Sunday 20 July 2014

TFTD - 17 July 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

17 July 2014

2 Samuel 1
Jeremiah 7
Matthew 18


Today’s chapter (18) in Matthew is full of parables: a central theme is that it is essential to have genuineness of heart.  A particular lesson is that this must be evident in our forgiveness of others: our heavenly Father sees and knows all.  Jesus had told his disciples before he sent them out that “nothing is covered …or hidden that will not be made known.” [Matthew 10:26]   His servants must serve him with total genuineness of heart.  Today’s chapter ends with the parable of the servant who treated his fellow servant unjustly, after his Master had been greatly forgiving to him.  Jesus makes the point, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother (or sister) from your heart.”

Nothing is ever hidden from the all-seeing ‘eye’ of the Lord.  Our world is somewhat pre-occupied at the moment because of invasions of privacy - but nothing is ‘private’ from God. The same point is made by God to the people through Jeremiah.  God sees all and the people “trust in deceptive words to no avail” [Jeremiah 7:8]. Our world is increasingly full of “deceptive words.”   God sees that their motives are all self-centred and no compassion is being shown - Jeremiah is not even to pray for them [Jeremiah 7:16]

In 2 Samuel 1, we read how an Amalekite gets hold of Saul’s crown after he dies and brings it to David expecting praise and a reward.  He falsely claims he had killed the badly wounded king.  David, greatly distressed at the news, especially the death of Jonathan, reacts in a godly way, and the Amalekite, instead of receiving some kind of honour is put to death after David says, “How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed? … Your blood be on your own head”  [2 Samuel 1:14,16]

Back in Jeremiah we see  a parallel lesson, “This is a nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD  their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished …” [Jeremiah 7:28]  And today?  It is clear that our world totally fails to see that nothing can be hidden from the eyes of the Creator!  And for us? Truth must not perish “from (y)our heart”  - rather we should rejoice that we not only possess the truth - but we show, by the way we live, that it also possesses us - because we know that one day soon, maybe very soon, God will act so that all the world becomes aware that “nothing …is hidden” - and all lies and deception will be exposed in God’s kingdom.
- DC

Thought for the Day

17 July 2014

"It can be truthfully said that Jesus wants men and women more than they want him. He loves them more than they can ever love him. It is a love more persistent than man’s search for evil, a love more determined than man’s intent to enjoy the pleasures of sin, a love that knows no limit other than man’s refusal to respond. It is a love that extends to the most wayward that goes on living when everything seems hopeless. It is a love that calls with unwearied voice, pleading with the sinner to forsake his ways and live."

- W.G. Higginson
The Love of Christ (1952)

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