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12 October - 1 Chronicles 29; Ezekiel 38; John 4


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Posted 12 October 2007 - 09:56 AM

First Portion

1 Chronicles 29


29:1 David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great; for the palace is not for man, but for Yahweh God. 29:2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the brass for the things of brass, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, stones for inlaid work, and of various colors, and all kinds of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance. 29:3 In addition, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, since I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, I give it to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, 29:4 even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, with which to overlay the walls of the houses; 29:5 of gold for the things of gold, and of silver for the things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be made by the hands of artisans. Who then offers willingly to consecrate himself this day to Yahweh?” 29:6 Then the princes of the fathers’ households, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers over the king’s work, offered willingly; 29:7 and they gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand darics, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and of iron a hundred thousand talents. 29:8 They with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of Yahweh, under the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. 29:9 Then the people rejoiced, because they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to Yahweh: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. 29:10 Therefore David blessed Yahweh before all the assembly; and David said, “You are blessed, Yahweh, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 29:11 Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty! For all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, Yahweh, and you are exalted as head above all. 29:12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all; and in your hand is power and might; and it is in your hand to make great, and to give strength to all. 29:13 Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name. 29:14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 29:15 For we are strangers before you, and foreigners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no remaining. 29:16 Yahweh our God, all this store that we have prepared to build you a house for your holy name comes from your hand, and is all your own. 29:17 I know also, my God, that you try the heart, and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things. Now have I seen with joy your people, that are present here, offer willingly to you. 29:18 Yahweh, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of your people, and prepare their heart for you; 29:19 and give to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for which I have made provision.” 29:20 David said to all the assembly, “Now bless Yahweh your God!”

All the assembly blessed Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads and prostrated themselves before Yahweh and the king. 29:21 They sacrificed sacrifices to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings to Yahweh, on the next day after that day, even one thousand bulls, one thousand rams, and one thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel, 29:22 and ate and drink before Yahweh on that day with great gladness. They made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him to Yahweh to be prince, and Zadok to be priest. 29:23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of Yahweh as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him. 29:24 All the princes, the mighty men, and also all of the sons of king David submitted themselves to Solomon the king. 29:25 Yahweh magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel. 29:26 Now David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 29:27 The time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 29:28 He died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor: and Solomon his son reigned in his place. 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad the seer, 29:30 with all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 09:57 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 38


38:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 38:2 Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 38:3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal: 38:4 and I will turn you around, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, with all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords; 38:5 Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 38:6 Gomer, and all his hordes; the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north, and all his hordes; even many peoples with you. 38:7 Be prepared, yes, prepare yourself, you, and all your companies who are assembled to you, and be a guard to them. 38:8 After many days you shall be visited: in the latter years you shall come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, on the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual waste; but it is brought forth out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them. 38:9 You shall ascend, you shall come like a storm, you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you, and all your hordes, and many peoples with you. 38:10 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: It shall happen in that day, that things shall come into your mind, and you shall devise an evil device: 38:11 and you shall say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to those who are at rest, who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates; 38:12 to take the spoil and to take the prey; to turn your hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered out of the nations, who have gotten livestock and goods, who dwell in the middle of the earth. 38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions of it, shall tell you, Have you come to take the spoil? have you assembled your company to take the prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great spoil? 38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and tell Gog, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In that day when my people Israel dwells securely, shall you not know it? 38:15 You shall come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you, and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army; 38:16 and you shall come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land: it shall happen in the latter days, that I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in you, Gog, before their eyes. 38:17 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Are you he of whom I spoke in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them? 38:18 It shall happen in that day, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh, that my wrath shall come up into my nostrils. 38:19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 38:20 so that the fish of the sea, and the birds of the sky, and the animals of the field, and all creeping things who creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the surface of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. 38:21 I will call for a sword against him to all my mountains, says the Lord Yahweh: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. 38:22 With pestilence and with blood will I enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him, and on his hordes, and on the many peoples who are with him, an overflowing shower, and great hailstones, fire, and sulfur. 38:23 I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 09:59 AM

Third Portion

John 4


4:1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John.. 4:2 (although Jesus himself didn't baptize, but his disciples), 4:3 he left Judea, and departed into Galilee. 4:4 He needed to pass through Samaria. 4:5 So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. 4:6 Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being tired from his journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 4:7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." 4:8 For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

4:9 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, "How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

4:10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."

