Sunday 8 June 2014

TFTD - 06 June 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

06 June 2014

Judges 1
Isaiah 30
Hebrews 13


Once again God’s words through Isaiah attracted our thoughts.  There are so many parallels today with the attitudes the LORD was seeking to counteract in Israel in the time of Isaiah.  The message the prophet was to convey was, “For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning (or repentance, mg) and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’ But you were unwilling …” [Isaiah 30:15]

In Isaiah 30:18 this is repeated with added emphasis, “… the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.  For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”

We see that the LORD’s words to the people through Isaiah have remarkable parallels in the words of Jesus - remember the invitations to the wedding banquet - and the poor response - see Matthew 22:3 and John’s record of Jesus saying, “the Scriptures … bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me … you do not have the love of God within you.” [John 5:39-41]  What would he say to you?

As we read each day ­ let us make sure we see the “witness” of the Scriptures.  There are also some thought parallels in today’s final chapter in Hebrews, “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So that we can confidently say, the Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” [Hebrews 13:5-6]  Paul writes of the sacrifices we should make, to be content, to have no love of money.  He reminds and stresses, our Lord sacrificed himself “in order to sanctify the people through his own blood” [Hebrews 13:12]

And then Hebrews 13:15 should jump out to attract our thoughts, “Through him then let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name … for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” [Hebrews 13:16] Let us make sure they are pleasing to us - and come genuinely from our hearts - a contrast to the noise and show in the Temple in the days of Isaiah, Jesus and Paul; learning that “in quietness and in trust shall be (y)our strength.”
- DC

Thought for the Day

06 June 2014

“WHEREFORE seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:12).

"We may suffer doubts at times, wondering perhaps if our confidence has been misplaced. The lesson from the cloud of witnesses is to check this doubt before it becomes a landslide in our faith: if we have fallen, to rise again. We may never be called upon to make a long and tedious journey to a land that we know not; to offer up-or at least show our willingness to offer-an only son; to build a ship many miles inland. But we are called upon to take the lessons from the cloud of witnesses, and to cast on one side anything that may hinder our running of the race, and having done so, to run with faith and patience. This is the example set by the cloud, and set supremely by him who is the "author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God".

- Norman Rodgers
Cloud of Witnesses (1964)

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