A Daily Word from the Word for Tuesday, December 10, 2013
“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: Return to Me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.’” –Zechariah 1:3
God is drawing His people ever so close back to Him. God desires a relationship with you, His precious son and daughter. “Return to Me” says the Lord of hosts. God is on a mission: to rescue His children.
Your Father has an amazing plan for you. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11). Just as David said “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1), God, our Father, is searching the earth, calling back His children for whom He desires to show kindness to and bless, for the sake of His Firstborn Son, Jesus.
God is yearning to reclaim that one lost sheep, waiting with anticipation to rejoice in finding that one lost coin, keeping an eager watch for that prodigal son and daughter to return home into His loving arms! (Luke 15). Is that you? It is time to come home this day.
I love the way author Philip Yancey speaks of God’s tireless and relentless efforts to reclaim His flock. In His book “The Jesus I never knew”, Yancey writes:
“I learned about incarnation when I kept a salt-water aquarium. Management of a marine aquarium, I discovered, is no easy task. I had to run a portable chemical laboratory to monitor the nitrate levels and the ammonia content. I pumped in vitamins and antibiotics and sulfa drugs and enough enzymes to make a rock grow. I filtered the water through glass fibers and charcoal, and exposed it to ultraviolet light. You would think, in view of all the energy expended on their behalf, that my fish would at least be grateful. Not so. Every time my shadow loomed above the tank they dove for cover into the nearest shell. They showed me one ‘emotion’ only: fear. Although I opened the lid and dropped in food on a regular schedule, three times a day, they responded to each visit as a sure sign of my designs to torture them. I could not convince them of my true concern.
To my fish I was deity. I was too large for them, my actions too incomprehensible. My acts of mercy they saw as cruelty; my attempts at healing they viewed as destruction. To change their perceptions, I began to see, would require a form of incarnation. I would have to become a fish and ‘speak’ to them in a language they could understand.
A human being becoming a fish is nothing compared to God becoming a baby. And yet according to the Gospels that is what happened at Bethlehem. The God who created matter took shape within it, as an artist might become a spot on a painting or a playwright a character within his own play. God wrote a story, only using real characters, on the pages of real history. The Word became flesh.” —The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey (© 2002. Zondervan).
The Hebrew word for “return” used in this verse is shuwb (pr. shoob) meaning to “turn back, retreat, turn to the starting point, repent” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). Tired of getting beat up by the world, my brothers and sisters? God is ushering you back to Him, to turn back to Him, to retreat back to Him where you can find rest and restoration, and to turn to the starting point to begin again.
Father, thank You for being the God of infinite chances, the God of new beginnings, the God Who makes all things new and the God of Amazing Love. Thank You, Holy Father, for being so merciful and long-suffering toward us. Thank You for loving us and for Your relentless pursuit of us. Father, turn our hearts back to You, create in us a deeper desire, a greater longing, to be closer to You, and to develop a more intimate relationship with You. Revive and restore us Oh Lord; for You are our God and we are Your children. In Jesus Name, we thank You that we are permanently and securely back in Your Loving Arms where we belong. Amen and Amen.
Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to return to God, the Father of all Fathers — your Heavenly Father. Choose this day and every day to forsake the world and the things of the world in exchange for the things of God, which will bring you peace, joy, hope, and love which surpass all understanding, and will more than sustain you. And continue to fight the good fight of returning to where it all began in the Father; for God, your Beginning and your End, has already given you the victory!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.
Jesus is coming soon!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2013, unless otherwise noted.