Week Thirty-nine — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Prophetic Voices for Justice — Zachariah 14: 8, 9

Note:  Students of prophesy will find in these verses the prophesy of end time events.  Are these the prediction of pre-millennialism?  You decide.

PM Adult Bible Study – S – P – L – I – T – Zachariah 14: 1-14

See also: Isaiah 34: 4; 64: 1, 2; Ezekiel 32: 7,8; 47: 7, 8; Matthew 16: 27; Mark 13: 25, 26; I Thessalonians 4:16, 17; Revelation 6: 12, 13; 20: 4, 5.

S – Spoil – v. 1  What was lost the Lord will restore.  The Lord restores in this life and at the end.

P – Parting – v. 4 – The mount of Olives will split when an earthquake signals the coming of the Lord.

L – Living Water – v. 8 It was so in Eden, it was so in Ezekiel’s temple, and it was so in Revelation.  In Zachariah’s vision living water flows from the city of God.

I – Illumination – v. 6 There will be light from the throne of Christ when Christ Jesus returns.

T – Throne of triumph – v. 9 – Make no mistake.  There is one Lord, and there shall ever be one Lord, God above all.

Exemplary story:  A beloved grandmother, Granny Liza, lived into her eighties.  Before all of her eight children had left home, she was widowed, but she kept faith in God in hard times.  Toward the end of her days she would often say, “Child, I feel like traveling on today.”  In faith she has traveled on to God’s great city.  Are you ready to travel on?

Sunday

Zachariah 14: 1, 2 A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you.  I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.

Prayer:  Lord God, we do believe that all that has been lost by the children of faith will be restored.

Thought for the day:  God’s accounting books never lie.

Monday

Zachariah 14: 3, 4 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle.  On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.

Prayer:  Lord God, when we can fight no longer for justice both now and at the end of the age, fight for us.

Thought for the day:  When God is on your side, you have the best wrestling tag team possible.

 

Tuesday

Zachariah 14: 5, 6 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel.  You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.  Then the Lord my God will come and all the holy ones with him.  On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost.

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, all the saints of all the ages including those we know and love are always in your safekeeping.

Thought for the day:  In God’s plan heaven is for sharing.

Wednesday

Zachariah 14: 7, 8 It will be unique day, without daytime or nighttime – a day known to the Lord.  When evening comes, there will be light.  On that day living water will flow out of Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, in your eternal presence there shall be no want or need.

Thought for the day:  The songwriter said, “They tell me of a home in a land far away.  O they tell me of a home far away. O they tell me of an unclouded day.”

Thursday

Zachariah 14: 9, 10 The Lord will be king over the whole earth.  On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah.  But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the first gate, to the Corner gate, and from the Tower of Hanael to the royal winepresses.

Prayer:  Lord God, on this day we joyfully proclaim you are Lord, you are God above all.

Thought for the day:  In the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, in Revelation, God reigns over all.

Friday

Zachariah 14: 11, 12 It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed.  Jerusalem will be secure. This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem:  Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

Prayer:  Lord God, may we find the peace you intended for the world.

Thought for the day:  Historical accounts of atomic blasts describe how persons close to the blast zone were vaporized in seconds.

Saturday

Zachariah 14: 13, 14 On that day men will be stricken by the Lord with great panic.  Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other.  Judah too will fight at Jerusalem.  The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected – great quantities of gold and silver and clothing.

Prayer:  Almighty God, you are awesome; yet, your Son, Jesus, has shown us your love.

Thought for the day:  Jesus came to impart spiritual peace and not panic.

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photo: “Mount of Olives” by Chris Yunker on http://www.flickr.com

Sunday Communion Meditation — Come as You are — I John 1: 8, 9

“Come as you are” appears on many event invitations.  It is a welcoming invitation that says you do not have to change your dress to attend the event.

“Come as you are” could appear on a communion invitation.  There is no formal dress code to join in a communion service.

