Changing St Louis (Amos 5)
We’re in a message series called “Basic Training.” This series will help train you to be an effective soldier in the army of the Lord. It’s not enough to simply listen to the message on Sunday mornings. You must take the outline home, pray over it and implement it in order for this training to have any utility.
James 1:22 (NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
The blessing of God’s Word comes only as we put it into practice. What is the goal of this basic training? It is to change our city.
Today, our topic is “Changing St Louis. We pray in the Lord’s prayer, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. As we look around our city, the city of St. Louis, do we see God’s will being done as it is in heaven? No, we have a long ways to go. What are the problems that we see around us in St. Louis?
Recently the situation in Ferguson raised the issues of racial tensions and injustice in our court system. Ongoing are the problems of poverty and violent crime. We have the vice of gambling with 6 large casinos in our area. The St. Louis area is the 7th largest casino market in the US taking in $2.1 billion in 2014. The St. Louis area Planned Parenthood is the only abortion provider in the state of Missouri, with 5000-6000 abortions per year, which is 15 abortions per day. We have issues with drug and alcohol addiction. St. Louis has the second highest percentage of sexually transmitted diseases in the nation.
St Louis was founded by Pierre Laclede in 1764 as a French community on Spanish territory. The first church built was Catholic and Catholicism remains a stronghold in St. Louis to the present time. Today, underlying the spiritual climate in St. Louis is a religious spirit. A religious spirit is basically the belief that simply doing certain religious duties to attempt to make oneself right with God. True Christianity is based on a relationship with Jesus Christ based on faith, not good works. What can we, as believers, do to change St. Louis, to bring God’s kingdom here?
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
If we humble ourselves, repent, pray and seek God, then He will hear our prayers for our city and bring healing and revival to St. Louis. God wants to use Life Church, along with other churches who believe in God’s power to bring about change to our city.
Today, we’re going to be looking at a passage from the book of Amos. Amos was a shepherd that God called as a prophet to the land of Israel in the 8th century BC. Outwardly, the nation of Israel was prosperous and at peace. However, the people were far from God. Idolatrous worship was popular, immorality was rampant, the poor were oppressed, the rich lived extravagantly and the judicial system was corrupt.
Amos called the people to repentance two years before a massive destructive earthquake struck Israel and about 30 years before Israel was conquered by Assyria. I believe that Amos’ prophetic words apply to our city St. Louis today and all who live here. What does God’s Word call us to do in order that we can be changing St Louis?
Basic Training Message Series
- Time with God (Exodus 33)
- Talking with God (Nehemiah 1-2)
- Hearing God's Word (2 Kings 22-23)
- What is Heaven Like? (Revelation 4-5)
- Reaching Out (Acts 17)
- Changing St Louis (Amos 5)
- Giving Your Resources (1 Chronicles 29)
- Breaking Barriers (Acts 10)
- Investing Your Life (Matthew 25)
- Seeking God's Guidance (2 Chronicles 20)
- Living in Community (Ephesians 4)