The temple in Jerusalem had to be rebuilt at the end of the exile in Babylon. God called the Jewish governor, Zerubbabel, to play an important role in this rebuilding (Haggai 2:23). God instructed Zerubbabel through the prophet Zechariah that the beginning of the temple project would be all-important. It would determine success or failure.
“Then he said to me, ‘This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies… Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand'” (Zechariah 4:6, 10a, NLT).
Because Jesus redeemed us at a high price, our bodies are now temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). So with 2015 rapidly approaching, we can begin right away on our own “temple project” for the new year. What a great approach God gives us through Zechariah too!
- Success in building the temple is by no means impossible for me.
- I won’t rely on my own force or strength, but the Holy Spirit’s.
- Small beginnings are important. I won’t downplay them.
- Grab the tools (God’s spiritual “plumb line” = word and sacrament) I need and get going right away with the first task.
What a great encouragement to continue reading our Bibles daily in 2015. God rejoices to see the “plumb line” in our hand!
Our reading for Saturday, December 27, is Zechariah 4:1 – 6:15, Psalm 148:1-6, Proverbs 30:24-28 and Revelation 17:1-18.
Sin divides. The separation created by our sin was painful to God.
But God had a dream for us. His desire was to see all people reunited with him. And through hundreds and hundreds of years, God never gave up on his dream that he would reunite us.
So he pursued that dream. And he shared that dream. He wanted his people to dream with him, to know to keep watch for him, expect him, and be in wonder at his coming.
God dreamed, and then he promised. He will live among us. And we will become his people.
God wants you to share his dream–and his promise–of reunion too.
“‘Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you'” (Zechariah 2:10-11, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Friday, December 26, is Zechariah 1:1 – 3:10, Psalm 147:12-20, Proverbs 30:21-23 and Revelation 16:1-21.
Today is Christmas! And you know what that means, don’t you?
Our Salvation has come! Jesus, the Chosen One—whose arrival was prophesied for millennia—has made his way into our world.
The most wonderful thing ever is God becoming man so that he could demonstrate to us the full extent of his love! Our redemption draws near!
And that fact cries out for worship in our hearts and a song on our lips!
“And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: ‘Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed'” (Revelations 15:3-4, NLT).
Our reading for today, Christmas Day, is Haggai 1:1 – 2:23, Psalm 147:7-11, Proverbs 30:20 and Revelation 15:1-8.
At what point exactly is God paying closest attention to you? Does he get revved up and focused when he sees your successes? Of course!
But interestingly, the One who counts and names the stars will focus on you most when you are brokenhearted and wounded. Our very great and powerful God, who knows everything—everything!—will hone in on you when you are in the humblest and lowliest of situations.
Why? Because he wants you to be healed. And he wants you to be shielded from harm.
At times like that, we may feel like God has his back turned. But never is God more attentive to us than when we’re hurting. Because this is what God does best!
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground” (Psalm 147:3-6, NIV).
Our reading for Christmas Eve 2014 is Zephaniah 1:1 – 3:20, Psalm 147:1-6, Proverbs 30:18-19 and Revelation 14:1-20.