Bible, Boundaries, Choices, Cleansing, Commands, Deceit, Devil, Evil, Flesh, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Redemption, Scripture, Sin, Wickedness



“Then he said, ‘This is Wickedness!’ And he thrust her into the middle of the ephah and threw the lead weight on its opening.”

Put a lid on it! You may have heard that expression in regard to asking someone to be quiet, to stop talking. It is usually used when someone keeps rambling on about something until someone gets tired of hearing it. Has that ever happened to you? Have you been told that or told someone else that? It happens to the best of us.

Zechariah watches as the angel “puts a lid on it.” He calls the woman “Wickedness” and shoves her back into the ephah and slams down the lead cover. Obviously, when the angel raised the lid in the previous verse to show Zechariah what was in the ephah, the woman tried to stand or escape. But that was not happening here. Slamming of the lead cover showed that God could and would restrain the sin of the nation. He was in control, not the wickedness symbolized by the woman.


We need to “put a lid” on sin. Our sinful nature is more prone to let it run free. I remember all too well how sin controlled me. It truly is wickedness. But we can gain control of that if we allow the Holy Spirit to slam the lid on it. We are actually told to do just that.

In Romans 6:12-14 we are told, “12 Therefore sin is not to reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the parts of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your body’s parts as instruments of righteousness for God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under the Law but under grace.”

Well, you can’t argue with that, can you? We are not under the Law. We are under grace. Praise be to God! Sin has no more control over my life through Jesus. He paid the price. He paid off our debts to sin and its master. We are free to live a life away from sin. We still have that sinful nature in us, but the Holy Spirit can restrain that, if we let Him. Will you?

Lord, use Your Holy Spirit in my life to restrain me from sin, to put the lid on it.

Abundance, Bible, Blessing, Clothing, Devil, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Lies, Restoration, Salvation, Satan, Scripture



And he responded and said to those who were standing before him, saying, ‘Remove the filthy garments from him.’ Again he said to him, ‘See, I have taken your guilt away from you and will clothe you with festive robes.’”

Today, in most churches, you don’t see many people dressed up. Men rarely, if ever, wear a suit and tie. Women don’t wear dresses or hats. When I was young, those were common sights. I don’t mind wearing a suit and tie. In fact, I kind of like it. Now, God doesn’t require that, I know. But I kind of feel nice when I dress nicer for church than when I go to a ballgame. That’s just me.

We find Joshua, the high priest, clothed in filthy garments (see yesterday’s blog) in Zechariah’s vision. But the Lord does not leave him like that. He gives instructions to the angels to remove those filthy things and to clothe him in festive robes. These were probably the high priest’s garments. This action represented God’s forgiveness of the people of Israel. They were now cleansed of those sins represented by the other garments.


The good news for us is God does the same for us. Take me, for instance. I was a filthy dog. Really, I was. My life before Christ was filled with debauchery. I wasn’t fit for my King. But because I placed my trust in Christ, He removed my filthy garments and clothed me in His righteousness. Now, I am wearing His garment of praise. Isaiah 61:3 says, “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Don’t you want that? Barnes says this about today’s verse. “But when God had pity on them, He bade them be freed from their defilements, and in a manner re-clad with justifying grace.”

Oh, friends, He does the same for you. He will free you from your defilements. He will clothe you with His grace. All you have to do is come to Him. Are you still trying to pick up those old, filthy garments? Has the devil got you believing you are not worthy of His garments? You are! God says you are. Don’t believe those lies of Satan.

I have known a lot of Christians who wallow in their own filth. They have asked Christ to be their Savior, but they just can’t believe it is that simple. Well, it is, and it isn’t. Salvation is free but is not cheap. A surrendered life will cost you everything. In return, He gives you His kingdom as a joint heir with Christ. Just look at Romans 8:16-17. “16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Now, live like it.

I don’t deserve Your garments, Lord, but You have clothed me.

Authority, Bible, Compassion, Covenant, Eternity, Family, Holy Spirit, Scripture



“‘On that day,’ declares the LORD of armies, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’” declares the LORD of armies.

My dad used to have this real cool ring he bought when he was in the army. It was made of nickel, I think, and was very heavy, especially for a little boy. I loved that ring. I would sneak and wear it around the house pretending it made me important, like a king or something. I made the mistake of wearing it to see a friend who had a pond on his property. Do you see where this is going? Yep, I lost that ring in the pond. I knew dad was going to kill me, but he didn’t get upset at all. Praise the Lord.

