Zephaniah 3:17 God Will Rejoice Over You

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

As Israel was being punished for rejecting God and following false gods, God showed Zephaniah that there would come a day when it would be different. God would be saving the people and taking great delight in them. When Jesus came to the earth, God would reach out to the people and provide the salvation that they need. At that time God would be rejoicing over His people.

When a person, who has known God, but walked away from Him, he is usually very miserable. He feels the punishment or correction of God upon his life. God is trying to call him back.

Once the person returns to God, often he still feels the guilt of his past. He feels as though God is still not happy with him and is punishing him for his past sins.

God does not work that way. The purpose in His sending His Son Jesus was to provide for salvation from the past sins. Jesus removes all the sin and guilt in the life of a person. His righteousness is imparted onto the person, so that the person can stand before God.

At that point God rejoices in His child. His infinite love for the person takes over and God rejoices.

If you have chosen to repent of your sins and follow Jesus, God is also rejoicing over you. He is the mighty warrior who can overcome all the sin in your life and remove that sin. God is excited to spend time with you. Because of His great love, He does not want to rebuke you anymore, but to shower His love down upon you.

All of heaven rejoices when one sinner is saved. God is in that group of those in heaven rejoicing over you. God is jumping up and down with joy to spend time with you. He is singing songs to the angels in heaven about you.

You no longer have to fear God, because He is there for you, not against you. Build that great relationship with God today. He is not out to strike you, but to spend time with you and rejoice over you.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know Jesus removed your sins; that you will know God is not out to rebuke you; and that you will know God loves to spend time with you.

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Hosea 6:3 Press In To Acknowledge The Lord

Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. Hosea 6:3

Israel was unfaithful to God and had forsaken Him by following after many different idols. God chose to punish them, by placing them into exile under the control of other nations. Hosea is putting out a call to the people to turn back to God and acknowledge Him.

Despite the punishment, God was ready to revive them and restore them. His prophecy looks forward to the time of Jesus dying on the cross, then raising from the dead to restore them. It was going to come, just like the rains come and they were to look forward to it.

As the rains stops for a time and the ground dries up, it appears as though God has forgotten His people. There are cracks in the ground and the crops are not growing. It appears as though they are completely rejected. Yet, the rains will come again in the right time.

When there are many troubles and people have turned away from God, it is difficult for many people to be willing to acknowledge God. They feel that because of all the troubles, God is not in control and they seek their help from somewhere else, other gods.

Yet, God is always working on behalf of all people. His goal is to revive everyone to live for Him and have a full life. There will come a time when He will appear in the life of a believer and bring relief, just like the rains bring relief to the ground. Just as one can trust that the rains will come to water the ground, one can trust Jesus will return and be there.

Acknowledge that God knows what is best for your life. Acknowledge that He is the King and the One who is in control. Push to let others know this information. Allow God to be first in every area of your life. As that happens, God will come near to you. He will show Himself in and through you.

Acknowledge God today, so that He will be able to acknowledge you when Jesus returns.

I pray today that you will know God personally; that you will acknowledge God in all that you do; that you will know God’s presence; and that God will revive you to a full life with Him.

Daniel 12:1-2 What Will You Arise To?

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:1-2

Daniel is given one last final vision of the end of everything. There is a period of extreme distress and turmoil, such as never been seen before. Once that is done it is the time when Jesus returns and everyone is raised up for the final judgment. Those whose names are in the Book are raised to eternal life, while the rest are condemned to eternal contempt.

Most human being lives as though he is finite, that this world is all that they can or will ever know. They live for today and today only, rarely thinking about tomorrow or extremely far into the future. Those that do think about tomorrow are usually thinking about investments, retirement or vacations, not eternal life.

It is easy to understand why most people don’t think about eternity much, all people die, appearing to be at the end. The human body is finite, but the spirit never completely dies once made.

When Jesus returns, someday in the future, every person that has died will be raised from the dead and then will be judged. Those who have their name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, the book Jesus carries, those who have repented of their sins and follow Jesus, will be raised to eternal life. It will be an enjoyable life for eternity.