Neither is there a code that dictates the condition of one’s heart when you come to the Lord’s Supper.  You can come as you are. The invitation stands whether you come with issues of the heart or heartfelt baggage.  Jesus will welcome you to his table.  Nonetheless, if you are meeting the Master, you can be assured that you cannot not leave as you come.

Listen to these words from I John 1: 8-9

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, we humbly approach your table, and receive this loaf and cup in memory of your body and blood.  The issues and baggage that have so marred our heart and spirit we have carried, we leave at the cross as we receive your blessed forgiveness. Amen.

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Week Thirty-eight — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Prophetic Voices for Justice — Zachariah 12: 10, 11

Note: This week we look at a prophet active after Israel returned from Babylon.  He is a prophet of many visions as well as many Messianic foresights.

Some prophesies of the Messiah: 3:8; 6: 12, 18; 9: 9; 11:13; 12:10

Adult PM Bible Study – M – O – U – R – N – Zachariah 12: 10 – 14

M – Meanness – v. 10 The world is not above wounding Jesus, the Son of God.

O – Only Son – v. 10 The whole world will come to see Jesus as God’s son and judge of the world.

U – Urging – v. 11 The Holy Spirit will urge the people to confront their wrongdoings in rejecting and wounding Jesus.

R – Repentance – v. 11 A spirit of conviction and repentance will come upon the people.  They will see the wrong they have done.

N – Notification – vs. 12-14 It will not be enough that the people in general repent.  Individuals will step forward to confess and ask their pardon.

Exemplary story:  In an old “Andy Griffin” episode little Opie carelessly shoots a bird with his slingshot.  The bird dies.  When it is discovered by Andy, he makes Opie listen to the cries of the baby birds whose mother is gone.  The consequences of our wrongdoing are often our conviction and our punishment.

 

Sunday

Zachariah 12: 1, 2 This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel.  The Lord, who stretches out the heavens who lays the foundation of the earth and who forms the spirit of man within him declares: I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling.  Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we honor you as creator of all.

Though for the day:  All the planets and all the stars are known to God, the creator.

Monday

Zachariah 12: 3, 4 “On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations.  All who try to move it will injure themselves.  On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness”, declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.”

Prayer:  Lord God, when many are anxious about the world’s affairs, we believe you are in control.

Thought for the day:  God still reigns in heaven, while all the good and all the bad kings and rulers come and go.

Tuesday

Zachariah 12: 5, 6 Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, “The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.”  On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves.  They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.

Prayer:  Lord God, before the watching eyes of the world we would be known as the children whom you protect.

Thought for the day:  If you know what is good for you, you won’t stand between a mamma bear and her cubs.

Wednesday

Zachariah 12: 7, 8 the Lord will save the dwellings of Judah firs, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah.  On that day, the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of the Lord going before them.

Prayer:  Lord God, for generations past and generations to come, you have had a plan for good for your children.

Thought for the day:  Jesus promised he would prepare a place for his disciples in heaven (John 14: 1, 2).

Thursday

Zachariah 12: 9, 10 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.  And I will pour out on the house of David and inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.  They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Son of God, we humbly ask your forgiveness for the times we have wounded you.

Thought for the day:  The songwriter said, “Wounded for me, wounded for me, seems now I see him on Calvary’s tree.

Friday

Zachariah 12: 11, 12 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.  The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives.

Prayer:  Lord God, may you receive our prayer for mercy and forgiveness.

Thought for the day:  Today is a good day to ask God for forgiveness.

Saturday

Zachariah 12: 13, 14 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives [ will mourn], the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives.

Prayer:  Lord God, we give thanks for Jesus who is our confident and confessor to hear our every plea.

Though for the day:  If each were to confess to God his or her sins, and each were to praise God for God’s blessings, no time would remain for grumbling and gossiping.