God tells Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that He would make him like a signet ring. What does that mean? You have to understand that the signet ring carried power and authority. We saw this when Pharoah gave his ring to Joseph (Genesis 41:42) and when Ahasuerus gave his ring to Mordecai (Esther 8:2). So, when Zerubbabel is told this, he knows this is an honor. God has selected him to stand out. What a great way to end this book.


Many scholars equate Zerubbabel as a type of Christ. Christ, or course, does not need a signet ring to give Him authority. He is authority. He is power. And His seal of the Holy Spirit is upon each of us as believers. Look at Ephesians 1:13. “…you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Sealed, marked, shown as belonging to Him.

Don’t every doubt that. You belong to the King of kings and Lord of lords. You are in His family. He claims you as His own. There is no doubting that. The devil loves to try to convince us that we don’t belong to Christ. Don’t believe it. Once you have asked Christ in your life, you are His for eternity.

What kind of imprint are you leaving on this world? Who have you influenced for Christ? We should leave a Jesus-size mark on everyone we meet. They should know they have been impacted by Him, not us. Will you do that today? Tell someone how Jesus has imprinted you. Maybe they will be imprinted too.

You have marked me as You own. I am so thankful I can be counted as one of Yours.

Bible, Blessing, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Obedience, Offering, Sacrifice, Scripture



“‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or touches cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’” And the priests answered, ‘No.’”

Have you ever wondered what makes something holy? We have the Holy Bible (that one is understandable). We have holy water (which is used by some). We even have holy smoke, lol. A question is poised by the Lord to the priests about how things become holy. This may seem like a foreign concept for us today. We’ll dig into that a little further in a minute.

In today’s verse the priests are asked if a certain action would cause something to be holy. Can meat, that has been blessed by the priests, transfer holiness from it to another object if it touches it? You can read about this transfer of holiness in Exodus 29:37 and Leviticus 6:27, 29; 7:6. It was the meat given to the priests as part of their provisions. This meat was a portion of the meat given by the people for sacrifice. This meat belonged to the Lord.


Ahh! So, there it is! That is what makes something holy. We have the answer to the question. Holiness is only transferrable by the Lord. He makes something or someone holy. There is nothing we can do on purpose or accidentally that can confer holiness. Our holiness cannot be passed on. Each person must become holy on their own through the blood of Jesus.

You see that meat that was holy was only holy because it was part of the offering to God, a blood sacrifice. We are made holy through the blood of the Lamb. We are made more like Him (more holy) by surrendering more and more of ourselves on that altar of sacrifice. As we die to our flesh each day, the Lord allows us to experience more and more of His holiness.

Holiness is not something to be grabbed and obtained through a touch. Holiness comes through righteousness given to us by Jesus. Do you long to live holy? Do you want to be known as someone who lives holy? Then lay your life on that altar. Die to your will and live according to His will. Holiness will be poured upon you through His Spirit.

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty…Only Thou art holy
There is none beside Thee, Perfect in power, in love and purity

Abiding, Bible, Glorify, Glory, Holy Spirit, Indwelling, Scripture, Temple



“‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of armies.”

One of my fondest memories as a child was going to my Grandma Carter’s farm for Thanksgiving or Christmas. She lived about 10 miles from our home in the city (I guess you can call my hometown a city, lol), but it seemed like a different world. She had acres to explore. But the distinct memory is of her house filled to overflowing with my kin. Uncles, aunts and cousins were everywhere. There was literally no room to spare.

God tells the people that He will “fill this house with glory.” Now, when God does something, He doesn’t do it half-way. He meant He was going to fill that place full. Every nook and cranny would be filled with His Spirit. He would make it His place. Can you imagine the pride the people must have felt to hear that God was going to indwell the building they were repairing for Him. He was saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”


Has God filled your heart with His glory? So many believers are looking for another “filling.” Listen, beloved, when Christ sends His Holy Spirit to you at salvation, you are filled. Listen to the words of John in 1 John 2:27. “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you,…” And when the Holy Spirit comes in, He indwells every nook and cranny.

