Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 23 December 21:
Zechariah 11:12-13 — And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.
Zechariah 12:10 — And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn (See John 19:37).
In today’s readings, Zechariah, in unmistakable detail, prophesizes about the future betrayal of Jesus, the account of which can be read in Matthew 26:15 – Matthew 27:10. Then, Zechariah prophesizes about something which has yet to occur — a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Jews before the final day and last battle described in Revelation. At that time, there will be a multitude of Jews who repent of their sin and turn to Christ as their Savior. We are living between the prophesies, between Jesus’ first advent and second advent. How then should we live? How will we participate in God’s redemptive plan?
People undoubtedly struggled to understand Zechariah’s prophecies when he offered them, and after hundreds of years of waiting for the Messiah, many surely wrote them off as madness. However, in God’s timing, the prophecies were fulfilled, are being fulfilled, and will be fulfilled – “Remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior… knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming?’ …The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief….” (2 Peter 3:2-10)
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” (Hebrews 1:1, 2) “For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:17) We live in an amazing time in God’s redemptive history (after Jesus’ birth, ministry on earth, death, burial and resurrection; and before His second coming), and He has empowered us with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Gospel to all creation in preparation for His second coming, final judgment and restoration of all things. Long ago, God spoke through the prophets. Now, armed with the Scripture and empowered by His Spirit and authority, He has commissioned us to be His messengers to the world and to live lives that glorify Him. How passionate are you about your God-given life mission? One of the greatest indicators of how much you love God and others is how committed you are to facilitating reconciliation between them, how passionate you are about helping everyone around you draw near to Jesus. Jesus is, indeed, the greatest gift you could possibly share with someone this Christmas season.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 — Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
- Matthew 28:18-20 — And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- 2 Peter 3:11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18 – What sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God… since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation…. Take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
- Ephesians 4:1-3 — I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- Ephesians 5:15-21 — Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
As we approach the New Year, now is a good time to reconsider how you glorify God with the days He has given you on earth.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 23 December 21: Share the Gospel with someone today.