Sunday, 1 June 2014

TFTD - 30 May 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

30 May 2014

Joshua 16
Isaiah 22
Hebrews 1; 2

“HE IS ABLE TO HELP …”

Today we began reading the specially thought-provoking letter to the Hebrews.  The author is not named, but the best conclusion is that Paul wrote it as a message to his fellow Jews and he didn’t name himself because a prejudice against him had developed and some, maybe many Jews, would have ignored the letter if it had been obvious it came from him.

Now Paul had a special relationship with his Saviour because he appeared and spoke to him on the road to Damascus.  He is wonderfully conscious of the continuing unseen presence of Christ in his life and encourages his fellow  Hebrews to develop the same consciousness, he quotes many Old Testament passages from the Psalms and Moses’ writings that foretold the special and wonderful role God’s Son would have.  We see the emphasis in these two chapters of how he would first come into the world to die as a once and for all sacrifice for sins and also experience life as we do and so be able to understand and help us,

We note in particular the closing verses in chapter 2 (from Hebrews 2:16) “For surely … he helps the offspring of Abraham.  Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.  The Greek word, translated ‘tempted’ essentially means ‘tested.’

Yes, “he is able to help,” but we do not receive this help, this guiding oversight of our lives, unless we prayerfully seek it.  We will see Paul’s warning in Hebrews 3, where, quoting David’s words in Psalm 95, Paul says, “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” [Hebrews 3:15]  It is God’s ‘living word’ that we read and ‘hear’ - and “he is able to help” if we truly ‘listen’ and respond.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

30 May 2014

"Is beauty a mere by-product of the process, or has God provided beauty as an additional gift to man? We fully believe that the beautiful in nature is bestowed by God for man’s spiritual and emotional enrichment. Certainly no normally endowed person can look on the colour of sea and sky, on the changing cloud formations, on sunset glow, or the shimmer of the moon over the ocean, without a feeling of awe, emotional satisfaction and thankfulness that such glory and beauty has been revealed in nature; and will endorse with emphasis the Psalmist’s words: "O LORD, how manifold are your works! in wisdom have you made them all: the earth is full of your riches." Psalm 104:24"

- F.W. Turner
Meditations (1950)