Archive for the ‘Zechariah’ Category

September 29th, 2015

The Good Shepherd

“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.” Zechariah 12:10 (ESV)

Repentance, returning in a state of brokenness over sin to the Lord, comes when we look upon the suffering of our good Shepherd and recognize our role in causing His pain. We have traded a Shepherd who cares for us and protects us for one who devours us and uses us for his own purposes. To rescue us, His wandering sheep, our Good Shepherd gave Himself completely, beaten and pierced for our iniquity. He became what we could not so that in Him we might be redeemed and restored. For His sheep, He was broken so we could be healed. For His sheep, He was condemned so we could find freedom. For His sheep, He was abandoned so we could find acceptance.

The incredible thing about these incredible truths is that they were motivated not by merit nor debt; rather, our Shepherd was motivated by grace and mercy! Simply because of the love that He had and has for His sheep did He lay down His life in such a profound way.

Today, consider the goodness of your Shepherd. Look upon His piercing and remember why it happened. Have you repented for your sin? Are you broken over how He was broken? Are you encouraged to know that in your repentance you will find grace and mercy?

We serve a Good Shepherd; may we respond as good sheep.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Good Shepherd, Repentance, Zechariah.
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September 28th, 2015

From Fasts to Favor

“And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.’” Zechariah 7:8-10 (ESV)

The destruction of the temple was a defining moment for the people of God in that they saw their identity called into question. Without the temple, who were they? Undoubtedly, they asked themselves why God would allow such an heinous act to be performed (even though God had been explicit through the prophets of His holy motivation). In remembrance of the temple’s destruction and in hopes of the Lord forgiving their trespass, His people fasted and wept, especially in the fifth month, which was the month in which the temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar some 70 years earlier. Now that they had returned, however, and were in the process of rebuilding, were they still required to mourn? Were they still required to fast?

The Lord answered their question with our present text. All of the punishment, all of the fasting, and all of the mourning were meant to engender in the people of God a right heart toward each other. The question was not whether or not the actions should continue but rather whether the actions had led to a change of heart.

“Are you prepared to think of others as greater than yourself? Are you willing to sacrifice for the name of the Lord? Are you willing to live with less so that others can have some?”

The Lord does not desire vain action in an attempt to win His favor, especially for us today, since our action could never compare to the glorious act of Christ on the cross. Our actions must be in response to a right heart within us, having been overwhelmed by His mercy and grace toward us. Why are you living morally today? Why are you praying and fasting? Are you doing it to gain His favor or in response to the favor He has already displayed?

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, September 28th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Favor, Heart, Zechariah.
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September 27th, 2015

By My Spirit

“Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.’” Zechariah 4:6 (ESV)

The people of God were discouraged. It had been nearly 20 years since their return and, yet, the temple was still only a foundation. Powerful opposition had prevented them from rebuilding the hallmark of their faith and a symbol of God’s favor and presence among them. Zechariah, though, comes with powerful visions and a powerful word to help them overcome the devastation they felt as a people who had failed to accomplish their mission. He says to them (in my own words), “Do not fear what mortal men can do to you. They only have conventional powers at their disposal. The Lord, however, has no need for those things because He has the Spirit, and the Spirit is mightier than any force this world has!” His encouragement to them was also a reminder that if God wants something accomplished, He will accomplish it in His own time and with His own power. His people must simply trust and exhibit faith in that power as they obediently follow His calling.

Have you ever been discouraged in your walk with the Lord? Have you ever felt like He called you to a task surrounded by opposition and that you failed? Do not let the enemy or any conventional wisdom dismantle your sure faith in God’s ability in the midst of your obedience. If God gave you a vision to accomplish something for His Kingdom, then faithfully walk forward in that vision regardless of the conflict, knowing that you have the Spirit of God behind you and He will not be stopped!

