2 Chronicles 19, 20; Revelation8; Zechariah 4; John 7

A hot cup of coffee on a chilly morning. A mug of creamy mocha next to the fireplace as it snows. Hot herbal tea before bed.  A tall glass of iced tea on a hot afternoon. An icy lemonade at the pool with friends.

These are all ways that I enjoy drinking a beverage. Sometimes I need sustenance, sometimes I drink purely for comfort. But when I am truly thirsty, only a big glass of water does the job.

And for my truly thirsty soul, only the Spirit can do the job. Jesus understood this need:

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from with him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39

My soul is thirsty. My soul needs what only Jesus can provide – the Spirit. I find that my thirst for the Spirit is never satisfied. I never say to myself, “Okay I’ve had enough now.” I crave the constant presence that is the Spirit.

As I walk through my days, may I always keep in mind what the Lord said to Zerubbabel. In this passage from Zechariah, an angel is talking to Zechariah, telling of the monumental task ahead to rebuild the temple.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”  Zechariah 4:6

Whatever is ahead of me, whatever task is asked of me by the Lord, it will be done by his Spirit. Not by might or power. Not by my own strength or will.

By the Spirit, who fills my soul to overflowing. By the Spirit, who is both my sustenance and my comfort.

Diona

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2 Chronicles 18; Revelation 7; Zechariah 3; John 6

The passages today are full of visions.  All promises to hold onto.

Micaiah’s vision:

“Therefore, hear the word of the Lord.  I saw the Lord sitting on

his throne, and all the host of Heaven standing on His right and

on His left.” (2 Chron. 18:18 NASB)

Joshua’s vision:

    “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘if you will walk in My ways and if

you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house

and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free

access among these who are standing here.’ (Zech. 3:7)

Jesus’s promise:

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds

the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life; and I

myself will raise him up on the last day.”  (John 6:40)

John’s vision:

“For the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd

and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God

will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:17)

“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor

And power and might, be to our God forever and ever.  Amen.”

(Rev. 7:12) ~Kellie

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2 Chronicles 17; Revelation 6; Zechariah 2; John 5

2 Chronicles 17

 7 In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah. 8 With them were certain Levites—Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tob-Adonijah—and the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the Lord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.

 Jehoshaphat realized that knowing God’s commands was the first step to getting the people to live as they should, so he initiated a nationwide religious education program. If we as Christians want the world to live as it should then we need to initiate worldwide religious education

Revelation 6

4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

 Complete peace will only come when Christ returns. The picture in Revelation of the coming persecutions and natural disasters is gloomy, but ultimately it is cause for great joy. When believers see these events happening, they will know that their Messiah’s return is coming soon, and they can look forward to his reign of justice and perfect peace.

Zechariah 2

8 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye—

 Believers are precious to God; they are his very own children. Treating any believer unkindly is the same as treating God that way. As Jesus told his disciples, when we help others we are helping him; when we neglect or abuse then we are neglecting or abusing him. Be careful, therefore, how you treat fellow believers- that is the way you are treating God.

John 5

19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

 Because of his unity with God, Jesus lived as God wanted him to live. Because of our identification with Jesus, we must honor him and live as he wants us to live. The question “What would Jesus do?” may help us make the right choices. prophecies of the second coming are just as certain to come true. We are to be ready for his return, for he is coming!

God Bless

Neil

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2 Chronicles 16; Revelation 5; Zechariah 1; John 4

The woman at the well, up to that day, her life spoke a different story. An encounter with Jesus, and she runs to tell others, leaving her water jar behind. Her former story is not her summary–it is the contrast of a life transformed.

39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:39-42, NLT)

A king who reigned years finds himself in a tight spot and in need of help. He gathers resources to entice aid, and gets it–in the process, getting more than he anticipated.

At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the Lord your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and charioteers? At that time you relied on the Lord, and he handed them over to you. The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.” (2 Chronicles 16:7-9, NLT)

His summary? So very different from what it could have been.

11 The rest of the events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Yet even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the Lord’s help but turned only to his physicians. 13 So he died in the forty-first year of his reign. (2 Chronicles 16:11-13, NLT)

This year I have felt overwhelmed by tasks and pressures–and I’ve also felt the Lord’s steady presence. At times, it’s felt like a battle, where I would fix my gaze–on my worry, my questions, my wounds? Or on the unmovable might of the Lord? I’ve felt him telling me, “Seek.”

Lord, you are the living water I want. Thank you for speaking into my life, for drawing near to me when I approach you, for your sovereignty in all things. I want to speak of who you are, not of my limited capacity. Thank you for this very sobering reminder to seek you. Thank you for hearing my prayers.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Chron. 13; Rev. 3; Haggai 1; John 2

Remember that My miracles show My personal care for you…

This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed His glory. And His disciples believed in Him. John 2:11

Jesus always had personal purpose for His miracles… personal for Him, to reveal His power; personal for us, to address a need.

