Monday, 7 July 2014

TFTD - 06 July 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

06 July 2014

1 Samuel 18
Isaiah 62
Matthew 7

“DEPART FROM ME; ...”

Many of the things Jesus said are very challenging, but few are greater than the words we read today about what he will say to some “on that day” [Matthew 7:22], i.e. the day of judgement. He speaks of those who will come before him, but to some of them he will say, “Depart from me; I never knew you” [Matthew 7:23]. These will be among the “many (who) will say … ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name … and do many mighty works in your name?’”

By referring to those who prophecy, we should not think Jesus simply means those who have some gift to foretell the future. The work of those serving God, as we see with many of those called prophets in the Old Testament, is to proclaim God’s word, and very often these were words of warning as well as encouragement. Any who speak to others to bring the message of Christ and God to them are, in this sense, prophets. Such take a great responsibility on themselves. James, in his epistle makes the point, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” [James 3:1]

Those who Jesus tells to depart are described as “workers of lawlessness” So what is such a worker? We noticed as we completed reading Revelation on Monday how the last chapter lists those who are “outside”- they are excluded from a place in God’s “city” because their names were not found in “the book of life” [Revelation 20:12]. Earlier in Revelation [Revelation 3:5] we read of names being blotted out and others retained in God’s book of life. What causes them to be excluded? Those “outside” are not only those who are really bad in normal human judgement, but includes “everyone who loves and practices falsehood” [Revelation 22:15]

Those told to “depart” thought they knew Jesus - but Jesus never “knew” them. What is it to “know” someone? In Bible language it is to have a relationship with them. Human relationships are breaking down today, all too many men and women are getting married before they “know” each other, worse still, do not even exchange vows. We must make sure we have a really strong and committed daily relationship to Christ - so that he will welcome us into his Kingdom as “his bride.”.
-------
- DC
1 Samuel 18 we read of the start of the wonderful relationship of Jonathan and David. We read twice (v1,3) how Jonathan loved David as his own soul.

Then in verse 4 we are clearly shown the evidence of this love:
"And Jonathan stripped himself of the ROBE that was upon him, and gave it to David, and HIS GARMENTS, even to HIS SWORD, and to HIS BOW, and to HIS GIRDLE"

The word for robe is often used for a royal robe, here in this verse we have Jonathan renouncing his claim to the throne.  He is giving up what was rightfully his, if you like his worldly inheritance, for his brother.

This record of the start of this relationship and the words of a covenant of love between them, and the clear actions driven from that remind us of the Apostle John's exhortation:
"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18)

Here John is speaking in the context of physical need, but the same exhortation is there for responding to our brothers and sisters spiritual needs as well.


Thought for the Day

06 July 2014

"By its very nature this world is abidingly hostile to the Being and love of God, thus man has to be born again before he can be liberated from it. Worldliness is, however, not necessarily eradicated from our lives by our baptism into Christ. Whether we are truly liberated from it will depend upon our attitude and affections. If we are worldlings we live according to the standards of the world, and accept its values; if we are born of God we delight to do God’s will and abide in His temple."

- Melva Purkis
First Epistle of John