St. Zachariah the Prophet. IMG_6302.JPG//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
photo: “St. Zachariah the Prophet” by bookchen on http://www.flickr.com

Sunday Communion Meditation — Simple Ingredients for a Sacred Event — John 6: 48-51

Ingredients for communion bread were simple.

When bread for communion during the Pandemic quarantine ran low, I searched the pantry for ingredients.  A third of a cup of flour, a third of a cup of water, and a tablespoon of oil, was mixed and placed in a frying pan briefly.  That was all that was required to provide communion bread.  No yeast was needed.

The bread for communion was simple, but the event of communion was extraordinary.  What made it extraordinary was the moment of sacred remembrance and the Lord’s sacred presence.  A simple loaf, a simple cup of juice, and a promised presence made communion an extraordinary event.

In John 6: 48 – 51 we find these red-letter words of Jesus:

I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died.  But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  Whoever eats this bread will live forever.  This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, as we receive this simple bread and cup, we remember your sacrifice on Calvary for the salvation of each and all.  We give thanks for your promised presence this day as we remember you.  Amen.

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Week Thirty-seven — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Prophetic Voices for Justice — Haggai 2: 8, 9

Note: Just as Jeremiah and other prophets had foretold, after 70 years in captivity in Babylon, Israel returned to Judah and Jerusalem in 586 BC.  Then the work began of rebuilding a temple.  The people entered the work with great enthusiasm, but they soon became distracted.  As a result they turned their attention to their own affairs and stopped work on God’s temple.  Haggai calls them back to their mission.

Adult PM Bible Study – B – U – I – L – D – Haggai 2: 1-9

B – blight – vs. 1: 5-7 – Crops were failing and resources were inadequate to meet the needs of the day.  Sound familiar?

U – Unfaithful v. 1: 9-11 –  The people had failed to appreciate the blessings of God, and they had neglected God’s temple and God’s work.  Today we have a spiritual temple, and the Holy Spirit abides within, but there is still the danger of neglect that can have negative effects.

I – Insignificance – v. 2:3 – The people are invited to consider the glory of the temple before their captivity and the modest result of their rebuilding after return.  Sound familiar? We long for the glory of days past, while we may underestimate the potential of today.

L – Little while – v. 2: 6 – God promises that in a short time the losses of the past would be compensated, and the gain of days to come would be great.  Like children who await their parents’ help, we must have patience to know that God works in God’s time.

D – Distinction – vs. 2: 9, 20-23  God planned a glorious day yet to come.  In God’s plan the glory of the past would be forgotten in light of the glory of the worship and praise of God.

Exemplary story:  As Haggai speaks to the people of Judah, he describes the futility of putting wages in purses with holes (1:6).  I recall how disappointed I was with a pair of comfortable dress trousers.  I enjoyed wearing the trousers, until I discovered a hole in the pant’s pocket.  Retracing my steps I found a trail of change in my driveway and in my office.  I repaired the pocket, but they served for only a few more days.  After the second repair failed, I retired the pants.  Haggai knew something Jesus taught in Matthew 6:20 – you need to store up your treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt.

Sunday

Haggai 2:1,2 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai:  “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people.

Prayer:  Lord God, we are grateful for those who speak a word of truth on your behalf.  May we hear your word.

Thought for the day:  God’s messaging service is never offline.

Monday

Haggai 2:3 Ask them, “Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory?  How does it look to you now?  Does it now seem to you like nothing?

Prayer:  Lord God, as we reflect on our spiritual life and worship, we recall with relish the days we have spent close to you.

Thought for the day:  Make some memorable moments with God.  You will be glad you did.

Tuesday

Haggai 2: 4 But now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord.  Be strong, O Joshua sone of Jehozadak, the high priest.  Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord, and work.  For I am with you, declares the Lord Almighty.

Prayer:  Lord God, in the season of service, may we work well for you.

Thought for the day:  For good reason hardware stores stock new crop plants in April and August but not in July and December.

