Sunday, 6 April 2014

05 April 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

05 April 2014

Numbers 20; 21
Proverbs 15
Ephesians 1; 2

PRINCIPLES APPLY

"Because you did not believe" - This is what the LORD said to Moses! We prove whether or not we believe God means what he says by what we do: whether we have listened carefully to his word. by how we act! Near enough, is not good enough! Now, it is important that we understand why the LORD said these words to Moses which we read today in Numbers 20.

Once again, nearing the end of their wilderness journeying, the Israelites are put to the test by the lack of water for themselves and their flocks - and they fail the test. After all their experiences of God providing for their basic needs they should have known better than to complain bitterly about the lack of water. They say to Moses, "Why have you made us come out of Egypt to this evil place? … there is no water to drink. So the glory of God appears and the LORD speaks to Moses, "Take the staff and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle." [Numbers 20:8] So they gather before the rock, it must have been a huge one, and Moses says, "Hear now you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?" and Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly …" [Numbers 20:10,11]

Now Moses had not done exactly what he had been told to do, he had been told to speak to the rock! Nor had he credited this miracle to God. This is what caused God to say to him, "Because you did not believe in me to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people … you shall not bring this assembly into the land." [Numbers 20:12].

God expects us to do what he says and surely the same principle applies when it comes to matters like baptism. Those who say it is sufficient to sprinkle water on the forehead should heed the example of Moses' mistake. There would only be one church if we would fully apply our minds to God's words and the words he inspired men like the apostles to write, but it seems these things have to be in order to fully sift the wheat from the chaff.
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- DC

Ephesians 1:9 - Paul reminds the Ephesians of the great blessing of being called into the saving name of the Lord Jesus Christ:
"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his GOOD PLEASURE which he hath purposed in himself"

If we follow "good pleasure", we find it first used when the angels announced the joyful news of Christ's, "glory to God in the highest, and...:good will (GOOD PLEASURE) toward men".

Verse 5 of this chapter in Ephesians reminds us that we are called according to His GOOD PLEASURE. 

It also shows us why:
Phil 1:15 - we have been called to do His "GOOD PLEASURE".

The next occurrence has wonderful words of exhortation for us:
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
"Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the GOOD PLEASURE of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: so That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ"

We have been called, not to fulfil our own good pleasure, but to fulfil God's GOOD PLEASURE in our lives in Christ be glorified. Let us with this in mind pray for one another. 

Thought for the Day

05 April 2014

"Fight the good fight, avoid profane and vain babblings, and knowledge falsely so called. Some have followed these babblings and assumptions of knowledge and have lost their faith. Knowledge is good if directed by wisdom, and is a good weapon when used aright, but knowledge falsely so called is a weapon that turns upon its wielder. The wisdom that is from above guides in the choice of weapons in this good warfare, and faith is one of them particularly singled out for praise. Without it there can be no good fight, for it is the fight of faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11:10)"

- C.A. Ladson
The Good Fight (1931)