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A wonderful picture of God’s amazing love is seen in the life of Queen Esther.  She, a Jewish girl orphaned at a young age, is raised by her uncle in Shushan, the capital city of the Medo-Persian empire.  She ends up in a nationwide beauty contest for which the first prize is to become queen.  She becomes the queen of the country.

But the evidence of God’s love in the story of Esther is not about her becoming Queen.  This is no Cinderella story.  Rather, this is the story of a God who sees everything, the beginning from the end.  He knows what lies ahead for His people, and He makes provision for them, even provision in the form of a young, scared Jewish girl.  He keeps all the promises to them no matter how long ago He made them.

When the wicked Haman, an important man in the King’s court, came on the scene and convinced the King of Medo-Persia to pass a law whereby the Jews would be slaughtered and their possessions taken by their neighbors, God had a plan already in place.  That plan was carried forward by Queen Esther.  God had hidden Esther in the pavilions of the palace of the King of Medo-Persia.  She would, in due time, be the vehicle by which God saved His people, the people from which the Messiah would come forth in the fulfillment of time.

You know the story . . . Esther convinces the King through a series of meals and events to pass another law which allows the Jews to survive, thereby preserving the Messianic line for the time hundreds of years later when a baby would be born to a descendant of David, of the tribe of Judah, in the town of Bethlehem as it was promised.

This is God’s love for us.  He makes a promise and never allows it to be broken, so that in the fullness of time, He can keep His promise.   God cannot lie.   Study to know what God has promised for you.

Crucified with Christ?

I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 Amplified

Why is it important to be crucified with Christ? What does it mean? This verse is familiar to many and often quoted as a means to remind ourselves of our true identity as believers in Yeshua.

If I am crucified with Christ, I share my identity with Christ. I am saying, “What Christ is–I am too.” By identifying with Christ in this way, I am saying to the world that I want to be treated as Christ was–not given any special treatment or benefits not given to Him. It means that I must share in Christ’s suffering including His rejection by His society, His peers. I must not seek to be approved by the world or its religious systems–rather I must seek only the approval of Adonai as Yeshua was approved by Him. (See Matthew 3:17, Matthew 17:5)

Without entering into His sacrificial death, I have no way to approach God. By entering into His crucifixion, I join myself to Christ–accepting His sacrifice for me–essentially making it my sacrificial offering to God for my sin–past, present and future. As a result, I can enter into the presence of the Holy One, Adonai, blessed be His name.

In 2 Corinthians 5:21, we are told, He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious loving kindness]. (Amplified)

This verse presents the real reason to enter into His crucifixion–either He died to deliver you and me, or He didn’t. Once I have identified with Christ–it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 5:20)

The reality is that when I am crucified with Christ, identifying with His crucifixion and sacrificial death, I am acknowledging certain truths about God and about myself (as part of the human race):

1. Adonai (the God of the Hebrew Bible, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) exists;

2. Adonai is holy and unapproachable by sinful man, or said another way, sinful man apart from shed blood cannot approach a holy God).

3. The Christ (Jesus of Nazareth), is also God. While he lived as a man, He provided a perfect (complete) sacrifice, acceptable to God for the payment for the sin of mankind–past, present and future.

4. I acknowledge that I am a sinner by Adonai’s holy and reasonable (just) standard;

5. I need and want this sacrifice of Yeshua, made on a Roman cross on a hill in a rock quarry outside the walls of the Jerusalem 2000+ years ago, to be applied to my life, my sins;

6. I accept the lordship of Adonai over my life now and for eternity. (Pictured here is the piercing of the ear of the slave who agrees to stay with his master by choice–I am the bond servant of Christ.)

That is how I die and Christ lives in me.

I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 (Amplified)

How will I know I have made this commitment–allowed these truths to bind me to Adonai? It think it will be the distinctive of love that marks my life. Yeshua said this, By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another. John 13:35 (Amplified)

Beloved, as we enter this season of preparation for our remembrance of Resurrection Sunday, let us consider what it means for each of us to be crucified with Christ, and let us live as witnesses of the truth of the risen Christ, with clean hands and pure hearts, awaiting Christ’s soon return.

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Read Zephaniah Chapter 3
1. Who is God speaking to in Zephaniah 3:1-5?

2. What are God’s complaints against her?

3. Copy Zephaniah 3:5 here. Meditate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

4. What does God say is His plan in Zephaniah 3:8?

5. What does God promise to do in Zephaniah 3:9?

6. What does God promise in Zephaniah 3:10-13?

7. What does the prophet tell the daughter of Zion in Zephaniah 3:14?

8. What does the prophet say God has done in Zephaniah 3:15?

9. Copy Zephaniah 3:16-17 here. Meditate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

10. What does God promise in Zephaniah 3:19-20?

11. What do you learn from the following verses?
Jeremiah 29:14

Jeremiah 33:7

Ezekiel 39:28

12. What application can you make from the book of Zephaniah?

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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I Love Your Word

I love Your Word!

The whispers and shouts
to drive away doubts

the Light chases dark
consuming fire sparks

No greater treasure found
my life to it bound

Your message of love
from Your throne up above

Blessed be your Holy name
May all the world know Your fame

No matter where I look
no greater wisdom than Your book

M.E.Mullin/Copyright 2021

Read Zephaniah Chapter 2

  1. What does the prophet tell the people to do in Zephaniah 2:1-3?
  2. What do you learn from the following verses?
    Psalm 11:7 Psalm 15:1-2 Psalm 36:6
  3. What do you learn from the following verses?
    Psalm 25:9 Proverbs 18:12 James 4:10 1 Peter 5:5
  4. What is going to happen to according to Zephaniah 2:4-7?
  5. Where was Gaza?
  6. Where was Ashkelon?
  7. Where was Ashdod?
  8. Who were the Cherethites?
  9. Who were the Philistines? Where was the land of the Philistines?
  10. What is going to happen to Moab and Ammon according to Zephaniah 2:8-11? Why?
  11. Who were the people of Moab?
  12. Who were the people of Ammon?
  13. What does God promise in Zephaniah 2:12-15?

