Wednesday 5 February 2014

TFTD - 05 February 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

05 February 2014

Exodus 11; 12
Psalms 66; 67
Mark 1


Today we start reading the Gospel of Mark, understood to be the first Gospel to be written. The message that comes through loud and clear is that Jesus impressed the people with the nature of his teaching. “On the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” [Mark 1:21,22]

Jesus was “proclaiming the gospel of God and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand repent and believe the gospel” [Mark 1:14,15] Jesus had a positive message, God’s kingdom was coming. The time was fulfilled for the first stage of God’s plan. The king of God’s kingdom was there and he was recruiting citizens for that kingdom. It was a clear and positive message. And today? We see the equivalent of the scribes today, but the Bible is the only source for truthful teaching; its message is clear if we apply our minds to understand it.

Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world … then Pilate said to him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘… For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’” [John 18:37] We are about to see the most dramatic stage of its fulfilment of God’s purpose. Our age will witness this climax, the signs that point to the imminence of this are multiplying.

In reading Exodus 12 we saw some comparisons. The climax of the plagues set shock waves through the people of Egypt; these were in some ways comparable to the shock of the return of our king will bring on this world. When the preaching of “this gospel of the kingdom” in every part of the world “as a testimony to all nations … then the end will come,” Jesus said. [Matthew 24:14]

Any preaching we do must be done with the authority of the Bible as its backbone, it must be a true testimony. God, through Isaiah, challenged the people in those days. “Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples … to the teaching and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word …” [Isaiah 8:16,20] Let us keep reading God’s word, developing our understanding and teaching with authority.
- DC

Thought for the Day

05 February 2014

"Follow me" said the King. The call is so simple any child can understand it. Its meaning is so sublime that no philosopher, be he ever so clever, can exhaust the infinite meaning of the mystery-its genius. It is not misery-it is joy. It is not doubt-it is conviction. It is not fear-it is blessed assurance. Disciples are bond servants, but also friends who know their Master’s will. They are not dragging themselves along reluctantly hoping that their misery may win them some reward. They follow gladly for love’s sake, trusting that because he lives, they will live also.

The genius of discipleship-the transformation-touches every aspect of life. Being called, conviction, trust, surrender, purity, peace, prayer, service."

- Dennis Gillett
The Genius of Discipleship

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