lifestyle evangelism

SCRIPTURE: Zechariah 8

OBSERVATION:
This is a vision of the way things ought to be between God and His people and all the world. God’s intention was to raise up a special community of people devoted and loyal to Him, and experiencing the blessing of that way of life. It would be a witness to the world that following God is the best way to live. Through this special community the Messiah would come, to totally restore the world to God. But God’s special people refused to cooperate, and chose rather to imitate the way of the God-less. And so God punishes them. But this vision shows He has not given up on His plan. He still wants to show the world through His special community that following Him is the best way to live. And He still intends to send the Messiah.

APPLICATION:
When the Messiah comes, the ‘special community’ rejects Him, and so He sets up a new community made up of disciples of every nation, whose task is to show the world that following God through Jesus is the best way to live. For the short term, it may not seem like it, but we are also encouraged by this vision of a perfect Kingdom, where truth and justice and blessing abound and where greed, deception, cruelty are not welcome.

We are that special community. I am also called to start living God’s way, the way of Jesus. Honesty, humility, compassion, generosity, forgiveness, patience, love, etc. These are the qualities of the God life that result in the blessing of the Kingdom. It’s not just something I need to wait for, it’s also something I need to live for. No matter how hard or weak it seems, I need to live this way NOW. This is how I follow Jesus, how I build His kingdom. This is how I will attract others to take a firm hold of the hem of my robe and say, ‘let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’

PRAYER:
Lord, I am encouraged by this vision. But I am also challenged to start living towards it. Help me to see and act on the knowledge that living this life is the key to experiencing the blessing of it.

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