Zephaniah – Revealing Our Eternal Rest

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Book of Zephaniah, we can see God’s love and deliverance, and we can learn some tremendous truths regarding the will of God that believers can partake of in God’s loving grace. Jesus Christ is he who reveals to us our eternal rest in God’s love that we currently have.

When we discover God’s eternal love for us and begin experiencing that His love is within, then love begins dispelling fears about God (I John 4:6-21).

Zephaniah 3:15-17:
-15: The LORD hath taken away thy judgments {of condemnation}, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
-16: In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack {let not your hands hang down, i.e., as a defeated city}.
-17: The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty {God is always mighty to deliver, not only in the present tense but always}; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love {for you}, he will joy over thee with singing.

Verses 15 and 16 refer to the future for Israel, while verse 17 is in the continuously present tense, because God is always mighty, He always will save, He always rejoices, He always loves, and He always sings a joyful song for His children.

When I look back over my life and remember just a fraction of how much I feared God or even hearing His name, and was so terrified of His wrath that I assumed was due to me, I realize the healing and comforting miracle that has taken place so that I may enjoy teaching His healing Word. We can become so thankful to our heavenly Father the more we begin to see and realize in our hearts that He (in love) has sent His only begotten Son so that we may live with the understanding that God loves us so very deeply.

God has loved us from before the foundation of the world, and He will always love us, regardless of how much we reciprocate or recognize Him or His messenger of divine love – Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, even if the children of Israel never accepted all of God’s care and protection, He continued loving them, and in their future He would restore them back in Zion and prove to them His love beyond all of their comprehensions.

Today, however, in grace, we do not need to wait for our arrival into heaven to begin enjoying God’s love because Christ the Lord made God’s love available for us to enjoy.

Let us look at the will of God from verse 17 above: “He will save!” “He will rejoice over thee with joy!” “He will rest in his love!” and “He will joy over thee with singing!”

Ask yourself this question: “Is the will of God one of fear and despair for us, or is the will of God one that would give us more than we ever realized, especially before knowing the love of our wonderful heavenly Father?” Obviously the will of God is marvelous to behold, and without knowing Christ who is the way to the Father we could never really believe to receive God’s loving will, or enjoy the more abundant life that Jesus Christ came to give us (John 10:10)!

I Timothy 2:4-6:
-4: Who {God} will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
-5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
-6: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time {and that time is now}.

John 13:34-35:
-34: A new commandment I {Jesus} give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
-35: By this {new commandment of love, which is our God-given spiritual love} shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

In Romans 5:8 we read, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The word “commendeth” means to introduce into our hearts, and what we are introduced into is the love of God with all the spiritual intensity that God has been loving us with since the beginning of time.

With His love and with the examples of the life of Jesus Christ and the new commandment, we can learn how to love in the same exact ways he did, and thus we will begin increasingly to enjoy Our Eternal Rest in God’s love that we have been introduced to through Jesus Christ’s loving example.

It Certainly Is Due Time to Testify of Him

“Christ Jesus is our connecting point to the God of heaven and His promises. You see, God’s will is to, have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time– I Timothy 2:4-6. It certainly is due time to testify of our loving Savior and of his powerful name, because he is our mediator to heaven’s throne, to God Himself, which is the knowledge of the truth.” ~LMJ~

No More Separation

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jesus fulfilled the Law for Israel and thus he redeemed Israel from that Law, then, while upon the cross, two extremely significant things happened for Israel and for the Gentiles (i.e., the rest of the world). One – the “middle wall of partition” was broken down, and two – the “veil of the Temple” was also torn in two. What does this mean to us today living nearly two thousand years later? The Temple in Jerusalem was the place where Israel was to meet God as a nation three times each year (see: Deuteronomy 16:16). The “middle wall” or “wall of separation” was a wall built in the Temple that separated the believing children of Israel from the Gentiles, setting a distinction or barrier between the Gentiles and Israel. Israel was permitted to go inside this “middle wall” and worship God, while the Samaritans, the Gentiles, and any of Israel who were considered unclean had to stay outside.

Ephesians 2:14, 16:
– 14: For he {Jesus} is our peace, who hath made both {Israel and Gentile} one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
-16: And that he {Jesus} might reconcile both {Judean and Gentile} unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby;

On the other hand, the “veil of the Temple” also was a “wall of separation,” or rather it literally was a “curtain of separation,” separating the Priests out from Israel, setting even another distinction within the ranks of Israel. The Levitical Priests were allowed inside this inner Temple veil to an area called the Holy place, and only the high priest was allowed to go into the “Holy of Holies” (innermost sanctuary) once a year on The Day of Atonement. (The Day of Atonement was the tenth day of the seventh month named Tishri from the Old Testament Hebrew calendar which corresponds approximately to our month of September.)

