Tuesday, 19 August 2014

TFTD - 15 August 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

15 August 2014

1 Kings 10
Jeremiah 36
Mark 10

"HOW DIFFICULT IT WILL BE …"

We read in Mark 10 today how a man ran up and knelt before Jesus asking, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  A very meaningful conversation followed. Jesus said, "you know the commandments" and mentioned the main ones and the man responds, "Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth"  [Mark 10:17-20].  Jesus reacts, "looking at him, loved him and said to him, 'You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.'" What an invitation! But what a challenge and, sadly, the man is "disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions." [Mark 10:22]

We then read that the disciples were amazed  because he said, "How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"  [Mark 10:23]. And yet, as we read in today's chapter in 1 Kings about the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon to hear his wisdom and see the wonders of his kingdom where so much gold was available and used so that "silver was not counted as anything"  [1 Kings 10:21]. The Queen said, "I did not believe the reports until I came and my own eyes had seen it. Behold the half was not told me …"  [1 Kings 10:6-7]

Yet tomorrow's chapter is very disappointing after all this use of wealth Solomon's relationship with his God falters and "his heart was not wholly true to the LORD"  [1 Kings 11:4] and he starts to worship other gods. Like the young man who came to Jesus "his great possessions"  undermined, and in the case of the young man, destroyed his opportunity to have the wonder of "treasure in heaven." We cannot know what role, if any, Solomon will have in the kingdom.

The world today is described as "a global village" - and many of us have "great possessions"  in a world-wide context: we should have in mind what Paul said in writing to Timothy, "For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils." [1 Timothy 6:10] Yes, it puts down mind poisoning roots! In God's eyes, this is surely the case when those who have more than the money needed for essentials, spend the surplus on abundant possessions, pleasure and leisure, attitudes that take root in our minds and lead us further and further away from God - and our "treasure in heaven" ceases to exist and there is no reward for Jesus to bring with him for us (see Revelation 22:12) when he returns.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

15 August 2014

"When that call comes, whenever and however it does, it is just possible that our eternal destiny may well depend upon our instant reaction. To be apprehensive; to desire a little more time to prepare; to say in effect to the angel, 'Wait a little, please': the parables teach that there is a danger to those so minded, finding themselves knocking on a closed door. On the other hand, the reaction could and should be: "This is what I have been waiting for ever since I came to know Christ: at last he is here! This is the reality of Christ as opposed to the vanity of this world!" Such would indeed be "servants waiting for their Lord."

"Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching; verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them” (Luke 12:37)."

- C.E. Hinde
Thy Kingdom Come (1988)