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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, March 14, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
The message of doom in the beginning of the book becomes a message of hope by the end. There will be a new day when God will bless his people. If the leaders in the church today were to hear a message from a prophet of God, the message would probably resemble the book of Zephaniah. Under Josiah’s religious reforms, the people did return to God outwardly, but their hearts were far from him. Zephaniah encouraged the nation to gather together and pray for salvation. We must also ask ourselves: Is our reform merely an outward show, or is it changing our hearts and lives? We need to gather together and pray, to walk humbly with God, to do what is right, and to hear the message of hope regarding the new world to come. (NLT)
Zephaniah 3:9-20 – “On that day I will purify the lips of all people, so that everyone will be able to worship the Lord together. My scattered people who live beyond the rivers of Ethiopia will come to present their offerings. And then you will no longer need to be ashamed of yourselves, for you will no longer be rebels against me. I will remove all the proud and arrogant people from among you. There will be no pride on my holy mountain. Those who are left will be the lowly and the humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord. The people of Israel who survive will do no wrong to each other, never telling lies or deceiving one another. They will live peaceful lives, lying down to sleep in safety; there will be no one to make them afraid.”
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! For the Lord will remove his hand of judgment and will disperse the armies of your enemy. And the Lord himself, the King of Israel, will live among you! At last your troubles will be over, and you will fear disaster no more.
On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, “Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song.”
“I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and renown to my former exiles; who have been mocked and shamed. On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction among all the nations of the earth. They will praise you as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. – Psalm 84:11 (NIV)
William George Gosling (Western Australia, Australia) titled his story “GOD’S BLESSINGS;” here is a portion of William’s story:
“. . . The flow of God’s blessings in my life is rather like the flow of water through a pipe. My attitude and actions affect whether I experience God’s blessings flowing freely or as a trickle. Now I regularly ask myself, Are my attitudes and actions keeping clear or blocking up the pipes for God’s blessings?”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Am I open to receiving God’s blessings?
Prayer: Dear God, help us to remain open to your blessings so that we can share them freely with others. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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