Friday, 25 July 2014

TFTD - 24 July 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

Matthew 25:7
"Then all those virgins arose, and TRIMMED their lamps."

All the virgins TRIMMED their lamps, yet for x5 it was to no effect, as they had no oil in their lamps. Unless a lamp was trimmed regularly it was ineffective, it was compromised. BUT unless there was oil in the lamp, the activity of trimming was of no use.

The Greek for TRIMMED means to adorn/decorate, and is used by Paul to Titus:
"...shewing all good fidelity; that they may ADORN the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." (Titus 2:10)

May we take in the oil of the word that we may be a people adorned with the doctrine of God and not adorned with the ways of this would.
24 July 2014

2 Samuel 10
Jeremiah 14
Matthew 25

“THE DECEIT OF THEIR OWN MINDS”

We meditate on God’s words to Jeremiah that show why he does not respond positively to the prophet’s plea.  The prophet had said to God, “Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O LORD, for your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you” [Jeremiah 14:7].  The LORD responds, “Thus says the LORD concerning this people: ‘They have loved to wander … they have not restrained their feet; therefore the LORD does not accept them; now he will  … punish their sins.’” [Jeremiah 14:10]  If we are focussed on God to direct our feet ­ by reading and believing his word ­ our Heavenly Father knows the intentions of our heart.

In Jeremiah’s time there are others who claim to be prophets ­ they are giving the people a false message. He says, “Ah, Lord God, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor will you have famine, but I will give you assured peace …” [Jeremiah 14:13] We see a kind of parallel to this today, it is very sad.  The memorial services being held after the tragic death of nearly 300 people killed in the plane crash try to give, to at least some, the belief that their loved ones now have a new form of existence.

The LORD bluntly tells Jeremiah that these “prophets are prophesying lies in my name … a lying vision … the deceit of their own minds” [Jeremiah 14:14] The true vision is clear in the words of Jesus we read in Matthew 25. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.” [Matthew 25:31]  Then will come the time of reward and punishment, we recall Jesus’ words we read in Matthew 22 silencing the Sadducees for refusing to believe there would be a resurrection [Matthew 22:23-30].

In today’s chapter Jesus spells out the reward for the faithful, for such as Jeremiah, those who show their faith by their priorities and work  ­ now -  “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” [Matthew 25:34] This is echoed by Paul in writing to the Hebrews, telling them that those who truly love and serve God  “all died in faith .. that they might rise again to a better life” [Hebrews 11:13,35]  Let us all have minds free of deceit, a sure hope of “a better life” when we “inherit” a place in God’s kingdom soon to come on earth.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

24 July 2014

"Christ is for us the stairway that connects earth with heaven and brings God into touch with men. He ascended high above all principalities and powers from the lowliest place. We must follow, for as Peter says, “Hereunto were ye called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps.” His life was like ours in all but our failings. His death was for us if we are among his little ones."

- C.A. Ladson
God’s Care for His Own (1927)