Examine Ourselves

As I read last week, God showed me motives and attitudes that displeased Him. I repented and He forgave me. God leads us through dry places so we will examine ourselves.

The wilderness by the Dead Sea.

Wholehearted Devotion

2 Chronicles 25:2, “He did what the Lord approved, but not with wholehearted devotion.” New English Translation

I thought of some “I should” phrases:

  • I should kneel to pray.
  • I should sing and dance in worship at home.
  • I should pray for an hour.

“…Reflect on the importance of cultivating ‘wholehearted devotion’ and how this verse applies to your service to God. Honestly evaluate how well you do what is right in God’s sight with the right motivation (heart).”

New English Translation notes on 2 Chronicles 25:2


The notes showed me God is not concerned with outward service. He is concerned with what is in my heart.

I can do all those “shoulds,” but if my heart is not right, I do not have “wholehearted devotion.”

Good Attitude

Jonah 4:1, “This displeased Jonah terribly and he became very angry.” NET

“Although Jonah obeyed God, he did it with a terrible attitude. What is your attitude like when you obey God? What does your attitude tend to look like when you disobey Him?”

NET Notes on Jonah 4:1-11


“The discipline of the Lord is never pleasant, but Hebrews 12 tells us that God disciplines those He loves, just as earthly fathers discipline their children to correct their behavior, God, our heavenly Father, uses discipline for our gain (see Hebrews 12:10).

God does not delight in disciplining or bringing judgment; rather His goal is always restoration and the betterment of His people.

…The words of Joel 2:25-26 say that God can restore…Even if life has left you feeling wiped out, God still has the last word. Trust that as you come before Him in humility, He will not only show mercy but also restore and bless you in greater ways than before.

…God wants us to know that His plans for His people go beyond this life. This world and the hardships we endure are preparing us for God’s greater promises. Allow His promises to bring hope to you in your circumstances today.”

NET Introduction to the book of Joel


Joel 2:32, “It will so happen that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered. For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who survive, just as the Lord has promised; the remnant will be those whom the Lord will call.” NET


“What are your fears of the future? The better you define them, the more effectively you can pray and take steps to minimize or resolve them.”

NET notes on Joel 3:9-16

2 Chronicles 26:5, “…As long as he followed the Lord, God caused him to succeed.” NET


2 Chronicles 26:16, “But once he became powerful, his pride destroyed him. He disobeyed the Lord his God. …” NET

“When a person starts thinking about social justice and what God has to say about it, it’s a good idea to read the book of Amos.

…Amos’s focus on ancient Israel’s problems with ethics can teach us a lot. The prophet found that the key to cultivating a healthy social conscience was to routinely and carefully maintain the sacred memory of the Lord’s saving acts throughout history.”

NET Introduction to Amos


Active Prayer

“Confession and repentance should not be occasional practices; they should be regular parts of an active prayer life.”

NET Notes on Amos 3:12-4:3


Amos 3:6, “If an alarm sounds in a city, do people not fear? If disaster overtakes a city, is the Lord not responsible?” NET

On the Level

Amos 7:7, “He showed me this: I saw the Lord standing by a tin wall holding tin in his hand.” NET

“Why do you think Amos didn’t ask God to relent when he saw the tin wall vision? When you measure yourself against God’s tin wall (His ways, His standards), how do you measure up?”

NET notes on Amos 7:1-9


Other translations use “plumb line” instead of “tin wall.” We use a “level” today.

“Thank the Lord for exposing parts of your heart and life that still need work. Surrender those places to Him, and ask for the Spirit to help you grow in those places.”

NET Notes on Amos 7:10-17


Amos 8:5, “…We are eager to sell less for a higher price…” NET

We call that “shrinkflation,” the same container with less product. And the prices keep creeping up – a nickel here, a dollar or two there.

Amos 8:6, “…We want to mix in some chaff with the grain!” NET

Several years ago, they found sawdust mixed in with grated parmesan cheese. After that, I switched to shredded or block parmesan cheese and shredded it myself.

Caring for Others

Amos 8:8, “Because of this the earth will quake, and all who live in it will mourn. The whole earth will rise like the Nile River, it will surge upward and then grow calm, like the Nile in Egypt.” NET

In February, Turkey experienced severe earthquakes, (see here.)

California is seeing lakes fill that have been empty for over 80 years, see Ghost Lake. There are farms, towns, and orchards on the lake bed that are flooding and disappearing.

The snow on top of the Sierra Nevada, which feeds the lake, hasn’t melted yet. This flooding hasn’t peaked!

We have flooding along the Mississippi River, see here.

“Ask God to remain with His people and preserve them (v. 2). Pray that God would raise up more people to care for the poor and needy (v. 4). Make sure you are leaving time for spiritual and physical rest (v. 5). Ask God to keep you from loving wealth more than Him (vv. 5-6).”

NET Notes on Amos 8:1-6


Hope in God

“Passages of hope and salvation appear throughout the book (2:14-23; 11:8-11; 14:4-8), indicating that God’s mercy will triumph over judgment.

… Remember that if you have strayed from serving God alone, He is a merciful God who desires your return to Him. He longs to heal you, even in the midst of correction (14:2-4).

…May the words of Hosea encourage you toward a true and loving relationship with God, who desires to be your highest hope. Only He can satisfy the desires of your heart. …”

NET Introduction to Hosea


Our Assignment

Hosea 1:4, “Then the Lord said to Hosea, ‘Name him “Jezreel,” because in a little while I will punish the dynasty of Jehu on account of the bloodshed in the valley of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel.'” NET

God designated Jehu as King of Israel who would destroy Ahab’s family, 2 Kings 9:1-10. But he went too far. After killing Ahab’s son Joram in the valley of Jezreel, he chased King Ahaziah of Judah. He ordered the archers to shoot him, 2 Kings 9:14-27.

Later, he killed the relatives of King Ahaziah, 2 Kings 10:12-14. His assignment was to kill Ahab’s family in the nation of Israel, not in the nation of Judah.

Bloom Where We Are Planted

Hosea 2:21-22, “‘At that time, I will willingly respond,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will respond to the sky, and the sky will respond to the ground;

22) then the ground will respond to the grain, the new wine, and the olive oil; and they will respond to “God plants” (Jezreel)!'” NET

Jezreel means “God plants.” God planted Naboth’s family in the valley of Jezreel. Ahab wanted his land. He had Naboth murdered and stole the land, 1 Kings 21:1-29. Ahab’s son Joram bled to death on that same plot of land, 2 Kings 9:14-26.

We need to bloom where God plants us because we won’t bloom anywhere else.

How to Love Your Spouse

Hosea 3:1, “The Lord said to me, ‘Go, show love to your wife again…'” NET

How did Hosea show love?

  1. He paid for her release from slavery, 3:2.
  2. He spoke tenderly to her using soft tones, 2:14.
  3. He waited for her to initiate sex, 3:3.
  4. He gave her security, 2:18.

Proverbs 29:1, “The one who stiffens his neck after numerous rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy.” NET

2023 Rainbow Bible Reading Guide ©2009-2023 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com.  All Rights Reserved.

One thought on “Examine Ourselves


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.