God, our divine warrior, has promised restoration. “At last your troubles will be over, and you will never again fear disaster.” Like our last reading, the descriptions of what life looks like and the pictures painted by Zephaniah are beautiful and enticing!
Can you imagine what the people thought when they heard that God himself would be living among them? In the days of Moses, the people feared the presence of God. But this oracle would be fulfilled when Jesus was born, and again when Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would dwell within us. We have knowledge Zephaniah’s first audience did not. We should feel richly blessed to see Jesus in this promised restoration.
Continue reading “Zephaniah 3:14-20 – Promised Restoration”
The reforms of Josiah will not keep the people right with God for long. Zephaniah speaks of how Jerusalem’s rebellion continues. After all the attempts to reacquaint people with God’s laws and expectations, the people (“it”) respond like this. “No one can tell it anything; it refuses all correction. It does not trust in the Lord or draw near to its God.” How do you think God feels when we pull away?
We have all known people who have left the church community for one reason or another. Perhaps they had a life event happen, and rather than embrace God’s provision, turned away blaming God for the misfortune. Maybe there was some personality clash with church leadership leaving them feeling disillusioned about their faith. People will find reasons when they decide they want to go out trusting their own power rather than the Holy Spirit power we’ve been given.
Continue reading “Zephaniah 3:1-8 – What Sorrow Awaits”
I really like the Peter character as he’s being portrayed in the television series, “The Chosen.” Angel Studios has done a marvelous job of casting and creating historically possible back-stories to draw us in and touch our lives. I can relate to Peter, so as I read his closing today, I couldn’t help but picture that character. Sometimes having a visual can be helpful, especially if you’re a visual learner like me!
I get the feeling that Peter could go on and on about the dangers we’ll face as followers of Christ. He would have had personal knowledge of what it was like. But he lived in the world immediately after Jesus’ death and resurrection. There are a lot of similarities still present today. Thankfully, we can apply Peter’s wisdom to what we see happening in the world around us.
Continue reading “2 Peter 3:14-18 -Growing in Grace”
In our last reading, we explored how faith is a gift from the Lord along with his promise we can reflect his divine nature. This text gives us more insight into how we should respond to this gift. Apparently, we need to “take action” to enjoy the richness of the promise’s fulfillment.
To accomplish this task, Peter teaches us how to acknowledge and handle the gift we’ve been given. I’m guessing Peter expected people would not take advantage of all God has to offer. It’s helpful to know a response is needed so we don’t leave God’s promise behind. Did the prescription Peter outlines seem a bit daunting?
Continue reading “2 Peter 1:5-11 – Responding to God’s Promise”
Too often we let ourselves be blinded to the work of the enemy among us. We stop being vigilant. In these final words of Peter, he is talking about that “elephant in the room” we all try to ignore. Evil. The more we ignore the evil one or look the other way, the more he takes a grip on our lives.
“Stay alert!” is Peter’s cry. I’ve been amazed at how when watching a television program or movie produced within the last couple years how many things I see as contradictory to the Christian life and God’s word. Decades ago, people were upset when swearing became commonplace in these entertainment mediums. Today, we can become immune to hearing that kind of language. That’s only a small fraction of what we should be appalled by. Peter told us to “stay alert,” to not forget about God’s desire for us.
Continue reading “1 Peter 5:8-9 – You Are Not Alone”