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, September 27th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Power, Spirit of God, Zechariah.
Interact No Comments
September 29th, 2012

The Good Shepherd

“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.” Zechariah 12:10 (ESV)

Repentance, returning in a state of brokenness over sin to the Lord, comes when we look upon the suffering of our good Shepherd and recognize our role in causing His pain. We have traded a Shepherd who cares for us and protects us for one who devours us and uses us for his own purposes. To rescue us, His wandering sheep, our Good Shepherd gave Himself completely, beaten and pierced for our iniquity. He became what we could not so that in Him we might be redeemed and restored. For His sheep, He was broken so we could be healed. For His sheep, He was condemned so we could find freedom. For His sheep, He was abandoned so we could find acceptance.

The incredible thing about these incredible truths is that they were motivated not by merit nor debt; rather, our Shepherd was motivated by grace and mercy! Simply because of the love that He had and has for His sheep did He lay down His life in such a profound way.

Today, consider the goodness of your Shepherd. Look upon His piercing and remember why it happened. Have you repented for your sin? Are you broken over how He was broken? Are you encouraged to know that in your repentance you will find grace and mercy?

We serve a Good Shepherd; may we respond as good sheep.

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 265:  Zechariah 10-14)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Saturday, September 29th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Good Shepherd, Repentance, Zechariah.
Interact No Comments
September 28th, 2012

From Fasts to Favor

“And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.’” Zechariah 7:8-10 (ESV)

The destruction of the temple was a defining moment for the people of God in that they saw their identity called into question. Without the temple, who were they? Undoubtedly, they asked themselves why God would allow such an heinous act to be performed (even though God had been explicit through the prophets of His holy motivation). In remembrance of the temple’s destruction and in hopes of the Lord forgiving their trespass, His people fasted and wept, especially in the fifth month, which was the month in which the temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar some 70 years earlier. Now that they had returned, however, and were in the process of rebuilding, were they still required to mourn? Were they still required to fast?

The Lord answered their question with our present text. All of the punishment, all of the fasting, and all of the mourning were meant to engender in the people of God a right heart toward each other. The question was not whether or not the actions should continue but rather whether the actions had led to a change of heart.

“Are you prepared to think of others as greater than yourself? Are you willing to sacrifice for the name of the Lord? Are you willing to live with less so that others can have some?”

The Lord does not desire vain action in an attempt to win His favor, especially for us today, since our action could never compare to the glorious act of Christ on the cross. Our actions must be in response to a right heart within us, having been overwhelmed by His mercy and grace toward us. Why are you living morally today? Why are you praying and fasting? Are you doing it to gain His favor or in response to the favor He has already displayed?

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 264:  Zechariah 5-9)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 28th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Favor, Heart, Zechariah.
Interact No Comments
September 27th, 2012

“By My Spirit, Declares the Lord of Hosts!”

“Then he said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.’” Zechariah 4:6 (ESV)

The people of God were discouraged. It had been nearly 20 years since their return and, yet, the temple was still only a foundation. Powerful opposition had prevented them from rebuilding the hallmark of their faith and a symbol of God’s favor and presence among them. Zechariah, though, comes with powerful visions and a powerful word to help them overcome the devastation they felt as a people who had failed to accomplish their mission. He says to them (in my own words), “Do not fear what mortal men can do to you. They only have conventional powers at their disposal. The Lord, however, has no need for those things because He has the Spirit, and the Spirit is mightier than any force this world has!” His encouragement to them was also a reminder that if God wants something accomplished, He will accomplish it in His own time and with His own power. His people must simply trust and exhibit faith in that power as they obediently follow His calling.

Have you ever been discouraged in your walk with the Lord? Have you ever felt like He called you to a task surrounded by opposition and that you failed? Do not let the enemy or any conventional wisdom dismantle your sure faith in God’s ability in the midst of your obedience. If God gave you a vision to accomplish something for His Kingdom, then faithfully walk forward in that vision regardless of the conflict, knowing that you have the Spirit of God behind you and He will not be stopped!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan: (Day 263:  Zechariah 1-4)

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Associate Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 1:00 am
Category Power, Spirit of God, Zechariah.
Interact No Comments