The Priests went past the veil, into the Holy place, to make offerings and perform services and rigorous duties before God.

Once a year on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest went all the way into the Holy of Holies to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, Israel.

On the day Jesus was being crucified he became the atoning sacrifice for the entire world, as divine intervention was tearing down both the “middle wall of partition” as well as the “veil” that separated the priests.

Luke 23:45 – And the sun was darkened {between noon and 3:00 PM; Matthew 27:45}, and the veil of the temple was rent {torn} in the midst {see: Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38},

The “veil” being “torn in two” and the “middle wall of partition” being destroyed or “broken down” put everybody on the same level, leaving no distinctions or barriers or classes between the Priests, Israel, Samaritans, or Gentiles (Galatians 3:27-28).

The accomplished work of Jesus on the cross totally opened the avenue to the heart of God and Jesus became man’s true “mediator between God and men,” leaving no separation or classifications between any man and God.

This completed work of Christ was presented on the day of Pentecost to all men and women who will simply believe.

Today, every believer from the youngest and newest to those who have been standing with God for years have the same privileges in God’s family!

I Timothy 2:4-6:
-4: Who {God} will have all men {without distinction or nationality} to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. {Verses like this is not found in the OT as “all men” could not be saved before Christ.}
-5: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus;
-6: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time {and now is that “due time”}.

Colossians 3:11 – Where {in Christ} there is neither Greek {Gentile} nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian {the lowest of the lowest barbarian}, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all {Christ is our all in all (our every reason to enjoy life), and he is in all believers}.

Hebrews 10:18-20:
-18: Now where remission of these {past sins} is, there is no more offering for sin.
-19: Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest {the Holy of Holies, i.e., the right hand of God with Christ: see Ephesians 2:6,18: and Romans 5:1-2} by {way of} the blood of Jesus,
-20: By a new and living way, which he {Christ} hath consecrated for us, through the veil {of the Holy of Holies}, that is to say, his flesh {when he died on the cross for us};

Colossians 1:22 – In {and with} the body of his flesh through {Jesus’} death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his {God’s} sight;

We are now in the sight of God, and are spiritually seated with Christ, and we are also spiritually able to see eye to eye with the Creator through His Word (I Corinthians 2:9-10), and completely enjoy His fullness (Ephesians 3:19).

Christ has abolished the concepts and ideas of separation between God and man and we are now in God’s complete favor.  Amen, and again I say AMEN!

The Start of a Great Day (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Recognizing God via a morning prayer brings gladness and joy into our lives because we have invited Him into our lives ― early, before heading out into the world. When we walk with God and become aware that He is with us from our waking moments, being thankful for even the simple things in life, such as for the air we breathe, then we will become ever more cognizant and in tune to realize that the LORD our God indeed made this day to be enjoyed by His children.

Psalms 5:1–3:
-1: GIVE ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditations.
-2: Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
-3: My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

David, in praying says directly to God consider my meditations. He is asking God to take notice that he has meditated, as David’s thoughts were upon the Scriptures and his belief in the promises of God for a wonderful day. Then he further asks God to hear the voice of his cry. This does not mean that King David was a “cry baby” but a man in need (as we all are when we look to God’s help and deliverance throughout the day). David’s voice was humble, solemn, and constant in the morning for God to hear his prayer.

King David set a wonderful example for believers to follow; to remember our God in the morning starts our day’s journey off with God in our hearts, thus commencing for you and me The Start of a Great Day.

Inviting God first in the morning into our day’s journey by way of our prayers can set the pattern for the whole day, for it will be a day to enjoy the blessings of God in our life. The phrase, and will look up illustrates a twofold meaning. First, David would look to God Who answers prayer, and secondly, because David prayed, he would be looking up (or out) for the blessings of God that he prayed for in the morning to return to him throughout his day.

Time spent with God in the morning is always fruitful and permits the mind of the Christian to believe that he or she is walking with God; this comforts men and women who will then be able to acknowledge that this day will be filled with great expectations of deliverance in victorious living as God’s children.

