Tag Archives: Self Improvement

Amos: A Farmer And Herdsman

How does God deal with such a nation as Israel today?  How did He deal with them in the past?  How similar are today's sins like those of the past?  These are some of questions we will ask in this study of Amos.

Summary:

The sermon from Insight for Living Ministries explores the Book of Amos, emphasizing how God can use ordinary individuals, regardless of their background or qualifications, to deliver His message. It highlights the story of Amos, a fig picker turned prophet, to illustrate that dedication and commitment are more important than traditional credentials in serving God. The text encourages readers to be open to God’s calling and to be willing vessels for His work, even in challenging and discouraging times.

Outline:

1. Introduction to the Book of Amos

2. The Unconventional Messenger: Amos

3. Lessons from Amos’s Calling

4. Challenges and Encouragements for Modern Messengers

5. Concluding Thoughts and Reflections

Study Questions:

1. How does the story of Amos challenge traditional views of who can be a spokesperson for God?[1]

2. What qualities did Amos possess that made him an effective messenger, despite his lack of formal training?[2]

3. In what ways can the modern church learn from Amos’s example in terms of selecting and equipping individuals for ministry?[3]

4. How does the concept of dedication versus qualifications apply to other areas of life beyond spiritual leadership?[4]

5. Reflect on a time when you felt unqualified or inadequate for a task. How might the story of Amos inspire you in similar situations?[5]

Letting God fill your life empowers you to live life. Life itself comes with demands that I never feel qualified for or adequate. Being a husband. Being a father. Being a grandfather. A long time ago, being a landlord. I remember leaving my apartment to go check on a problem tenant. I hated that, but I prayed as I left that God go with me and lead the way. The whole encounter was as smooth as ice. Times like that, and studies like Amos or learning about Zerubbabel really encourage me to have faith. And now I am thinking of Peter and his walk on the water. I have to remember these things and live boldly!

Multiple-Choice Questions:

1. What was Amos’s occupation before being called as a prophet?[6]

A) Shepherd

B) Farmer

C) Fig picker

D) Carpenter

2. According to this lesson, what is emphasized as more important than formal education for being a messenger of God?[7]

A) Knowledge of Hebrew and Greek

B) Wearing a tie

C) Dedication and commitment

D) Being highly polished

3. How does this lesson describe the response of some individuals when called to be messengers for God?[8]

A) Excited and eager

B) Confused and hesitant

C) Arrogant and dismissive

D) Indifferent and apathetic

4. What is the main message conveyed through the story of Amos in this lesson?[9]

A) God only uses highly educated individuals for His work

B) Anyone can be a spokesperson for God with the right qualifications

C) Dedication and commitment are key in serving God, regardless of background

D) Amos was a prophet who came from a long line of spiritual leaders

5. How does this lesson suggest individuals can overcome feelings of inadequacy in serving God?[10]

A) By seeking more formal education and training

B) By comparing themselves to others who seem more qualified

C) By focusing on their dedication and willingness to serve

D) By avoiding challenging tasks that may require stepping out of their comfort zone

Answers

  1. The story of Amos challenges traditional views of who can be a spokesperson for God by highlighting that God can use individuals who do not fit the typical mold of spiritual leaders. Amos, a fig picker and shepherd with no formal prophetic training, was chosen by God to deliver a powerful message of judgment and repentance to the people of Israel. This narrative emphasizes that God values dedication, commitment, and obedience over societal status, education, or noble birth when selecting His messengers. Amos’s story serves as a reminder that God’s ways are not bound by human expectations, and He can work through anyone who is willing to heed His call and faithfully proclaim His word.

  2. Amos possessed several qualities that made him an effective messenger, despite his lack of formal training. Firstly, he demonstrated unwavering dedication and commitment to delivering God’s message, showing a deep sense of obedience to his calling. Additionally, Amos exhibited courage and boldness in speaking truth to power, even in the face of opposition and rejection. His humility and authenticity resonated with the people, allowing his message to have a profound impact. Furthermore, Amos’s intimate relationship with God, evident through his prophetic visions and insights, enabled him to effectively communicate divine truths to the nation of Israel. Overall, Amos’s sincerity, integrity, and spiritual discernment were key qualities that empowered him to be a compelling and influential messenger of God, transcending the need for formal training or traditional credentials.

