Tuesday 7 January 2014

TFTD - 07 January 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

07 January 2014

Genesis 13; 14
Psalms 17
Matthew 9


Our readings in Matthew demonstrate the power of human nature to deny the evidence. Jesus did a number of remarkable miracles and "when the crowds saw it, they were afraid (struck with fear and awe AMPLIFIED VERSION) and they glorified God …" [Matthew 9:8]. But many of the religious leaders, seeing their authority and prestige threatened "said to themselves, this man is blaspheming" [Matthew 9:3].

As the miracles multiplied and the crowds said, "never was anything like this seen in Israel", those religious leaders became more desperate in their comments. They said, "he casts out demons by the prince of demons" [Matthew 9:33-34] - for they had embraced the demoniac ideas of the Greeks. Even if such an evil leader of spirits existed, which it didn't, it defies all logical reasoning to think this way as Jesus told them (see Luke 11:15-23).

Because their position and authority mattered to them more than anything else, the religious leaders would not face the evidence; this was an attitude that reached its peak when they thought about putting the resurrected Lazarus to death as, because of him, more and more were believing in Jesus [John 12:10-11].

This evidence of the extreme limits to which humans will go to maintain a belief and support a cause, driven by their own ego as much as anything else, made us think of the present obsession to believe that the world and everything in it, evolved of its own accord, that all that exists is the result of an endless series of "chance" happenings.

The greater the evidence has become in recent years, such as the discovery of the remarkable properties of DNA, the greater the determination seems to be, to say it was all one super-colossal accident! Of course they don't quite say it that way!

Yet, part of the reason for this attitude, we suspect, is the image of the Church, if belief in God is the alternative, do churches generally, reflect the ways of living for God you read about in the Bible. Do they show how a person moved by a conviction that there is an Almighty Creator should live their lives? There is an uncomfortable sense of truth in this attitude; but we are not responsible for the church, but we are responsible for ourselves - and God is looking to save individuals.
- DC

Thought for the Day

07 January 2014

"Why we should have been chosen as recipients of God’s favour is a question we cannot answer, and it would not be profitable for us to try. Let us appreciate the blessings which have come our way, hoping that in the end we may be accounted worthy to belong to those of whom James speaks:

"Hearken, my beloved brethren, Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?" (James 2:5)"

- Howard Walker
Meditations (1975)

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