I’ve reflected on the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah before in the book of the 12 Prophets. These prophets of God spoke encouragement to those charged with rebuilding the temple of the Lord. Haggai, especially, is a hidden gem filled with all sorts of encouragement we can apply today.
We’re seeing how this rebuilding project is getting a lot of attention from the enemies of God. But God ordained this work, so I’m confident he won’t let it fail. In today’s reading, Tattenai, governor of the province Jerusalem is part of, attempts to distract the people so they question their motives. We can be thankful the people had prophets like Haggai and Zechariah to keep them grounded and devoted to God’s purpose.
Continue reading “Ezra 5:1-5 – Questioning Your Motives”
Jesus continues to use seeds to describe the kingdom of God. This is the third time he uses seeds in his analogies. That tells me that seeds would be something understood universally by many people. For me, when I first read the parable of the mustard seed, I had no idea how tiny those seeds were. It wasn’t until I was doing a children’s sermon years ago that I actually saw a mustard seed up close. You might just need a magnifying glass!
How fitting that Jesus would give the mustard seed such attention! Jesus was a master at making hard topics understandable. We can all picture something huge growing out of something small. Jesus says that’s what the kingdom of heaven is like.
Continue reading “Mark 4:30-34 – Mustard Anyone?”
God’s fingerprints are all over this text. God’s kindness is the reason we have everything we have. The inheritance God is holding for us is beyond valuable. It’s all because he sent his son, Jesus, to rescue and redeem us.
How do we respond to God when he picks us up, brushes us off, and puts us back on track, on his firm foundation? Peter gives praise! “All power to him forever! Amen.” How can we help but overflow with gratitude for the grace God extends to us!
Continue reading “1 Peter 5:10-14 – God’s Grace For You”
Peter concludes this letter and passes the torch, so to speak, to the other elders in his audience. Peter’s words, “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you,” are similar to the charge Jesus himself had given Peter after the resurrection. Jesus had told Peter in John’s gospel to “Feed my sheep,” referring to his own flock of believers. This letter is evidence that Peter did just as Jesus said.
When I think of an “elder,” I think of someone who has been a Christ follower for a long time and experienced many of God’s life-changing moments. In the context of Peter’s letter, the term “elder” signifies the leaders of the church to whom people look to for an example of faithfulness.
Continue reading “1 Peter 5:1-7 – Passing the Torch”
The Preacher has given us a lot to think about over the past several readings. How do you respond knowing “Jesus opened a new and life-giving way” giving us the ability to “go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him”? Have you let the magnitude of that promise really sink in?
Maybe you’re even asking yourself, “now what?” When our hearts start to overflow with gratitude and admiration, we call that praise and worship. Our response can simply be to honor God with our worship. When we fully trust God, we start to see the blessings in our lives more clearly. We can’t help but want to give thanks and praise to God.
Continue reading “Hebrews 10:19-25 – Live In Community”