30 September 2013

He is the God of Rescue

Zech 8:6-7, 9:9-12, 16-17 NLT

“This is what the Lord  of Heaven’s Armies says: All this may seem impossible to you now, a small remnant of God’s people. But is it impossible for me? says the Lord  of Heaven’s Armies. “This is what the Lord  of Heaven’s Armies says: You can be sure that I will rescue my people from the east and from the west."

Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt. I will remove the battle chariots from Israel and the warhorses from Jerusalem. I will destroy all the weapons used in battle, and your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea and from the Euphrates River  to the ends of the earth. Because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood, I will free your prisoners from death in a waterless dungeon. Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. On that day the Lord  their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How wonderful and beautiful they will be! The young men will thrive on abundant grain, and the young women will flourish on new wine. 

God is big. Mightier than our wildest imaginations. More lavishly tender and generous-hearted than anyone we've ever known. Can heal and make new, loving, gentle creatures out of the most battle-scarred and broken.  He loves us. And He wants to fight our battles for us . . . he wants us to put away our weapons, and trust in Him for our peace and safety.

God wants me to trust Him. To turn myself, my life, my plans, my dreams, my everything over to Him, so He can take what I have, what I am, and turn it into something so breathtaking and achingly beautiful we might not recognize ourselves if we were standing in someone else's shoes. That's what it means, to Him, to rescue me.

Lord of Heaven and Earth, King of Kings, I will be Yours. I will offer up the weapons I hoarded for my own defense--whatever form they may have taken--to You. I wish no longer to wield them, with my mortal inaccuracy and corruptible arm of flesh. Continually make in me a new creature. I offer you my heart as a throne. Please make it a suitable habitation for Your glory, as You see fit to do.  And make for Yourself a river, flowing from that throne, to quench the thirst and heal the hearts that come within reach. Please, God. Make me Yours . . . and bless my brothers and sisters, Your beloveds. Let me love them like You do, and show me how to do for them as You would do in my place.  In Jesus' name, so be it, and amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!