Psalms 143:8–9:
-8: Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee {in prayer}.
-9: Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. {What a wonderful prayer offered in the rousing moments of David’s new day; the day which the LORD hath made!}

David confessed to God, I flee unto thee to hide me because David understood that in the LORD his God, in fellowship with Him, there was safety to be found away from his enemies, and an inner peace to be thoroughly enjoyed in each and every day.

From time to time, there are spiritual forces inspiring evil men to set themselves against the believers, and therefore David knowing this prayed (as we can) that his God would hide me, that He would watch over David from the beginning of his day with lovingkindness in the morning. True, “They {antagonists with evil-inspired intentions} have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones” (Psalms 83:3), and yet David not only prayed for a wonderful day knowing that evil waited for him at every turn, but because he prayed, he was enabled to experience days full of joy because his God was with him. David knew this because he prayed, for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way {in this day} wherein I should walk.

David wrote, “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (Psalms 138:8–10). David knew that wherever his daily path would lead him, he had his God with him even when he was encompassed by his enemies, unknown dangers, or unseen catastrophes.

David knew: Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me!

Psalms 91:1–2:
-1: HE that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
-2: I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

This Psalm begins with the word HE, and HE is the Author of the Scriptures, the Author is God, God is Spirit, and God’s Spirit is sending out an unrestricted invitation to come and dwell with Him. God is conversing in this first verse to enlighten the heart dear to Him who accepts His invitation and then begins following His guidance to receive the blessings that are revealed to believers. To dwell is to be at peace immersed in quietude of heart over what the Scriptures identify as the secret place of the most High.

This place is in a state of peace between the most High and the person who accepts, remains, and appreciates the serenity tendered through this offer. The secret place is what I like to call, the sweet spot of life, where one walks with God through His Son, who “is our peace” (Ephesians 3:14), and knows this to be true in his heart. This is known and enjoyed because the believer is benefiting from daily blessings along with an unparalleled relationship of fellowship with God in Christ Jesus, giving each believer evermore reasons to abide with Him.

The most High is the Possessor of heaven and earth and He is the dispenser of blessings to the dweller in His secret place.

Abide under the shadow of the Almighty is not that bad of a concept when you think about it because the Almighty’s true brilliance is that of being perfect light, as we read in I John 1:5, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Therefore, being under the shadow of the Almighty is very enlightening and uplifting to the soul and as the Psalmist wrote “in thy light {in God’s light} shall we see light” (Psalms 36:9).

To abide is first being in and then remaining in a state of fellowship with the most High.

“The fear {respect and honour} of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide {ABIDE} satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23).

Under the shadow also means to be shaded from the heat that rises up from the pressures of life which can oftentimes overwhelm and melt away one’s hopes and dreams, all the while he or she that is abiding under the shadow is enjoying the sweet fellowship of being under a peaceful covenant of graceful living in thankfulness with the Almighty.

The Almighty is the giver of all grace because He is “the God of all grace” (I Peter 5:10), as He is the All-bountiful supplier to those who walk with Him in their hearts.

Psalms 84:11–12:
-11: For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
-12: O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

II Corinthians 9:8:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Philippians 4:19:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Above, in verse 1 of Psalms 91 is a brilliant reflecting pool of understanding, in that as one begins walking with God in His secret place, then the recipient of the Author’s blessings comes to know that the LORD is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

The reason why we know and believe this to be true in our hearts is because we have been dwelling in the secret place of the most High, fellowshipping with Him, and as a result are abiding under the shadow of the Almighty!

Psalms 18:2–3:
-2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. {In this verse we read of eight wonderful attributes that the LORD became to the Psalmist, eight qualities that He desires to also be for you. He can be your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your God, your strength ― and in His strength you will trust, and He can become ― your buckler, your salvation, and your high tower where the views are always spectacular!}
-3: I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. {If there ever was a dire time and age where these promises of God can be claimed in Christ’s name to great advantage, this is certainly that time! “But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble” (Psalms 37:39).}

Psalms 9:9:
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Psalms 27:5:
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalms 62:8:
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him {in prayer}: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Psalms 31:19–21:
-19: Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear {reverence and respect} thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
-20: Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
-21: Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

Psalms 32:7:
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

Psalms 46:1:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalms 119:114:
Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Taking the time to start our day with God, taking a moment to perhaps read a verse or two (like these above or some of your favorites), and meditating on them before we enter out into the hustle and bustle of daily life, and to set a little time aside to pray in the morning will indeed bring great things to pass in our lives.

