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19 September - 1 Chronicles 2; Ezekiel 15; Luke 11


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Posted 19 September 2007 - 09:48 AM

First Portion

1 Chronicles 2


2:1 These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, 2:2 Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 2:3 The sons of Judah: Er, and Onan, and Shelah; which three were born to him of Shua’s daughter the Canaanitess. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of Yahweh; and he killed him. 2:4 Tamar his daughter-in-law bore him Perez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five. 2:5 The sons of Perez: Hezron, and Hamul. 2:6 The sons of Zerah: Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara; five of them in all. 2:7 The sons of Carmi: Achar, the troubler of Israel, who committed a trespass in the devoted thing. 2:8 The sons of Ethan: Azariah. 2:9 The sons also of Hezron, who were born to him: Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai. 2:10 Ram became the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah; 2:11 and Nahshon became the father of Salma, and Salma became the father of Boaz, 2:12 and Boaz became the father of Obed, and Obed became the father of Jesse; 2:13 and Jesse became the father of his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimea the third, 2:14 Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, 2:15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh; 2:16 and their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah: Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three. 2:17 Abigail bore Amasa; and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite. 2:18 Caleb the son of Hezron became the father of children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon. 2:19 Azubah died, and Caleb took to him Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 2:20 Hur became the father of Uri, and Uri became the father of Bezalel. 2:21 Afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he took as wife when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub. 2:22 Segub became the father of Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead. 2:23 Geshur and Aram took the towns of Jair from them, with Kenath, and its villages, even sixty cities. All these were the sons of Machir the father of Gilead. 2:24 After that Hezron was dead in Caleb Ephrathah, then Abijah Hezron’s wife bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa. 2:25 The sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were Ram the firstborn, and Bunah, and Oren, and Ozem, Ahijah. 2:26 Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 2:27 The sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel were Maaz, and Jamin, and Eker. 2:28 The sons of Onam were Shammai, and Jada. The sons of Shammai: Nadab, and Abishur. 2:29 The name of the wife of Abishur was Abihail; and she bore him Ahban, and Molid. 2:30 The sons of Nadab: Seled, and Appaim; but Seled died without children. 2:31 The sons of Appaim: Ishi. The sons of Ishi: Sheshan. The sons of Sheshan: Ahlai. 2:32 The sons of Jada the brother of Shammai: Jether, and Jonathan; and Jether died without children. 2:33 The sons of Jonathan: Peleth, and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel. 2:34 Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters. Sheshan had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha. 2:35 Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant as wife; and she bore him Attai. 2:36 Attai became the father of Nathan, and Nathan became the father of Zabad, 2:37 and Zabad became the father of Ephlal, and Ephlal became the father of Obed, 2:38 and Obed became the father of Jehu, and Jehu became the father of Azariah, 2:39 and Azariah became the father of Helez, and Helez became the father of Eleasah, 2:40 and Eleasah became the father of Sismai, and Sismai became the father of Shallum, 2:41 and Shallum became the father of Jekamiah, and Jekamiah became the father of Elishama. 2:42 The sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel were Mesha his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron. 2:43 The sons of Hebron: Korah, and Tappuah, and Rekem, and Shema. 2:44 Shema became the father of Raham, the father of Jorkeam; and Rekem became the father of Shammai. 2:45 The son of Shammai was Maon; and Maon was the father of Beth Zur. 2:46 Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Haran, and Moza, and Gazez; and Haran became the father of Gazez. 2:47 The sons of Jahdai: Regem, and Jothan, and Geshan, and Pelet, and Ephah, and Shaaph. 2:48 Maacah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah. 2:49 She bore also Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbena, and the father of Gibea; and the daughter of Caleb was Achsah. 2:50 These were the sons of Caleb, the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah: Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim, 2:51 Salma the father of Bethlehem, Hareph the father of Beth Gader. 2:52 Shobal the father of Kiriath Jearim had sons: Haroeh, half of the Menuhoth. 2:53 The families of Kiriath Jearim: The Ithrites, and the Puthites, and the Shumathites, and the Mishraites; of them came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. 2:54 The sons of Salma: Bethlehem, and the Netophathites, Atroth Beth Joab, and half of the Manahathites, the Zorites. 2:55 The families of scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, the Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came of Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 09:49 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 15


15:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 15:2 Son of man, what is the vine tree more than any tree, the vine-branch which is among the trees of the forest? 15:3 Shall wood be taken of it to make any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon? 15:4 Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire has devoured both its ends, and its midst is burned: is it profitable for any work? 15:5 Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less, when the fire has devoured it, and it is burned, shall it yet be meet for any work! 15:6 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15:7 I will set my face against them; they shall go forth from the fire, but the fire shall devour them; and you shall know that I am Yahweh, when I set my face against them. 15:8 I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, says the Lord Yahweh.

