Sunday 3 August 2014

TFTD - 01 August 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

01 August 2014

2 Samuel 18
Jeremiah 22
Romans 9


These are the concluding words in today’s 9th chapter of Romans.  The complete verse is a quotation from Isaiah 28:16, it is the last of 9 quotations in this chapter that Paul selects from the Old Testament to demonstrate that there are a multitude of sayings in what Moses and the prophets recorded - of what God inspired them to write that are most meaningful for followers of Christ.   Because he was not the all-conquering Messiah they were looking for, the leaders, despite demonstrations of his remarkable power, had no time for him and eventually put him to death.  They ignored certain prophecies by God in their holy book about the Messiah  because they did not fit in with their expectations; Paul himself had been guilty of this before he was converted - it is also a lesson for us in our expectations about world events - have we fully learnt it?  Let us be careful and not decide too absolutely where the jigsaw pieces fit of the prophecies yet to be fulfilled

The full text of the last verse is, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”  Jesus is the “stone” - this symbol was also used in the well-known vision Daniel interpreted for King Nebuchadnezzar, the stone that struck the image (the nations of mankind) on the feet shattering the whole image to pieces.

Let us make sure we have a heart-felt belief in him and then we “will not be put to shame” being motivated to live our lives ‘inspired’ by our reading of his word.   We cannot ‘work’ to earn our salvation, our salvation, writes Paul, “depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy” [Romans 9:16] Paul quotes extensively [Romans 9:25-29] from the prophets  Hosea and Isaiah, he shows God is looking to call people from among the Gentiles, that is, the non-Jewish nations - and also that a “remnant” among the “sons of Israel … will be saved.”

May we live so that we are among those who “will not be put to shame” realizing that the signs among the nations, especially in and around the Holy Land, are ominous and that it could be very soon now when the “stone” strikes the feet of the image.
- DC

Thought for the Day

01 August 2014

"So teach us to number our days, that we may get us an heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). This may sound like numbering sadly the days and vicissitudes of life. This is not for the sake of sentiment but for a practical purpose. And that aim is to furnish a motive for a wiser life, to see that we have the right end in view - this end, "that we may get us an heart of wisdom", to go all out in seeking the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). The real motive is the furnishing of a wiser life of the heart, the allied forces of mind and will, the inner life. The resultant illumination will transfigure the life in its character and conduct."

- Claud Lamb
So shall thy strength be (1997)

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