So, why isn’t God’s glory shining forth in your life or my life? Because we let our old self get in the way. The Spirit is there, ready to burst forth, but we keep it shielded from exhibition by our own choices. Let me give you an example. Every morning when I wake up (and I get up earl), it is dark in our bedroom. I don’t want to wake my dear bride, so I try to walk in the darkness with little to no light. I usually have my cell phone in my hand, so I touch the screen for it to light up a little. I hold that close to my chest so only a little light illuminates the darkness to keep me from stumbling. Too much light and I risk disturbing my wife’s sleep. Too little and I might bump into something and hurt myself or even fall.

Hmmm! Are you shielding the light of the Spirit by cloaking it with darkness in your life? Be warned! If you let the Spirit in you shine forth, it may disturb those around you who are “sleeping.” But when you let it shine, your path is brighter. You can see where you are walking. The Spirit is there. Your house is full. Let Him shine!

Hide it (Him) under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it (Him) shine!

Abiding, Bible, Holy Spirit, Scripture



“‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit remains in your midst; do not fear!’”

The Spirit of God is a real Person, the third Person of the Trinity. Many of us in the West don’t put much emphasis on the Spirit. We downplay any movement of the Spirit that does not fit into our little man-made box. We think we need to control every aspect of our spiritual life. We certainly can’t afford to be labeled as “one of them.” You know who I am talking about. Well, let’s see what happens to the people Haggai is prophesying to.

God continues His message through Haggai in verse 5 of chapter 2. This verse could be a whole sermon series. It is not a long verse, but it so full of images of God’s movement in their lives. Promises, the exodus, His Spirit, in their midst and no fear. Wow! But look again. God says so clearly, “My Spirit remains in your midst.” That must have been so encouraging to them at this time. God is still there. They may not see Him, but He is.


Listen up! God’s Spirit is still moving in the lives of His children. Unlike the children of Israel who only experienced God’s spirit during a special indwelling, we get to have Him living inside of us. He comes in at salvation and never leaves, until we move on to our heavenly reward. So, God’s admonition to us is the same as it was to the Israelites. Keep reading.

God finishes this statement by saying, “do not fear!” He is telling us the same thing – Do Not Fear! Why should we fear His workings in our life? Why should we fear the Spirit moving in ways we are not accustomed? When we surrender more and more of our flesh to the Spirit, the Spirit can reveal more and more of Himself through us.

Galatians 6:7-8 says, “7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.” So, it is really our choice. Which do you want? Destruction or eternal life?

I am thankful I have surrendered my flesh to Your Spirit, O God. Eternity with You is my reward.

Abiding, Belief, Bible, Glory, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Praise, Scripture, Worship



“So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of armies, their God,”

There has been a stirring of the Spirit in the past month at some colleges and universities, which started at Asbury College in Kentucky. What began as a regular chapel service grew into a movement of God with literally thousands from around the country coming to experience this non-stop service. Some people have questioned what was happening there. That is not our right. God will reveal whether this was real or not. The stirring of the Spirit is not for us to question.

Finally, the spirit of the people is stirred by the Lord here in Haggai 1:14. Notice that this began with the leaders, Zerubbabel and Joshua. Then the people were stirred. And this stirring of their spirit resulted in putting their feet into action. They began to work on the temple, God’s house, the LORD of armies. They didn’t just sit around and enjoy the stirring. They obeyed God’s call to action. Glory!


I truly believe the reason God’s work has not been accomplished sooner is because our leaders have not been receptive of God’s stirring. The event that is described in today’s verse is also mentioned in Ezra 1:5. “Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and the Levites rose up, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.”

It is important to mention that no one should try to accomplish what they think God wants until He stirs their heart to do so. But our leaders have to be ready and able to hear God’s voice. This is only through prayer and time in His Word. So much ministry is done without the first thought of what God wants. Good can get in the way of what is best if we are not careful.

I know in my own life I could stay very busy doing “stuff” for God. There is no end to the lists I could make to keep my calendar full. I have to ask the Lord each day what He would have me do. It is not about what I want to do. It is all about what He would have me do. How about you? Check out your motives for ministry. Make sure you have heard God and let Him stir your spirit with His Spirit.

Please stir my heart
Take me back to the fire
And bring to me recollections of joy
And renew my first desire


Accountability, Bible, Commands, Commitment, Discipline, Exhortation, God's Will, Gospel, Holy Spirit, Humility, Messages, Scripture



“Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying,”

How many sermons do you think you have heard in your lifetime? A hundred? A thousand? For some of us church goers, it can easily be in the thousands. I did some calculations this morning. If I have averaged just one sermon a week since age six, I have conservatively heard around 3,000. Some of those weeks I heard more than one. This doesn’t count the many conferences and revivals I have attended. That number could easily jump to 5,000.