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Early with I seek You

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. Psalm 63:1

I rise to greet You when the dew still soaks the Spring flowers.
The lush forest of your presence awaits me.
An alcove of lush green trees in the secret forest is my morning time with You.

Cool breezes, earthy fragrance, warm sunshine greet me as I walk toward You, arms open wide, anticipating Your embrace, Your Word spoken over me–my hope, my comfort, my strength, my teacher, my love.

Abba! Abba!
Good morning!
Blessings to You, my Father God–Creator–Redeemer–Almighty One–Precious Protector–High Tower–Imanuel–El Shaddai–Adonai Tz’avot–I am yours! You are mine.

Forever is ours, my eternal love!

If  you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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A Green Olive Tree

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust [confidently] in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. Psalm 52:8 (Amplified)

How am I like a green olive tree in the house of God?

I am well-watered by the Word of God which washes over me daily as I study the scriptures. I am planted in the fertile soil–plenty of manure has fallen all around me over the years making the soil rich. I live in the glory of the Son which shines perpetually on me. And because olive trees grow wild if not properly tended, Adonai, the gardener, regularly prunes me for better growth and production.

I don’t strive to grow or worry about my leaves being green enough or when the rain will fall or how my branches will be trimmed–I confidently trust in the lovingkindness of my God, my Abba–forever and ever. I am His and He has never forsaken the righteous.

 

Branches of an Olive Tree on the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

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Treasures of Darkness

I will give you treasures hoarded in the dark, secret riches hidden away,
so that you will know that I, Adonai, calling you by your name, am the God of Isra’el.
Isaiah 45:3 (Complete Jewish Bible)

This scripture is a reminder that there are times of intimacy with God that can only be understood and received in times of darkness, times of deep testing, seasons of isolation, seasons of sorrow. Times when the enemy seems to be getting the upper hand.

In such times, the believer may slip into what seems to be impenetrable darkness only to eventually discovery they are in a well-lit cave of treasures with Adonai–the King of Heaven. In these one-on-one times with the Adonai, it is possible to enjoy a closeness and intimacy with God. These can be times of great refreshing in the middle of a storm or trial when the believe is hidden in a cloak of darkness with the Light of the World.

So when the time of crushing is upon you and you feel darkness descend, consider Adonai may be leading you to a secret, hoarded treasure of His presence and the secret places of fellowship with the lover of your soul.

 

If you are looking for Bible study resources or other materials, visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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God is in the midst of her [His city], she will not be moved; God will help her when the morning dawns. Psalm 46:5

When someone first made me aware of this verse, I took it for myself–I substituted myself for “her.” I considered it a promise from the lips of my King just for me. He would keep me from being moved in my trial, taken off course, distracted, or destroyed. He was already meeting me in the mornings–my special time along with the King of the Universe.

Through further study and exploration of other translations, I discovered that the “her” wasn’t referring to a person–rather it was referring to a place, to Jerusalem–the Holy City of God. I must confess that I felt just the slightest let down upon the discovery.

It is not that I don’t believe the promise that God is with me and will be with me–that He will never leave me or forsake me. That promise is clear in the scriptures. It was just a miss reading and misinterpretation of this particular scripture.

I pushed into the scripture and found that I could still find great comfort in the scripture–perhaps even greater comfort than I had first found when I considered that God’s promise to be in the midst of Jerusalem was epic. So many end-times prophecies will and are being fulfilled in Jerusalem. She (the city) must exist in order for these prophecies to be fulfilled. So God’s promise to preserve and maintain Jerusalem brings great hope, especially when Jerusalem today and in the recent past has been the seat of much unrest.

God is in the midst of her–a promise from God is an absolute “sure thing.”

 

Read Zephaniah Chapter 1

  1. What do you learn about Zephaniah’s ancestry from Zephaniah 1:1?
  2. How is Zephaniah different (based on the information in verse 1) from all the other prophets?
  3. What does God say He will do in Zephaniah 1:2-3?
  4. How does the statement in Zephaniah 1:2-3 compare with what the LORD said in Genesis 6:7?
  5. How does the statement in Zephaniah 1:2-3 compare with Jeremiah 4:23-29 and 9:9-11?
  6. What does God say He will do in Zephaniah 1:4-6?
  7. What do you learn from Deuteronomy 4:23-30? How does it relate to Zephaniah 1:2-6?
  8. What do the following verses teach about seeking the Lord?
    1 Chronicles 16:10-11 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 Psalm 34:10 Proverbs 28:5
  9. Copy Zephaniah 1:7 here. Mediate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.
  10. What does God promise to do in Zephaniah 1:8-9?
  11. What will be the response to the LORD’s wrath being poured out according to Zephaniah 1:10-11?
  12. What does God promise to do in Zephaniah 1:12-13?
  13. Copy Zephaniah 1:14 here. Mediate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.
  14. In each of the following passages, list the indicators or signs given for knowing the Day of the Lord.
    Joel 2:28-32 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 2 Peter 3:3-12
  15. How is the day of the Lord described in Zephaniah 1:15-16?
  16. What does God say He will do in Zephaniah 1:17? Why?
  17. What does God say will happen to their possessions (gold/silver) in Zephaniah 1:18?
  18. What do you learn of the LORD’s jealousy in the following verses?
    Exodus 20:5 Deuteronomy 29:18-20 Deuteronomy 32:21
  19. What application can you make from this first chapter of Zephaniah?

If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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