Charles’s quotes


"It is surely ours to combine these elements of mourning for sin and joy in our salvation in one complex and composite experience which keeps us perpetually humble and yet perpetually joyful too."— Rev William Still

Showing posts with label Zechariah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zechariah. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

The Glory Within

The Lord is "the glory within" Jerusalem (Zechariah 2:5). He is "the glory within" His Church. We dare not attach so much importance to the externals of religion that we forget about the presence of the Lord. To make secondary things more important than they really are is to miss the most important thing - the Lord is "the glory within" His Church. To His people, in Old Testament times and today, God says, "I'm going to come and live among you" (Zechariah 2:10).

Monday, 11 February 2019

The Lord Is Building His Church. Let Us Build For Him.

"A house in Shinar (Babylonia)" (Zechariah 5:11). Babylon is symbolic of the world that opposes God and His purpose. Even in 'Babylon', an unbelieving and disobedient world, God is building His House. "They are going to build a House" - There are human builders, but, ultimately, this is the work of the Lord. All the glory belongs to Him. We must not sit back, and say, "You do it, Lord." We acknowledge that, without God, no real work of lasting value will be done - but we also say, "We commit ourselves to You, Lord. We will not leave your work undone."
"Here  is the man whose name is Branch ... He will rebuild the Lord's Temple" (Zechariah 6:12), We read these words. We think of Jesus and His promise, "I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). The servants of the Lord are sent out to different places (Zechariah 6:1-7). The "Spirit" of the Lord goes with them (Zechariah 6:8). It is the Spirit of the Lord who brings blessing when the Word of the Lord is preached. "Those who are far away will come and rebuild the Lord's Temple" (Zechariah 6:15). By ourselves, we are "far away" - far from God. Through Christ, we have been brought near - near to God. By His grace, he has saved us. By His grace,He will use us in the rebuilding of His Temple. There will be blessing when we are fully obedient to the Lord - This will happen if you obey the Lord your God completely" (Zechariah 6:15). Lord, lead us on to a closer walk with You and a fruitful witness for You.

Our God? or Ourselves?

Who is most important to us? Our God or ourselves (Zechariah 7:5-6)? This is the challenge that is placed before us by the prophets of God. Our way of thinking and our way of living must be laid bare by the Word of the Lord. God wants us to see ourselves as we really are. He wants us to see Him as He really is. By ourselves, we cannot move from a self-centred life to a God-centred life, but we can look to the Lord to change us. When we ask for the Lord's help, we don't suddenly become perfect, but we do receive help from the Lord - help to become more what He wants us to be.
We need both truth and holiness (Zechariah 8:3). Truth is not just something to be believed. Truth changes us. Truth leads us into the pathways of holiness. We need both "truth and peace" (Zechariah 8:19). When truth changes us, it leads us into the paths of peace. The holy life is not to be a life of pride. That is Pharisaism. We think that holiness is all our own doing. The way of true holiness is also the way of peace. We seek to show, by our way of living, that we have been saved by the Lord and changed by Him. We show that the Lord is working in us, when we learn to walk in the way of peace. We are not to be like the Pharisee who looks down his nose at other people. We are to reach out to them in peace. At the Cross, we have learned that we are loved. At the Cross, we learn to hold out the love of Christ to other people.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Praying Through God’s Word: Zechariah

