Zechariah heart

Zechariah & Haggai tag team Israel towards heart change

Thru the Bible: Zechariah 1-3

Like Haggai, Zechariah is dealing with the post-Babylonian Jews in Jerusalem.

Their efforts to rebuild the temple got halted just after the death of Cyrus the Great and was not permitted to continue until the reign of Darius I. This was an unknown gap of time lasting no more than 8 years.

During this time the few Jews who returned to Judah, had been establishing themselves – building houses, rejuvenating wells, planting crops, processing harvests… in general, just getting on with the business of life.

Once Darius I came into power and decreed that the work should continue the response of Israel was somewhat lacking. However, when Haggai prophecied to them, they immediately began enthusiastic work on the temple.

Literally just 2 months later is when the events in this book of Zechariah began.

Zechariah means “Yahweh remembers” and God did indeed remember His covenant with them recorded in Deuteronomy 28-30 and was making certain to encourage these people that He WILL keep His promises.

Through Zechariah God offers Israel hope!

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Wayside heart Parable

The Wayside Heart

Series: In Pursuit of Relational Knowledge

Parable of the Heart Soils

Today’s lesson is focused upon the first of the 4 hearts in Jesus’ parable of the heart soils and that is the Wayside Heart. This is also correctly termed the Pathway heart, the heart of ignorance and the hardened heart.

We addressed all that Jesus said about this heart from Matthew, Mark & Luke, comparing them as we took note of what was distinctive of this heart in both the parable and in Jesus’ later explanation of the parable to His disciples.

We discovered that there are at least two different types of hard hearts though they both share a common cause or root. One can be helped and the other must change first before it COULD be helped. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day often fell into the worst type of hardened heart, while even His Own disciples often fell into the other.

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Haggai jogs memories & rekindles devotion in Judah

Thru the Bible: Haggai

Haggai is one of two prophets in particular who were used of God to help steer the Jewish returnee’s from Babylonian exile to devotion to God. He understood judgment in a way which the Jewish people did not. God is merciful and kind in His judgments, but sometimes His people need an actual human voice to hear, rather than scripture to remember.

The players in this book are familiar to us from Ezra, Nehemiah, Ezekiel…etc. Of note were Haggai, Zerubbabel the governor, Joshua the priest and King Darius I all in the time period including the end of the 6th century B.C..

These people had returned to Judah with the stated intention of helping to rebuilt the Temple by the order and permission of Cyrus the Great. However, upon returning to their former estates, they got so caught up in restoring their homes and lives that they forgot the temple. THAT is the primary focus of Haggai’s prophecies.

The lineage of Jesus through Zerubbabel is also a major contribution to our understanding how Jesus was able to be the fulfillment of continuing David’s reign, after Jeconiah’s progeny had been denied future access by God through the prophet Jeremiah.

This is a very small but pivotal book!

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Think God

Thinking on God

Series: In Pursuit of Relational Knowledge

Last week we focused on God’s command to remember Him and the things He has done, in order to keep our hearts from growing cold and unresponsive to Him.

This week we are taking a more simple approach – thinking on God.

Sounds simple enough, but we need examples and God has supplies many.

Some of the greatest lovers and pursuers of God have left us with their thoughts as they considered God in their lives. These we take as examples of pathways along which to guide our thoughts since these are people God Himself made special note of.

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Warfare spiritual

By Request: Spiritual Warfare

By Request: Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual warfare is anything which challenges the advancement of God’s rule in our HEARTs.

It is only out of ignorance or laziness that we blame all our hindrances on the devil. This is no more than a sidestepping of the real issue. We do not long for and pursue intimacy with our God and THAT is our greatest enemy.

You need to hear this – NOTHING, AND I DO MEAN NOTHING, challenges the advancement of the rule of God in our hearts more than indifference!

This is why our Master made much of love!

In this lesson we cover what the New Testament tells us about satan and demons, demon possession, demonic oppression and what scripture both tells us to do and demonstrates that Jesus and the early church did in response to the devil.

I hope this teaching will serve to destroy lies, refocus attention on what the scriptures actually say and empower lives lived in honor of our Only God and Father to Whom literally belongs ALL POWER and AUTHORITY FOREVER!

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