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.

Exempt You Are ─ Indeed You Are!

For God hath not appointed {called or chosen} us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ– I Thessalonians 5:9. It is truly amazing to me how many born again believers fear the wrath to come because they think that they are going to go through the tribulations that are sure to come. However, and thankfully, bless our God and our Savior because we will be totally exempt from all the wrath to come! Jesus Christ gave his life to deliver the children of God, not only from the wrath to come, but also from the fear of the tribulations and judgments of eternal damnation and the pains of Armageddon. God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, has chosen us to obtain complete salvation and complete wholeness by the accomplished work of our risen Lord and Savior.” ~LMJ~

Heirs According to the Hope of Eternal Life

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared {note the exclusion of wrath, anger, and vengeance, but rather the inclusion of God’s kindness and love!}. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration {i.e., a new birth in Christ, I Peter 1:23}, and renewing of the Holy Ghost {holy spirit}; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life– Titus 3:4-7. Well, these verses take all the guesswork and the work out of our being saved because we are justified by his grace and we become heirs of the hope of eternal life that is promised and given to all believers through the kindness and love of our God. Please notice that all this was given without our works or money, and we received by our believing what God promised all the way back from the beginning, as II Thessalonians 2:13 discloses the truth that, God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.” ~LMJ~

The Elect of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Colossians contains such wonderful truths and it is awe-inspiring for believers to read and learn as they begin or continue in their spiritual walks with God in the knowledge of Christ Jesus our resurrected Savior.  God’s wonderful Word cannot be thoroughly understood in a cursory reading, rather when the believing heart looks to God’s Word for spiritual understanding and guidance, then God begins to reveal Himself in literally byte-sized portions.

When Jesus Christ was physically here, over half of his teachings were less than a single verse of Scripture because he understood the learning process of the human mind in great detail. Yet within those short verses, a world of truth and understanding can be found. For instance: remember when Jesus touched the man with leprosy (Luke 5:12-13)? On first glance we may suspect that Jesus had a magic finger; however, the word touched meant that Jesus embraced this man with a hug (lovingly)! Can you now picture Jesus walking up to this man whose body was literally falling apart and holding him in his arms as the leprosy completely subsided? WOW, this was much more than a touching moment not only for the leper but also for the masses who were watching this demonstration of the love of God that Jesus was displaying.

Jesus’ loving embrace completely set the leper free! This indeed is a wonderful study in God’s healing Word, yet it is only a fragment of Scripture, for with byte-sized morsels of the living bread of life God literally teaches His children.  From time to time in our own lives as we look into the Scriptures we also can spiritually feel the eternal embrace that comes from our heavenly Father, and our resurrected Savior Christ Jesus!

Colossians 3:8-10:
-8: But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
-9:  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
-10:  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

In the Epistles, whenever the Word is asking us to put off something the Word always gives us something else to replace it with. In Colossians God is asking us to put off some incredible ill feelings that spill out into words that will only hurt us eventually. The words, “old man” represents who we were before salvation, and the “new man” represents the Christ within, and God is encouraging us to put this new man on in our minds. The new man can be continually renewed in knowledge after the image of God, Who created the Christ within.

Colossians 3:11-13:
-11:  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
-12:  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
-13:  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Before God’s eyes (and spiritually speaking) we have no earthly credentials because we have Christ within, and we have a heavenly standing that God recognizes. No believer is above or below another in God’s family for we are on the same par because Christ is in all believers equally. We have been elected by God Almighty to partake in the life of Christ. Before we can really forgive others we may, as the elect of God, forgive ourselves (Matthew7:3-5), for then we can genuinely reach out with the love of God and embrace others in the place of our wonderful Savior.