ZECHARIAH

1:1-2:13
We thank You, Lord, that You promise to bless Your faithful people: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there My House will be rebuilt’ (Zechariah 1:16). You looks upon Your House, and You see Your glory – ‘I will be the glory within it’ (Zechariah 2:5). You see the glory of Your presence – ‘I will live among you’ (Zechariah 2:10). We read about the Temple at Jerusalem. We read about its glory. Your Word speaks about another ‘temple’ and another ‘glory.’ Through ‘faith’ in ‘Christ’, we have become ‘a holy temple in the Lord’ – ‘a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit’ (Ephesians 2:21-22; Ephesians 3:16-17). To every believer, God says, ‘Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you… Glorify God in your body’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Help us, Lord, to bring glory to You.
3:1-4:14
“Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit”, says the Lord Almighty’ (Zechariah 4:6). Teach us, Lord, that there is only one Power by which Your work can be done. It is the power of the Holy Spirit. Help us not to try to do Your work in our own strength. May we exchange our weakness for Your strength. Teach us, Father, to ‘wait for Your promise’ – ‘You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.’ We thank You, Lord that great things happen when Your people are ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ – ‘About three thousand were added to their number that day… The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved’! Let us pray that God will ‘pour out’ His Spirit upon us (Acts 1:4,8; Acts 2:4,17-18,41,47).
5:1-6:15
‘Here is the Man whose Name is the Branch… It is He who will build the Temple of the Lord…’ (Zechariah 6:12-13). We thank You, Lord, for these great words of prophecy. They point us to our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18). How does Christ build His Church? He sends His blessing when His people are obedient to Him: ‘Those who are far away will come and help to build the Temple of the Lord… This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God’ (Zechariah 6:15). We thank You, Lord, that You’re ‘building a people of power.’ You’re calling us to ‘move through this land by Your Spirit and glorify Your precious Name’. Teach us to pray, ‘Here I am, wholly available – as for me, I will serve the Lord’ (Mission Praise, 151,229).
7:1-8:23
Lord, when people stop listening to Your Word, their life becomes ‘a desolate wasteland’ (Zechariah 7:11-14). What are we to do when we see this happening? – ‘Do not be afraid… Be strong.’ Help us, Lord, to keep on believing Your promise: ‘I will save you, and you will be a blessing.’ Help us to keep on praying that our faithful witness will bring others to You: ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you’ (Zechariah 8:13,23). Teach us to pray that ‘the Spirit will be poured upon us from on high and the desert will become a fertile field.’ ‘Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father’ (Isaiah 32:15; Matthew 5:15-16). Lord, shine Your light on us, and shine Your light through us.
9:1-10:12
‘…See your King comes to you… gentle and riding on a donkey…’ (Zechariah 9:9). We thank You, Lord, for these wonderful words of prophecy. They point us to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Jesus is our King. He comes to us. How are we to welcome our King? We are to welcome Him with joyful praise – ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord’ (Matthew 21:1-9; John 12:12-16). We thank You, our Father, that Jesus our King has come to us from You: ‘When the time had fully come, God sent His Son…’. We thank You that Jesus our King has come to us to be our Saviour: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ (Galatians 4:4; 1 Timothy 1:15). We thank You that He will come again – ‘with power and great glory.’ ‘Come, Lord Jesus’ (Matthew 24:30; Revelation 22:20).
11:1-12:14
‘They will look on Him whom they have pierced…’ (Zechariah 12:10). We thank You, Lord, for these great words of prophecy. They point us to Christ’s crucifixion. In Psalm 22:1, we read Christ’s prayer from the Cross: ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?’ (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). In the same Psalm, we read these words: ‘They have pierced My hands and My feet’ (Psalm 22:16). In Isaiah 53:5, we learn that Christ ‘was pierced for our sins.’ In Revelation 1:7, the words of Zechariah 12:10 form part of a prophecy concerning Christ’s Return: ‘Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him …’. In His heavenly glory, Christ will always be ‘the Lamb’ who was ‘slain’ (Revelation 5:6,9). Thank You, Lord, for our great Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
13:1-14:21
Lord, we ‘call on Your Name’. You ‘answer’ our prayer – ‘I will say, “They are My people”, and they will say, “The Lord is our God’ (Zechariah 13:9). We confess our faith in ‘You, Lord.’ You are the ‘Lord of lords.’ You are the ‘King of kings’. Your Name is ‘the only Name’ of our salvation. Your Name is ‘the Name that is above every name’ (Zechariah 14:9; Revelation 19:16; Acts 4:12; Philippians 2:9-11). We ‘worship the King, the Lord Almighty.’ We sing ‘Holy to the Lord’: ‘Holy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come! Worthy is the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come! Glory to the Lord God Almighty who was and is and is to come!’ (Zechariah 14:16,20; Mission Praise, 239).

Thursday, 17 January 2019

The Silencing Of Satan ... Walking In The Spirit

"I, the Lord, silence you, Satan!" (Zechariah 3:2). We cannot silence Satan. The Lord can silence Satan. This is why we must answer Satan with the Word of the Lord. Satan has no answer to the Word of the Lord. "See, I have taken your sin away from you, and I will dress you in fine clothing" (Zechariah 3:4). This is God's great salvation: our sin is removed, and we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Satan has no answer to this. He may try to accuse us, but the Lord's Word will prevail over him: "For those who are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation" (Romans 8:1). Those who have been forgiven by the Lord are called to "live according to His ways" (Zechariah 3:7). We are to walk in the Spirit. He gives life to us. He raises us up from and above the way of sin and death (Romans 8:2). "These men are a sign of things to come" (Zechariah 3:8) - a sign that pointed forward to Jesus, God's Servant, "the Branch" (Zechariah 3:8). We are to point to Jesus. We are to bring something of heaven and its glory into the lives of the people we meet. "The stone" - Look at the stone (Zechariah 3:9). This is a call to look to Jesus, the cornerstone, the Foundation Stone of our faith. "I will remove this land's sin in a single day" (Zechariah 3:9). The forgiveness of our sin comes in a day. Its effects last for a lifetime - "each of you will invite your neighbours to sit under your vine and fig tree" (Zechariah 3:10). We are to invite people to rest in Jesus.

