Bible Pathway - Sept. 27, 2016

Read >Zephaniah 1 – Haggai 2

Highlights:

The Day of the Lord - all nations will worship (2:11; 3:9). Rejoice, God with you (3:14-20). Worship: (1) Ignoring (Hag. 1:9-11); or (2) Obedience (1:12). God's presence, blessing promised (1:13;2:4-5,19).

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing (Zeph. 3:17).

This verse is a true testament to the almighty power of the Lord. Who can look deep into the hearts of man and see their sin? Who can reveal that same sin to man? Then we can ask the most miraculous question of all. Who can erase the sins of man? That is just what God can do if we surrender our will to His will and allow Him to become Lord of our lives.

The Israelites habitually led a sinful lifestyle from the very beginning. They would spend years serving and obeying God, but then they would spend many years following after other gods. This had been a repetitive cycle for many generations. At times it was influenced by the current king or leader; at other times it came as a result of pressure from the people themselves.

It would seem that the Lord should wash His hands of these people and forget them altogether. However, that is not the way God works. His grace and patience are much bigger than any human can understand. God sees in His people the potential of who they can become. He says, He will save...He will joy over thee with singing. Through His love, mercy and grace, God sent Jesus that we might have everlasting life. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting (I Tim. 1:16).

Many times people will try to minimize the power of the grace of God. Have you ever said, or heard someone say, “That person will never get right with God?" That is quite an arrogant statement for us to make. Who are we to decide who will surrender to Jesus and who will not? Christ died for every living soul. His great love is for every person, and His desire is that every single person be saved. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man (Heb. 2:9).

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (Rom. 12:1).

This is the only way that we truly give the Lord the freedom to work in our lives the way that He wants to. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty. He has to have absolute surrender from His children. This will enable Him to make us a new creation in Him. This is how we are transformed from a person mired in sin into a person whose greatest desire is to be Christ-like.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (II Cor. 5:17).

Thought for Today:

As the fruit of longsuffering grows in us, anger shows up less and less.

Christ Revealed:

As King of Israel, even the Lord (Zeph. 3:15; compare John 1:49).

Word Study:

Zeph. 1:4 Chemarims, idolatrous priests in charge; 1:9 leap on the threshold, rush into houses to confiscate the property by extortion and deceit; 2:15 carelessly, securely, with no equal; Hag. 2:7 the desire of all nations, the One desired by all people, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) • Country: United Arab Emirates (2 million) on the eastern Arabian Peninsula • Major languages: Arabic and Farsi • Pressure and hostility against Christians are increasing • 95% Muslim; 4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Rise early in the morning to lift up your prayers to God and hope in His Word (Ps. 119:147).

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 145:14

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