Zephaniah

Tuesday Devotional: Zephaniah 2

bibleThis is the city of revelry
that lived in safety.
She said to herself,
“I am the one! And there is none besides me.”
What a ruin she has become,
a lair for wild beasts!
All who pass by her scoff
and shake their fists.

The lie of sin is that we not only have the right to take the throne as King but that we will never be overtaken, deposed or removed.  What Kingdom has ever outlasted time?  What King has ever sat on a throne for eternity?  None.  All people pass.  All kingdoms collapse.  The most foolish thing we could possibly do is to ignore the words of the living God.

The second most foolish thing we could possibly do is to deny the historical record that proves God’s point. What you see today will not last.  What you do today will last for eternity.  Seek truth and find it, or pursue a lie and believe it.  In God’s great grace and mercy He has not hidden the truth from us.  He has revealed clearly and for all eyes to see where we’ve been and where we are going.

But sin runs deep and in sin is a king who has stolen the crown and will fight at all costs to retain control.  Don’t let it.  The fight to take the throne cannot be won, not should it ever be fought.  Fighting for control of the throne WILL precede a downfall and will destroy the kingdom and the king at the same time.  The throne and the power you think it gives you is a lie, and it can never give you what you hope it can.  The throne belongs to Christ. Only under His lordship can you find what you are truly looking for.  Look hard at Christ and turn your eyes upon Jesus.  His Lordship does not take anything from you other than the delusion that is slowly taking your life away one day at a time.  God has always intended for us to live and to live forever.  A life hidden in Christ will last forever and it will outlast all else.  Choose to live.  Choose life!

 

 

Tuesday Devotional: Zephaniah 1

Read Zephaniah 1:14-18bible

Our lives are filled with contrast.  We love the sunshine because we dislike cloudy days.  We enjoy the warmth of summer because we are tired of the winter chill.  We enjoy our time with friends and family because we lack that kind of fellowship in our weekly work obligations.  For every wonderful thing in our life there exists a counterpoint that provides for the utter enjoyment and satisfaction of the “good thing.”  However, while we enjoy the good things because they are good, we also find joy in them because of the absence of joy in the counterpoint.

This concept is represented in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The gospel of Christ is truly good news.  It is peace, joy, love and liberation.  To be moved and transformed by God requires that a person truly understand and experience the sweetness of the gospel of Christ.  However, while the sweetness of the gospel is overwhelming upon one’s first taste, without a contrasting consistency, texture or taste, a person might find the sweetness beginning to lose its appeal.  The glory of God brought to our world in the gospel of Christ is sweet.  Yet, the gospel of Christ repeatedly reminds us of all the bitterness of rejecting God and the consequence of choosing self over God.  In serving and following Christ one finds a balance of motivation.  On one hand, one cannot genuinely serve and follow Christ without ever experiencing the goodness of his news.  On the other hand, one cannot genuinely maintain appreciation, satisfaction and joy in serving and following God without the awareness of the counterpoint.  The counterpoint to the goodness of the gospel must never be downplayed or overshadowed.  The result of downplaying this counterpoint results in complacency of worship, and ultimately a lack of focus that can produce casual disobedience.  The counterpoint is bitter; it must be defined, described and experienced always as bitter.  The taste of salt is distinct.  It can never be confused with sugar.  We are aware of the difference because they are so different.  The goodness of the gospel of Christ must never leave our hearts as we proceed to follow and worship.  However, there must be an ongoing parallel awareness of the dangers of sin, and fear of separation from God.