Wednesday, 19 February 2014

TFTD - 19 February 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

19 February 2014

Exodus 30
Psalms 87; 88
Mark 15; 16

Exodus 30, we read of the specific washing that had to take place, before Aaron and his sons could do the work of the LORD. 

Aaron and his sons had been thoroughly washed at their consecration as priests (Exo. 29:4). But the washing had to be a continual process for their service and for them to be acceptable before the LORD. 

We have "wash" repeated and also the washing of the hands and the feet, which represents hands = works, and feet = walk.

As we think on these things we are reminded of:

HOW do we cleanse ourselves each day to be ready for service?
"Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word" (Ps 119:9)

For WHAT purpose?
"...Christ also loved the ecclesia, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious ecclesia, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be Holy and without blemish" (Eph 5)

May we be daily washing ourselves with the ready, study and mediation of the word. So that it directs our works and our walk as we journey in the wilderness to the promised land. 

“… THEY WOULD NOT BELIEVE IT”

Today we completed reading the Gospel of Mark.  The tragic death of Jesus and all the dreadful events and attitudes that surrounded this are a challenge to every person - then and ever since. At the time most minds were firmly locked in unbelief: there is a parallel today with that mindset, in the sense of the conviction that there is no Creator, all that exists is the outcome of an incredible series of ‘accidents’!

We read in Mark’s gospel how, when Jesus rose, “he appeared first to Mary Magdalene … She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept.  But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.”

His resurrection was an absolute shock to his followers, one even declared “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe." [John 20:25]  It is highly interesting that there are Roman historians (e.g. Tacitus) who testify to the great  number of believers in Christ in Rome by AD 64, when hundreds were put to death as scapegoats, being blamed for the fire that had destroyed much of Rome.  It is suggested that Roman gods were angry at not being sufficiently worshipped!  It seems more and more people were turning to Christianity instead!  What provoked this?  We read today in Mark 15:39 “And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God.’”

Recall the encounters Jesus had with Centurions, one came seeking a healing for his servant and did not think it fitting that Jesus should visit his place, he believed Jesus did not need to!  Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment.” [Matthew 8:13]  Recall Cornelius!

What causes belief?  What causes unbelief?  Human prejudices are very powerful!  Are you influenced by them?  The people would not believe their Temple would be destroyed.  Similarly today, there is no belief, except among dedicated Bible believers, that divine judgements are about to come on this increasingly godless world, a world that has turned its back on God just as, 2,000 years ago, it turned its back on his Son.  Let us believe - with full conviction! For we read today, Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” [Mark 16:16]  There is no middle way.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

19 February 2014

"Ezekiel had seen the vision of the glory of the Lord leaving the city and ascending from the mount that lieth on the east of the city (Olives), and was heartened when he later saw it return. Our faith is his. We, too, wait in patience and conviction. His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives yielding to the force of a rending earthquake and sending forth a stream of living water. May we be granted the blessing of sharing in the inheritance Jesus has gained."

- Harry Tennant
The Mount of Olives (1959)