Abiding, Bible, Joy, Rejoicing, Return, Scripture



“‘Shout for joy and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,’ declares the LORD.”

I can get excited about a lot of things, can’t you? I can yell and scream for my favorite team. I can shout for joy at the announcement of the birth of a grandbaby. I can even shout for joy during worship. Shouting for joy usually is associated with the arrival of something – a person, good news. What are you shouting for joy about?

The Lord tells the people it is time to shout for joy and rejoice? Why? Because He is coming! Wow! Can you imagine the smiles on the faces of these weary children of Israel? The great Jehovah is coming into their midst. He is returning to dwell among them. What a shout must have gone up at this news from Zechariah!


Isaiah 12:6 says almost the same thing. “Shout and cry aloud for joy, O inhabitant of Zion; for great in the midst of thee is the Holy One of Israel.” This wasn’t a new announcement – one that the people had not heard before, but it had been a while. In Albert Barnes’ commentary of Zechariah, he says this about this verse. “The source of joy is a fresh coming of God, a coming, whereby He should dwell abidingly among them: truly what is this, but the Incarnation? As John saith, ‘The Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us.’”

You know how sweet it is to dwell in His presence. There is just something special about getting up close and personal with the God of the universe. As a believer, He dwells in you in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Paul says as much in 1 Corinthians 6:19. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

I am not my own. My body, my soul, my spirit all belong to Him. When God indwells you, He indwells all of you. No more hidden passageways. No more closets closed off to Him. He demands access to all of you. And when we surrender our all, the joy erupts. We can’t help but to shout for joy. Are you shouting for joy today?

There’ll be joy in the morning on that day!

Abiding, Bible, Commands, Following, Promises, Return, Scripture



“Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the LORD of armies says: “Return to Me,” declares the LORD of armies, “that I may return to you,” says the LORD of armies.’” 

Do you remember going back and forth with your friends saying I’ll go if you go? Then they would reply No, I’ll go if you go. Neither of you would commit until the other committed. This may have applied to jumping off a hill into a pond or river. It may have applied to climbing down into a hole. Whatever the situation, your decision depended on your friend’s decision.

Here in Zechariah 1:3 the LORD tells His people that He would return to them IF they would return to Him. His decision was based on their commitment to return. He had watched their past behavior. He knew how wishy-washy they were. He was still committed to them, but they had to return to Him and show their willingness to follow Him.


Oh wow! Doesn’t this apply to us today? The Lord stands ready to bless us and lead us, but we have to follow. We have to humble ourselves before Him and show Him we are willing to bow. Why don’t we do that? Why don’t we trust what He says? Because we are a stubborn lot. There is a clear promise to claim in today’s verse IF we follow the command that is given first.

Take some time and dissect this verse. How does this apply to your life? Are you submitting to the Lord each day? We have to remember that God is desirous of fellowship with us. He wants to see us grow in our faith. But God will not force Himself on anyone. We must return, just like the Israelites.

This verse also reminded me of Christ’s return. I want to be found ready. Matthew 24:42 says, “‘Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.’” Are you ready? If Jesus returned this moment as you are reading this blog, are you ready? Make sure of that today? Ask Him. He’ll tell you.

Lord, help me reach others with the Gospel of Your Son, Jesus, so they will not be left behind when He returns.

Abiding, Bible, Choices, Devil, Enslavement, Following, Hope, Pride, Return, Scripture



“‘I struck you and every work of your hands with scorching wind, mildew, and hail; yet you did not come back to Me,’ declares the LORD.”

When I read today’s verse, my thoughts went back to a dog I used to have. That dog was bad about running away from home. If he got off his leash or out of his fence, he would take off and be gone for days. Most of the time I would have to track him down by neighbors’ reported sightings. You would think he would happy being fed, loved on and cared for, but he had other plans it seemed.

Even though God judged the nation of Israel in the past through the destruction of the crops with scorching winds, mildew and hail they did not return. Amos 4:9 uses almost the same words as Haggai. “‘I struck you with scorching wind and mildew; The caterpillar was devouring Your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees; Yet you have not returned to Me,’ declares the LORD.” About 200 years separated these two prophets which tells us they were very slow to return to the Lord.


Our failure to return to our Lord may not span 200 years, but we are just as disobedient. He tries to draw us back, but we reject Him. We are comfortable in our sins. Just like my runaway dog, we like the “freedom” that we think we have on our own. We don’t see the dangers that lurk behind every corner. The devil loves runaway Christians. He will continue to lure you away.

So, what must we do to return? It’s pretty simple. Just stop running. Stop, turn around and fall into the arms of Jesus. Now, what does that remind you of? How about the story of the Prodigal Son that is told in Luke 15:11-32. It says the son came to his sense and returned. Even though he probably still smelled like pigs, his father embraced him and welcomed him home.

If you are like me, you probably stink with sin sometimes, especially if you have been wallowing in it. God has been calling you home, but you have ignored Him. Return to Him. Come home. He is waiting for your return.

Come home, come home. Ye who are weary come home. Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling, calling all sinners, come home.