Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Distinction Between


“Your words have been hard against Me, says the LORD. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against You?’ You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’” Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed His name. “They shall be Mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up My treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”  Malachi 3:13-18

template by Cluster Queen Creations, kit: Life is Like a Rodeo by Captivated Visions

Heavenly Father, It grieves our hearts to think of your heart being grieved and yet we know it happens continually, day after day.  What would we do if it weren't for your patient lovingkindness?  Every time we think of the miracle of how you came to dwell among us--your creation--as a baby born of a virgin, it amazes us.  Each time we think of how you gave your only begotten Son to save us, and of the agony and anguish he suffered on the cross on our behalf, we are utterly humbled and grateful beyond any sort of adequate description.  When we think of the hope of glory--your Spirit dwelling within believers--we are overwhelmed by your profoundly great and mysterious ways.  We want so very much to be worthy of belonging to you even though we know there is nothing we could ever do to deserve, earn or repay your unfathomable gift to us.  Thank you for your forgiveness when we slip and for your help to do as we should.  Please help us to stand firm in your word, through the power of your Holy Spirit.  Please shape each of our lives into something pleasing and useful to you, for your glory.  We love you.  In the mighty name of Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Amen.

Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the LORD called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”  As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion.  Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple.  Then he said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!” So they went out and began killing throughout the city. Ezekiel 9:3-7

At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good, nor will he do ill.’ Zephaniah 1:12

Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the LORD. Zephaniah 2:3

"His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:12

"Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.  The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,  and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." Matthew 13:40-43

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.  Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.  For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:12-19

See also Psalm 1, Psalm 37, Psalm 73.

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.  From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21