Wednesday

Haggai 2: 5 This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt.  And my spirit remains among you.  Do not fear.

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, when our hearts are uncertain and fearful may be recall you covenant faithfulness through the ages.

Thought for the day:  The promises God makes are promises God keeps.

Thursday

Haggai 2: 6 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.”

Prayer:  Lord God, you are everlasting.  All else may pass away, but not you.

Thought for the day:  God’s time is never wrong.

Friday

Haggai 2: 7 I will shake all nations and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord Almighty.

Prayer:  Almighty God, the fate of every nation is in your hands.

Thought for the day:  A house full of the glory of God is a happy house.

Saturday

Haggai 2: 8, 9 The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty.  The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house, says the Lord Almighty.  And in this place, I will grant peace, declares the Lord Almighty.

Prayer:  O Lord, we long to abide in your presence where there is true peace.

Thought for the day:  The next time you pray take a moment to focus upon God, then repeat slowly God’s promise, “I will grant peace.” Repeat as often as needed.

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photo: “Icon Prophet Haggai” by Ted on http://www.flickr.com

Sunday Communion Meditation — A Working Holiday — Hebrews 9: 27, 28

“Classes continue on Monday, Labor Day.”

A polite reminder was delivered to our faculty in-boxes on Friday before the holiday.  Faculty were reminded that they would be working in class on the Labor Day Holiday.  This was part of our teaching plan to end the semester early due to the Pandemic.  We would work for the benefit of our students, while others went on holiday.

Our sacrificial work was a reminder of the many who do sacrificial work on holidays including the work of Jesus.  He worked for the benefit of others, when he sacrificed himself as an offering for sin for us all.

Listen to these words from Hebrews 9: 27, 28

So, Christ was sacrifice once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, as we prepare to receive this bread in memory of your bodily sacrifice, and as we prepare to receive this cup in memory of your blood sacrifice, we give our humble thanks to you.  You did a great and sacrificial work on the cross that we might be saved, and we give our praise to you.  Amen.

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Week Thirty-six — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Prophetic Voices for Justice — Habakkuk 3: 18, 19

Note: The prophet Habakkuk prophesies during a time when Judah is already under siege.  The Chaldeans have risen to power and have conquered opponents like Egypt as they took control of the region.  God is using them to judge and recreate Israel.  Habakkuk must come to terms with God’s use of an unholy nation.

Adult PM Bible Study – T – R – U – S – T – Habakkuk 3: 8 – 19

T – terror – v 16 — The Chaldeans were a fierce nation of warriors.  The prophet trembles at the thought of what terror they would bring.

R – repulsion – v. 6, 7 The prophet contemplates the kind of trouble the conquerors will bring on the nation.

U – upheaval – v. 11, 12 Real upheaval in life is from God who created the world and who can easily destroy God’s creation.

S – safety – v. 13, 14 Amid the destruction God has made a place for God’s people in days past.  God delivered from Egypt, and God delivered from troubles in days past.

T – triumph – v. 18 As difficult as it may seem to go through a storm of judgment, the prophets knows he and the people of God must come out on the other side.  There will be a better day.  Meanwhile the just shall live by faith.

Exemplary story:  Every growing Christian needs a teacher or pastor who will guide them in the articles of faith.  Almost fifty years ago a pastor set out to preach from every book of the Bible.  When that pastor came to the prophet Habakkuk, he preached from 3: 17, 18.  He described in great detail how there would be a season without a crop.  Then he spoke of the faith of Habakkuk and that “the just shall live by faith.”  I still remember that sermon, and I still thank God that there were leaders like that pastor who made it plain that the just shall live by faith.

Sunday

Habakkuk 3: 6, 7 He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble.  The ancient mountains crumbled, and the age-old hills collapsed.  His ways are eternal.  I saw the tens of Cushan in distress, the dwelling of Midian in anguish.

Prayer:  Lord God, You are Creator of all, and we are in awe of you.