Those who do not have their names in that book will also be raised for judgment. They will also have life for eternity, but it will be one of condemnation and contempt. God will be set against them and cast them into the lake of fire for eternity for punishment. The punishment is for refusing to accept God’s offer for life, and to refuse follow and serve God with their whole lives.

What does your future hold? Is it one of eternal life with God?

Or is it one with eternal contempt, away from God?

You can choose to follow Jesus today and have eternal life in your future.

I pray today that you will serve Jesus with all of your life; that you will turn from all sin to follow God and His ways; that your name will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life; and that you will be a witness to others to lead them to Jesus. 

Ezekiel 34:31 You Are His Sheep

You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 34:31

In this passage God is upset with the leaders of the temple. They were focused on themselves, rather than the people. He calls them shepherds who are not taking care of their sheep.

Now God calls the people His sheep and that He is their God. He plans to take care of them and meet all of their needs. They are to live with no fear, because He is their good shepherd. This is ultimately seen in Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Jesus provided for His sheep the highest offering one can give, His life.

Going through life, is like walking through a wilderness that one has never been in before. For each person, each step is new and brings with it new challenges.

Walking in the wilderness can bring about things that appear to be dangerous. Things such as briars, poison ivy, and fallen trees. These are the immobile things. Then there are the wild animals and bugs that can cause harm. Some of these things are unseen, until one is right upon them and it is too late. There may also be limited light, because of the tree and bush coverage. This makes it difficult to see the path or things in the way.

As a believer, you can walk with assurance, because God is leading you. He will ensure that you have all that you need, just like a good shepherd takes care of his sheep. If a shepherd’s sheep get harmed or die, it does not do him any good. In the same way, if God’s sheep are harmed, it does Him no good.

God has given His word to be a light to your path. He has given His Son to take away sin, which is the sting of death. God has also given you a mission to do, which provides the nourishment you need. He also provides the peace and rest in the middle of the wilderness you are traveling in.

There will be a day when God calls you home, so that you will no longer have to travel in the wilderness. Until that day, you can trust Him to provide for all of your needs. You are His sheep, His pride and joy.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your shepherd; that you will trust God’s provision for your life; that you will follow God’s lead in your wilderness; and that you will know God’s peace in your life. 

Ezekiel 16:61-62 God Makes The Atonement

“‘So I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the LORD. Then, when I make atonement for you for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed and never again open your mouth because of your humiliation, declares the Sovereign LORD.'” Ezekiel 16:61-62

God had just described Israel as being a prostitute. He had made a covenant of marriage with them and they broke the covenant by going out with others. They chose to follow false gods and the ways of the other nations. Since they had chosen to be this way, God chose to destroy their nation and punish them severely.

After a time of punishment, God would then establish a new covenant with them. God would be the one to make the atonement for all of their sins. This would be done by God for them, even when they did not deserve it.

God’s love is perfect, amazing and never-ending. He loves all people, even when they are living in sin. His goal is to have an eternal relationship with each person, however, He cannot have sin in the middle of that relationship.

No person on this earth can get rid of any of the sin that is in his life. Once a person has sinned, it is there for eternity, unless God does something about it. And God has done something about that sin.

Where man fell short, God sent Jesus to do what needed to be done. Jesus was a perfect man, with no sin at all in His life. Yet, He paid the price of death on the cross for sin that He did not commit. This price was for your sins.

Dying on the cross and shedding His blood was the atonement price for your sin. It was initiated by God, not by any person. Because Jesus was perfect, death could not hold Him in the grave. He rose from the grave to take away your sins. The price was paid in full.

As you think about what Jesus did for you, repent of all your sins and accept the atonement paid for them. Do not stay in your old ways of living. Once you realize your sins are removed, strive to live for God. God paid the price, don’t reject Him or ignore what He has done for you.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus did for you; that you will accept the forgiveness Jesus offers you; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; and that you will live for God.