John 2 revealed that Jesus’ power was first revealed publically during the wedding event at Cana in Galilee. The events resulted in Jesus’ disciples believing that He was who He said He was. By turning water into the finest wine, He addressed a physical need amongst a group of guests, as well as the hearts of several people, and it is in the heart where the most impactful, long-term effects can be realized. In this one event, Jesus was able to avert humiliation to the bridegroom from running out of wine at such a ceremony. Additionally, His actions affirmed, within the heart of His disciples, that He was who He said He was… that they were in the presence of the Messiah. And then there was Jesus’ mother, who, after witnessing so many miracles as Jesus grew from a child, witnessed her Son’s first public display of His power that would eventually be used to change the world!

In another powerful example of this duplicity of Jesus’ blessing was revealed later in John with the story of Lazarus. It was revealed that Lazarus, a follower of Jesus, the brother of Mary and Martha, the one who Jesus loved, was sick. As a father, if someone had come to me and told me these same words, I, as I’m sure most, would immediately move to do something… to be with that person described as “the one you love is sick.” Instead, Jesus decides to remain where He was for two more days with His disciples before going back to Judea. To the human mind, this decision surely meant death to Lazarus… however, to our Savior, who has a definite purpose in all He does, uses Lazarus’ situation to glorify His Father through the miracle of the raising of Lazarus after he passes.

Each time our Lord acts on His people’s behalf, He performs miracles. From what appears to us as mundane and insignificant events of everyday life, from the rising of the sun and the ebb and flow of the tides, God demonstrates His power over creation… He shows His glory to all of us, yet He also reveals His glory to each of us.

God fills every moment of our day with signs of Himself… He works on our behalf to get our attention and to reveal His faithfulness. Will His miracles move our belief in Him just as it did with His disciples, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary? He offers SO much, but asks just one thing… BELIEVE! “The work of God is this… that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:29. There are no mistakes according to His plan… “we are fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)… how grateful are we to know our Heavenly Father—through His Son, Jesus Christ—are recipients of amazing plans He has for our lives! The question is… are we ready to go to wherever He wants us to go?

Heavenly Father… You provide so much and ask but one thing… that we believe! As we prepare to celebrate Your son’s birth, let us remain mindful of the abundance of miracles You provide for us each day. Help us to change our old selves as a testament of our commitment to cleanse our hearts and open our eyes to this abundance of love You offer to us. Amen!

Greg (gstefanelli)

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2 Chronicles 11; 2 Chronicles 12; Revelation 2; Zephaniah 3; 1 John 1

In the midst of darkness, discouragement, despair, hope is a flame.

A promise:

17  The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3 ESV

A warning:

14And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.  2 Chronicles 12 ESV

An exhortation:

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ Revelations 2 ESV

A new birth:

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 1 John 1

His promised fullness:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son[d] from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.[e] 17      John 1:14-17

Lord, as the quiet rests all around me, I look to You. Through Christ, You are in my midst. A place of refuge rather than judgment. A place of singing mercy, rather than deserved retribution. If I turn to You, and set my heart on You, I will be and am protected from evil. Kindle my first love that I may do the works exhorted in Revelations 2. May the miracle of the birthing of God be alive in me this day. I cannot comprehend grace upon grace… You, Jesus, full…. full of grace and truth.

Father, have mercy on me and grant me grace to draw near to You that You will draw near to me. In the hush of this Christmas season, may my heart find quiet spaces to rest in You and know You. The glimmer of a house lit up with Christmas candles and the quiet glow of holiday lights has always, from the time I was a little girl, called my heart to You. In the cold chill of this December, may I be warmed in You. The Scriptures come to me in fragments, like my mind fragments in this season- filled with so many, many things. Help me live for You.

 

Rebecca (offeringsbecca)

 

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2 Chronicles 1; Revelation 1; Zephaniah 2; Luke 24

I have a very strong sense of personal story about who I am in relation to God and others. The problem is that too often, that story is more fiction than fact, akin to the city Zephaniah spoke of, “the exultant city that lived secure, that said to itself, ‘I am, and there is on one else.’ ” Zephaniah 2:15  Remove God and the narrative has scary consequences; it’s more like a horror movie.

Then I have the stories I spin about God and others: who they are, what they mean to me, how they are supposed to behave. Those story lines are seldom they way I would write them. When things go unexpectedly, I question God and wonder where He is. I try to make sense of it all and I find myself walking that road to Emmaus, totally unaware that Jesus is right there with me, rewriting the story in ways I never imagined.

“Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ “ Luke 24:31-32

Later, Jesus sits with his disciples as says to them, ” ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” Luke 24:44-45

Holy Spirit, you are here. Open my heart and mind to your Scriptures. May your truth resonate within me.  Your Word brings freedom and invites me into a life that is far better than anything I could imagine. Thank you that you are the author and perfecter of my faith.   Amen

Kathy

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