4:11 The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. From where then have you that living water? 4:12 Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?"

4:13 Jesus answered her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

4:15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I don't get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw."

4:16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here."

4:17 The woman answered, "I have no husband."

Jesus said to her, "You said well, 'I have no husband,' 4:18 for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly."

4:19 The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 4:20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship."

4:21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. 4:22 You worship that which you don't know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. 4:23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

4:25 The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah comes," (he who is called Christ). "When he has come, he will declare to us all things."

4:26 Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who speaks to you." 4:27 At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, "What are you looking for?" or, "Why do you speak with her?" 4:28 So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, 4:29 "Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?"

4:30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. 4:31 In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, "Rabbi, eat."

4:32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you don't know about."

4:33 The disciples therefore said one to another, "Has anyone brought him something to eat?"

4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. 4:35 Don't you say, 'There are yet four months until the harvest?' Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. 4:36 He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 4:37 For in this the saying is true, 'One sows, and another reaps.' 4:38 I sent you to reap that for which you haven't labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."

4:39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, "He told me everything that I did." 4:40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. 4:41 Many more believed because of his word. 4:42 They said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

4:43 After the two days he went out from there and went into Galilee. 4:44 For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 4:45 So when he came into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did in Jerusalem at the feast, for they also went to the feast. 4:46 Jesus came therefore again to Cana of Galilee, where he made the water into wine. There was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 4:47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to him, and begged him that he would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 4:48 Jesus therefore said to him, "Unless you see signs and wonders, you will in no way believe."

4:49 The nobleman said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." 4:50 Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your son lives." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 4:51 As he was now going down, his servants met him and reported, saying "Your child lives!" 4:52 So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. They said therefore to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him." 4:53 So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives." He believed, as did his whole house. 4:54 This is again the second sign that Jesus did, having come out of Judea into Galilee.

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Posted 12 October 2008 - 11:07 AM

12 October 2008

1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 11:14 PM

12 October 2009

1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 05:10 AM

12 October 2010

1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4

DAVID'S WONDERFUL FINAL PRAYER

We tend to give only passing attention to our Chronicles reading because our other readings in Ezekiel 38 and John 4 provoke so much thought. But in Chronicles we have the climax of the end of David’s life.

Consider the scene: he had made great provision for building the Temple, others had followed his example and “the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord” [1 Chronicles 29:9].

Now consider carefully how David offers the final public prayer of his life. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” [1 Chronicles 29:11-13]

Now take special note of the sudden change of thought in the prayer! David’s mind, his vision of life and all that it really is, causes him to say, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.” [1 Chronicles 29:14,15]

David was totally honest and faced the true really if the human position in his thinking in total contrast to God’s. Next he becomes very personal about his relationship with God. “I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present hear, offering freely and joyously to you … direct their hearts toward you.” [1 Chronicles 29:17,18]

David now died and Solomon became king. His Psalm [Psalm 17] is a prayer; it provides a fitting epitaph to the thoughts we have culled. Note the last verse. “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” David has set us a heart moving example to follow!
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Posted 12 October 2011 - 02:30 AM

12 October 2011

1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4

"GATHERING FRUIT FOR ETERNAL LIFE"

It never ceases to surprise how, in doing the daily Bible readings, we come across something we had never really taken notice of previously. We read today in John 4 of a conversation between Jesus and his disciples; they were in Samaria among people the Jews despised. The disciples had gone and bought some food, but Jesus had been talking, first to a woman who came where “Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey (he was no superman!) was sitting beside the well” [John 4:6]. It was midday. He talked to her; we are familiar with the conversation which led to her fetching other townsfolk to converse with him.

The seeds of a true faith among the Samaritans were being sown by Jesus. Some years later when Jesus had ascended to heaven and the number of believers had grown greatly in Jerusalem, the stoning of Stephen led to some going to Samaria to preach. Jesus, in his last words as he ascended to heaven [Acts 1:8], had specifically mentioned Samaria as a place where they were “to be my witnesses.”

