Tuesday 10 June 2014

TFTD - 09 June 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

09 June 2014

Judges 6
Isaiah 33
James 3; 4


The letter of James is full of challenging spiritual statements.  Many are applicable to the world which surrounds us. James was writing at the time when Jerusalem was about to be destroyed as his half-brother (our Lord) had warned.  The great majority had rejected the divine message, it is evident that, 30+ years after their Lord ascended to heaven the convictions and commitment of believers was in serious decline.

What James writes is also appropriate for the world today and the spirit among many who consider themselves believers, “You ask and do not receive,” he declares, “because you ask wrongly to spend it on your passions…. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? [James 4:3-4]

What he writes next reminds us of what Paul said to the people of Athens ­ about the unseen presence of the only real God, encouraging them to “feel their way toward him and find him.  Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’”  [Acts 17:27-28] Compare this with what James told believers in Jerusalem about God, “’He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us?’” [James 4:5]   The Creator of all things, it is clear, sees and knows all.

In Judges we read about Gideon; in his days the people had largely forgotten their history, especially the faith that Moses and Joshua inspired in them as they started to possess the promised land. The nation was in deep trouble, Gideon had an astonishing encounter with an angel of the LORD and asked him, “if the LORD is with us why has all this happened …” [Judges 6:13]  We know the reason, few in our world will know the reason when our world starts to really fall apart.

Finally, what Isaiah writes in todays’ chapter 33 is a sort of prayer, an inspiration that we can and should take to heart, “O LORD , be gracious to us,; we wait for you.  Be our arm every morning, our salvation in time of trouble.” [Isaiah 33:2]  We all need to experience “friendship” How do we find ours? Does it sustain us spiritually?  Above all, how real in our divine relationship?   Is it “our arm every morning.”?
- DC

Thought for the Day

09 June 2014

"Abiding in Christ, accepting the fruits of his victory, the vanities of the world will lose their appeal, not so much deliberately as inevitably. We shall delight in the things that he delights in, we shall find satisfaction in the things that give him pleasure; and although our failures will always keep us humble, the passing years will show that our victories are becoming more complete, and our failures fewer. The true and deep spirit of the Son who sanctified himself that his disciples might be brought near to God is the greatest possible incentive to personal dedication. It is the source of our holiest aspirations, the motive that inspires our purest victories, the light that illumines our darkest hours. It is the birthplace of a love which calls in utter sincerity, "Even so come, Lord Jesus".

- M. Purkis
Our Spiritual Heritage (1955)

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