Zechariah 8:1-8 – If Only You Could See

Read Zechariah 8:1-8

Zechariah’s visions reveal God’s intentions for Jerusalem. The LORD declares, “My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem!” The LORD is returning to dwell in Jerusalem in the midst of his people.

This passage must have been what a friend of mine was referring to years ago when he talked about returning to Jerusalem. It was as if he believed his own faith journey would one day lead him to Jerusalem.

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Zechariah 6:1-8 – Final Vision

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Like bookends, this eighth and final vision fits together nicely with the first vision. Both involve colorful horses patrolling the earth. In this vision, the horses are pulling war chariots which would signify God’s powerful might.

These horses have also been assigned directions they are to travel. The black horses going north are heading in the direction of Babylon. Zechariah’s first audience would have been particularly interested in that direction since it is where they spent the last 70 years in exile.

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Zechariah 1:7-17 – World Peace, Really?

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We’re told Zechariah waited three months for this new vision. Do you think he wondered if he was going to hear from God again? Now comes a vision that seems a bit complex. It doesn’t appear that the color of the horses has any significance nor does the location among the hedgerow of the evergreen shrub, myrtle, indigenous to the region.

The message would be timely for the people were floundering after returning to their homeland. You know, there is always that awkward period of adjustment and transition. My husband and I are heading into a new season, which includes moving our residence across town. There will always be upheaval amid change.

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1 Peter 4:12-19 – Doom and Bloom

Read 1 Peter 4:12-19

I assume Peter is talking about Jesus’ glorious return and our everlasting life with him when he describes, “seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” But I got a little glimpse of that “glory” this week. Anytime we see God move in our midst or help us in our struggles, we get a peek into the glory of God.

We know the joy that bubbles up inside us when we see God’s hand at work in our lives or community. Peter encourages us to persevere despite the unpleasant situations we face in life. It really resonated with me in a fresh way when I read Peter’s words, “for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering.” Take a moment to let that truth sink in. Partners with Christ. Partners.

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James 4:13-16 – Self Confidence

Read James 4:13-16

I’m a planner. I admit I can even obsess over it. I always want everything to be “just right.” These verses really gave me something to think about. When does planning become boastful? I suppose the answer to that is when you don’t invite God into the planning process.

James would suggest even our semantics matter. “What you ought to say is, ‘If the LORD wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’” How do we know what the LORD wants us to do? That’s the rub! I have been known to say, “God willing, we will do this or do that.” I like the confident peace I get from knowing my plans have been submitted to God requesting his guidance and blessing.

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