This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Consider how things are going for you! Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honoured’, says the LORD. ‘You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins.’ —And consider today (since I am not speaking to your children who have not known or seen it), consider the discipline of the LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm…—
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”—For this is the will of God, your sanctification—so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body—But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. [the ‘all kinds of evil’ incited by the love of money]… Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith.
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance…He will come and save you.” …then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy…And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great. Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being—The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” —Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.
Haggai 1:7-9; Deut.11:2 ESV; Heb.12:5-6 ESV; I Thess.4:3 ESV; Rom.6:19 ESV; I Cor. 6:19-20 ESV; I Tim.6:11,12 ESV; Is.35:3-4,6,8 ESV; Ps.25:11-13 ESV; Ps.32:8 NLT; II Tim.2:21 ESV
My calling is a high and holy one. Sin in my life will always mar the reflection God is working to perfect in me. He will not leave it to grow unchecked in a quiet corner. Especially not when I am reciting daily David’s words in Psalm 25: “Make me know your way, O Lord, lead me in your truth and teach me…”!!
The Word shows up the ‘old man’. I am amazed and humbled at this God who sees all, who knows the silent rationalizations that flick through my mind justifying little sins to please myself. He will not let me reason my way to innocence, justifying the corners I have cut, the integrity I have let slip even in the smallest edges. He knows that sin unchecked will grow and will always steer me away from fellowship with Him and others. So He calls me to attention, to confession, and then to restitution. Zaccheus becomes more than a children’s story. And his joy becomes mine! Jesus is glad to come to my house today, to dine with me, to celebrate God’s goodness in bringing the light of life to sinful man (and woman). Ours is a good, good Father. His Word our light and life. I am grateful.
Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!…
So rejoice in the LORD and be glad, all you who obey him!