So, when we read the words of today’s verse, don’t just read that and pass it by. Look at the words. “Then” means at a certain time, at a certain point. God decided when to speak to Haggai. Haggai didn’t just spout off some information he had. He waited for the Lord’s words. They came to him as he waited for the Lord to speak. Then and only then did Haggai speak. That’s important to see.


The danger many preachers face each week is waiting on the Lord to speak before they do. The pressure to “get a sermon ready can lead to some misspoken words. Words are shared as if they are from the Lord but are not. We have to wait on Him, just like Haggai did. 2 Timothy 2:15 is a great verse to contemplate about this. It says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.”

Maybe you don’t preach or teach the Word each week. How do you share it with others? Are you accurately handling it then? Do you quote verses incorrectly to suit your situation. We have to be careful about that, too. We need to make sure when we share a verse with someone that it points them to Jesus, not just what we think is right.

Sharing God’s Word with someone else is a good thing. But we must do it with humility, knowing it is not our word but His. Only His Word can heal and guide correctly. Only His Word can accurately teach us how to handle life in the way He intended. Our job is to listen carefully for the Spirit’s bidding and then act. Wait on God’s word to come to you before you speak.

I want to be true to Your Word, O Lord, in everything I do. 

Abiding, Bible, Compassion, Holy Spirit, Scripture



“‘The LORD has taken away His judgments against you, He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you will no longer fear disaster.’”

Being with someone you really care about is special. I remember when my wife and I were “courting” before we got married, we couldn’t wait to be together. We only dated two and half months before we got married, and we spent every moment we could together. Being in the midst of each other was important.

I love what the Lord says here in verse 15. He tells His people that He will be “in your midst.” The Hebrew word here for “midst” is qereb, which means near or inward. It comes from the Hebrew verb qarab, which means to come near or close. Don’t you just love that. The God of all creation wants to be in their midst. He has “taken away His judgments.” What good news!


God still wants to be in our midst. Isn’t that good news for us? The same God of Israel, through the presence of the Holy Spirit sent by the Son, wants to live within us. The difference between the Israelites and us is that Spirit that was with them temporarily is within us. We will dwell in His midst, and He will dwell in ours.

One day we will dwell in His midst in eternity, if we know His Son, Jesus, as our Savior and Lord. John 15 is a great passage about Jesus abiding in us and us abiding in Him. Take some time and read the whole chapter. The promise of Jesus remaining in us is worth it all.

So, I have to ask you. Is He in your midst? Have you asked the Lord to dwell within you through His Son? Jesus can cleanse you and purify your heart. At that moment He will come in and dwell within you. He will be in your midst. In your midst! That sounds marvelous.

Father, I am so thankful You are in my midst through Your Spirit because of Your Son.

Accountability, Bible, Holy Spirit, Missionaries, Scripture, Service, Truth, Witnessing


NAHUM 3:18

“Your shepherds are sleeping, O king of Assyria; your officers are lying down. Your people are scattered on the mountains.”

I have had a couple of jobs that required me to work the night shift (10 or 11 pm until 6 or 7 am). Those shifts can be tough if you are not used to them. I was never a regular on those shifts, so it was hard to stay awake unless I stayed busy. If I sat still, I was a goner – snooze city.

Nineveh’s shepherds and officers were slumbering, according to Nahum. They were sleeping on the job. They were nowhere to be found when it came to fighting or resisting the enemy. So, the people were scattered on the mountains. They fled! There was no one to protect them.


Don’t be accused of sleeping on the job when it comes to Jesus. Time is short, and we need to be spreading the word. But so many Christians are asleep when it comes to being bold with their witness. They leave all that up to the “paid” Christians. You know, the preachers or evangelists or missionaries.

Surely, God doesn’t expect every believer to be proclaiming the message of truth. Well, I don’t see Jesus singling out any one person when He said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” He didn’t say, “Peter, you go!” He didn’t name anyone. It applies to us all.

I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to witnessing. It has to be a conscious effort on my part. I pray each day for the Holy Spirit to open a door of opportunity with someone I cross paths with. I want to be ready at all times. Will you join me? Wake up.

Lead me, Lord, to a place each day where I can share Jesus with someone.