Scripture: Zechariah 7.
(What is God saying here?)
Zechariah 7:8-10 (NLT)
8 Then this message came to Zechariah from the LORD:
9 “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another.
10 Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
I can’t imagine better timing than reading the above scripture within the first two days of a new year, 2013. What better time to listen to God’s words to us and take heed to them? Let’s break these instructions down into smaller chunks:
- Judge fairly – this may sound like it is intended for our courts, and while this may apply to all of you serving in our judicial system, it also applies to each of us. For we are to be careful in judging others based on our own preconceived ideas. In my upbringing I was always taught to not judge the book by its cover. Get to know the real person inside and see if there isn’t a tender, compassionate individual looking for someone to share their love with.
- Show mercy and kindness to one another – Oh if we were to practice this, instead of always looking for the bad, or weakness in someone. Oh if we were to look for ways to praise that person, instead of pulling them down in order to see ourselves uplifted. Just as God showed mercy on us and is kind to us in spite of our evil minds and actions, so are we to show mercy one to another and show kindness without any expectation of a returned favor.
- Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners and the poor – If we think of a positive way of saying this same thing, we would say “always be looking for ways to uplift the widows, orphans, foreigners and poor among you, or that you come in contact with.” That’s a powerful command, and as I think of ways to do that I believe that I will truly be taking on the likeness of God’s Son, Jesus, for He perfected this while here on earth with us.
- Do not scheme against each other – I believe that I touched on this when I said that we are not to pull someone else down in order to make ourselves look good. I trust that we will not look for, or scheme up ways to bring anyone down. Let’s lift up one another in every way Brother/Sister!
The only thing I can add to that is, thus sayeth the Word of God! Let us obey His Word today and every day in 2013!
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Lord Jesus, I am reminded again of how I should be treating others if I am to truly reflect You in every phase of my life here on this earth. Please give me strength today and throughout the year to follow Your will. For that Brother or Sister who reads this today and really struggles with obeying Your commands, I ask for strength for them, I ask You to encourage them to place their full dependence on You so that You may give them all they need to follow in Your footsteps. Thank You for allowing me to see another year, now please allow me to accomplish Your will this year.
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