It was persecution in Jerusalem that led to the preaching there [Acts 8:5] and “there was much joy in that city” and “the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria has received the word of God” [Acts 8:8,14] Today’s chapter tells us how Jesus sowed the initial seeds there and he spent two days there [John 4:43]. He had spiritual food to digest to give him spiritual energy, but his disciples had not understood this when he said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘there are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for the harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life.” [John 4:34-36]

This is a lesson for us, there is the equivalent of the Samaritans in many parts of the world today, and this is the final ingathering. Jesus says, “Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour” [John 4:38]. When we enter into that labour we are “gathering fruit for eternal life” – and initially that is our own eternal life. Our “food” must also be “to do the will of” the one who sent Jesus into the world, and then we will be with him when he comes again.
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Posted 12 October 2012 - 03:17 AM

12 October 2012

1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4

"PRAISE YOUR GLORIOUS NAME"

We tend to give only passing attention to our Chronicles reading because our other readings in Ezekiel 38 and John 4 provoke so much thought. But in Chronicles we have the climax of the end of David’s life.

Consider the scene: he had made great provision for building the Temple, others had followed his example and “the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord” [1 Chronicles 29:9].

Now consider carefully how David offers the final public prayer of his life. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” [1 Chronicles 29:11-13]

Now take special note of the sudden change of thought in the prayer! David’s mind, his vision of life and all that it really is, causes him to say, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.” [1 Chronicles 29:14-15]

David was totally honest and faced the true really if the human position in his thinking in total contrast to God’s. Next he becomes very personal about his relationship with God. “I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present hear, offering freely and joyously to you … direct their hearts toward you.” [1 Chronicles 29:17-18]

David now died and Solomon became king. His Psalm [Psalm 17] is a prayer; it provides a fitting epitaph to the thoughts we have culled. Note the last verse. “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” David has set us a heart moving example to follow!
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Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:34 AM

12 October 2013

1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4

“YOURS, O LORD IS THE GREATNESS”

We tend to give only passing attention to our Chronicles reading because our other readings today in Ezekiel 38 and John 4 provoke so much thought. But in Chronicles we have the climax to King David’s life. Consider the scene: he had made great provision for building the Temple, others had followed his example and “the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord” [1 Chronicles 29:9].

Consider now the exalted spirit owe read in David’s final public prayer. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” [1 Chronicles 29:11-13]

We need to take special note of the sudden change of thought that now comes into the prayer! David’s mind, his vision of life and all that it really amounts to, causes him to say, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.” [1 Chronicles 29:14-15]

David was totally honest and faced the true reality of the human position in his thinking, the human position is a total contrast to God’s. He then becomes very personal about his relationship with God. “I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you … keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you.” [1 Chronicles 29:17-18]

Let us emulate David’s prayer whenever we pray for each other – as we should.

David now fell asleep and Solomon becomes king. David’s Psalm [Psalm 17], as a prayer. provides a fitting epitaph to the thoughts we have culled. Note particularly its last verse. “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” David has set us a heart moving example and meditation that we should follow!
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Posted 12 October 2014 - 05:00 AM

12 October 2014
 
1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4 
 
“DIRECT THEIR HEARTS TOWARD …”                                                                                       
            
We tend to give only passing attention to our Chronicles reading because our other readings in Ezekiel 38 and John 4 provoke so much thought.  But in Chronicles we have the climax at the end of David’s life.  Consider the scene: he had made great provision for building the Temple, others had followed his example and “the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord” [1 Chronicles 29:9]. 
            
Now consider carefully how David offers the final public prayer of his life. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is yours.  Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.  And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” [1 Chronicles 29:11-13]
            
We should take special note of the sudden change of thought in the prayer!  David’s mind, his vision of life and all that life really is, causes him to say, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly?  For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.  For we are strangers before you and sojourners as all our fathers were.  Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.” [1 Chronicles 29:14-15] Put his thoughts alongside Psalm 17, especially noting his last verse. 
            
David was totally honest and faced the true reality of the human position.  Next he becomes very personal about his relationship with God. “I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness.  In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you … direct their hearts toward you.” [1 Chronicles 29:17-18]  
 
May we, in our prayers, plead with our Lord to direct the hearts of our brethren and sisters more and more toward him.  As the storm clouds of God’s anger with our ever more evil world increase ­ may our prayers grow even more urgent ­ bearing in mind the last 2 verses of the momentous 38th chapter we read today in Ezekiel.: “With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgement … So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations.  Then they will know that I am the LORD.”  [Ezekiel 38:22-23]
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Posted 12 October 2015 - 10:26 AM

12 October 2015
 
1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4  
 
"... WORSHIP THE FATHER IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH"
            
How do we worship?  We have seen individuals in Hindu Temples seeking out some particular idol that they believe is able to help them over some particular problem. We have talked to a Roman Catholic in Dublin who was doing penance – and praying each day to Mary for a set number of days – with a confident expectation of some particular blessing!  We may inwardly ‘smile’ at such superstition, but let us make sure we ourselves really understand – in our hearts – what is an acceptable attitude and place of worship – one that our Saviour and our God, his father will recognise and accept.
            