Whenever trouble, danger, or fear arises, the average instinct is to recoil, withdraw, and become encased in fear, but with God in our lives we are encouraged to continue standing with Him on His promises. This is the meaning of God not only being your refuge, but also His setting you “in a large place,” or up upon a rock.

Even when you are out there and exposed, God is with you, you who have called upon Him. “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalms 34:4), and thus, even though David was out there ― he was safe. “I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me” (Psalms 118:5–6).

David in summing up the 5th Psalm shows to us the joys and blessings that can travel with us throughout the day as we permit God into our life.

Psalms 5:11–12:
-11: But let all those that put their trust in thee {God} rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them {God covers and protects us with grace}: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. {In this one verse alone we have the words, rejoice, joy, and joyful; this is the result from permitting God and His healing Word into our lives.}
-12: For thou, LORD wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield. {The shield that compasses us is God’s loving favor upon His children as He watches over them.}

Whenever we read such powerful promises such as – God will defend those who trust in Him and that He will equip them with a shield and that they may experience this while being accompanied with heavenly joy – it is such an awesome blessing. Yet, for so many confessing Christians, these promises seem to be so distant from their present reality.

You and I can expect to have a great day with meaningful purpose as we take time to acknowledge our God by reading His Word and in our prayer life, as this forms a loving bond and relationship that will last through eternity.

The link that bridges the gap between the promises of God and one’s receiving them is coming to understand what it is to actually have and know the certainty of the living Christ in one’s life as he leads believers to God and His promises.

Mark 1:35:
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he {Jesus} went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Jesus, a great while before day, took the time to be alone with his thoughts, to be alone with God, and to pray for his day. This set the pattern for a wonderful day at the very start.

When we follow the example of Jesus, we will increase our believing trust in our God, and this will help us to recognize that God is always with us. Remembering that we are God’s children is easier as we acknowledge Him and place the promises of His Word in our hearts ― in the early hours.

Jesus Christ has given you and me permission to use his name in our prayers to God, as he taught us in the Gospels, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (John 16:23). You see, Jesus’ name is as a golden thread that connects our hearts to the Father’s, and His promised treasures of whatsoever ye shall ask!

Jesus took the time to explain to just one man the way to God’s heart, the way to His secret place, and this is it: “Jesus saith unto him {Thomas}, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Today this way is still open and readily available to you and me; it is through Christ who said, I am the way, for he is the hope of life everlasting and our entrance into the loving arms of our heavenly Father.

I Peter 5:10 reads that, “the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by {through} Christ Jesus,” for he is, as he confessed, the way that leads men and women to God’s eternal glory! “Christ also received us to the glory of God” (Romans 15:7), because “Jesus Christ is Lord {he is the Lord because he is the way}, to the glory of God” (Philippians 2:11).

As Jesus told Thomas that he was the way, he still is the way for us, individually, as we are all personally invited into the glorious “household of God.”

Ephesians 2:18–19:
-18: For through him {through Jesus Christ} we both {you and me} have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
-19: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

Whenever a believer is having trouble finding their way to God, His loving embrace, and His refuge from the storms of this life, we always encourage him or her to try going with Jesus by following his lead through the Scriptures, as he taught, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). The more one sees and recognizes Jesus in the Word, the more clearly he or she will see the Father and the easier it becomes to believe in God’s awarded promises.

Jesus is the “author and finisher” of their personal faith, as his faith can help carry the load he or she has been trying to carry alone.

Ephesians 3:12:
In whom {in Christ} we have boldness and access {to approach God and His promises} with confidence by the faith of him.

Hebrews 12:2:
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. {Jesus is already there at God’s side, seated at His right hand, therefore, Jesus who is the way, is our guide, and he blazed the trail for us to follow him into daily victorious living.}

Matthew 11:28–30:
-28: Come unto me, {Jesus pronounced to} all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Coming to personally know Jesus Christ certainly leads to the open doors of an amazing, spiritual abundance and insights and heavenly gifts that we can believe and pray for and receive in Jesus Christ’s powerful name.

John 14:12–14:
-12: Verily, verily, I {Jesus Christ} say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father {and he has, and so we can ― do}.
-13: And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
-14: If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Christ Jesus is our connecting point to the God of heaven and His promises. You see, God’s will is to, “have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (I Timothy 2:4–6).

It certainly is due time to testify of our loving Savior and of his powerful name, because he is our mediator to heaven’s throne, to God Himself, which is the knowledge of the truth.

Jesus commenced his day with prayer; we are also instructed to pray in his name because he is the master key to ensure The Start of a Great Day!