  3. The modern church can learn valuable lessons from Amos’s example in terms of selecting and equipping individuals for ministry. Firstly, the church can prioritize character and spiritual maturity over external qualifications or credentials when identifying potential leaders. Just as God chose Amos based on his dedication and obedience, the church can focus on nurturing individuals who exhibit a deep relationship with God and a heart for serving others. Secondly, the church can encourage and support individuals from diverse backgrounds and professions, recognizing that God can use anyone who is willing to be His vessel. Embracing a broader range of voices and perspectives can enrich the ministry and outreach of the church. Additionally, the church can provide opportunities for training, mentorship, and spiritual growth to empower individuals for effective service, mirroring how God equipped Amos for his prophetic role. By valuing authenticity, humility, and a genuine passion for God’s work, the modern church can follow Amos’s example in selecting and equipping individuals for impactful ministry in today’s world.

  4. The concept of dedication versus qualifications can apply to various areas of life beyond spiritual leadership, highlighting the importance of commitment, perseverance, and passion in achieving success. In professional settings, individuals who demonstrate unwavering dedication to their work, coupled with a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn and grow, often outshine those solely relying on formal qualifications or credentials. Employers value employees who show dedication to their tasks, take initiative, and go above and beyond in their responsibilities.

    In academic pursuits, students who exhibit dedication to their studies, engage actively in learning, and demonstrate a genuine interest in the subject matter can excel even without the highest qualifications or academic background. Dedication to continuous learning, self-improvement, and a strong work ethic can lead to academic success and personal growth.

    In creative fields such as art, music, or writing, dedication to honing one’s craft, consistent practice, and a passion for the creative process can often outweigh formal qualifications or training. Artists who pour their heart and soul into their work, persist through challenges, and stay committed to their artistic vision can produce impactful and meaningful creations.

    Overall, the concept of dedication emphasizes the importance of perseverance, hard work, and a genuine passion for one’s pursuits, transcending the need for traditional qualifications or external validation in various aspects of life beyond spiritual leadership.

  5. Personal response.

  6. Answer: C) Fig picker

  7. Answer: C) Dedication and commitment

  8. Answer: C) Arrogant and dismissive

  9. Answer: C) Dedication and commitment are key in serving God, regardless of background

  10. Answer: C) By focusing on their dedication and willingness to serve

Click on the "Amos" tag below to see all the posts in this series. To go to the start of this series click here. To join me in this study on Gab click here. 

Q5 The Willingness To Change

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b1/44/c1/b144c16198b6b30eaa43d48a1e438286.jpg
As seen at pinterest.com
There are three enemies of speed and results— absence of clarity, lack of focus, and poor execution.

Q1: Why is establishing clarity so important to getting ahead in life and business?
Q2: What are some signs indicating a lack of clarity?
Q3: How can people learn to become more focused?
Q4: What is the greatest obstacle people face in turning their vision into reality?
Q5: What is one of the most important traits I can develop to accelerate my progress?

Source: https://www.success.com/how-i-do-it-tony-jeary

Q5: What’s one of the most important traits I can develop to accelerate my progress?

The willingness to change plays a huge role in your ability to succeed. Voluntary change, which does not require anyone to push you or mandate that you do new things, is the kind of change you should seek. To enable smooth, low-stress change, you need to become aware of what you can and should change.

Here’s a change audit to follow:

1.What opportunities and choices present themselves to you daily?
2.What causes you to feel stressed or rushed?
3.What are the five most important actions you can take to bring value to your business or personal life?
4.What are five actions you can either delegate or spend less time on?
5.If you spent less time on the actions in No. 4 and focused more on the actions in No. 3, what would that mean to your effectiveness?

Remember, you need to know what you want to do, why you want to do it and how you will do it. You need to know the benefit of doing it and the negative payoff for not doing it. Acquiring clarity and increasing effectiveness will accelerate your success.

Q4 Production Before Perfection

As seen at youronlylifetips.blogspot.com
There are three enemies of speed and results— absence of clarity, lack of focus, and poor execution.

Q1: Why is establishing clarity so important to getting ahead in life and business?
Q2: What are some signs indicating a lack of clarity?
Q3: How can people learn to become more focused?
Q4: What is the greatest obstacle people face in turning their vision into reality?
Q5: What is one of the most important traits I can develop to accelerate my progress?

