Psalms 75; 76
"WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR?"
"For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes … " [Mark 8:38] Why would we ashamed of Jesus? Notice, he specifically refers to his words! What has Jesus said that we would be ashamed of talking to our neighbours about? Isn't it our responsibility to try and share our faith with others? Next week in Mark we will read in Mark 12 that the second commandment is "You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these" [Mark 12:31]
Yet today, when you have a neighbour who is totally godless, it is difficult! Why? Do we feel ashamed of what we believe? If so, why? When Jesus rebuked Peter because he refused to believe that Jesus was going to be killed, he said to him, "you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man" [Mark 8:33] Let us try harder to set our minds on the things of God. In doing so, we will recall that even in the Law God gave the Israelites through Moses, the Old Testament, [Leviticus 19:18] there is the command "you shall love your neighbour as yourself" - this has been a command for all ages. What a different world this would be if that command was carried out! And who can doubt but that it will be expected of those who live in God's Kingdom.
Should we not be training for God's Kingdom now? What better way to show your love for your neighbour than by encouraging them to believe in the words of Jesus! We must try to speak to them in the spirit of love, a desire to share something precious, the pearl of great price! This will be reflected in the words that we choose, remembering also that we see each other as much by what we do - as by what we say. We must seek wisdom from above in doing this.
Recall the words of James; he wrote, "the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." [James 3:17] Finally let us remember the reply of Jesus when someone asked him, "and who is my neighbour?" Read Luke 10:29
We read Ps 75 of the 'cup of the LORD':
"But God is the judge...For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them"
When we follow the cup of the LORD through scripture we find we have:
1. The cup of salvation/inheritance/
As we read here of the wicked being drunk, with this wine full of mixture (lit spices). These are added to the wine to give a stupifying effect to it, so one was drugged and drunk at the same time (the cup that Christ refused at his crucifixion).
We are reminded of Jer 51:
"Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad".
These words echo those spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ in the Apocalypse, when he speaks of the later day Babylon, the Catholic Church and her apostate daughters who are dripping with the hallmarks of Babylon:
"Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication"
"And the woman/the great whore (upon whose head was written mystery, Babylon the great)...having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication (that she has made inhabitants of the earth drunk)"
We are warned not to have anything to do with her or her ways. And by Gods grace we are being powerfully shown the evidence before our very eyes of this whore, that we must be in no doubt. As she uses her doctrines and teachings to deceive and stupify those who cannot see her for what she is as our master has made clear unto us.
We are told that those who are accepted (those who have kept themselves clean from her) into the Kingdom will rejoice over her destruction:
"Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her".
We pray for this day to come soon.
Thought for the Day
12 February 2014
"Though all flesh is grass and the glory of man as the flower of grass, he has been begotten of the word of God that liveth and abideth (1 Peter 1:22-25). His godly character is securely laid up in the record of God’s “Book of Life,” (Philippians 4:3; Luke 10:20; Revelation 3:5) and the crown of righteousness which fadeth not away awaits him, to be given by the Lord in the day of His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8)."
- A.D. Norris
Understanding the Bible