October 6 – Today’s Readings – Zechariah 1-3 and Psalms 96
This book seems especially “messianic” in that there are many references to the Lord Jesus in it. Here are four that I found – see if you can find more;
– “Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD. (Zechariah 2:10)
– “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD” (Zechariah 3:1)
– “and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.” (Zechariah 3:9)
– “I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.” (Zechariah 3:8)
I would especially like you to look at Chapter 2:4-5 – “Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within.” This is a great description of the coming Church of Christ. No walls – lots of people – God Himself, the glory within. What we tend to do is build big walls around ourselves and not allow too many people in lest our little Church be forced to change. We are not prone to cultivate a heart of worship so the glory of God can be evident. Do we do it on purpose? No – but we tend to lose out because we lack understanding of the heart of God and the Word of God. We begin well and then, with time, become “just another man-made club”. To be a Church with “no walls” we need to be very welcoming of new people who are not like us while also being very protective of the glory of God. There are people of all sorts who need and want God. They need a Church where they feel welcome and secure but that is deeply spiritual at the same time. The Church has to adapt and change every time someone is added. It is like having a new member in the family. Everyone is affected. All family members have to make room in their hearts – their schedules – their “chores” – and grace increases so that they can all get along. One thing is sure – this theme is repeated again and again in Scripture. God wants multitudes in His family. He doesn’t believe in “spiritual birth control” for the convenience of the members. We must all be inconvenienced for the sake of the Gospel. We do our small part and God will do His enormous part by revealing His Glory in His Church. The very early days of the Church were like this – “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-27)
Did you notice the “open door policy” where the saints invited others to have lunch and fellowship with them? They were not terribly concerned about whom they would invite, but rather whether they could help build the Church. Open hearts – and the presence of God – this is the order of the day if newcomers are to be added to the Church daily.
1. How can a Church better cultivate an “open heart”?
2. How can a Church acquire a strong sense of the “Glory of God”?