Monday, 31 March 2014

Bible Reading Thoughts for March 31st

Numbers 14:8
"If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey."

This is the same for us, may our Lord and master find delight in us in that day, when we stand before him.

We read in Psalms 147:10-11
"He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.  The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy."

The LORD God, our God delights in those that fear him (and manifest this in their lives), and who hope in his great mercy.

Interestingly the Septuagint uses a Greek word for "delight" in Nu 14:8, that is only used x1 in the New Testament, and is used to describe the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthews gospel:

Matt 12:18
"Behold my servant, whom I have CHOSEN; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles."

We who have been called out, from darkness into light, are to walk as children of light in our daily lives. Not seeking a captain for ourselves as the children of Israel did, but looking to and following the captain of our salvation who through suffering brings many sons to glory.

"YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE"                                                                                                  

     What is paradise?  It is not a common word in scripture.  Jesus uses it in his last message, the book of Revelation, saying, “To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life , which is in the paradise of God.” [Ch. 2 v.7]  Primarily it means a park, a garden - and Adam was put out of the first paradise to stop him eating of the tree of life. 
    There is not the slightest indication that paradise means heaven. John’s Gospel states, “no one has ascended to heaven” [3 v.13]. In today’s 23rd chapter of Luke we read that oft quoted promise of Jesus to the repentant thief beside him on the cross that “you will be with me in paradise” [v.43]. It is important to realize Jesus is responding to the request the thief had made.  “Jesus,” he said, “remember me when you come in your kingdom” [v.42].
    What a tremendous testimony the words of the thief are to his belief in the future that lay before Jesus, in spite of what was happening,. Had he had been a follower but had gone astray? To the main disciples, all seemed lost in what had happened, but not to the thief, suddenly he had a perception of tremendous faith. Surely this was the reason Jesus made the promise, “Truly, I say to you todayyou will be with me in paradise” [v.43] You will have noticed that we put the comma after the word “today” – which then makes sense of what Jesus said. There are no commas in the original Greek.
    Those who think paradise means heaven ignore what Jesus said to Mary Magdalene when she met him on the resurrection morn, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father” [John 20 v.17] The death of Jesus was real, for 3 days he had ceased to exist!  Let us have the faith of the thief on the cross – maybe we need a personal crisis in our life to challenge us to prove whether our faith is real.   
     Today’s chapter in Proverbs 10 encourages us to think positively, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely” [v.9] “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life” [v.11]  “The wise lay-up knowledge” [v.14] “Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life” [v.17]  Our daily reading of God’s word is an essential reminder and re-enforcement of God’s instructions so that we keep on the pathway that leads to the paradise to come on this earth when Jesus returns.,