Yesterday, I entitled the blog the End of the Old Testament, but... I was wrong. I still had some chapters left, so here are some thoughts concerning those chapters and into Matthew. I am at the coast with our pastoral staff and their families, and we have been working about six to eight hours a day planning, teaching, organizing, dreaming, praying; as well as eating, laughing, enjoying, shopping, and then eating some more! What joy! Here are some thoughts:
1) IT'S BY HIS SPIRIT, IT'S ALL HIS GRACE! In Zechariah 4:6,7 we read: "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." If you read Ezra, you will see the rebuilding of the temple and the problems they had in doing that. It did get accomplished though the problems seemed as though they were a mountain of opposition... it became a plain with a headstone... (the problems were dead and buried!) that read grace, grace! Here is the meaning of all of this.... IF God has used you to do anything for His glory,.... it is BY His Spirit... it is ALL His Grace!! Praise the LORD, not man.
2) THE ATTRACTION OF HIS PRESENCE-In Zechariah 8:23 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." I want to draw your attention to the last sentence: "We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." Here we see the attraction of His presence. All we need to do in order to grow as a Church is for others to know that God is with us! That will attract the people to worship with us and grow with us as we serve the LORD. Jesus is the main attraction!!
3) TURN! Malachi 4:6 says: "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Here we see the ministry of John the Baptist (as Elijah vs. 5) and it was to turn the hearts of the fathers towards their children and the hearts of the children towards their fathers. We need to see that today! TURN... your hearts towards your children. Teach them to behave, teach them to study, teach them to listen, teach them to throw a football, shoot a hoop, bake a cake, clean their room, mow the yard, etc. Let us TURN towards each other.
4) IT IS WRITTEN! Jesus answered the temptations of Satan with "it is written". We too should learn from this and go to the Word of God to fight off the onslaught of the Devil. Stick with the Word of God and you will come out victorious!
Hope you have a blessed day today! Pastor Mike Mutchler