Category Archives: Zechariah

Zechariah 2-5; Psalm 93; 1 John 3

I love the idea of moving forward in my journey of faith with a balanced spiritual growth. Unity is one of those crucial success milestones that is expressed when I have love for others.

For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered[j] his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him?

Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. – 1 John 3:11-18 HCSB

If loving others were only as easy as giving a hug then I would excel in love. Love is a bit more difficult than that, there is continual effort and hard work because it is about putting the other person ahead of myself – that is where the battle lies. My default is not to love. This is why John is exhorting me to love the family of God.

John must have gone through this transformation – from one of the Sons of Thunder to the Apostle of Love. Love characterized his life and love was his prevailing message.

In fact, the church father, Jerome, said that when the apostle John was in his extreme old age, he was so weak that he had to be carried into church meetings. At the end of the meeting he would be helped to his feet to give a word of exhortation to the church. Invariably, he would repeat, “Little children, let us love one another.” The disciples began to grow weary of the same words every time, and they finally asked him why he always said the same thing over and over. He replied, “Because it is the Lord’s commandment, and if this only is done, it is enough.”

John did not originate the idea of loving others – love originated with God and it was uttered through the lips of Jesus.

Father, this gets really messy in real life. It requires an incredible amount of spiritual maturity. It requires me to have the wisdom of God, the mind of Christ, in all matters. I want that, I want to be the man you need me to be and I ask the Holy Spirit to do the work I need done. I choose to grow in my walk with You. Thank you.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 1 John, 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan, Uncategorized, Zechariah

2 Chron. 26; Rev. 13; Zech. 9; John 12

“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success…But when he became powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall…”Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The Lord God will not honor you for this!” Uzziah, who was holding an incense burner, became furious. But as he was standing there raging at the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s Temple, leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead.” 2 Chronicles 26: 3-23

King Uzziah let pride be his downfall. God can turn any heart around, but Uzziah let anger control him. Small acts of faithfulness don’t always seem significant at the time. But, God honors them. I think on legacy. It’s not easy to have an eternal perspective in this world. What will I be remembered for?

“Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” John 12:25&26

Am I serving God with a humble heart?

“Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the Synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” John 12:42&43 NLT

Dear Father, I pray for a deeper trust in you. That I wouldn’t easily be swayed by the opinions and praise of others. That I would desire you more than anything else. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, John, Revelation, Uncategorized, Zechariah

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

I ran across another leader today who modelled how to be morally brave and heroic – Micaiah.

Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers, “Arrest Micaiah and take him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Prince Joash. Tell them to throw him in prison and to put him on bread and water until I return safely.”

“If you return safely,” Micaiah exclaimed, “then the Lord has not spoken through me!” And he added, “Listen, everyone, to what I have said!” – 2 Chronicles 18:25-27 GNT

Micaiah’s strength came from knowing his life was not in his hands, but in God’s. This could be the very reason I love the book of Revelation – revealing the end from the beginning.

After this I looked, and there was an enormous crowd—no one could count all the people! They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood in front of the throne and of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. – Revelation 7:9 GNT

Here I can stand with thankfulness for the grace of God, through faith, that I have become a part of the body of Christ – to be a light and to proclaim the Gospel and to disciple the world. I expect miracles to take place when I engage and people to be saved.

In this arena of leadership, I expect some sort of engagement with the evil one – yet my Saviour exercises His authority, preventing his advance.

The angel of the Lord[b] said to Satan, “May the Lord condemn you, Satan! May the Lord, who loves Jerusalem, condemn you. This man is like a stick snatched from the fire.” – Zechariah 3:2 GNT

Yes, I know that the evil one wants to attack and harass those who have made a decision to follow Jesus. God is still in authority and only lets things happen what He deems necessary to happen. I love the account of Jesus telling Peter that Satan wanted to sift him like wheat, but Jesus said that He was praying for Peter and would stand beside him and would not allow the evil planned to take place.

The adventure that comes in following Jesus comes as I desire to seek Him.

