Wednesday, 9 April 2014

TFTD - 09 April 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

Numbers 27:16-17 words which point forward to the true shepherd:
"Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as SHEEP which have NO SHEPHERD".

Who was that man (v18)? "Joshua the sin on Nun", whose name means YAHWEH saves/YAHWEH is salvation.

The greater Joshua, Christ the good shepherd, witnessed the nation without a shepherd:
"But when he (Jesus) saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as SHEEP having NO SHEPHERD".

Numbers 27 continues (v21), the purpose of the shepherd and the responsibility of the congregation (ecclesia):
"AT HIS WORD shall they go out, and AT HIS WORD they shall come in".

Let us never forget, we are NOT without a shepherd, therefore let us NOT be faint, or be scattered abroad.  Let us keep these words:
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great SHEPHERD of the SHEEP, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen".

09 April 2014

Numbers 27
Proverbs 19
Philippians 3; 4

"REJOICE IN HOPE"

Today, more than ever before people, especially the young, love to enjoy themselves. Looking for means of enjoyment is the pre-occupation of what is called "the western world." They seek situations in which they can have fun, play games, watch shows and much more. Planning for weekends and holidays are special times to rejoice.

Our thoughts on this were sparked by the number of times Paul uses the word "rejoice" in his letter to the Philippians. What kind of rejoicing is he writing about? It is a contrast to most of the rejoicing which happens today. We read yesterday about Paul sending back to Philippi a brother from there who had been with Paul and he had been "ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, but not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow on sorrow. I am the more eager to send him therefore that you may rejoice at seeing him again." [Philippians 2:27,28]. That is a good reason for rejoicing.

Philippians 3 starts with, "Finally my brothers, rejoice in the Lord" We can ask, rejoice about what? From when Paul was converted many troubles came into his life but, but he writes, "I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord … forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think in this way … let us hold true to what we have attained" [Philippians 3:8,13-16].

In all these things Paul rejoices, summing up this attitude in his final chapter, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say rejoice" [Philippians 4:4] In writing to the Romans he put it in just 3 words, "Rejoice in hope" [Romans 12:12] But what hope is this? Peter answers this question. He writes of "salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice" [1 Peter 1:5,6] But Peter lived in difficult times and this could soon be our situation, if it is not so already, so note his words, "do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you … but rejoice insofar as you share in Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed." [1 Peter 4:12-13].
-------
- DC


Thought for the Day

09 April 2014

"Spiritual life is not bound to the wheel of our natural life, even though it passes through phases of development. There is something of the eternal about the qualities of character produced in a godly man, qualities which remain fruitful whilst his faculties remain. Simeon in the temple nursing a babe of a few weeks is like life in the truth. Throughout our days we nurse spring within us, the vibrant promise of life to come, the undying hope which sustains our mortal spirit. Fullness of summer and the abundance of harvest are found in the satisfying plenitude of life in Christ."

- H. Tennant
The Man David