Zephaniah 3:17 - The Intimacy of God.
Zephaniah 3:17 - The Intimacy of God.
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV) The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty
to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with
his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
In one of the most encouraging verses in Scripture, Zephaniah
describes how God rejoices over his people with singing. The image is of a
beaming parent taking great pride and joy in their child. The Lord
doesn't just love us because he has to, he loves us because he enjoys
us. [NIV Once A Day Bible]
Suppose you dwell in a high-rise apartment. On the window
sill of your room is a solitary daisy. This morning you picked the
daisy and pinned it on your lapel.
But as soon as you're out the door, people start picking
petals off your daisy. Someone snags your subway seat. Petal picked.
You're blamed for the bad report of a coworker... More petals. By the end
of the day, you're down to one ... You're only one petal-snatching
away from a blowup.
What if the scenario was altered slightly? Let's add one
character. The kind man in the apartment next door runs a flower shop.
Every night on the way home he stops at your place with a fresh
bouquet. Because of him, your apartment has a sweet fragrance, and your
step has a happy bounce. Let someone mess with your flower, and
you've got a basketful to replace it!
God hand-delivers a bouquet to your door every day. Open it!
Take them! Then, when rejections come, you won't be left
short-pedaled. [Grace For The Moment SB By Max Lucado]
Henri Nouwen advocates that we seek solitude in our worried,
pressured lives. "Without solitude," he writes, "it is virtually
impossible to live a spiritual life. Solitude begins with a time and place
for God, and him alone."
Nouwen admits that bringing solitude into our lives is
difficult. Time pressures crowd it out. Some seekers find "chaos opens up"
when they finally do get alone - for them, instead of solitude
providing calm and escape from dysfunctions, it may foster dark thoughts.
Not everyone feels chaos in solitude, but most people will
discover plenty of distractions and the need for self-discipline - both
to schedule solitude and then to focus their thoughts heavenward.
Simply getting alone and shutting out the world is only the first step
in the discipline of solitude. We also need to be patient with the
For some, solitude may need to start out in short doses.
As we probe the Scriptures in solitude and employ spiritual
disciplines, we often find they lead us into fresh spiritual adventures.
Solitude can give us the capacity to cope with life's stresses and
surprises and serve as essential "fueling stops for the road."
Even if we feel we can't find time for solitude, we can
remember the example of Brother Lawrence and in our activities practice
God's presence throughout the day. Whether the baby is crying or
customers are demanding, we still can lift our prayers to God.
Lord, life is genuinely pressured and at times overwhelming.
Help me to be creative in finding time to be exclusively with you.
When I simply can't find that time, help me to creatively practice
your presence. [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra]
What would a God who sings over His people say to them? "I
want My people to see Me through the right lenses. Most of them don't
know that I rejoice over them with singing. They don't recognize My
heart in everyday life. They think obedience is My ultimate goal for
them, but it's really the means to an end. Do they really think all of
history led up to a point of My coming to demand greater obedience
simply for the sake of having more servants and accomplishing My plans?
Is My glory really just about getting My way?
"No, I'm after your hearts. My glory is revealed in your
delight in Me. The way I'm demonstrating My glory and treading on My
enemy is by winning your affections. My blood wasn't spilled just to
get you saved so you can go to heaven when you die. You have to
understand that there's a greater reason I save you - that I want to know
you intimately, to commune with you, to gaze into your spirit and
have you gaze back into Mine. I made human beings to feel the joy of
romance because I feel the joy of romance. My heart beats faster with
"My sacrifice was never just to prove My power or My wisdom.
People eventually realize that relationships matter more than their
achievements or status. Yet they suggest that My glory is a matter of
establishing My Kingdom or demonstrating that I'm sovereign. What would be
the point? I could establish My Kingdom and prove My power without a
sacrifice on a cross. There's a deeper heartbeat behind this creation than
that. I want to know and be known. That's why worlds were created."
Lord, let me hear You singing over me. Fill my heart with
Your song. Draw me into the depths of Your heart and let me love You
completely. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris
I am with you. These four words are like a safety net,
protecting you from falling into despair. Because you are human, you will
always have ups and downs in your life experience. But the promise of
My Presence limits how far down you can go. Sometimes you may feel
as if you are in a free fall, when people or things you had counted
on let you down. Yet as soon as you remember that I am with you,
your perspective changes radically. Instead of bemoaning your
circumstances, you can look to Me for help. You recall that not only am I with
you, I am holding you by your right hand. I guide you with My
counsel, and afterward I will take you into Glory. This is exactly the
perspective you need: the reassurance of My Presence, and the glorious hope
of heaven. (Zep. 3:17; Psa. 73:23-26) [Jesus Calling by Sarah
Listen to the love song that I am continually singing to you.
I take great delight in you ... I rejoice over you with singing.
The voices of the world are a cacophony of chaos, pulling you this
way and that. Don't listen to those voices; challenge them with My
Word. Learn to take minibreaks from the world, finding a place to be
still in My Presence and listen to My voice.
There is immense hidden treasure to be found through
listening to Me. Though I pour out blessings upon you always, some of My
richest blessings have to be actively sought. I love to reveal Myself to
you, and your seeking heart opens you up to receive more of My
disclosure. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock
and the door will be opened to you. (Zep. 3:17; Mat. 7:7) [Jesus
Calling by Sarah Young]
The world is too much with you, My child. Your mind leaps
from problem to problem to problem, tangling your thoughts in anxious
knots. When you think like that, you leave Me out of your world-view
and your mind becomes darkened. Though I yearn to help, I will not
violate your freedom. I stand silently in the background of your mind,
waiting for you to remember that I am with you.
