Back in the 70s, my college choir toured singing Handel’s Messiah. One of my favorite parts was when a soprano would perform “Rejoice.” She would sing “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Jerusalem.” She didn’t know it, but she was singing Zechariah’s prophecy of Christ’s coming Kingdom … He will march into Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives and set up His earthly Kingdom.
“Eye hasn’t seen, ear hasn’t heard the things that God is preparing for those who love Him.” It’s all in Christ Jesus.
PRAYER: Father, we live in anticipation and expectation of Your Kingdom that will come to earth. Grace us to live each day with the power of Your Spirit, telling everyone we meet about Your and how they can live with You forever.
READING: Zechariah 7-9
To Zechariah was given the glorious revelation of a Saviour that would remove the sin of the land in one day. God said He was going to bring His servant, The Branch (Jesus), to do this.
Only God can do such things. We are limited to our own time table and scope of effectiveness, but God in His infinite wisdom and power can do it all in just a moment.
As we pray, we are wise to simply trust and not limit how quickly God can act.
PRAYER: Father, Your great power awes us. Forgive us for being so carnal minded by limiting Your freedom to act because of our doubt and unbelief. Increase our faith.
READING: Zechariah 2-6
Much of Haggai’s message encouraged God’s people to pay attention to His house rather than their own homes. It includes some major references to the coming Messiah and the preparation for His coming.
The house God truly wants to live in is our hearts. Men live in buildings. God lives in hearts.
Years ago, a large and beautiful church sanctuary that I had helped build burned down in an hour. The message I have carried since then is … THE TRUE CHURCH IS THE PEOPLE.
PRAYER: Father, help us to see how important our relationship with You is rather than being distracted by too much attention to bricks and mortar. We want to be good stewards, but we don’t want idolatry.
READING: Haggai 1,2; Zechariah 1
Zephaniah’s prophecy focuses on God’s judgments to come upon those who have rejected His ways. The particular phrase captured in the heading is from chapter 3 and characterizes those who reject God, those who in essence have become a god to themselves.
Shame implies deep regret for having violated predetermined values and character ideals. We have those in God’s laws. When men turn upon and despise God’s commandments, they enter a lifestyle that becomes shameful. They have little or no regard for Christians, and they bristle at those who love the Lord and walk in His ways.
What makes us glad makes them mad.
PRAYER: Father, empower us with Your grace to hold to that which we know to be right … to walk in Your ways and abide in Your teachings.
READING: Zephaniah 1-3
To Habakkuk God revealed that the Babylonians would be permitted to overcome nations functioning as God’s punishing agent. He cited that their might was found in carnal devices, that He wasn’t their God, but that their own strength was their god.
As is the case with unbelievers all around us, they worship their own strength, their cleverness, their personal resources. Jeremiah warned, “Let not the mighty man glory in his might.”
All else will eventually fail. Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.”
PRAYER: Father, You are our source of strength, We trust only You. We are grateful for the strength and health You allow us to have.
READING: Habakkuk 1-3
Nahum spoke of Syria’s fate: “Nothing can heal you; your wound is fatal. All who hear the news about you clap their hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?”
Even in contemporary news, Syria and it’s struggles are obvious.
Nahum and the other minor prophets had sad news for countries and people groups who cut against God’s ways. The Righteous Lord loves righteousness. Those who walk in His ways will be blessed. Those who are against His ways reap constant struggle and defeat.
PRAYER: Father, we desire to walk in Your ways. Deliver us from the pull of evil and the carnal lust of this world. We choose You and Your ways for our families and loved ones.
READING: Nahum 1-3
When reading the prophets we come across verses that we DO understand, that have relevance to the present … such as “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” [Micah 6:8]
These verses have their own “sizzle” in our spirit. They seem to add a spiritual boost to our present daily lives. They show us how God’s Word is truly alive!
PRAYER: Father, surely it was in Your marvelous plan to speak through the lips and pens of ancient men to inject insight, inspiration and direction into our lives thousands of years later. Only Your Holy Word could do that. We praise You.
READING: Micah 5-7