Source: https://www.success.com/how-i-do-it-tony-jeary

One habit that has more impact on delaying results than anything else is procrastination. We are all guilty of procrastination to some extent. There are two kinds:

 Positive procrastination—This is when you legitimately need some mental percolation time to gather your thoughts and get clear on what you need to do.
 Negative procrastination—This is based on some pretty flimsy excuses to avoid doing something, which will ultimately affect your results in negative ways.

Procrastination is a bad habit that greatly restricts results and effectiveness, but it can be controlled. The first step is to identify the reasons behind it, then make the commitment to move toward production, the opposite of procrastination. Production is the completion of tasks and projects in reduced time frames, and it is greatly accelerated by the concept of Production Before Perfection (PBP). Rather than waiting for every aspect of a project to come into perfect, linear alignment, PBP allows you to manage the aspects in parallel, adjust the project as you progress and reach greater results.

https://cdn.oaistatic.com/_next/static/media/apple-touch-icon.59f2e898.png
Explain this as a counselor to a fifth grader.

Hey there! So, you know when you have something to do, like homework or a project, but you keep putting it off until later? That’s called procrastination, and it’s not so great because it can make it harder to get things done and do your best work.

But the good news is, you can learn to control procrastination! First, you gotta figure out why you’re procrastinating. Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure where to start. Once you know why, you can start working on fixing it.

Instead of waiting until the last minute to do things, you can make a commitment to get started sooner. We call this “production,” which means finishing your tasks and projects faster. It’s like getting stuff done ahead of time instead of waiting until the very end.

There’s this cool idea called “Production Before Perfection.” It means you don’t have to make everything perfect right away. Instead, you can work on different parts of your project at the same time and fix things as you go along. This way, you can finish faster and still do a great job!

So, remember, if you’re procrastinating, try to figure out why and then make a plan to start working on things sooner. And don’t worry too much about making everything perfect right away—just focus on getting stuff done and doing your best!

Q2 Signs You Lack Clarity

There are three enemies of speed and results— absence of clarity, lack of focus, and poor execution.

Q1: Why is establishing clarity so important to getting ahead in life and business?
Q2: What are some signs indicating a lack of clarity?
Q3: How can people learn to become more focused?
Q4: What is the greatest obstacle people face in turning their vision into reality?
Q5: What is one of the most important traits I can develop to accelerate my progress?

Source: https://www.success.com/how-i-do-it-tony-jeary

Q2: What are some signs indicating a lack of clarity?

People who don’t believe they can do what they have to do.

For example, when sports teams enter a championship game, a team that does not believe it can win will not win. In the same way, people must believe they can execute a vision, or they will not be able to do it. When you don’t believe you can do what you have to do, it means you don’t believe in yourself or your vision. This means you don’t have clarity about what you really want.

People who use planning to avoid action.

Preparation and planning are important, but excessive preparation is nothing more than procrastination. It is only when you start doing what you need to do that you can begin to produce results. If you procrastinate, it means you are fearful of failure and may not be confident in your ability to succeed.

People who quit too easily or give up in the face of adversity.

It is always easy to quit, and too many people prefer quitting to the discomfort they experience when the going gets tough. The reason is simple: Adversity is painful. When you quit in the face of adversity, it means you are deficient in the mental substance it takes to persevere and overcome. Clarity is the missing ingredient.

Q1 Making The Treasure Map

There are three enemies of speed and results— absence of clarity, lack of focus, and poor execution.

Q1: Why is establishing clarity so important to getting ahead in life and business?
Q2: What are some signs indicating a lack of clarity?
Q3: How can people learn to become more focused?
Q4: What is the greatest obstacle people face in turning their vision into reality?
Q5: What is one of the most important traits I can develop to accelerate my progress?

Source: https://www.success.com/how-i-do-it-tony-jeary

https://thewholerealm.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/treasuremap.jpg

Q1: Why is establishing clarity so important to getting ahead in life and business?

When you have an authentic vision, things happen. If you have no vision, there is nothing to tie your objectives to and nothing to measure your progress or performance.

When you have clarity about your vision, you discover yourself being pulled toward it, and all you have to do is follow the connecting opportunities that carry you along. The pulling effect of an authentic vision allows you to make connections faster. You can identify and pursue opportunities faster. The results you achieve will be superior, and they will come faster than you may have thought possible.

