Tuesday 6 May 2014

"GOD WHO MADE THE WORLD AND EVERYTHING ..." Bible Reading Thoughts for May 6th

Acts 16:14 - in Lydia we have a wonderful example:
- she heard the gospel being preached
- her heart was opened by the Lord
- which meant she attended to the words spoken by Paul

She had to open her ears and her mind. She "attended" unto the things spoken of by Paul, lit it means she held her mind on his words. The Greek is present active, therefore she kept these things in her mind, she kept on thinking about them.

The same Greek is used by Paul in his exhortation to Timothy (1 Tim 4:13,15):
"Till I come, give ATTENDANCE to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine...Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all"

Till Christ comes, Pray that through the reading and hearing Gods word, that our hearts may be opened, so we truly attend and hold the mind on the word of God. So that, the effect on us will be evident to all, including our Master and coming King.

            What exciting chapters (16 & 17) we read in Acts today!  We see Paul’s total commitment to preach among as many Gentiles as possible  the genuine message of salvation.  This was despite whatever kind of hostility arose.  He usually began by speaking to the Jews – and “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving …” [17 v.2,3] his message about the teaching, life and death of Jesus; but most Jews rejected this with acts of violence.
            The Jews revered their holy book, but they seriously misunderstood it – the same has been the case, but for different reasons, among Christians since the first couple of Centuries; since then all too many decide what they want to believe, such as going to heaven when they die – and vainly look for proof, ignoring all the passages that tell them something different.
Paul came to Athens and found “the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new” [v.21];  these were the things of human imagination, but Paul challenged them to get to know “the God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth” [v.24].  The Bible has made this challenge to the world ever since.  Paul told the Athenians to “seek God … that they might feel their way toward him and find him … he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness ..” [v.27,30,31]
There are increasing reasons to believe that the “day” of judgement in now very close!  Our world is in a total mess. The reactions in Athens was that “some mocked” [v.32] especially at the thought of the dead being raised.  What is your reaction?  How pleased God will be if he sees your reaction as being like it was “in Thessalonica (where) they received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily ...”[v.11]   May we feel motivated to do the same – and not be like the virgins who had no oil in their lamps (Matt. 25 v.3) or like those, of whom Jesus said in his final message to  one  of the churches,  “because you are lukewarm .. I will spit you out of my mouth … so be zealous … behold I stand at the door …” [Rev. 3 v.16,19,20].  Let’s be ready to open it.

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