Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 20 December 20:
Zechariah 4:6, 10 — Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts…. For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
Today’s readings from Zechariah offer important insights into how God works through our lives to glorify Himself:
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit.” First, God will call us and empower us by His Spirit to do what is impossible for us naturally, so He is glorified and not us. God isn’t trying to reveal to the world what a bunch of talented, good people can do if they really set their minds to it. God is using His ambassadors to reveal His Son and the power of the Gospel to the world. “And without faith it is impossible to please him….” (Hebrews 11:6) If we don’t have the faith to obediently accept ‘impossible’ tasks, we will miss out on all God had in store for us. He will still accomplish His purposes, but we will miss out on the joy of experiencing Him as He desires for us – Remember Esther? “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
- 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 — For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
“…the day of small things….” Too often we look for God’s activity in the spectacular and seek to serve Him in spectacular ways, but God works most often and most mightily in the small things, and we serve Him best when we are consistently faithful in the little things. While we might be impressed by the success of the mega-church pastor or world-renowned evangelist, Jesus walked with a small group of twelve disciples and taught them that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-32) or leaven in dough (Matthew 13:33), very small and hardly noticeable at first but possessing the potential to have transformational impact. And Jesus said we do our best work when we simply take care of the needs of the often neglected people right where we are – “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40) Being faithful in the moment, right where we are, is a very powerful way to glorify God today and every day.
- Matthew 25:21 — His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
- James 1:27 — Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
- John 6:9 — “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?”
- Hebrews 13:2 — Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 20 December 20: Be faithful in the moment today, and be ready to instantly accept an ‘impossible’ task from God if He assigns it to you. Don’t say your prayers this morning and then step out on your own to face today’s challenges and opportunities, perhaps checking in with God now and then. Rather walk with God every step of the day, abiding in Him, talking with Him (praying without ceasing), following Him, obeying Him, and relying on His power, not yours. Do all things, even the smallest things, with Him, through Him, and for Him, allowing your soul to magnify Him – “My soul magnifies the Lord.” (Luke 1:16)
- Genesis 5:22 — Enoch walked with God.
- Genesis 6:9 — Noah walked with God.
- Micah 6:8 — He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
- John 14:17 — Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
- Galatians 2:20 — I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
- Colossians 1:27 — To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
- John 15:4, 5 — Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 — Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
- Luke 9:23 — And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.