Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Encouragement to quitters

"Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem" - Artist unknown

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Zechariah 4:1-5:4

TO CHEW ON: " 'The hands of Zerubbabel
Have laid the foundation of this temple,
His hands also shall finish it.
Then you will know
That the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you.' " Zechariah 4:9

You will recall that Zechariah was prophesying to exiles who had returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. They had begun rebuilding the temple but due to opposition, discouragement, and distraction had abandoned the job.

Zechariah's vision and words concern Zerubbabel—the governor—who had begun the build but quit midway through. The Message Bible puts our focus verse in everyday language:

"'Zerubbabel started rebuilding this temple and he will complete it. That will be Your confirmation that the God-of-the-Angel-Armies sent me to you' " Zechariah 4:9 MSG.

In addition to this encouraging prophecy to quitter / procrastinator Zerubbabel, two other thoughts from our reading jump out at me. To Zerubbabel and all of us who are tempted to quit or lay aside the assignments we've been given, I believe God would say:

1. "For who has despised the day of small things…" - Zechariah 4:10.
Don't judge the worth of a project by its small beginnings or its humble originator. There are no small jobs or insignificant people in God's family. I'm reminded of Paul's picture of the church as a body with no part more important than any other (1 Corinthians 12:12-24).

Leslyn Musch says of this verse in her "Truth-In-Action Through Zechariah" article: "Give yourself wholeheartedly to the things that God is asking you to do, and trust that He will bless. … Remember as you are faithful with little, God will entrust you with more  (Matthew 25:21)" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1265.

2. " 'Not by might or by power but by My Spirit,' says the Lord" - Zechariah 4:6
We can't do these things on our own. If ours are God-given assignments, we need His help to complete them and fit them into His grand design.

Musch again: "Ask God to fill you to overflowing with His Holy Spirit. The picture given is of an endless supply of oil representing the Holy Spirit" - Op. Cit, p. 1264.

PRAYER: Dear God, where I have given up or postponed doing those things You have asked of me, please forgive me. Help me to apply to these tasks these encouraging words of their significance and Your help. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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