Tuesday, 18 February 2014

TFTD - 18 February 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

Mark 14 we read of Judas, "sought how he might CONVENIENTLY betray Christ".

How often do i find it convenient to betray/deny my master, whose bondservant I am?

We have the gk translated "convenient" only x2, the other occ is +ve:

"Preach the word; be instant IN SEASON (lit = when it is convenient), out of season (lit = when it's not convenient)" (2 Tim 4:2)

The Gk root from which this word is from is again only used x2, again x1 -ve and x1 +ve:

Herod on a CONVENIENT day celebrated his birthday with a party and indulgence of the flesh, resulting in the murder of John.

And the +ve:
Speaking of the wonderful position we are in through Christ, "let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in TIME OF NEED" (Heb 4:16)

We fail our master, and as we see the contrast between Judas and Peter, let us never forget we can come to our Heavenly Father, through the saving name of our master, to ask for forgiveness, mercy and grace to help us to "hold fast", in times of need.

Thought for the Day

18 February 2014

" ... we may read many books and study the prophecies, we may increase our knowledge in these things, but if we are not careful it is possible to lose the simple spirit of the Truth as shown by Jesus. It is possible to make the Truth a profession, and not a confession of our own unworthiness. Isaiah expresses the right attitude in these words: "For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have been, says the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word." (Isaiah 66:2)"

- W.S. Smith
To Him That Is Weary (1950)

18 February 2014

Exodus 29
Psalms 85; 86
Mark 14

“WATCH AND PRAY”

 We read today the heart searching account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Can we even begin to imagine his feelings?  He knew what was about to happen!  He could “feel” the terrible experiences he was about to undergo.  Was there any alternative as there had been for Abraham (although he did not foreknow it), as Abraham agonizingly raised his knife to slay Isaac, the miraculous son of his old age?

Jesus would not have prayed as he did, saying, “Abba Father, all things are possible with you.  Remove this cup from me.  Yet, not what I will …” [Mark 14:36] - if he did not believe this was possible.

Another remarkable thing about this intense time of prayer in the garden is that Jesus’ mind was also focused on his disciples: after his prayers he returned and, after chiding them for falling asleep, he encourages them, “WATCH AND PRAY”, that you may not enter into temptation.” [Mark 14:38] He strengthens himself by thinking of them - and we can do the same!  Seeking to give guidance and encouragement to others - so often creates a sense of strength within ourselves - we realize this as we look back on situations.

The disciples were weak to the point of being helpless in what was about to happen, they did not know how to “watch and pray.”   The compassion of Jesus overflows, pushing his personal anguish of mind into the background for the moment.

The situation takes our thoughts forward to his message to the ecclesia in Philadelphia (in Revelation 3:7-13)  He says, “I know you have but little power … Because you have kept my word with patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” [Revelation 3:10].

We have little or no power, we are helpless as the disciples were - and as the ecclesia at Philadelphia was. May we all “watch and pray” so that we will be kept, as only our Lord can, from “the hour of trial” that is most surely coming - and quite possibly very soon - on the whole world   “Hold fast what you have” Jesus told those at Philadelphia, “so that no one may seize your crown.”  May we do the same.
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- DC