Monday, 17 February 2014

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

17 February 2014

Exodus 28
Psalms 83; 84
Mark 13

Mark 13 we read the Olivet prophecy, words of warning by Jesus to his disciples.

Jesus emphasises his words of warning with the phrase "take heed" x4 times:
Against that which kills:
1. 'Take heed that you are not deceived, because MANY will be deceived by false teaching'.
2. 'Take heed when your life is threatened'.
Because you have been warned:
3. 'Take heed i have warned you before it happens', I have told you ALL you need to know so you can act and not lose your salvation.
How:
4. 'Take heed watch AND pray'. Take action with the warning, physically 'watch' and spiritually 'pray'.

We are to watch even though we don't know the exact time of Christ's return, but we MUST understand Jesus' warning words which he has given us so that we do not lose our place in the Book of Life.

As these words of Jesus were to his servants the disciples as they came to the end of an age and of judgement, for them to listen to, understand and take the right action. So we also have been warned by Christ, and given ALL we need to know in his very last words recorded for his servants in Revelation. It's up to each one of us individually what we do with those words, like those at the end of the age of AD70, they are a matter of life, or death. Jesus' message in Revelation repeats warnings of who will and won't be in the Book of Life, and the vital information to protect his servants is contained in Revelation.

Jesus ends his warning, with the words "watch" x4 times.  Christ commands the 'porters' (those who keep the flock), but also he ends with very important words:

"And what I say unto you, I say unto ALL, watch"

We are thankful we do have those who work hard to be watchmen and help us to watch. But it is up to each one of us, to take the details Jesus and our Father has given us, and the warning by our doorkeepers (watchmen) and to take the right actions.

With this is mind, a reminder of the Rugby prophecy day this coming Saturday God willing. A powerful day with 450+ brothers and sisters, where the power of the hymns coupled with the talks given, powerfully move and invigorate discipleship.

If you can't be there, don't miss out, you can watch live online, just subscribe before the day and ask for details to view by contacting:
therugbychristadelpians@gmail.com



“STAY AWAKE”

“Stay awake”  -  these are the last words in our Mark [Mark 13] reading today.  It is a dramatic chapter; Jesus foretells a time coming when “there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be.” [Mark 13:19] He then speaks of how, from God’s perspective, who, says Isaiah, is “declaring the end from the beginning”  [Isaiah 46:10) - how God then declares through this prophet, “My salvation will not delay, I will put salvation in Zion” [Isaiah 46:13].

There is no “delay” from God’s perspective, only from ours. So it is from God’s perspective that Jesus next says, “if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved.  But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.” [Mark 13:20]  So there will still be those whom God counts as “elect” (that is, those he has elected (or selected) to serve him and his son - just as the 12 disciples were (s)elected.

Only God and our Lord know who he has elected in the final traumatic days when God’s judgments are made evident in an utterly awesome way -  for at the climax of that time, our days, says Jesus, “the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect … from the ends of the earth …” [Mark 13:25-27]

Now note the verses that immediately follow!   Jesus then says, “from the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as the branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves , you know that summer is near.  So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates…. This generation will not pass away until all these things take place …” [Mark 13:28-30]     Israel is God’s fig tree, see Hosea 9:10; Joel 1:7 ­ it is a clear sign that God is about to act.

The point is made in Psalm 90:10 that the normal human lifespan is 70 years. God’s fig tree came to life again as a nation in 1948 … and we should anticipate that “the generation” that was alive then will see it all! Many of these, that is, those who know their Bible’s, are wide awake to the awesome trauma’s in the Middle East - noting also, the other extreme events, such as the weather, that are causing great anxieties in many places.

All those who know God and truly love him and love their Saviour, His son, will heed the final verse of today’s chapter, “And what I say to you, I say to all, stay awake.”  Only God’s word enables us to do that properly.
-------
- DC


Thought for the Day

17 February 2014

"It is our privilege and joy to be committed to the call of Christ, for thereby are our lives transformed, and we become part of the Israel of God, called out and sanctified, looking always for the Kingdom which we believe most surely will be established in the sight of all men: "But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:16)"

- D. M. Elliott
The Call of Christ (1966)