Monday 28 July 2014

TFTD - 28 July 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

28 July 2014

2 Samuel 14
Jeremiah 18
Romans 1; 2


Today we started reading Paul’s letter to the Romans: it is a most meaningful letter for its 16 chapters cover the things that those who desire to truly believe in and follow Christ should understand. Paul is writing to those “called to be saints” [Romans 1:7]   Do you feel - in your heart - that this includes you?

Paul’s aim is that they (and you) “may be encouraged by each other’s faith ..” [Romans 1:12].  The foundation to this is their (and our) belief in God - and his creative power in bringing all things into being “for”, writes Paul, “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness  and unrighteousness of men, who, by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them … his invisible attributes, namely his divine power … have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” [Romans 1:18-20].

For at least the last 150 years more and more have been “claiming to be wise” [Romans 1:22] in theorising that there is no God and that all that exists sort of, invented itself!  There is nothing really new in this - in Paul’s day philosophers had their theories so that they had no sense of responsibility to a Creator - and today many convince themselves - that there is not, nor ever has been, a Creator. The only ‘responsibility’ they have is between themselves - and what a mess they are making of that!

The Jewish ‘world’ came to an ugly end about 500 years before Christ.  Our chapter today in Jeremiah [18] tells us about the final decadent years of the kings descended from David, God declares to the distressed prophet, “I will show them my back, not my face, in the day of their calamity” [Jeremiah 18:17]  Later, the Roman ‘world’ came to an ugly end as “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity … they exchanged the truth about God for a lie…” [Romans 1:24-25]   In the 2nd chapter Paul tells all who have such an attitude, “you are storing up wrath for yourselves on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed.” [Romans 2:5]  The ultimate “day of wrath” appears to be getting very close - let us get closer and closer to God that we may clearly see his “face” when the world faces a terrible “calamity”.
- DC

Thought for the Day

28 July 2014

"Learning" of Christ, as Paul said in Ephesians 4:23-24, is "being renewed in the spirit of your mind, putting on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." As Peter said, "For even to this were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps." (1 Peter 2:21) Since the death of Christ on Calvary and his ascension to his Father, we have left, apart from prayer, apart from faith, but an example to follow. Whatever we may do in this world has to be compared with that example and whenever we feel inclined to take the easy way out, let us think "But you have not so learned Christ". (Ephesians 4:20)"

- W. Bury
The Risen Christ (1959)

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