Wednesday, 29 January 2014

TFTD - 29 January 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible ReadingsTFTD - 29 January 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

29 January 2014

Genesis 48; 49; 50
Psalms 51; 52
Romans 5; 6

LIVING BY FAITH

The readings today all challenge us to think and meditate on their application to ourselves. Much personal meditation is called for. Genesis 48 contains Jacob's reflections at the end of his life, his relationship with "the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day" [Genesis 48:15]. Psalm 51 contains David's outpourings of remorse over his failures, pleading, "according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions" [Psalm 51:1] saying to God, "Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart" [Psalm 51:6] The secret heart is the hidden heart he had not been conscious of, which was in desperate need of repair. The Hebrew implies this.

Today we would probably talk about inner integrity. The central point is that we fail to truly sense how God sees how we think, as well as hearing what we say.

This is the point Paul has been making in writing to the Romans "if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness … you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? [Romans 2:19,21] The Jews lacked wisdom in their inward being, their knowledge of God was in the head, but not in the heart.

"The Jews", writes Paul, "were entrusted with the oracles of God" [Romans 3:2] Many, especially their leaders were proud of this. But Paul asks, "Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all", he answers, "all … are under sin, as it is written, 'None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God … there is no fear (awe) of God before their eyes" [Romans 3:9,10,18] Paul is quoting this from David's Psalms [Psalms 14; 36], how appropriate! It is essential that we train our hearts into ways of thinking in which our God delights - and we can only do that if we are totally conscious of his all seeing eye. This is pivot on which living by faith revolves.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

29 January 2014

"The apostle Peter exhorts us all with the example of Abraham: "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest amongst the Gentiles" (1 Peter 2:11, 12). Here the key to separation of followers of Christ is described. Not a physical separation necessarily, since we have to be "in the world" in the same way that Abraham was in contact with the inhabitants of Canaan, but a separation from the ways of "Sodom" and the politics of those who are themselves "strangers from the covenants of promise" (Ephesians 2)."

- Stephen Palmer
Great and Precious Promises (1993)