Thursday 23 January 2014

TFTD - 23 January 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

23 January 2014

Genesis 38
Psalms 41; 42; 43
Matthew 25


Today’s Psalm 42 has this particularly challenging verse, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” [Psalm 42:2] We linked this verse in with the two parables we read today inMatthew 25. There is first a parable of 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom to arrive, but half of them are foolish and do not bring enough oil (of faith?) and the door is shut on them and they are left outside [Matthew 25:1-10].

The second somewhat parallel parable is of servants who are entrusted with portions of their Master’s property while he is away. When he returns they are called to appear before him. Those who have been conscientious are naturally ready when their Master re-appears, they have been thirsting for him to come. These receive commendation and are told “Enter into the joy of your Master [Matthew 25:23]. Their thirsty soul was satisfied.

However, there is a servant who is described as “slothful” [Matthew 25:26] who is barred from entry and the point is made by Jesus, “To everyone who has will more be given and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” [Matthew 25:29]

We now look again at Psalm 42 where we read another important question - and the answer to it! “Why are you cast down, O my soul, why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him …” [Psalm 42:5]. This thought leads to the Psalmist’s recognition that “by day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” [Psalm 42:8]

The Psalmist learnt that the Lord will quench our thirst now if we truly drink from his word every day. We will have ample oil in our lamps and will be ready to appear before him with joy. This world is “a dry and weary land where there is no water” [Psalm 63:1] except for “the water of life” [Revelation 21:6] that is only to be found, here and now, in God’s word.
- DC

Thought for the Day

23 January 2014

"It has been said that the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is "the most searching and powerful utterance we possess on what concerns the moral life". All recognize its nobility, but only the Christian can appreciate its significance in relation to the Gospel message. It depicts the outlook and attitude of mind of Christ and it is impossible fully to appreciate and aspire to its ideals without him. To those prepared to accept the invitation of Jesus to forsake all and follow him, there is no greater guide."

- John J. Fryer
Design for Life (1971)

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