God’s Grace for Troubled People, Pt. 1
March 5, 2023
Thaddeus Williams writes about the fastest-growing religion in the world, self-worship:
…84 percent of Americans believe that “enjoying yourself is the highest goal of life.”
Further, 86 percent believe that to enjoy yourself you must “pursue the things you desire most.”
And 91 percent affirm this statement: “To find yourself, look within yourself.”…
These are the sacred commandments of this ancient and still-trending world religion [self-worship]:
- Your mind is the source and standard of truth, so no matter what, trust yourself.…
- Your emotions are authoritative, so never question (or let anyone else question) your feelings.
- You are sovereign, so flex your omnipotence and bend the universe around your dreams and desires.
- You are supreme, so always act according to your chief end, to glorify and enjoy yourself forever.
- You are…the standard of goodness—so don’t let anyone oppress you with the antiquated notion of being a sinner who needs grace.
- You are the Creator, so use that limitless creative power to craft your identity and purpose.
If you’ve ever participated in self-worship (and it is the nature of the flesh to do so), you know the folly of it. You know of your inadequacy and weakness and inability. In Zechariah 8, the prophet points to something better — God-worship and God-dependence. His message in the opening verses of this chapter is that…
God’s power and grace are adequate to provide for His people.
Zechariah eight focuses on the unlimited power of God — it uses the title Lord of Hosts (God Almighty) more than any other chapter in the Bible, appearing 18x (vv. 1-4, 6 [2x], 7, 9 [2x], 11, 14 [2x], 18-23). That power is manifested as God’s grace to inadequate, weak, over-estimating people.
There are two main sections in the chapter indicated by the phrase, “The word of the Lord of Hosts came…” (vv. 1, 18). This chapter has two main sections — God’s provision for the future of Israel (vv. 1-8) and the implications for Israel in the present, because of God’s future provision (vv. 9-17). In this section, we will observe five demonstrations of God’s power and grace to His people for the future. The Israelites are not what they thought they were and had not accomplished what they thought they did through fasting (7:3), but God (after correcting them for their folly, 7:4-14) will still provide for them.
- The Grace of God’s Jealousy (vv. 1-2)
- The Grace of God’s Presence (v. 3)
- The Grace of God’s “Future” (vv. 4-5)
- The Grace of God’s Power (v. 6)
- The Grace of God’s Salvation (vv. 7-8)
Download the rest of this sermon on Zechariah 8:1-8.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.
Clouds and Sun rays by dotcompals is licensed under CC BY 2.0.