To find clarity, ask yourself the following:

1.What do you really want?
2.Why do you want it?
3.What is your overarching objective, the thing you desire the most, and why is it so important to you?

If you can articulate your vision, you have taken the first step toward developing clarity.

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https://cdn.oaistatic.com/_next/static/media/apple-touch-icon.59f2e898.png
Explain this as a counselor to a fifth grader.

Hey there! Let’s chat about having a clear vision for your future, kind of like having a big dream or goal. Imagine you’re on a treasure hunt, and your vision is like the map showing you where to go. When you have a clear vision, it’s like having a super helpful map because it guides you on your journey and helps you figure out what steps to take.

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Now, if you don’t have a vision, it’s like being on a treasure hunt without a map. You might wander around aimlessly without knowing where you’re headed or what you’re looking for. Having a vision gives you something to aim for and helps you measure how well you’re doing along the way.

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When you know exactly what you want and why you want it, it’s easier to make decisions and find opportunities that will help you get there. It’s like having a magnet pulling you toward your goal, and all you have to do is follow the signs that lead you in the right direction.

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To make your vision even clearer, you can ask yourself some questions, like what you really want, why it’s important to you, and what your biggest goal is. By answering these questions, you’re taking the first step toward making your vision a reality.

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So, remember, having a clear vision is like having a treasure map for your future. It helps you stay focused, make better choices, and reach your goals faster.

Q3 The Power of Clarity

There are three enemies of speed and results— absence of clarity, lack of focus, and poor execution.

Q1: Why is establishing clarity so important to getting ahead in life and business?
Q2: What are some signs indicating a lack of clarity?
Q3: How can people learn to become more focused?
Q4: What is the greatest obstacle people face in turning their vision into reality?
Q5: What is one of the most important traits I can develop to accelerate my progress?

Source: https://www.success.com/how-i-do-it-tony-jeary

Q3: How can people learn to become more focused?

Focus is not something that comes naturally for most people. It’s a skill that must be learned, polished and practiced. Focus is a thinking skill acquired as a result of mental discipline. To develop mental discipline concerning focus, you need to treat it the same way you would acquire any other skill. Since distraction is the opposite of focus, your ability to focus is directly related to how well you’re able to consistently avoid and eliminate distractions. Become aware of your need to improve your focus, and make a conscious decision to invest the time to improve your skills with practice and training. Become acutely aware of distractions and avoid them. Be more intimately aware of the activities—tied to your life’s vision—for which you need to allocate most of your time and effort. Your ability to achieve objectives within established time frames will greatly increase as your skills of focus increase. And with fewer distractions, you will be able to get more done because you will have achieved more effective use of your time.

https://cdn.oaistatic.com/_next/static/media/apple-touch-icon.59f2e898.png

Explain this as a counselor to a fifth grader.

Alright kiddo, let’s talk about focus! Imagine focus like a superpower that helps you do your best in everything you do, whether it’s studying, playing sports, or even just having fun with friends.

You know how sometimes it’s hard to pay attention, especially when there are cool things happening all around you? Well, that’s because focus doesn’t come naturally to most people. But the good news is, just like learning to ride a bike or play a new game, focus is a skill that you can practice and get better at!

Think of focus like a muscle in your brain. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. It’s all about training your brain to pay attention to what’s important and ignore things that might distract you, like your favorite TV show or your noisy pet.

So, how do you train your brain to focus? Just like you practice soccer drills or math problems, you can practice focusing too! Start by becoming aware of when your mind starts to wander and gently bring it back to what you’re supposed to be doing. It’s kind of like guiding a puppy back to its bed when it starts to run off.

Another important thing is to figure out what distracts you the most and try to avoid those distractions when you need to focus. Maybe it’s your noisy classmates or the tempting snacks in your kitchen. Once you know what distracts you, it’s easier to stay focused.

And remember, focusing isn’t just about getting stuff done—it’s also about making time for the things that really matter to you, like spending time with family or working towards your goals. So, by improving your focus, you’re not only getting better at schoolwork or chores, but you’re also making more time for the fun stuff!

So, keep practicing your focus superpower, and before you know it, you’ll be able to achieve all your goals and have more time for the things you love!