Zephaniah asserts that judgment day is coming soon, and he is not referring to the end times here but to a specific time in history yet to come for those first hearing his words. Zephaniah is not the only prophet talking about it either. God is using many “mouthpieces” to get the message out that he is not happy with his people.
It’s good to take a moment of silence in our own day to take an account of what’s going on in our lives. Do our actions glorify God or disappoint him? Do we see chaos, worry, doubt, thrill, busyness, fear, loneliness, great success, embarrassing failures? What is happening in your life right now? Is God part of the picture? If not, invite him in!
Continue reading “Zephaniah 1:7-13 – A Moment of Silence”
This reading applies to everyone who calls themselves Christian. The behavior Peter describes is all very basic, yet we still stumble and need the reminder. It’s also affirming to see behaviors on the list we can recognize and feel good about, knowing we’re already acting in those ways. Imagine wearing a crown because you are a son or daughter to a king – is your behavior fit for a child of a king? King Jesus that is!
Of course, there are times when evil desires or influences can overtake our good intentions. We know we’re not immune to evil just because we’re followers of Christ. Even Jesus himself encountered the crafty evil one on more than one occasion! We need to stay strong like Jesus did to resist the devil. I think of James 4:7, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Continue reading “1 Peter 3:8-12 – Good Behavior”
This will be your shortest reading ever! But it was a verse that packed a powerful punch, and it didn’t seem to fit with what came before or after. I chose to reflect on this single verse on its own. Here it is again from the NLT translation:
“Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do
and then not do it.”
James’ audience would know about sin. Those Jewish believers would even have flashbacks to following the law of Moses and all the sacrifices they now didn’t make. But what James is talking about here is not being sinful by breaking a law you should know better than to break, but to not do good when doing good is the right answer. Does that make sense?
Continue reading “James 4:17 – Sinning”
I like the meme that lists all the sins I haven’t committed yet today, adding “now it’s time to get out of bed!” We sin all the time. And, we’re probably even oblivious to much of our sinfulness, but God sees. Today’s text convicts us to be mindful of our sinning, especially if we’re continuing to sin in the same way over and over. It doesn’t matter the reason or purpose we’ve created to minimize the guilt, we are to avoid deliberate sin. Period!
These would be the sins we do on purpose or do even though we know they are sinful. When is the last time you did a deep dive into your own faith life and uncovered some sins that might have soon become “deliberate”? Maybe you’ll find some deep dark sin tucked away, but you’re unable to give it up. Examples that come to mind are addicts and atheists. Whether you’re doing things that distract you from God or you’re not living to honor God, you are sinning.
Continue reading “Hebrews 10:26-31 – Fear of the Lord”
Read Jeremiah 2:14-22
The Lord’s rage continues as Jeremiah tells us what will happen because of the sinfulness. It’s not a pretty picture. Did the people not think about the consequences to their actions? It’s hard to know what motivated the people to choose idols, mere images of foreign gods, over the one true God. We can look at people making similar choices today and wonder why, for instance, they chose to sleep in versus getting up for church.
That’s a simplistic example. I used to feel extremely guilty when I found myself too busy to spend quality time with God. I’m not sure I thought about what the consequences might be. Would God stop loving me? Would he let bad things happen to me? Would he stop fighting my battles?
Continue reading “Jeremiah 2:14-22 – Consequence of Sin”