When you turn from your problems to My Presence, your load is
immediately lighter. Circumstances may not have changed, but we carry your
burdens together. Your compulsion to "fix" everything gives way to deep,
satisfying connection with Me. Together we can handle whatever this day
brings. (Isa. 41:10; Zep. 3:17; Psa. 34:19) [Jesus Calling by Sarah
I am in your midst, and I am mighty! Just as the sun is at
the center of the solar system, so I am at the center of your entire
being - physical, emotional, and spiritual. I, the Mighty One who
created the universe, live inside you! Let this amazing truth
reverberate in your mind and soak into your innermost being.
Ponder what it means to have so much Power dwelling inside
you. One implication is that you don't need to worry about your lack
of strength. In fact, my Power shows itself most effective in your
Remind yourself frequently that I live inside you and I am
mighty! Let your awareness of My indwelling Presence drive out
discouragement and fill you with great Joy. As My Life flows into yours, you
are strengthened with divine might. (Zep. 3:17; 2Co. 12:9; Jude
1:24) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
Open your hands and your heart to receive this day as a
precious gift from Me. I begin each day with a sunrise, announcing My
radiant Presence. By the time you rise from your bed, I have already
prepared the way before you. I eagerly await your first conscious
thought. I rejoice when you glance My way.
Bring Me the gift of thanksgiving, which opens your heart to
rich communion with Me. Because I am God, from whom all blessings
flow, thankfulness is the best way to draw near Me. Sing praise songs
to Me; tell of My wondrous works. Remember that I take great
delight in you; I rejoice over you with singing. (Psa. 118:24; 95:2;
Zep. 3:17) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
I want you to love Me, listen to My voice, and hold fast to
Me - for I am your Life. This is the way of wisdom. I am training
you to stay close to Me as you walk along perilous paths. In any
close relationship, listening and loving are vitally important - and
they are interconnected. Listen to Me as I rejoice over you with
gladness and quiet you with My Love. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you
receive My glorious Love in full measure. This will dramatically
increase your love for Me.
The world is full of dangers, so it is wise to hold tightly
to My hand. Listen - through My Spirit and My Word - while I talk
you through tough times. Pour out your heart to Me, remembering that
I am your Refuge. As you stay in dialogue with Me, I help you
handle whatever is before you. Hold fast to Me, beloved, for I am your
Life. (Deu. 30:20; Zep. 3:17; Psa. 62:8) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
Though you walk in the midst of trouble, I will revive you.
So don't let problems intimidate you. Remember that I, the Mighty
One, am in your midst, and I am greater than all the trouble in the
world. My right hand will save you! Hold tightly to My hand and you can
walk confidently through your toughest times.
I enable you not only to endure your hardships but also to
grow stronger through them. However, because you are on an arduous
journey, there will be times when you feel weary and faint. Do not
interpret this as a sign of My displeasure with you. It is simply part of
living in a fallen, sin-stained world. Remember that you are not alone:
I am with you, and your brothers throughout the world are
experiencing the same kind of sufferings as you. Stay in communication with
Me as you persevere along this challenging path. My living Presence
will revive you - strengthening you and blessing you with Peace.
(Psa. 138:7; Zep. 3:17; 1Pe. 5:9; Psa. 29:11) [Jesus Today by Sarah
In the 1970s I took my guitar to drug parties, often singing
songs made famous by the Beatles, the Bee Gees, and Bob Dylan. After I
became a Christian, I thought I would have to leave my music behind.
One morning, as I read Zephaniah 3:17, the words "He will rejoice
over you with singing" spoke to me. I prayed that the Lord would put
his song of joy in my heart.
I took my guitar along to Bible studies, and I led singing
for the kids in the Sunday school at my church. One morning when the
worship leader was sick, I was asked to come into the sanctuary and fill
in. Over time I began putting Scripture verses to music and writing
worship songs. Some of those songs are on CDs and are sung at churches
all over the world. I have now been a worship pastor for more than
twenty years because God gave me a new life and a new song--his song.
Ron Ruiz is a pastor, songwriter, and co-owner of Zephaniah
Publishing. [The One Year Bible Life Verse Devotional]
Many of us have memories of childhood bedtime routines. In
our home, Mom always scooted us off to bed with precious moments of
hugs, kisses, and lullabies. Those songs covered me in a canopy of
love, just as she had been covered by her mother, and as I now cover
my own children.
When I discovered this verse in Zephaniah, I was amazed to
learn that God sings in delight over his children! God is not only our
Father but is also like a mother, who gently rocks and quiets us with
affectionate care. Lullabies impart the love and joy within a mother's heart
to her beloved child's heart. And so it is with our Father in
When the difficulties of life come, I remember the Father's
words and find comfort, love, and peace in his sheltering care. Listen
for God's songs in the night, and let them give you rest and sleep.
Karla Loveless-Dillon, an author, a speaker, and a
coordinator for Family Foundations International, served as a pastor's
secretary for more than thirty years, [The One Year Bible Life Verse
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Most Important Decision in Life:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Musical Devotional On Christian Living:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDY:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Discover Bible Studies: http://studies.itiswritten.com/discover/
LINKS FOR PROPHECY SEMINARS:
Revelation Today by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: