Monday, December 23, 2013

The Grace We Need

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Monday, December 23, 2013:  Zechariah 4:1-5:11

So he answered and said to me:  “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.  ‘Who are you, O great mountain?  Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!  And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”  Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “The hands of Zerubbabel
have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it.  Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you.  10 For who has despised the day of small things?  For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.  They are the eyes of the Lord, w
hich scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”  Zechariah 4:6-10 (NKJV)

As Zerubbabel, the appointed governor of Jerusalem, set about the arduous task of rebuilding the Temple of Solomon, he reached a point that we all reach is such a work.  Things had ground to a halt.

They had started well.  Things came together and it looked like this job would clip along to completion with not a hitch.  But, the initial zeal wore thin.  The resources started to lag.  The grind of daily activities weighed on the mind and heart of all who worked.  There came a day when the unspoken dread became an open reality.  "We don't know if this job can be done."  Hidden doubts became present ditches into which the work had fallen. 

Every work of God is tested.  Every word we hear from Him will be challenged.  That's the way Satan works.  We start well, but then find that the opposition is intense.  God's direction for your life will ATTRACT the attack of the devil. 

Zerubbabel found himself in such a dire circumstance.  He had set out on a divine mission that had faltered.  It had come to a halt.

At this point, God showed up in the prophetic ministry of Zechariah.  And He sends encouragement to us, too. 

One of the most moving passages in all Scripture is the short exhortation: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord." (vs. 6)  It is always a rallying cry.  It tells us that despite our weakness or limitations, God is still at work.  His unlimited power will accomplish all in which our frail effort have failed.

God has called you to do that you in no way have the ability to accomplish.  I know this because I know that His plans are never small.  If we will listen, He will tell us of conquests beyond our ability. 

This can be set-up for failure if we do not hear one clear word:  GRACE.  That's what Zechariah prophesied to Zerubbabel.  "Grace, grace to it.!" (vs. 7)

Grace is not just a doctrine.  It is the ability of God to do in us and through us that which we cannot do for ourselves.  The grace-filled life is one of not only understanding but also power.  God's grace teaches us not only our acceptance but also our privilege.

As we end 2013, we may find a mountain of stones laying around mocking our great plans that are unfulfilled.  There is a capstone in your future.  It is the crowning moment when you see God do what He told you He would do.  That is the path for 2014.  Though you may feel small today, a day of enlargement lies ahead.

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