this wisdom in my own life? Am I leading my family to live out this wisdom from the Lord? Am I being a good shepherd to my wife and my family?
Second, do I have men in my life encouraging me with; at times, "Hard Truth?" What am I doing with this encouragement?
Third, am I loving people and attempting to have a relationship with them in order to encourage them to be all God is calling them to be? Do a genuinely care about the brethren? Am I being a good shepherd to the families and students that God has placed in my life?
This morning, is the Lord trying to remove you from a "flock" as He did Amos, and have you boldly declare something for His glory? Will you seek to be obedient to Him?
Father, grant me favor among men to encourage with truth for your ultimate glory. God, I desire to be obedient to you and I pray that you will continue to birth in me a desire to love people through their circumstance and the wisdom to encourage them as well. Father, I need your love and discipline in my life to mold me into the man you would have me to be. Thankful for the men in my life that tell me difficult things.