Monday 20 January 2014

TFTD - 20 January 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

20 January 2014

Genesis 34; 35
Psalms 37
Matthew 22


The above saying of Jesus in today's reading of Matthew 22:14 provoked our thoughts - seeing that Peter wrote that God "is not wishing that any should perish" [2 Peter 3:9]. Why call so many, but choose so few? We should remember well the parable of the sower sowing the seed and how many examples of unproductive ground were given compared to "the good soil." Today there is more unreceptive and unproductive ground than ever.

It is helpful to look at the context of Peter's words, for we often hear it said that God is not willing that any should perish. Peter writes, "The Lord …. Is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief … the earth and the works that are done in it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness …" [Matthew 22:9-11] It seems to us Peter is saying that God does not wish that any of you (to whom he is writing) should perish who "after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord … are again entangled in them and overcome" [2 Peter 2:20]

Returning to Christ's parable we see it is about those who, although invited to the "wedding feast" given for the son, Jesus [Matthew 22:2] are too preoccupied with their business interests [Matthew 22:5] while others invited, treated those bringing the invitations "shamefully" [Matthew 22:6] Eventually the wedding feast goes ahead after, according to Luke's account of the parable, "the servants … bring in the poor and crippled …" [Luke 14:21] and "so the wedding hall was filled with guests" [Matthew 22:10]

But then a problem occurs. The guests need to have a "wedding garment"! What is this? In Revelation last month we read about the "marriage supper of the Lamb" and it is stated of the Bride "it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen … for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints" [Revelation 19:8]

The deeds of the saints are those done as acts of faith, for they cannot "earn" their invitation to the wedding. Sadly, those without a wedding garment are cast out. We noted the wonderful words in today's Psalm 37 which are so appropriate here, "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and … He will bring forth your righteousness as the light" [Psalm 37:5,6]
- DC

Thought for the Day

20 January 2014

"When we obeyed the Truth we looked with eagerness for the Lord’s coming which we expected almost immediately. But the years pass, our eager expectation fades, and we become accustomed to the Lord’s long continuing absence. Our eager anticipation of his immediate return has not been realized, but we must not allow a feeling of disappointment to interfere with our preparation. The only sure way to be ready on the unexpected day of the Lord is to be ready every day."

- Leonard Bedwell
The Bridegroom Cometh (1960)

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