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.

Rejoice and Be Glad in Hope

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The hope for the Christian believer is the return of Christ to take us home to heaven. Even though some Christian people fear the day of Christ’s return, this event will most definitely be a day of rejoicing and gladness. Jesus Christ is returning to reward the believer, not to condemn him or her.

John 3:17:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

The word world represents the people of the whole world, and God sent Jesus Christ into this world NOT to condemn us, but rather that through him we can be saved. This is the truth of Scripture and the will of God “Who will have all men to be saved” (I Timothy 2:4). The absolute will of God is that all of us accept our salvation, and even though many will refuse God’s abundant, generous offer – it is still God’s will. I Timothy 2:4 continues: “and {God’s will is for the saved} to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” God does not say His will is for us to have “a knowledge of some truth” or “some knowledge of the truth,” but He wants us to be saved and He also wants us to come unto THE knowledge of THE truth – that being, His Word to the enjoyment of our knowing the salvation of our souls.

Jesus prayed in John 17:17 “thy {God’s} word is truth,” and truth is what makes one free. To be genuinely free from the condemnation about Christ’s return is a magnanimous burden-lifter which will indeed free one’s life from fear.

Psalms 16:8–9:
-8: I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
-9: Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

This is the declaration of King David, he had absolutely no fear of his future because first of all he understood and came unto the knowledge of the truth. With this knowledge he was able to keep the Lord before him, in the forefront of his thinking and believing actions, thus he had no reason to be moved from his inner convictions. Therefore, His heart was glad, and his glory (his heart, his inner self) rejoiced. His glory was in knowing the Savior of the world, which gave him hope of the coming of Jesus Christ, with great expectations of the next life.

Isaiah 25:9:
And it shall be said in that day {the day of the return, the day the believer anticipates and hopes in daily}, Lo, this is our God: we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Zephaniah 3:14:
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.

The context of Zephaniah 3 is about the believers’ hope to be established in God’s chosen place at Zion – in Jerusalem. Zephaniah is talking to believers. Does he instruct them to “be glad and rejoice” with fear and reluctantly? No – he does not. He says “with all the heart!” The reason that we may be glad and rejoice with all of our heart is because we know the glorious truth of the hope of the return of Christ. Where is the sorrow in his return? There is none in the hope of his return; thus and therefore, we may Rejoice and be Glad in our Hope!

Rejoicing and gladness are gifts of God to His children, and the more we anticipate our gathering together to be with our Savior and our heavenly Father the more we may daily, in the here and now, partake of the gifts of God.

Philippians 4:4:
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

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~