Focus Verse: “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. (9)
God wants us to put Him first in all that we do. It sounds weird, but the more we take care of His stuff, the more we will find our stuff taken care of. The Israelites were busy building their houses while the Lord’s house remained in ruins, yet they did not experience much success because God was not blessing their efforts.
Focus Verse: But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. (4)
Throughout the Bible, when God gives someone a task to do or calls on someone to go someplace, He often tells them what he told Zerubbabel, Joshua, and all the people of the land. Be strong. Do not fear. Why? For I am with you.
Perhaps God gives this encouragement because His tasks are often daunting. He does not call us to go where a path has already been blazed. He calls us to go where no one has been before. He asks to take the road less traveled by. He commissions us to do the great and the mighty and the impossible. And He has no concern that we will fail because He is with us and will help us if we keep faith in Him.
2 John 1
Focus Verse: And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. (5)
Indeed, this is not a new command. It is a very old one. All the way back in the book of Deuteronomy, God was telling His people to love. First, they were to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and strength. Then, they were to love their neighbor as they loved themself. When Jesus the Christ came, he taught the same thing. Not only did He teach it, He lived it. Everything that Jesus did was an expression of love. His life and His death and His resurrection was done out of pure love for you and me.