May 17, 2012

Today you should read: Zechariah 14

As Zechariah comes to a close, we’ve seen much of the apocalyptic theme. The day of the Lord, the destruction of the nations against Israel, the coming of the Messiah — these are all major highlights of the book. And the final chapter fails to disappoint!

In today’s reading, the phrase “on that day” is seen numerous times. But what day are we talking about? Is this talking about the return of Christ? Or the future reign of Christ in heaven? Or some other period of time? The truth is, no one really knows. And that’s okay. Paul tells us in Ephesians that the gospel is a mystery, and some things in scripture won’t be fully understood to us until we are in heaven. This note from my ESV Study Bible was helpful for me in this:

“On that day.” It is difficult to determine what period of time is being indicated by the remarkable prophecies in this entire chapter, whether a future time in this present age, or a future millennial kingdom and the rebellion that follows it, or the events that surround Christ’s return and the beginning of the eternal state (see note on Ezek. 40:1–48:35; see also 1 Pet. 1:10–11).

Another verse that helps put me at ease when I don’t fully understand something in the scriptures, or in life for that matter, is 1 Corinthians 13:12. I’ve been dwelling on it pretty heavily over the past few weeks.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 ESV

Even though some of reading from the minor prophets is tough to comprehend, there are some real jewels in them that give us perspective and hope. There is a verse that really jumped off the page to me today. It challenged me to really worship the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. It reminded me that one day, every knee will bow to our King Jesus. How awesome is that? Here’s the verse… soak it in:

And the Lord will be King over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord — His name alone will be worshiped.
Zechariah 14:9 NLT

Much love to you today, CPC… much love.

Posted by: Todd Thomas

May 16, 2012

Today you should read: Zechariah 13

Hey JumpStarters!  Thanks for staying faithful to this journey together.  Do me a favor today – our writers need a little encouragement – post and let us know how JumpStart is ministering to you.  Will you?

We’re almost done with the book of Zechariah – it’s been so interesting.  Today’s chapter is a prophetic message about the coming Messiah – our Savior Jesus Christ.

On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity (v.1)

The atoning blood of the Lord Jesus along with His atoning grace…. This makes me think of the hymn…
There is a fountain filled with blood,
drawn from Immanuel’s veins. 
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
lose all their guilty stains.

With salvation (from the blood of Christ) comes change.  Salvation always brings change!

“I will erase idol worship throughout the land, so that even the names of the idols will be forgotten. I will remove from the land both the false prophets and the spirit of impurity that came with them.” (v.2)

This reminds me of the message of 2 Corinthians 5:17…

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

The rest of this chapter is prophecy about the sufferings of Christ.  God the Father gave the order of the sword of justice against His Son – freely making His life an offering for our sin.  It was His blood that sets us free.

Spend some time today and bask in the goodness of the cross.

Remember all that Jesus did for you and me – thank Him for His sacrifice for mankind.
Then think of all the things His gift has changed in you.  Make a list and show your gratefulness for each.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

May 15, 2012

Today you should read: Zechariah 12

Sometimes, I try to imagine how much different life would be if I only knew the future. I wouldn’t have to worry about when our house is going to sell, and when Becky and I can move to Richmond, or which house to buy when we move to Richmond. I could rest assured that we’d make the right decision based upon knowing the future. Knowing which decisions to make based upon knowing the future, would sure make some life decisions much easier.

Chapter 12 is the beginning of the last section (chapters 12-14) of the book of Zechariah. It is a prophecy about the second coming of Jesus. If you read through these chapters, you’ll notice that Zechariah used the phrase “in that day” many times. “In that day” is synonymous with “the day of the Lord,” which is a reference to His second coming. This last section of Zechariah gives a glimpse into the future.

I don’t know every aspect about the future, but there are some things about the future that the Scripture lets us know. Zechariah helps me to see that the future looks awesome for God’s people and terrible for those who are enemies of God’s people. God is going to rescue His people and wipe out His enemies.

In the end times, God wins. Knowing this about the future gives me a confident hope that I am on the right team. I am on the winning team. As a child of God, I am on His team, and, according to the Scripture, I will be rescued. Those who are not His children are not on His team, and they will be eliminated. Knowing this about the future makes me thankful that I am one of God’s children.

John 1:12 tells me that not everyone is a child of God and on the right team, though. It says that only those who believe in and receive Jesus have the right to be called children of God. The future is gloomy for those who are not His children.

Maybe you are reading this today and thinking, “I am also glad that the future looks bright for me as a child of God.” If so, spend some time thanking Him for rescuing you.

Maybe you are reading this and thinking, “I am not sure if my future looks gloomy or bright because I don’t know for sure if I am one of His children.” If that is your situation, I encourage you to surrender to Jesus. If you don’t know what that means, contact one of the staff and we’ll be happy to help you to be confident in the fact that your future is secure in Christ.

Posted by: Rich Duffield

May 14, 2012

Today you should read: Zechariah 11

Have you ever disobeyed yours parents to the point that they wash their hands of you? I have not rebelled or disobeyed to such a point but I definitely got very close a time or two. However, no matter how rebellious I was my parents never washed their hands of me. So how bad was Israel to have God leave them to their rebellion?

The people of Israel had turned their back on the ways of the Lord. Verses 12 and 13, speak of Zechariah giving the wages received for his services to the potter who worked in the house of the Lord. This suggested that the people of Israel were not treating the house of the Lord as a house of worship. When God set up the sacrificial proceedings in the book of Leviticus there was no mention of potters & when Solomon build the temple in 1 Kings 6-9 there were still no potters. So I conclude that there were not to be potters and Israel was sinning. Also, the three shepherds that were to be leading Israel were in sin as well. So much so that God removed them and appointed Zachariah to be the sole Shepherd over them.

Another sign that Israel was in sin was the fact that they detested Zechariah as their shepherd. Since Zechariah was a prophet and a man of God we can bet that he was trying to turn the flock back to God. Israel would have none of it. So God took away his favor and his union (vs.10-14). God basically let Israel have their filth and he gave them exactly what they desired. God raised up a foolish shepherd who did not care for them or watch out for their well-being. Israel learned a very hard life lesson during this time in history. Their pride would be broken.

Thankfully we have a God who does not hold a grudge against his people. This time is history will not last forever and God did raise up a shepherd who would save us all.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

Lessons to learn:

  • How have you been like Israel in this passage in your own life?
  • Would you rather have the things of this world instead of the righteousness of Christ?
  • Please be humbled by your need for the Savior Jesus Christ.
    • Romans 5:8

Posted by: Chad Wiles