We're so glad you decided to join us today!
When we meet in person, we take some time to share about our last week. This includes our joys and concerns. If you have any prayer requests you would like to share, you can add them as a comment on this post. When you are ready, use the prayer below (source) to get started.
Thank you Father for Your mercy and grace in sending Jesus to pay the ultimate price for my sin. Help me to comprehend how loved that I am. Help me to understand that You spin around in such joy and delight when I seek Your presence. Thank you that You are with me through the highs and the lows of my life. Help me to surrender all my plans to You and to seek Your path for my life. Don't let me miss anything that You have planned for my life. Amen.
This week's lesson is on Zephaniah 3:14-20.
Zephaniah’s message of judgment and encouragement contains three major doctrines: 1) God is sovereign over all nations. 2) The wicked will be punished and the righteous will be vindicated on the day of judgment. 3) God blesses those who repent and trust in Him.
Zephaniah pronounces the Lord’s judgment on the whole earth, on Judah, on the surrounding nations, on Jerusalem, and on all nations. This is followed by proclamations of the Lord’s blessing on all nations and especially on the faithful remnant of His people in Judah.
Zephaniah had the courage to speak bluntly because he knew he was proclaiming the Word of the Lord. His book begins with "The word of the Lord" and ends with "says the Lord." He knew that neither the many gods the people worshiped nor even the might of the Assyrian army could save them. God is gracious and compassionate, but when all His warnings are ignored, judgment is to be expected. God’s day of judgment is frequently mentioned in the Scriptures. The prophets called it the "Day of the Lord." They referred to various events such as the fall of Jerusalem as manifestations of God’s Day, each of which pointed toward the ultimate Day of the Lord.
With a few adjustments in names and situations, this prophet of 7th century B.C. could stand in our pulpits today and deliver the same message of judgment of the wicked and hope for the faithful. Zephaniah reminds us that God is offended by the moral and religious sins of His people. God’s people will not escape punishment when they sin willfully. Punishment may be painful, but its purpose may be redemptive rather than punitive. The inevitability of the punishment of wickedness gives comfort in a time when it seems that evil is unbridled and victorious. We have the freedom to disobey God but not the freedom to escape the consequences of that disobedience. Those who are faithful to God may be relatively few, but He does not forget them.
Almighty God, we are thankful for the people who taught us about you. We are grateful for their examples of faithfulness and for the faith of others through the centuries. Today we rededicate ourselves to be faithful until the end — the end of our lives or the end when Jesus comes to gather his people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Thought to Remember
Resolve to stand on the promises of God —- today and all the tomorrows!
This week's benediction is from the New King James Version.
Next week's lesson will be on Zechariah 9:9-13, 16-17.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.