Latest Thoughts of the Day
Mark 12:1
He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.

Pressure begins to build toward the crucifixion of Christ as He challenges the leaders of the Jews with malfeasance in the office given them. All has been done for the nation to produce fruit to its own blessing and to enable their rendering God His due. But the leaders have acted as though the nation belonged to them. They would go on to try to rend it from God by nailing His Son to the cross. But it would be taken from them and given to those who would bear fruit for God. We thank You it has been given to us, Lord Jesus!
Matthew 21:1
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,

Jesus had planned His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, knowing the place from whence it would begin and how He would secure an animal. It reminds us that He knew exactly what He came to do, and He worked things out, not depending upon miracles that He could have done, but with the ordinary means needed to bring one’s goal to fruition. We believe in the power of God to do miracles, but we expect Him to work by the particular means He has determined. Our prayers are for wisdom to choose what is best and skill to do what we must do to bring about what God wants us to accomplish. The animal was pre-arranged, and was fetched by obedient disciples. Lord, help us to see Your wisdom and obey Jesus.
Malachi 3:11
"I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the Lord Almighty.

God gives us a clue how He will bring about our blessing when we honor Him with our tithes. He will rebuke the devourer. There are so many ways that the money we would keep for ourselves is frittered away. Special unexpected needs drain us of what we had hoped would put us ahead. Unplanned necessities drain our available cash. It is like locusts eating up our crops or blights keeping us from cashing in. God Almighty is able to keep us from losing out in these ways, and He promises to do so as we honor Him with our tithes. Many of us have proved His faithfulness to this promise, and we feel rich when we give to God. This is of You, Jesus.
Zechariah 11:9
...and said, "I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. let those who are left eat one another's flesh."

Israel has wanted to be free from Jehovah their Shepherd for hundreds of years. They have persisted in their idolatries. They have despised his appeals and run after abominations. The awesome time approaches when He will say,”Enough!” He will dissolve His covenant with Israel and formally no longer shepherd them. They will be dispersed to the nations and never gathered again. If we don’t want God, there is coming a day when we will not have Him. But it is an awesome thing, and we would regret it for all eternity. Lord, we deserve even such a treatment, but we look to Jesus, and believe that we are accepted in Him. You will never cease to shepherd us as we cling to Jesus.
Haggai 2:4
"But now be strong, O Zerubbabel," declares the Lord. "Be strong, O Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land" declares the Lord,"and work, for I am with you." declares the Lord Almighty.

God’s command to be strong is as much a communication that brought about a reality as “Let there be light.” had been. God would most certainly be there to help them as they work. Because He had commanded them, because they obeyed, and because he was with them, the task before them would most certainly be accomplished. May we, likewise, hear the command of God, obey it, and experience His presence to bring it all to pass! God speaks here to individuals by name, and then to all surrounding them. May we take His challenge to ourselves and draw near in all our labors to Jesus.

Zephaniah 2:1
Gather together, gather together, O shameful nation,

Each man is going his own way in Judah, and the reign of Josiah is yet to come. There will be revival under this great young king, but Judah is desolate when he takes the throne. Zephaniah is one of those who prophesy doom and destruction, that those who are the Lord’s will humble themselves and unite to serve Him. Gathering of those who yet love and serve God will be a part of renewing the nation, as He moves by His Spirit to restore. May we stand united with those who yet serve God in the midst of our crooked and perverse generation. If God moves in power, it will be within His church. Believers are not only individuals, but one body. He delights in us as united in the Person of His Son, as we draw near to Jesus.

Habakkuk 3:5
Plague went before him; pestilence followed his steps.

When God purposes to move in judgment, He has at His disposal plague and pestilence, to level His enemies and to establish His dominion. All power in heaven and on earth is given unto Jesus. Habakkuk sees in a vision the final judgment, the ultimate overcoming of God’s enemies, the mighty power of God to clear His own way. Habakkuk worships God for His awesome destruction, even while he is worshiping God for His glorious beauty and majesty. Lord, help us to worship You for Your glorious power to destroy. Help us to see the rightness of Your indignation against wickedness. Seeing this side of You will help us better approach an appreciation of the amazing grace and mercy you declare, even in the midst of judgment. You did not want us to perish. You chose to send us Jesus.
Nahum 3:3
Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over corpses--

We know what is going to happen to defeat Assyria. 185,000 will die by the hand of the Angel of Death in one night. Nahum looks ahead, though he does not see as we can, after the fact. We can see the flashing swords and glittering spears all threatening, and the very next day so many bodies people stumble over them. Nahum sees it in a flash and weaves it into his lament over the destruction of Assyria that God has determined will come. Lord, how quickly our boasting could turn to crushing defeat! Thank You for sending Your Spirit to make us Your own. You have brought us into Your army and made us safe even in the midst of the battle because of your Son, Jesus.

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