Saturday, April 23, 2022

April 23, 2022

The day of the Lord will not be good for those who have rejected Jesus. Some people are doing the bidding of Satan that have no idea what they’ve become mixed up in. They follow the woke culture thinking they are righteousness in their deeds when truthfully they are going against everything good God has put in place. I pity them because they will face the wrath of God because of their stupidity. Zechariah holds nothing back when explaining what that day will be like for them; he records some gruesome details in chapter 14; you will have to read it yourself. Get this straight in your head, we are the remanent and will not face God’s wrath, so when you read about the wrath of God, understand that it’s not meant for you. Our hope lies in Jesus; he is our King!

A common theme from the prophets is the warning about the Day of the Lord. The verses I’ve included are the good news that Zechariah brings; much of the rest are warnings for the people involved in doing evil. 

In the whole land, declares the LORD, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. Zechariah 13:8

On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one. Zechariah 14:8-9

Friday, April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

God may be refining you by fire right now; like gold and silver, he is purifying you. The trials you face are faith-building, and God will use them to bring you into submission, so you follow him more closely. We don’t like it when this happens, but God does. He loves it when we turn to Him and rely on him for our next breath and desires to strengthen us through our weakness by trusting in his will. He won’t leave you crumpled in a pile on the floor; he gives hope and light in the darkness. The enemy seethes when we rely wholeheartedly on the Lord, but the Lord smiles and tells him to wait and see your response to his torment! Remember Job? Even when he thought all was lost, God replaced everything he had lost plus more because he continued to trust him. I’ve been through the fire, and though I wouldn’t want to go through it again, I’m grateful it happened because it built my faith and trust in God. I encourage you to keep your eyes firmly placed on Him, and you will shine like a bright star when you get through it. 

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7

Thursday, April 21, 2022

April 21, 2022

Richard and I are taking advantage of the market and selling some of our rentals. Even though the properties are residential, which is usually an easy transaction, they are income-producing. We have to give the buyer extra information to make a good decision. When we recently moved, I stashed some critical papers and forgot! I was missing about half of what I needed to show the buyers. I looked everywhere and then decided to go through each file in the cabinet because they couldn't be anywhere else. I should have filed them properly, but I found them clumped together in one folder. 

When we spread the seeds of the gospel, people will put them in a file in their minds. Then the devil will come along with other data to create confusion. Rather than having the information filed where it belongs, it gets clumped together, and the necessary information gets lost. Our message to unbelievers must be clear. When we mix ideas like the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause with God's message, it is diluted, and people get confused. Too many times have I heard Christians explain that these things can be used to bring people to Christ. Is the message of Christ so weak that it can't stand alone? I think not.

I don't have an answer to how we should separate these traditions, but we need to do something. 

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:22-23

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

It’s amazing how light can transform a space. The access to our house was overgrown. The trees had grown so much that the entry was dark, and the roots were causing the concrete to break. Don’t get me wrong, I love trees, but when they are poorly placed and causing problems, they need to go. The gates can fully open now that we’ve removed them and cleared the brush. Are there trees in your life that need to be removed or trimmed back? Maybe there is something that started out as a good thing but has grown into an intrusion, and you’ve taken it too far. Perhaps you’ve become obsessed with fitness, the internet, sports, shopping, or something else taking over your life and causing you to drift away from the Lord. Anything that keeps you from spending quality time with God may need to be brought into check and cleared away so the light can shine in your life. You never want the access to the temple to become overgrown; clear away the brush, so the gates open wide, and the voice of the Holy Spirit becomes more evident.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

April 19, 2022

Yesterday, I began sorting through all the things in the garage attached to the house. My father-in-law liked cars and had a beautiful car covered with dust sitting in the garage. It barely fit in there because of all the other things he collected. As beautiful as it is, you can’t even open the doors because the battery is dead! Going through his things hasn’t been easy, but I need garage space because the front porch is cluttered, and I can’t stand it. Plus, I’m afraid the car will be damaged if something falls on it or scrapes against it. I understand his need to be surrounded by the things he purchased; somehow, I guess they made him happy; a human might need that if they are not seeking joy through Jesus. 

Our minds are like the messy garage; we need to sort through the clutter! The process is not easy because you have to look at each thing and assess whether it needs to stay or go. Undoubtedly, painful things need healing to become functional. It’s like the inoperable car; it’s sitting in the garage, useless. It needs to be recharged and given new life rather than sitting there stagnant and causing more pain; pain because I keep running into it. Change your pain into a ministry; unbelievers should see the joy of your healing rather than the sorrow associated with your pain. They may look at you and want the same contentment you have, and it only comes from having a relationship with Jesus.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Monday, April 18, 2022

April 18, 2022

I’ve given up on having a bird feeder because of the raccoons and squirrels tearing them up. It also brings other rodents close to my house that I’m not fond of. So, last night I emptied the feeder onto the sidewalk, and it was nearly full. This morning, I’m watching as multiple types of birds, and the squirrels are munching on the feast I laid out before them. Needless to say, the birds are waiting in the branches to take a turn eating. This may be more fun than the feeder! 

I began my study of Zechariah and got stopped in chapter 3 by a verse that mentioned the “Branch;” it was capitalized, which got my attention.

Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. Zechariah 3:8

We know the “Branch” is Jesus. But look what it says a couple of verses down:

In that day, declares the LORD of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.” Zechariah 3:10

The different types of birds coming from branches to feast on the food remind me of all the nationalities coming together because of Jesus. It also reminds me of the Great Commission, which he gave his disciples right after his resurrection! 

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19

I love how the Old and New Testaments weave together in perfect harmony with a message that is on time and in order. Only the Holy Spirit can create such seamless lessons.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

April 17, 2022

And so the fake news began! Instead of exuberant rejoicing, the cabal of that day sent out a false message among the people that the disciples carried off Jesus’s body. And just like today, the people believed the lies. 

And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ Matthew 28:12-13

So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day. Matthew 28:15

Fortunately for us, the back channels of information reached us, and we are saved because we rejected the lies that still pulse throughout our society today. JESUS HAS RISEN! God did everything he said he would do, which means eternity is our destination; God keeps his promises.