Accountability, Advice, Bible, Conviction, Correction, Forgiveness, Guilt, Judgment, Messages, Scripture

GETTING PERS0NAL

ZEPHANIAH 1:4

“‘So I will stretch out My hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And I will eliminate the remnant of Baal from this place, and the names of the idolatrous priests along with the other priests.’”

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who was complaining about people? You may actually agree with them and name a few people you have issues with. But then that person begins to name things about you that bother them. Whoa, wait a minute. Now they are getting personal. They are meddling too much, right?

I am sure those who heard Zephaniah’s message agreed with the first few verses, but now he’s getting personal. Now he is naming Judah and Jerusalem. But Zephaniah isn’t pulling any punches because he is delivering God’s message to the people. He is calling a spade a spade. Those in Judah and Jerusalem who have bowed to Baal and all those priests will be eliminated.

APPLICATION

How do you handle your Pastor’s sermons? As long as he is preaching on someone else’s sins, he’s fine. But when he starts naming yours, well…that’s a different story. How dare he get personal. How did he know about that sin? Was he watching me? Who told him about that?

I have preached a lot of sermons in my ministry, but I have never preached one pointed at one person. No one has divulged a sin of someone I needed to nail from the pulpit. But there have been numerous times when people came up to me after a message and told me how I had really spoken to them that day about their life. God’s Word will penetrate the hardest heart.

If you are a Pastor or have the ear of your Pastor, tell them to just preach the Word. Don’t get fancy with all your eloquence. Just preach the Truth. Let it convict those who hear the message and draw them to point of repentance. Our job is to simply deliver the message, like Zephaniah. It isn’t to judge.

Father, thank You for entrusting me with Your Truth. Help me deliver it faithfully.

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Bible, Messages, Names, Salvation, Scripture

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

ZEPHANIAH 1:1

“The word of the LORD which came to Zephaniah son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah:”

I am named for my two grandfathers, whom I never knew. Carl was my maternal grandfather’s first name. William was my paternal grandfather’s middle name. I am proud of my name and for what it stands for. I am, in a sense, carrying on both of my family lines with my name. Names mean something, don’t they?

So, when you come to the Old Testament, most people’s names meant something. Take for instance, the names mentioned here in the first verse of Zephaniah. (Oh, by the way, we are starting a new study today which will take us through the next 53 days.)

Zephaniah means “whom the Lord hid.” Gedaliah means “whom the Lord made great.” Amariah means “whom the Lord promised.” And Hezekiah means “whom the Lord strengthened.”

So, what does that mean for us?

APPLICATION

The most famous name ever given is found in Matthew 1:21. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Jesus’ name meant Yahweh saves. Even His name brought the message of salvation to mankind. Every time Mary called Jesus in for dinner, she would be uttering the message.

Think on that for a minute. How many of us name our children so that we are reminded of a message from God each time we call them. I have known a lot of women named Faith or Grace. I have even known a girl named Merry Christmas (no joke). I am not telling you to go and rename your children now. That would be silly. But look up the meaning of their names if you don’t already know it. The next time you call their name, think about what that means.

I am so glad that Jesus lived up to His name, aren’t you? He was born with a message. He grew up in that message. He died giving us that message. He certainly was the salvation for man. Yahweh saves. He saved through His Son. I pray you know Him as your Savior and Lord. The next time you say His name, think about what it means. He came to save you.

Oh God, I am eternally thankful for the message written in the name of Jesus. He saves!

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