I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty. – John 6:35 GNT

Coming to Jesus means I receive Him as a gift from God and is showcased by my desire, prayer, assent, consent, trust and obedience.

Father, I am thrilled with the opportunity to provide leadership to those I am serving. Sometimes I think more about serving than leading and I need You to help me recognise the times I need to be up in the front lines. I pray that You and I will always be talking together. My strength and all that You have called me to be comes from our relationship. Thank You. AMEN

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Revelation, Zechariah

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

“Then Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son, became the next king. The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father’s early years and did not worship the images of Baal. He sought his father’s God and obeyed his commands instead of following the evil practices of the kingdom of Israel. He was deeply committed to the ways of the Lord. He removed the pagan shrines and Asherah poles from Judah. Then the fear of the Lord fell over the surrounding kingdoms so that none of them wanted to declare war on Jehoshaphat.” 2 Chronicles 17:1-10 NLT

Jehoshaphat was unwavering in his faith. The Lord was protecting him. What ways am I trying to protect myself? To cover up? Do I believe that the Lord is my safety?

“As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll. Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and to gain the victory. When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” Revelation 6:1-3 NLT

I can get too caught up in what I don’t understand about the imagery of Revelation, that I miss the message. Jesus is beckoning me to come. He calls after me and pursues me. Sometimes I let too many things hinder me. I come up with excuses, like the man in the story at the pool in Bethesda….

“After Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people-blind, lame, or paralyzed-lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!” John 5:1-9 NLT

Dear Father, thank you that you never stop pursing me. That you look straight through to my heart. Thank you for coming to earth as a baby and that your coming back one day. I praise you. Amen.

“The Lord says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you. Many nations will join themselves to the Lord one day, and they, too, will be my people. I will live among you, and you will know that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies sent me to you.” Zechariah 2:10-11 NLT

Amy(amyctanner)

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Zechariah 9-11; 1 John 5

Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
it is the Lord who makes the storm clouds.
He gives showers of rain to men,
and plants of the field to everyone.
The idols speak deceitfully,
diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
oppressed for lack of a shepherd.

“My anger burns against the shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders;
for the Lord Almighty will care
for his flock, the people of Judah,
and make them like a proud horse in battle. (Zech. 10:1-3) NIV

As I ponder verses in the Bible, it often occurs to me there really is nothing new under the sun (Eccl. 1:9). Zechariah is so descriptive of what is happening in our own time in history. So many have turned from the Lord and are wandering aimlessly through life. They live as exiles from God and others. We are created for connection, and often out of hurt or desperation make bad choices in that area. Without God, we can easily become lost sheep. We have an enemy that rules this world and wants to keep us separated from the Truth. He wants nothing more than to “shepherd” us as far away from God as possible. The world promises hope and comfort but really what we receive is despair and bondage. That is not how God wants us to live.

These verses tell us that we are to seek God’s provision for our lives and believe Him—not the idols or false prophets of our time. God alone is the one we can trust and believe.  He will guide us and will not lead us astray. The idols, or things of this world, lie to us and confuse us. Like sheep, we are prone to wander. We keep looking and looking for the true Shepherd.

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River[b] to the ends of the earth. (Zech. 9:9-10) NIV

He can be found, this Shepherd, and we as believers are His flock, His people, and He will care for us. God promised us a deliverer long before Jesus came to earth and we find hints (a.k.a prophecies) all throughout the Old Testament. Even with these prophecies, he did not come in the way anyone expected. God had a different plan—a much better way. These verses are especially meaningful as we have recently celebrated Thanksgiving and are rapidly approaching Christmas. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter—all holidays meant to praise and honor our Almighty LORD and be grateful for his plan to bring us to Himself. Let’s celebrate our righteous and victorious King!

Lord, I know how easy it is to be distracted and led away from you. Please help me keep my focus on you through a heart of gratitude, through humble service, and love for others. Your Son showed me how to do that. May I continue to study the Word, who is your Son, and live as He lived.  In His name I pray. Amen

Cindy (gardnlady)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Zechariah