The Inside Column 29/7

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jul 30, 2018 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

We have been looking at Paul’s great chapter on love from 1 Corinthians, over the last couple of weeks. The bible speaks a great deal about God’s love, particularly in the Psalms and Song of Songs.

The extent of the love of Christ is detailed in the book of Zephaniah (Chapter1:1 – 3:20). Zephaniah lived in the latter part of the 7th Century BC. He was a contemporary of Jeremiah’s, but may have been slightly older than him. It is also possible that Zephaniah was the great grandson of King Hezekiah, and he was probably writing before Josiah’s reforms in 621 BC.

The theme of the book is ’The day of the Lord’. This was the day that the people of God were looking forward to. In popular thinking, this was the day that they expected Israel was going to be blessed. Zephaniah’s message is that it is not simply going to be a day of blessing; it will also be a day of judgment.

He urges, ‘Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger’.

He foresees that a remnant, who are ‘meek and humble, who trust in the name of the Lord’, will survive. He foresees that God will again bless his people, ‘The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day you will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing’.

When Jesus announced the Kingdom of God, he was proclaiming that the day of the Lord had broken into history. One day, when Jesus returns, there will indeed be a Day of Judgment and reckoning. However, the day of the Lord can be experienced right now. The Kingdom of God has broken into history. For those who are in Christ, the promises of the Lord in Zephaniah are fulfilled in us.

Lord, thank you that you are with us.

Thank you that Jesus is mighty to save.

Thank you that he takes great delight in us.

Thank you that he quiets us with his love.

Thank you that you rejoice over us with singing.

Thank you that one day we will experience this love in all its fullness.

 Yours in Christ



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