The Master You’ve Been Looking For
“Look! I’m sending my messenger on ahead to clear the way for Me. Suddenly, out of the blue, the Leader you’ve been looking for will enter his Temple—yes, the Messenger of the Covenant, the one you’ve been waiting for. Look! He’s on His way!”
A Message from the mouth of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
But who will be able to stand up to that coming? Who can survive His appearance?
He’ll be like white-hot fire from the smelter’s furnace. He’ll be like the strongest lye soap at the laundry.
He’ll take His place as a refiner of silver, as a cleanser of dirty clothes.
He’ll scrub the Levite priests clean, refine them like gold and silver,
until they’re fit for God, fit to present offerings of righteousness.
Then, and only then, will Judah and Jerusalem be fit and pleasing to God, as they used to be in the years long ago.
“Yes, I’m on my way to visit you with Judgment.
I’ll present compelling evidence against sorcerers, adulterers, liars, those who exploit workers, those who take advantage of widows and orphans, those who are inhospitable to the homeless—anyone and everyone who doesn’t honor He.”
A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
“I am God—yes, I Am. I haven’t changed. And because I haven’t changed, you, the descendants of Jacob, haven’t been destroyed. You have a long history of ignoring My commands. You haven’t done a thing I’ve told you.
Return to Me so I can return to you,” says God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
“You ask, ‘But how do we return?’
“Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day.
“You ask, ‘How have we robbed You?’
“The tithe and the offering—that’s how! And now you’re under a curse—the whole lot of you—because you’re robbing Me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in My Temple.
Test Me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams.
For My part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers.”
The Message of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
“You’ll be voted ‘Happiest Nation.’ You’ll experience what it’s like to be a country of grace.” God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so.
The Difference Between Serving God and Not Serving Him
God says, “You have spoken hard, rude words to Me.
“You ask, ‘When did we ever do that?’
“When you said, ‘It doesn’t pay to serve God. What do we ever get out of it?
When we did what He said and went around with long faces, serious about God-of-the-Angel-Armies, what difference did it make? Those who take life into their own hands are the lucky ones. They break all the rules and get ahead anyway.
They push God to the limit and get by with it.’”
Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over.
God saw what they were doing and listened in.
A book was opened in God’s presence and minutes were taken of the meeting,
with the names of the God-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored God’s name.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, “They’re Mine, all Mine. They’ll get special treatment when I go into action.
I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them.
Once more you’ll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing
and one who doesn’t, between serving God and not serving Him.”
It’s one thing to have a valid complaint; but another, to moan and groan over it.
Being whiny is as a spoiled selfish child that is discontent.
We are supposed to be growing and learning how to be blameless children of God living in the midst of a corrupt, dying world system among whom we shine as pure rays of His life light.
The Word says that out of the heart the mouth speaks and it is an indicator of the underlying cause of our complaint.
Do we trust God to provide or are we selfish, bitter, murmuring whiny addicts to the world’s temporal fixes?
When we persist in going beyond a mere complaint, rehashing, it is heaping sin upon sin and opens the door to condemnation. It pulls us off course from God’s best for our lives and distances us through the hardness of our
Thus as the saying, “you divide, you conquer.” The devil has gotten us to use our own thoughts and words to drive a wedge
between our Maker and His creation.
A “pity party” is always only about “whine and cheese” and getting others over to our “side.”
But who’s on the Lord’s side?
This is the Day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!
But when one is looking to get others sympathetic to “our: point of view, it leads them down the same dead end turning them antagonistic toward the other point of view falling into the sin of rebellion against God’s will for our lives.
My Daddy was a wise man who lived the “Good Book“, with Proverbs being an especial favorite. He had a saying,
“God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.”
Let us pray the Lord to create in us a clean heart and renew a right, steadfast spirit to walk with Him in truth.
The Holy Spirit is given to lead and guide us into all truth every step of the way home to the Father revealing
Jesus the Son given to see us safely home.
How can we let anything less than praise out our mouths? With such a Savior, we must not murmur.
Rather, let us learn to be joyful in His presence and content in life.
Remember, we enter His gates with thanks-giving and into His courts with praise.
Let us be happy and “rejoice always in the Lord“
Let us be thankful for our blessings and be characterized by a spirit of gratitude that comes from a content heart
that rests in knowing our Father loves us and gave His best for us to have all we need in Him.
Let us never be selfish. Let us always remember what it cost the Father and the Son to bring us unto Them.
Let us no longer persist in selfish, childish talk and follow the things which make for peace and let all things be done unto edifying.
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.“
Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite.
You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—
but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.
The Solution Is Life on God’s Terms
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved.
Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.
A new power is in operation.
The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air,
freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
God went for the jugular when he sent His own Son.
He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant.
In His Son, Jesus, He personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it.
And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God!
Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.
Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God.
Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. T
hat person ignores who God is and what He is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.
But if God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him.
Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God,
the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about.
But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—
you yourself experience life on God’s terms.
It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life,
He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself?
When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life.
With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!
So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all.
The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life.
God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.
It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”
God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.
We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children.
And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance!
We go through exactly what Christ goes through.
If we go through the hard times with Him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with Him!
That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times.
The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next.
Everything in creation is being more or less held back.
God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs.
But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within.
We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance.
That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.
We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us.
But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.
If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter.
He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.
He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
God knew what He was doing from the very beginning.
He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son.
The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored.
We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him.
After God made that decision of what His children should be like, He followed it up by calling people by name.
After He called them by name, He set them on a solid basis with Himself.
And then, after getting them established, He stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what He had begun.
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose?
If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?
And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger?
The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.
Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way!
Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing,
not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate You.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low,
thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love
because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Walk&Talk: Just Live By Faith!
It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.
We want you to walk in the footsteps of the faithful who came before you,
from whom you can learn to be steadfast in pursuing the promises of God.
The Just Live by Faith
Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.“