Thought for the day: For all that is, there is a Creator.

Monday

Habakkuk 3: 8, 9 Were you angry with the rivers, O Lord?  Was your wrath against the streams?  Did you rage against the sea when you rode with your horses and your victorious chariots?  You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows.  You split the earth with rivers.

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, You sustain all life.

Thought for the day:  God has never need a new battery, nor will God ever need a new battery.

Tuesday

Habakkuk 3: 10, 11 the mountains saw you and writhed.  Torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted its waves on high. Sun and mood stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lighting of your flashing spear.

Prayer:  Lord God, as we gaze into the heavens or the ocean depth, we marvel at you order and love.

Thought for the day:  Why is it so difficult for humans to know their maker?

Wednesday

Habakkuk 3: 12, 13 In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations.  You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one.  You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to food.

Prayer:  Lord God, your sacred word reminds us of your faithful love and deliverance for your children.

Thought for the day:  God did bring Israel out of Egypt, and God did return the captives from Babylon.

Thursday

Habakkuk 3: 14, 15  With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding  You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the great waters.

Prayer: Lord God, the fate of all the leaders of the world is in your hands.

Thought for the day:  The leaders of the world need the prayers of God’s children.

Friday

Habakkuk 3: 16, 17 I heard, and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones and my legs trembled.  Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.  Thought he fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

Prayer:  Almighty God, may you enable us to look beyond the tragedy and trials of the moment.

Thought for the day:  If you must hear the latest news, then you must read the prophets who foresaw the hand of God at work in all.

Saturday

Habakkuk 3: 18, 19 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.

Prayer:  Lord God, in the face of the troubles of the day, we would live by faith.

Thought for the day:  The more you know of God, the more it should bring joy to your heart and soul.

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Photo: “Prophet Habakkuk Icon” by Ted on http://www.flickr.com

Sunday Communion Meditation — A Trip Down Memory Lane with the Master — I Corinthians 11: 25

You have a printed invitation to travel down memory lane with the Master. You can read it in I Corinthians 11:25.

Neither my late wife’s mother nor I live in her hometown. Yet, if we are speaking on the phone or in person the conversation may turn to the hometown. We can walk down memory lane to revisit sights and scenes or even persons far away. In memory we can go to the old homestead or visit the grandmother deceased many years ago. Then we will see again the smiles and hear the laughter of the grandmother.

Jesus offered his disciples an invitation to walk down memory lane when he instituted the Lord’s Supper. To prompt our memory, he gave us the symbols of the loaf and the cup. In memory we can recall the hours he hung upon the cross of Calvary as a sacrifice for our sins.
See if you can find your personal invitation to travel down memory lane with the Master in these verses from I Corinthians 11: 23 – 26.

For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “this cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we hear your invitation to remember your great sacrifice. As we take in hand this loaf and this cup, we remember with you and other believers the great sacrifice of love you gave for us. Thanks be to God. Amen.

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Week Thirty-Five — Verse by Verse Devotional Series — Prophetic Voices for Justice — Nahum 1: 14, 15

Notes:  This week we look at another short prophetic book, Nahum. This prophesy comes some years after that of Jonah, and it is directed against Nineveh.  We discover that the wrath of God toward Nineveh means the blessing of God toward Judah.

Adult PM Bible Study – W – R – A – T – H – Nahum 1: 1- 18

See also: Jeremiah 7:5-7; Ps: 7:1, 2; 48:1; Heb. 12: 28, 29, Revelation 0:10; John 14: 27; Romans 12: 19

W – whirlwind – v. 3 – The judgement of God is a whirlwind.  Anyone seen a whirlwind sweep into their life?

R – refuge – v. 7 – For Judah, the people of God, God is a refuge.

A – anger – v. 6 – Even those that act on behalf of God may have to face the anger of God.  A good example: police are not exempt from abiding by the law.

