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Be A Blessing (Zechariah 8)

If you have been to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, there is an attraction called the Carousel of Progress. One of the great reasons that people ride it is because you can sit down in air conditioning for a 30 minute attraction. The ride looks at what life was like every couple of decades and what those advancements were over the years. It is pretty amazing to think about where we were as a country technologically 100 years ago and then notice how fast things improved to get to where we are today. But at the end of each scene as you are about to move to the next decade of advancements, the main character will sing a song that says, “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day. There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, just a dream away.” The point of the song is to show how life can be so much better going forward. This is the message that Zechariah is bringing to God’s people to give them hope. Your future is bright because God is going to do great things. So let’s notice this message and its meaning for us today…

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Knock and It Will Be Opened (Matthew 7:7-12)

The Sermon on the Mount can be so familiar to us that we can easily read what Jesus said in a quick manner and really miss the teeth of what he said. What Jesus said can almost be mentally cast aside because we have heard it so often. This is certainly the temptation for Matthew 7:7-12. It is easy to read Matthew 7:7-8 and spend our whole time talking about how we need to ask, seek, and knock. But there is so much more that Jesus wants to show us. Jesus wants to teach us about the disposition of God. You will notice that Jesus does not merely say you need to ask God, you need to seek God, and you need to knock. I want us to notice that Jesus is trying to give us some confidence for why we should have a vibrant prayer life. Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you. Everyone who asks receives. Everyone who seeks finds. Everyone who knocks it will be opened (7:7-8). Jesus is trying to give us the strength and encouragement to talk to God and to ask God for things in your life. So let’s hold this call to ask God in our minds and we will return to it in a moment. But I want us to see the motivations that God is giving to us…

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Who Did You Worship Today? (Zechariah 7)

God has concluded sending visions to his prophet Zechariah, showing the people the great things that lie ahead if they will return to him and build the temple. With the temple work underway, there is a question that arises among the people. They want to know if they should continue mourning and fasting in the fifth month like they have been doing all these years. It is important to know why they have been mourning and fasting in the fifth month for all these years. This fast marked the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem 70 years ago. We read in 2 Kings 25:8-9 tells us that the temple fell on the seventh day of the fifth month. So for 70 years the people have been mourning and fasting because of the temple’s destruction. But now that the temple is in the process of being rebuilt, the question is if they should continue mourning and fasting. The Lord has two answers to give to the people which were not only instructive to them, but teaches us so much about what God is looking for from us as his people…

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Don’t Judge Me! (Matthew 7:1-6)

It is one of the more famous verses in the scriptures. Many people know John 3:16 and they also know this verse, even if they do not know where it is located. “Do not judge.” Of course, this is not only taking the statement out of context, but it is also cut part of the sentence and not quoting the whole statement. So as we live in a world where the greatest crime is to judge another person, we need to come to this teaching of Jesus and carefully consider what Jesus was teaching us to do and not to do as he continues his teaching in what we call the Sermon on the Mount…

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