Wednesday, 9 July 2014

TFTD - 08 July 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

08 July 2014

1 Samuel  20
Isaiah 64
Matthew 9

"ACCORDING TO YOUR FAITH"

"Faith" is a key word in the New Testament, it does not occur in the Old Testament, although some modern versions seek to use it a little - but not really in the N.T. sense.   Matthews' gospel has the most reports of the miracles of Jesus; but the religious leaders tried to discount them alleging he was using some kind of magic.  In today's chapter [Matthew 9] they allege, "He casts out demons by the prince of demons." [Matthew 9:34]

The most challenging to them of all his miracles was when he raised someone who had died.  Matthew 9:18 tells us that "a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, my daughter has just died, but such was his conviction of the powers of Jesus that he said, "but come and lay your hand on her and she will live."  When Jesus comes to the house he sees "flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he says, 'Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping." [Matthew 9:24]  They laughed at this!

But the death of believers is in many places described as a sleep, remember what Paul wrote, "For since that we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep." [1 Thessalonians 4:14]  This is a wondrous lesson - those who die have fallen asleep - they move into God's time, and have no awareness of passing time at all!

On his way to the rulers' house Jesus heals a woman "suffering from a discharge of blood"- he does this because of her approach, saying, "Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well" [Matthew 9:22] "Blind men" follow him seeking a healing, they are asked, "Do you believe I am able to do this?"  They say, "Yes, Lord" he heals them. "saying, 'According to your faith, be it done to you." [Matthew 9:29).

By far the greatest miracle of all will be when Jesus comes again bringing to life "those who have fallen asleep."  Do you have faith that this will happen?  Yes!  What is the quality of your faith, my faith?  How much is it reflected in the way you live your life?  Faith must be an active ingredient in every aspect of our lives, it will be "according to your faith" that the Lord will act - and we will be part of the glory that God has in store for this earth and; says the prophet, "you meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways" We read this today in Isaiah 64:5 and commented on it yesterday.  Joy and faith go together - do you experience that?
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- DC

1 Samuel 22:6
"When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his SPEAR IN HIS HAND, and all his servants were standing about him;)"

Three times we read of Saul with a weapon in his hand 1 Sam 18:10, 1 Sam 19:9), each time it is not in battle, but when he is sat around, with the destruction of David on his mind. The weapon which should have been used for the destruction of Gods enemies, as recorded for us of Jonathan (1 Sam 13:22) and David (1 Sam 17:51), was instead being used to try and destroy one of his brethren.

We are reminded of the power of the weapons of our warfare, and that the sword of the spirit is the word of God.  But we must use them in the right way:
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb 4:12)
Thought for the Day

08 July 2014

"The authority of the Bible is in itself, because it is God's word. There is no satisfactory middle ground between full acceptance and complete rejection. If it is God's word its witness concerning itself is of primary importance: that witness we have seen to be consistent and uncompromising. We decide our attitude to it, and so doing determine whether we will accept infallible divine guidance, or set up a standard of our own by which to guide our lives."

- John Carter
The Oracles of God