by David Brenneman
To read in Zechariah 1 this morning...and again, it's really good to be reading in my Life Principles Daily Bible a day later in the same spot, and see the words stand out in verse "Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying 'Thus says the lord of hosts "Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds."" But they did not listen or give heed to Me," declares the Lord. "Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But did not My words and my statutes, which I commanded My servants the prophets, overtake your fathers? Then they repented and said, 'As the Lord of hosts purposed to do to us in accordance with our ways and our deeds, so He has dealt with us."""' Verses 4-6 NASB.
Essentially what the subject line says is what this passage reminds us of.
Jesus saying "Didn't it happen just as I said it would? Those fathers of yours...didn't they admit that My Word didn't return void? The things that I said would happen didn't they happen?"
The passage was obviously written a few thousand years ago before the writing of the New Testament and the life of Christ here on Earth. Yet, it also speaks to our generation. It speaks to you and I, right here, right now.
Jesus still stands at the door of the hearts of the unbelieving pointing to history. "I promised these people and so I did. I make promises to you...and so I will for you as well."
Jesus still stands with the Believing, saying "As I was with them, so I am with you. I am the same God now as I was back then. I am the same today, yesterday and forever."
We can choose to ignore God all we want, but God will not be ignored. There's no throwing up of a hand in the face of Jesus to get Him to stop. To 'respect' our boundries. He is God, we are not. It's always going to be His Will being done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Not ours. When we read of His promises to make our paths straight it's to make them straight in accordance with His Will, His Plans for our lives as they work towards His goals of saving mankind, as many as would come to Him for salvation. It's not about health, wealth or prosperity.
His teachings of what we read in the 4 Gospels speak to this. He is the vine we are the branches, those who are in Christ Jesus that is. We aren't soloist's going about life our own way, doing our own thing. It's not to say we won't enjoy certain aspects of this world. We aren't to make those aspects the central part of our lives. The central part of our lives ought to still be our relationship with Jesus. Jesus first, family second, everyone else, then ourselves.
The Scriptures record for us that principle: Love the Lord Your God with all your Heart, all your Soul, all your Mind and all your Strength. Love your Neighbor as yourself. Prefer one another above yourself. Set your mind on things above, not on the things of this Earth. Love not the world nor the things of this world.
We will always face the same first temptation that we face as an infant all throughout our lives: to put self first. To put self on the Throne of our lives. To put our wants ahead of others, our desires ahead of those whom Jesus says should be before us.
Tools are a great part of the life of me. I have many varied tools that enable me to do a great many things. While I have some that I use more than others, I do not set any one tool above others. I do not take any particular one and devote so much of me to it that I put my relationship with Jesus in jeopardy. I do not want Jesus anywhere else in my life but on the Throne of my Heart. Do you? Would you?
It begs the question: Is Jesus in your life, where He ought to be? Have you forgotten that same ideal that we began today's post with? That question: Didn't they admit it happened to them just as I said it would?" It's not too far a stretch to go to the passage where people in the time Jesus would be returning mocking Him by saying "So where is He? Where's this promise of His return? Why hasn't it happened yet? Where is God when I want Him to do something?"
We often don't consult God, through Jesus Christ and the Spirit because we already know that He probably won't approve of what it is we're going after. He won't approve of selfishness. He won't approve of idolatry, adultery, of gossiping, of any of the other deadly sins. We don't look at God when those things cross our minds because we already know in our heart of hearts that He disapproves of those things. It matters not if you are a Believer in Christ Jesus or you aren't, your conscience speaks to the truth of those words! We look for cop outs to keep on misbehaving, to keep on sinning. We think we can even sometimes go and confess those things to some Earthly 'priest' and that wipes the slate clean enough to go out and do it all over again. No repentance felt, or offered from our hearts because no change ever really happened.
Didn't it happen just as I said it would? - Jesus. Think about that thought long and hard. It is loaded with deeper meaning.
Didn't He say that idolatry would hurt your relationship with Him?
Didn't He say that the other sins that you've indulged in or given into would hurt you and others?
Didn't the results that He said would happen, happen?
We can choose to be intentional about living for self or choose to be intentional about living for Jesus...we cannot choose both.
In his writings, Paul spoke of 'putting on' and 'taking off'. Taking off of self and putting on of Christ. To put on the full armor of God. To stand firm in the faith.
To mock God is never a good thing because while He is a very forgiving God, it WILL come back around and mock you. Everyone who has died without salvation in Christ Jesus, who mocked them in all the life that they lived...in Hell they aren't doing that anymore because they know the truth. That God is not mocked. Whatever a man sews so man reaps. We might not see them 'get what's coming to them' in this life by way of Earthly judgments, but when they die, they face God's.
Didn't it happen just as I said it would? Ought to really shake you to the core of your being. Believer or those who haven't believed yet. It ought to do something to you because sooner or later it WILL be the prevailing thought of everyone going into eternity. Jesus said that not one jot or tittle, not one single thing no matter how small or great, not one part of His Word would fail. None of it. Not one single portion. Satan's been trying for centuries to get any minute part of the Bible to fail and he has failed, time and time again. Mankind has challenged God on His Word and has failed. Which speaks to the unimaginable volume of people in Hell.
When you go into your day today, consider those words when you prioritize your day. Think about what Jesus is saying and how it ought to motivate you. If you're a Believer, it ought to motivate you towards love and good deeds as His Word says. To those who haven't come to Jesus yet for salvation it ought to make you seriously consider the weight of those words...because having never failed to be true...your acceptance or denial of those words will determine your eternity. It has for countless trillions throughout history. Every...single...person...in Hell understands and knows that God is real, His Word proved true, and their fate has been sealed. They are forever separated from God and will be paying for their sins throughout eternity and there's nothing they can do about it.
Christmas was about the birth of Jesus, and still is. It was about the free gift of salvation coming to mankind should they choose to receive it. It still is.
Didn't it happen just as I said it would? Applies to the Christmas story as well. Many passages, as testified by even those Jewish Leaders who later rejected Jesus, point to Jesus. Jesus, His Father from Heaven speaking to those who could hear it, "This is my Beloved Son...Listen to Him!".
Would you listen to Jesus today? He's not going to barge His way into your heart. He's gently knocking asking you to let Him in.
He's not going to push you off that Throne of your heart...He's going to wait for you to abdicate your seat there and you to ask Him to get back on it.
We read in the New Testament of the fruits of the Spirit....for you who believe, are those evidenced in your life as both being there and increasing?
"Didn't it happen just as I said it would?" - Jesus.
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