Tag Archives: Almighty

Shoulder to Shoulder

In Zephaniah, we read of what is to come, and it is such a beautiful image. In verse 9, it says, “Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” The ESV translates this as “with one accord.” The HCSB says it differently, “with single purpose.” Picture this—God’s people shoulder to shoulder, with one accord, with single purpose.

I love considering what this verse means for us. This verse speaks about a time when we will join together in one accord to spread the Good News. Our mouths will be filled with pure words, purifying words, of the Gospel that we will spread throughout the world. This is where we are currently. This is not something that is to come—it’s NOW! Believing in Jesus Christ, receiving the Holy Spirit—this has given us the opportunity to speak with purifying lips, to serve shoulder to shoulder.

Nothing can keep us from serving shoulder to shoulder, joining together in one voice, in one accord—in harmony for the Lord Jesus Christ—except for ourselves. We allow our pride and our fears to get in the way. We take our purifying lips and allow them to be used for defiling purposes. Today, consider this verse. Consider what was prophesied here. Be a part of the purifying lips. This is only the beginning my friends. We will continue to join together shoulder to shoulder until the whole earth knows about Jesus. When He returns, when the new heaven and new earth come, we will continue together in one voice, glorifying the Lord. We will sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8).

“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” – Zephaniah 3:9 [NIV]

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Mirror Love

I have seen many bizarre things over the years and I could not help but notice the weird actions of a bird the other morning. This bird kept ramming into my car mirror. Again and again, he bounced off the mirror. I couldn’t understand this repetition. I couldn’t understand the foolishness. Why would a bird continue to batter itself by jumping into my mirror?

So of course I was on the computer doing research. What I found was interesting. When it is mating season, birds often spend time bouncing off mirrors when they see their reflection. That got me thinking of our own mirror love.

There are moments when the birds look into the mirror and see this “other bird” and fall in love. The other bird is actually them. In the same way, some people say they have “found God” or “love God” but in reality they have fallen in love with the god they have created in their mind. This god that they love follows suit with their own beliefs, this god fits them like a glove. Rather than falling in love with God Almighty, they created a god who will allow them to continue as they wish in life. Like a bird bouncing off of a mirror, there is no relationship. Like the bird, the repetition gets them nowhere but it makes them feel temporarily satisfied until reality hits. Remember Who He is today. Don’t try to put Him in a box and mold Him to fit your life. He’s the potter. You are the clay.

“Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” – Psalm 100:3 [NLT]

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Shut the Door Behind You

I always remind the kids to shut the door behind them as they are heading outside on the cold days. By doing this, they keep the cold air outside where it belongs. There are two times in 2 Kings 4 where we read “shut the door behind.”

First there is the widow who is instructed by Elisha to take her two sons and enter their house and “shut the door.” Then they were to pour olive oil into empty jars they collected from neighbors and continue that process until there were no jars left so that they could pay for their debts. Then later, when Elisha went to raise the Shunammite’s son, “he went in alone and shut the door behind him.”

Both of these instances they shut the door behind them. Both of these instances included miracles. Sometimes we need to shut things out so we have no distractions and can watch as God performs a great miracle. Everything from the world was shut out so all focus was on God and what He was doing for this widow and her sons and this son of the Shunammmite woman. Today, perhaps you need to shut the door and see what God has waiting for you.

“Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.” – 2 Kings 4:4 [NLT]

“He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the LORD.” – 2 Kings 4:33 [NLT]

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All at Once

Hummingbirds are such fascinating birds. They are the only birds that can fly backwards. When they have eggs, they actually use their wings to regulate the temperature of the eggs. It is typical for the eggs to all hatch together; however, there are sometimes problems which cause an egg not to hatch. Then there’s another problem. The bird must stay with the egg, flapping its wings to regulate the temperature so it will hatch. At the same time, the bird also must go for food for the newly born. What a dilemma.

The hummingbird ends up flying away from the egg(s) and heads for some food. Then the bird goes back to the eggs. It is a back and forth game, trying not to stay too long at one place. Thankfully this isn’t something that God must do with us. He promises to be with each one of us and there’s nothing that can separate us from Him or His love. You won’t find Him saying He will run out of love for you because He loves your neighbor so much. He doesn’t say because He is always with you, that your best friend gets shortchanged. God is with all at once. Only our almighty Father.

Today remember to thank Him for His unfailing love and for His promise to be with us always. For the hummingbird parent, there’s always a moment when the bird needs to leave and run to the other bird. With God, you are never alone. He is with you always no matter what.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39 [ESV]

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Honor

Right after the Israelites mess up by not inquiring of the Lord regarding the treaty with the Gibeonites, we read where the Israelites stick to the oath they made because they had “sworn an oath to them by the LORD.” In the text, we are reminded three times in three sequential verses of the importance of this oath sworn by the name of the Lord (Joshua 9:18, 19, 20). Although they had messed up, they followed through with the treaty, honoring the name of God. Despite the troubles that would come their way from honoring this treaty, they chose that over dishonoring the name of the Lord.

When we look around today, it is very easy to see that most people are not concerned with honoring the name of God. There are vows made before God that get broken very easily because no one wishes to have any inconvenience or find any resolutions to problems if it involves compromise. Words are said that dishonor God. Actions are taken that dishonor God. The Israelites mentioned three times the importance of keeping an oath sworn by the name of the Lord, but today some people see no need to honor God with words or actions.

We serve a holy God. We are called to be a holy people. Holy means “set apart.” The Bible says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:15). Today, consider the holiness of God and consider this call to be holy as well. We may mess up from time to time, but children of God have a great promise. One day we will be joining together to sing, “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8b). Let us honor God with our words and deeds.