Friday, February 1, 2013

Feb 1 - Zephaniah 3:19

I will gather those
who have been scattered.
I will give them praise and
honor in every land
where they were put to shame.
Zephaniah 3:19

The repeating pattern of the Gospel is death and resurrection.

Interestingly, it occurred even before Jesus died and rose again!

My quick summary of much of Old Testament prophecy was God telling his people to follow him. Actually, let’s be more pointed.
  •      Much of Old Testament prophecy was God telling his people that they weren’t following him …
  •      and that there would be very real consequences if it they didn’t start.

They didn’t start. And as promised, the consequences came. The people of Israel were scattered into Exile.

Let’s call that death. The old way of life had to die.

Zephaniah, however, is finally proclaiming comfort and resurrection. He’s saying, “What was dead shall return to life. What was scattered shall be gathered back together. And what was put to shame shall be returned to a place of honor.”

As a pastor, I’ve watched that pattern play out in a million ways among the people of God.
  •      Before a new job could come (new life), an old job had to be lost (death).
  •      Before a measure of personal growth occurs (new life), a person usually has to fight through a few major challenges (death).
  •      Before sobriety can come (new life), a person has to admit their weakness and addiction (death).  
  •      Before two friends “kiss and make up” (new life), pride had to be silenced for forgiveness to occur (death, the humble silencing of self and pride, always precedes forgiveness).

In Christ’s Love,
a guy who wants to
die with Christ

I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. – Gal 2:19-20

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