Read the word.
Teach the word.
Preach the word.
- 1 Timothy 4:13
Imagine the courtroom scene that young Zechariah saw in Zechariah 3. The Angel of the Lord is the judge. Joshua, the high priest, is the defendant. Standing to Joshua’s right is Satan, the accuser, acting as prosecutor.
Satan didn’t need to lie to the judge about what Joshua had done. He just needed to point and say, “He is guilty—You know it, I know it, he knows it. Guilty!”
And yet, the Lord chose Joshua, just as the Lord chose Jerusalem, just as the Lord chose Israel, just as the Lord chose you. His choice didn’t have anything to do with your self-righteousness. It had to do with His goodness. He sees you and Satan standing next to you to accuse you. He knows that He has every right and every reason to reject you.
But He chooses to do with you what He chose to do with Joshua:
“Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him, He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”” (Zechariah 3:4)
He chooses to do this even though He has every right and reason to reject you because of the stains of your sin. It is not by anything we are capable of, but only by Him and His sacrifice is it possible for us to be forgiven and completely cleansed from all unrighteousness.
O Christ, I lift mine eyes;
your love for me I own;
in your great sacrifice
remains my hope alone;
the robe is mine, my soul to dress,
of everlasting righteousness.
Why was Paul so concerned about believers in Corinth being less Corinthian and more Christian? Listen to our study from yesterday evening as we considered what it means to take off our former way of life and to put on the new self—created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
In Zechariah 3, we read about the fourth vision of young Zechariah. In this vision, he saw the spiritual reality behind what everyone else saw with their physical eyes.
What Zechariah saw was Joshua, the high priest, on trial before God Almighty. His adversary, named Satan, was accusing him, but Joshua had an advocate.
Who was this advocate? And would Joshua be found guilty or innocent? Watch our study of Zechariah 3 as we considered this courtroom scene—and the applications we find in it for us today.
The Apostle Paul wrote letters to the church in Corinth to correct their behavior. They were now citizens of a different city with a new loyalty and identity.
As believers in Jesus, they were no longer to behave as Corinthians, who promoted factions, divisions, and contentions and attempted to impress others with intellect, oratory mastery, and wise-sounding words.
But the way of Jesus is different. The Christian way is earning respect through quiet faith, others-centered service, and trusting the power of the Holy Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 1:14-31, we considered Paul’s desire to simply tell others about the cross of Christ through quiet, consistent, and humble sacrificial service.
God encouraged the discouraged remnant in half-built Jerusalem with these words: “Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. For I,” says the Lord, “will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.” (Zechariah 2:4-5)
“Really?” the people must have thought. “This is the future glory of this city? This is what will be far in the future as a direct result of our courageous faithfulness right here and right now? Really?”
Yes, really! It may have been difficult for them to imagine things different than how they saw it, but God’s word is true! This entire transformation began with believing God, obeying God, and moving in God’s direction.
Like the remnant, we are prone to discouragement by the lack of progress we might see in our lives. Our lives may be busted up and broken down, dilapidated due to laziness and sin. But in Christ, you are holy. You are set apart for a specific good work. God wants the world to see the reality of His existence through His relationship with You. The watching world is reading your life and your relationship with God.
So, with courageous faithfulness, place what you have into the hands of Jesus—then watch what He can do! He may even give you a glimpse of the future glory that will come from your small act of obedience right here and right now.
Join us on Wednesday nights for an additional opportunity of worship and fellowship at 6:30pm as we study the book of 1 Corinthians. There will also be opportunities for ministry to kids (ages 2-11) and youth (ages 12-12th grade) during our gatherings from 6:30-8pm. Youth & kids are encouraged to bring their Bibles!
We hope you can join us Wednesdays at 6:30pm at 912 W St. Germain Street, St. Cloud, MN
In Zechariah 1, we were introduced to the remnant of faithful Jews who returned to Jerusalem after enduring 70 years of captivity in Babylon. Their initial excitement wore off when the worries of life set in. The foundation of the temple was all they had to show for their labor and faithfulness.
So God sent Haggai and Zechariah—messengers to deliver God’s heart-changing, soul-stirring, life-giving Word to encourage them to return to obedience.
In Zechariah 2, we encounter that life-giving exhortation. His message to the remnant then is just as important for us now: “Lift your eyes and look at what God will do far in the future as a result of your courageous faithfulness today.”
Listen to our study of Zechariah 2 and receive God’s encouragement for your soul!
The Apostle Paul begins his letter to the church in Corinth with good news—God is faithful and has given them such good gifts and promises. But he also had some bad news—they were being unfaithful through their divisions and quarrels. And so, Paul begins the necessary work of correcting them with this important letter.
We want to learn from these mistakes so we don’t repeat them. Listen to our study of 1 Corinthians 1:4-13 and join us next Wednesday as we continue our study of 1 Corinthians.
In Zechariah’s first vision (Zechariah 1:8-17), Zechariah saw soldiers on horseback sent by God throughout the earth. In their midst, in the hollow among the myrtle trees, was a man.
Myrtle trees aren’t impressive like the soaring cedars of Lebanon. Their beauty is born out of difficulty. The more that their roots struggle to find soil and water, the more beautiful the tree becomes. Its blossoms are fragrant when crushed and are used for medicines.
In scripture, myrtle trees are consistently seen as a symbol of the people of the nation of Israel—hearty and beautiful who fight for existence and bless others, even while being crushed.
But there was also a man among the myrtle trees—a leader of an army who stood among the people of Israel. He seemed to be The Lord of Hosts—The Lord of Heavenly Armies. Who is this man? What is His name?
His name is Jesus—The Lord our Salvation. No matter how many times the enemy rises up to scatter and tear down, Jesus finds men and women in every generation to rise up, build up, and bless.
May the Man among the myrtle trees encourage you to be steadfastly committed to loving God, loving your family, and loving your neighbors. For when we do this in loving obedience to God—even and especially when times get tough—it terrifies our enemy.
This past Sunday, we began our study in the book of Zechariah. His ministry was complimentary to the ministry of Haggai in many ways. Where Haggai was blunt and very straightforward, Zechariah was more encouraging and uplifting.
While Haggai forced the returning remnant to focus on the immediate task at hand, Zechariah encouraged the people to lift their eyes beyond what they were working on on to what God would do far in the future.
And though Haggai was old, Zechariah was “a young man”—somewhere between a young boy and a teenager.
But Zechariah did not let his youthfulness get in the way of his usefulness for the Lord. He boldly proclaimed the word of the Lord to a people who needed to remember that the Lord remembers. Watch our study of Zechariah 1 as we got to know this young prophet in Jerusalem.
Join us on Sunday, September 10th at Wilson Park in St. Cloud after our Sunday Worship Service for an afternoon of fellowship & baptisms. We have reserved the shelter at the park for fellowship and will have an opportunity for baptisms at 1:30pm.
Let us know if you want to be baptized so we can connect with you before the event!
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends