“And as you have become a byword of cursing among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you and you shall be a blessing. Fear not, let your hands be strong.” Zechariah 8:13
All of the prophets fulfilled their callings during dark and difficult days. This is no less true for Zechariah. He, like his colleagues, pronounced God’s judgment upon a faithless and cruel nation. The words are harsh, and often make these minor prophets hard to read.
However, as I have recently read through these usually brief books at the end of the OT, I have noticed that against the darkness of the words of doom, the promises of light stand out even more clearly. The Scripture for today has its share of darkness. Israel and Judah would fall and would become a “byword of cursing.” Yet we also see the light. God would save them.
What I want you to notice is the purpose for which He saved them. It was not for their comfort, consolation, or to make life easier, or clearer. God saved them so that they will be a blessing.
God’s blessing in your life is sometimes wholly intended for you. He will reassure or comfort you. He will give you insight or courage. Wonderful! Receive that kind of blessing with joy. Your Father loves you deeply.
But remember that most of God’s blessings are intended to make you more capable of serving other people. You may very well be the blessing that God has for someone else today. Don’t neglect the opportunity to encourage, to guide, to pray for another person. Write the note, or visit. Help in some way.
I encounter many Christians who long for a more meaningful faith but are unsure of how to get it. The way to deepen your faith is to give it away, and that does not mean standing on Bourbon Street preaching to all the sinners. God rejoices when we give food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, companionship to the lonely. Needy people are all around you. Just look for them, see them as God's children, and serve them with a pure heart. You'll be surprised by how much a simple act of grace lifts your spirit.
Find a way to be a blessing to others. You fulfill God’s purpose in saving you. You will complete today’s assignment.
Dr. Terry Ellis
September 28, 2014