Our thoughts were provoked into following along this line of thinking as we pondered the reply of Jesus to the statement the Samaritan woman made to him that we read today in John 4. Jesus told her, “the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father  .... true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him." [John 4:21,23]  
            
That “hour” came when Jesus died on the cross. Paul told the Corinthians, in his first letter, “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scripture” [1 Corinthians 15:3] 
            
Those words really challenge our minds! Worship is to be done in 'spirit' – in our hearts – and as our hearts focus on the absolute wonder of what the Creator of all things must be the 'vision' we can sometimes develop in our minds can become overwhelming!  
            
The other word Jesus used was 'truth.'  The ultimate source of all that is genuinely true is only found in God's word - the Bible.  Paul in his final letter, the 2nd one addressed to Timothy, told him, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." [2 Timothy 2:15]  Let us make sure we do the same - for it is the only sure guide – and inspiration – for us – a light in a dark place – and our world is getting darker and darker.  
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Posted 13 October 2016 - 12:29 PM

12 October 2016
 
1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4  
 
"GATHERING FRUIT FOR ETERNAL LIFE" 
 
It never ceases to surprise how, in doing the daily Bible readings, we come across something we had never really taken notice of previously. We read today in John 4 of a conversation between Jesus and his disciples; they were in Samaria among people the Jews despised. 
 
The disciples had gone and bought some food, but Jesus had been talking, first to a woman who came where “Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey (he was no superman!) was sitting beside the well” [John 4:6]. It was midday. He talked to her; we are familiar with the conversation which led to her fetching other townsfolk to converse with him.
 
The seeds of a true faith among the Samaritans were being sown by Jesus. Some years later when Jesus had ascended to heaven and the number of believers had grown greatly in Jerusalem, the stoning of Stephen led to some going to Samaria to preach. Jesus, in his last words as he ascended to heaven [Acts 1:8], had specifically mentioned Samaria as a place where they were “to be my witnesses.”
 
It was persecution in Jerusalem that led to the preaching there [Acts 8:5] and “there was much joy in that city” and “the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria has received the word of God” [Acts 8:8,14] Today’s chapter tells us how Jesus sowed the initial seeds there and he spent two days there [John 4:43]. He had spiritual food to digest to give him spiritual energy, but his disciples had not understood this when he said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘there are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for the harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life.” [John 4:34-36] 
 
This is a lesson for us, there is the equivalent of the Samaritans in many parts of the world today, and this is the final ingathering. Jesus says, “Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour” [John 4:38]. 
 
When we enter into that labour we are “gathering fruit for eternal life” – and initially that is our own eternal life. Our “food” must also be “to do the will of” the one who sent Jesus into the world, and then we will be with him when he comes again.
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- DC


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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:16 AM

12 October 2017
 
1 Chronicles 29
Ezekiel 38
John 4  
 
"YOURS, O LORD IS THE GREATNESS"
 
We tend to give only passing attention to our Chronicles reading because our other readings today in Ezekiel 38 and John 4 provoke so much thought. But in Chronicles we have the climax to King David's life. Consider the scene: he had made great provision for building the Temple, others had followed his example and "the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord" [1 Chronicles 29:9]. 
 
Consider now the exalted spirit owe read in David's final public prayer. "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name." [1 Chronicles 29:11-13]
 
We need to take special note of the sudden change of thought that now comes into the prayer! David's mind, his vision of life and all that it really amounts to, causes him to say, "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding." [1 Chronicles 29:14-15]
 
David was totally honest and faced the true reality of the human position in the way he thought, the human position is a total contrast to God's. He then becomes very personal about his relationship with God. "I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you … keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you." [1 Chronicles 29:17-18].
 
Let us emulate David's prayer whenever we pray for each other – as we should.
 
David now fell asleep and Solomon becomes king. David's Psalm [Psalm 17], as a prayer provides a fitting epitaph to the thoughts we have culled. Note particularly its last verse. "As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness." David has set us a heart moving example and meditation that we should follow!
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 DC





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