T – tidings – v. 15 – Lest the oppressed lose sight of God’s intentions, the prophet comes to tell them that God plans good for them. Nahum is not a doom-sayer, but Nahum is a sayer for good.

H – hope – v. 15 – There will be a day when the people of God can worship God in peace, and in that day, they shall enjoy the blessings of God for them.

Exemplary story:  Isn’t it odd how symbols can change almost overnight.  Consider the symbolic gesture of holding up the first two finger in a V-pattern.  A local TV station claims that as its symbol.  Some time ago as he boarded a plane after his impeachment, President Richard Nixon used that symbol to communicate his victory.  Only a few years earlier the same symbol had been used by young people who proclaimed themselves to be part of the “Peace Movement.”  Real peace is not a symbol, not something the teens of the 1960’s could contain, nor was it something President Nixon controlled.  Real peace is found, when Jesus is Lord of one’s life.

Sunday

Nahum 1: 5, 6 The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away.  The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.  Who can withstand his indignation?  Who can endure his fierce anger?  His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.

Prayer:  Lord God, you are awesome.  We honor your name.

Thought for the day:  The earth knows its creator is God Almighty.

Monday

Nahum 1: 7, 8 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.  He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into darkness.

Prayer:  Lord God, in you we seek your hiding place in an hour of need.

Thought for the day:  God is one to whom you can run in your hour of need

Tuesday

Nahum 1:9 Whatever they plot against the Lord, he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.

Prayer:  Lord God, though the children of the world plot against you, we seek to please you.

Thought for the day:  In all your plans, plan as though God were at the center of the plans.

Wednesday

Nahum 1: 10, 11 They will be entangled among thorns and drunk with their wine; they will be consumed like dry stubble. From you, O Nineveh, has one come forth who plots evil against the Lord and counsels wickedness.

Prayer:  Lord God, we your children know that the plans of the world cannot succeed.

Thought for the day:  Every architect and every scientist knows that you cannot fight the laws of nature, and those are the laws of God.

Thursday

Nahum 1: 12, 13 This is what the Lord says: “Although they have allies and are numerous, they will be cut off and pass away.  Although I have afflicted you, O Judah, I will afflict you no more.  Now I will break their yoke form your neck and tear your shackles away.”

Thought for the day:  Lord God, you have always been a superhero for your children, and you are one today.

Thought for the day: The greatest ally to have on your side is God.

Friday

Nahum 1: 14 The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh: “You will have no descendants to bear your name.  I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods.  I will prepare your grave, for you are vile.”

Prayer:  Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, may our hearts ever be true to you.

Thought for the day:  Fidelity is not difficulty for those who are determined to remain in love.

Saturday

Nahum 1: 15 Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.

Prayer:  Lord God, for every messenger who has brought your message of peace we give thanks.

Thought for the day: Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, . . . not as the world gives.”

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photo: “Frieze of prophets” by Boston Public Library on http://www.flickr.com

Sunday Communion Meditation — Fellowship Amid Sheltering — Matthew 28: 18 – 20

“I really miss the fellowship of live church. I wonder when we can go back?”

My friend said that after four months her church was still not holding live, open meetings due to the Pandemic. Her pastor had offered to let her attend a taping session if she observed social distancing measures. So far, she had taken advantage of the offer.

I suppose Jesus knew there would be times when circumstances would separate disciples and interrupt their fellowship. He knew Paul would be imprisoned and unable to fellowship with his churches. He knew John would be exiled to Patmos. He must have foreseen there would be crises in the years to come like today’s Pandemic.

To his disciples Jesus made a promise. He promised He would be in fellowship with them to the end of time. Listen for the promise of unending fellowship in these verses from Matthew 28: 19-20:

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and o the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, you promised to be with us to the end of the age. Today whether we are assembled with fellow believers or if we are sheltering at home, we find fellowship with you in keeping the Lord’s Supper. May you bless this loaf and cup as we remember your sacrifice for us. We pray in your name. Amen

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