Challenge And Comfort

There is a call from God - "Return to Me" - and a promise from God - "I will return to you" (Zechariah 1:3). God's Word contains both challenge and comfort. It is not challenge without comfort. It is not comfort without challenge. We need both - challenge and comfort.

Monday, 14 January 2019

God's way of leading us to Jesus, our Saviour.

God's Word speaks out against us so that we might learn to stop speaking against Him. We speak against Him when we present ourselves as righteous in His sight. To imagine that we are righteous is to be guilty of self-deception. If we are to enjoy the blessing that comes to us from the Lord, there is something that we must hear: "this warning is for you" (Malachi 2:1). Through the warning of the Gospel, we are brought into the position where we see ourselves as sinners. This is God's way of showing us our need of the Saviour. It's His way of leading us to Jesus.

We must not lose sight of the eternal perspective. This is what gives us encouragement.

Here, on earth, there is spiritual warfare. We do not fight in our own strength - "The Lord will go out and fight against those nations" (Zechariah 14:3). when the Lord returns, there will be His triumph over all His enemies: "The Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones will be with Him" (Zechariah 14:5). We must not lose sight of the eternal perspective. This is what gives us encouragement: "the Lord will be King over all the earth. On that day, the Lord will be the only Lord, and His Name the only name" (Zechariah 14:9).

Such a great blessing from such a great Saviour!

"A fountain ... to wash away their sin and stain" (Zechariah 13:1) - Here's a prophecy that points forward to our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. In death, He gave Himself for us. His blood was shed for us.Through His death, by the shedding of His blood, we receive the forgiveness of our sins. This is such a great blessing from such a great Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ.

The outpouring of the Spirit brings great glory to God and many sinners to the Saviour.

"I will pour out the Spirit of blessing and mercy on David's family and on those who live in Jerusalem" (Zechariah 12:10). Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is "greater than David", we receive the blessing of the Spirit. This blessing is given to us through the mercy of God. It's all of grace. All the glory belongs to the Lord. Let us magnify His Name, the Name of our salvation. After Jesus' ascension, His apostles were told to wait in Jerusalem until the Spirit of the Lord was poured upon them. What a day it was - the day of Pentecost - when the Spirit came upon them in power. It was power for the effective communication of the Gospel, leading to the conversion of many. Such an outpouring of the Spirit brings great glory to the Lord. When great numbers of sinners are brought to the Saviour, all we can say is that this is the Lord 's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes. Hallelujah!

God will look with favour on His people when they are united in Him.

Favour and unity (Zechariah 11:7) - God will look with favour on His people when they are united in Him. Let us seek the Lord's favour. Let us be united in seeking His favour. Let us seek to be united in the Lord, praying that He will look upon us with favour.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone of our faith,

"From them (the people of Judah) will come a cornerstone" (Zechariah 10:4). Here, we have a prophecy concerning our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Cornerstone of our faith, the Cornerstone upon which the Church is built. He is our solid Rock. Those who build on Him are wise. "I will bring them (the people of Judah, Joseph's people) back because I have compassion for them" (Zechariah 10:6) - This is the love of God and the salvation of God. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, we receive life. This life gives us new strength.

God's Kingdom will come - in His time.

"Rejoice with all your heart... Shout in triumph... Your King is coming to you... " (Zechariah 9:9). Here, we have the prophecy that was fulfilled by Jesus when He entered the city of Jerusalem, on His way to the Cross. This is followed, in Zechariah 9:10, by the words, "He will rule from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth." This speaks to us of the coming King and His coming Kingdom. While we are here on earth, we catch glimpses of the coming Kingdom. The full revelation is still to come. It will come - in God's time.

We need both truth and holiness.

We need both truth and holiness (Zechariah 8:3). Truth is not just something to be believed. Truth changes us. Truth leads us into the pathways of holiness. We need both "truth and peace" (Zechariah 8:19). When truth changes us, it leads us into the paths of peace. The holy life is not to be a life of pride. That is Pharisaism. We think that holiness is all our own doing. The way of true holiness is also the way of peace. We seek to show, by our way of living, that we have been saved by the Lord and changed by Him. We show that the Lord is working in us, when we learn to walk in the way of peace. We are not to be like the Pharisee who looks down his nose at other people. We are to reach out to them in peace. At the Cross, we have learned that we are loved. At the Cross, we learn to hold out the love of Christ to other people.

Who is most important to us? Our God or ourselves?

