Heaven and the New Jerusalem are not glorious because they have no taxes and perfect weather (though that may be!). They are glorious because God Himself dwells there in unshielded majesty. His presence is our ultimate security and joy, and that presence is already experienced in part through His Church. We have been made citizens of an eternal community and a beacon to the nations through the blood of Christ, who is Immanuel, God with us.
Most of life’s battles seem out of control when all you can see are the difficult circumstances around you. But in Zechariah 1, God gives us a glimpse into His “heavenly command center” where we see just how in control He really is. From His observations of the enemy’s movements to their wholesale destruction, God delivers His people through the grace of His great High Captain, Jesus Christ.
From the Garden of Eden to the present day, the source of all our problems is that our hearts and minds stray from the living God. Our sin leads us to distraction, disobedience, and disillusionment because we forsake the God who made us. In Zechariah 1, God calls us back to Himself, ultimately through the Son who was rejected that we might be received.
Throughout the book of Proverbs we meet many characters like the wise king, the foolish son, the prudent man, the sluggard, the mocker, and the brawler. But the main character is undoubtedly the LORD himself. Having a proper understanding of God – actually knowing him personally and his ways, rather than just knowing about him – is essential to living lives of wisdom day by day. What do the various proverbs in the book tell us about the LORD that will help us know him better and live well before his face? We’ll see that Solomon has much to teach us about the God we serve.
So often in life, we become disoriented, despondent, and delinquent because we lose sight of the big picture of what God is doing. We get so caught up in the details and struggles of our daily lives that we forget the glorious plan of our glorious God. Haggai’s final oracle reminds us of the Mighty God who will one day shake the heavens and the earth, fully redeeming His people through Zerubbabel’s greatest descendant, Jesus Christ.
In Bible-believing churches, we use terms like sin and grace all the time. We think we know what they mean but have not begun to fathom their true depth and height. In Haggai 2, God shows us how bad our sin really is so that we might understand how amazing His grace really is, ultimately through the Savior who became defiled that we might be cleansed.
Like the good Father that He is, God disciplines and corrects us when we go astray. But He also empowers us when we are weak. After taking His people to the woodshed in chapter one, God strengthens and encourages them in chapter two by reminding them of His presence and His plan. He would remain with them in power and would use them to prepare the way for the ultimate Temple, who would secure their ultimate peace, Jesus Christ. God strengthens us through the same Savior as we continue His work today.
None of us likes to be “taken to the woodshed,” that is, corrected, rebuked, or chopped down to size when our pride or foolishness gets the best of us. But as Proverbs 27 says, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted.” How much more so the word of God that painfully, yet graciously, calls us back from our comfortable disobedience? Haggai 1 demonstrates that God loves us enough to discipline us for His glory and our good through the grace of the ultimate Temple who was torn down and rebuilt, Jesus Christ!
The impact of sin on our minds, emotions, and wills has left us incapacitated when it comes to thinking and acting aright. Since God, in his perfect wisdom, sees things properly, he has given his people the Way of Wisdom to follow. This week we’ll start a new sermon series on Topical Proverbs, and we’ll look at the rich treasures to be mined there, along with the recognition that our true source of wisdom is found solely in Christ.
Waiting can be hard, especially in difficult circumstances. The prophetess Anna was suffering catastrophic loss yet waited patiently for the Messiah for the better part of a century. What was her secret? Join us as we examine God’s word to see how believers today can wait well through life’s hardships while anticipating the glorious return of our Savior, Jesus Christ.