Who is most important to us? Our God or ourselves (Zechariah 7:5-6)? This is the challenge that is placed before us by the prophets of God. Our way of thinking and our way of living must be laid bare by the Word of the Lord. God wants us to see ourselves as we really are. He wants us to see Him as He really is. By ourselves, we cannot move from a self-centred life to a God-centred life, but we can look to the Lord to change us. When we ask for the Lord's help, we don't suddenly become perfect, but we do receive help from the Lord - help to become more what He wants us to be.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

It is the Spirit of the Lord who brings blessing when the Word of the Lord is preached.

"Here  is the man whose name is Branch ... He will rebuild the Lord's Temple" (Zechariah 6:12), We read these words. We think of Jesus and His promise, "I will build My Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18). The servants of the Lord are sent out to different places (Zechariah 6:1-7). The "Spirit" of the Lord goes with them (Zechariah 6:8). It is the Spirit of the Lord who brings blessing when the Word of the Lord is preached. "Those who are far away will come and rebuild the Lord's Temple" (Zechariah 6:15). By ourselves, we are "far away" - far from God. Through Christ, we have been brought near - near to God. By His grace, he has saved us. By His grace,He will use us in the rebuilding of His Temple. There will be blessing when we are fully obedient to the Lord - This will happen if you obey the Lord your God completely" (Zechariah 6:15). Lord, lead us on to a closer walk with You and a fruitful witness for You.

Without God, no real work of lasting value will be done.

"A house in Shinar (Babylonia)" (Zechariah 5:11). Babylon is symbolic of the world that opposes God and His purpose. Even in 'Babylon', an unbelieving and disobedient world, God is building His House. "They are going to build a House" - There human builders, but, ultimately, this is the work of the Lord. All the glory belongs to Him. We must not sit back, and say, "You do it, Lord." We acknowledge that, without God, no real work of lasting value will be done - but we also say, "We commit ourselves to You, Lord. We will not leave your work undone."

The power of the Spirit comes to us as the power of love, the power of Christ, the power of the Gospel.

The work of God is not done in our own strength. We need the superior power of God's Spirit (Zechariah 4:6). The power of the Spirit comes to us as the power of love, the power of Christ, the power of the Gospel. This is the power that reaches us and changes us. There  is no power like the power  of God's Spirit. The power of God's Spirit does not come in an entirely supernatural way. It comes to us through people:. "Zerubbabel's hands have laid the foundation of this House, and his hands will finish it" (Zechariah 4:9). It is the Lord who uses us in His service. We must never forget that the real power comes from Him: "Then you will know that the Lord of Armies has sent me to you" (Zechariah 4:9). This supernatural dimension is at the heart of every real work of God. When we emphasize this supernatural dimension. This something that we must never forget - if we are to honour the Lord, truly and fully. God works through ordinary people, who give themselves to Him, the extraordinary God. God is looking for people who will say to Him, "Here am I, send me" (Isaiah 6:8).

Satan has no answer to the Word of the Lord.

"I, the Lord, silence you, Satan!" (Zechariah 3:2). We cannot silence Satan. The Lord can silence Satan. This is why we must answer Satan with the Word of the Lord. Satan has no answer to the Word of the Lord. "See, I have taken your sin away from you, and I will dress you in fine clothing" (Zechariah 3:4). This is God's great salvation: our sin is removed, and we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Satan has no answer to this. He may try to accuse us, but the Lord's Word will prevail over him: "For those who are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation" (Romans 8:1). Those who have been forgiven by the Lord are called to "live according to His ways" (Zechariah 3:7). We are to walk in the Spirit. He gives life to us. He raises us up from and above the way of sin and death (Romans 8:2). "These men are a sign of things to come" (Zechariah 3:8) - a sign that pointed forward to Jesus, God's Servant, "the Branch" (Zechariah 3:8). We are to point to Jesus. We are to bring something of heaven and its glory into the lives of the people we meet. "The stone" - Look at the stone (Zechariah 3:9). This is a call to look to Jesus, the cornerstone, the Foundation Stone of our faith. "I will remove this land's sin in a single day" (Zechariah 3:9). The forgiveness of our sin comes in a day. Its effects last for a lifetime - "each of you will invite your neighbours to sit under your vine and fig tree" (Zechariah 3:10). We are to invite people to rest in Jesus.

The presence of the Lord is more important than the externals of religion.

The Lord is "the glory within" Jerusalem (Zechariah 2:5). He is "the glory within" His Church. We dare not attach so much importance to the externals of religion that we forget about the presence of the Lord To make secondary things more important than they really are is to miss the most important thing - the Lord is "the glory within" His Church. To His people, in Old Testament times and today, God says, "I'm going to come and live among you" (Zechariah 2:10).

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The Lord has sent His Spirit of power to live in us.

We read about Elijah in his high-points of strength - the triumph over the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:36-39) - and his low-points of ...