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 09:54 AM

Third Portion

Luke 11


11:1 It happened, that when he finished praying in a certain place, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”

11:2 He said to them, “When you pray, say,

‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come.
May your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven.
11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
11:4 Forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
Bring us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’”

11:5 He said to them, “Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 11:6 for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,’ 11:7 and he from within will answer and say, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give it to you’? 11:8 I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs.

11:9 “I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. 11:10 For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.

11:11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won’t give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 11:12 Or if he asks for an egg, he won’t give him a scorpion, will he? 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

11:14 He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. It happened, when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the multitudes marveled. 11:15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons.” 11:16 Others, testing him, sought from him a sign from heaven. 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. A house divided against itself falls. 11:18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 11:19 But if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore will they be your judges.. 11:20 But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come to you.

11:21 “When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe. 11:22 But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him, he takes from him his whole armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.

11:23 “He that is not with me is against me. He who doesn’t gather with me scatters. 11:24 The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, he says, ‘I will turn back to my house from which I came out.’ 11:25 When he returns, he finds it swept and put in order. 11:26 Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”

11:27 It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!”

11:28 But he said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it.”

11:29 When the multitudes were gathering together to him, he began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks after a sign. No sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet. 11:30 For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will also the Son of Man be to this generation. 11:31 The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and will condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here. 11:32 The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, one greater than Jonah is here.

11:33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light. 11:34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness. 11:35 Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn’t darkness. 11:36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light.”

11:37 Now as he spoke, a certain Pharisee asked him to dine with him. He went in, and sat at the table. 11:38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed himself before dinner. 11:39 The Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness. 11:40 You foolish ones, didn’t he who made the outside make the inside also? 11:41 But give for gifts to the needy those things which are within, and behold, all things will be clean to you. 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 11:43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces. 11:44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them don’t know it.”

11:45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying this you insult us also.”

11:46 He said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves won’t even lift one finger to help carry those burdens. 11:47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 11:48 So you testify and consent to the works of your fathers. For they killed them, and you build their tombs. 11:49 Therefore also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; and some of them they will kill and persecute, 11:50 that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; 11:51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary.’ Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 11:52 Woe to you lawyers! For you took away the key of knowledge. You didn’t enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in, you hindered.”

11:53 As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry, and to draw many things out of him; 11:54 lying in wait for him, and seeking to catch him in something he might say, that they might accuse him.

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 11:03 AM

19 September 2008

1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 11:57 PM

19 September 2009

1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:39 AM

19 September 2010

1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11

ALL DONE FOR APPEARANCES

Our Luke reading today highlights the way Jesus criticised the religious leaders because of their obsession with unimportant ritual. They had elaborated on the straightforward commandments of Moses about washing hands and making sure cups and vessels were clean in a ceremonial way.

The situation had been reached where the ritual they had created was more important than the primary purpose of the commandment and Jesus draws lessons from this.

He says to them, “You Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness” [Luke 11:39]. Their way of thinking was directed to appearances, doing things which would be seen by others that would make them appear to be righteous, good living people. Jesus also commented on how they gave a tithe (a tenth of the value) of all the little things [Luke 11:42] but “neglect justice and the love of God.”

God’s anger built up against that generation who witnessed all the wonders of His Son’s miracles. And our generation 2,000 years later has learnt far more than any previous generation about the intricate miracles of what God created in nature that had previously been beyond human sight. Yet, most people today, especially in the wealthy countries, steadfastly set their minds to believe there is no God!!

However, those who are more than ever convinced there is One God and the Bible is his message to us must make sure they show their convictions by the way they live and are not condemned, like the Pharisees were, for doing all things for the sake of appearances.
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Posted 19 September 2011 - 05:53 AM

19 September 2011

1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11

“BUT INSIDE YOU ARE FULL OF …”

Our Luke reading today features Jesus’ criticism of the religious leaders. They were obsessed with unimportant ritual. They had elaborated on the straightforward commandments of Moses about washing hands and making sure cups and vessels were clean. What really motivated them to do this?

The ritual they had created was more important to them than the reason for the commandment. The lesson Jesus draws from this failure is one we must value. He says, “You Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness” [Luke 11:39]. The outward appearance, what other people saw, was most important to them. They did things which would be seen by others, creating the image that they were righteous, good living people.

The way politics is often played out today for the media, provides us with a 21st Century parallel. Jesus went on to comment that they gave a tithe (a tenth of the value) of all the little things [Luke 11:42] but “neglect justice and the love of God.” Let us beware; spirituality can so easily be just a façade. Some churches are a bad odour today when the façade collapses.

God’s anger built up against that generation; they had seen all the wonders of His Son’s miracles. Our generation has learnt far more than any other about the intricate miracles of what God did at the creation of the world; things that had previously been beyond human sight. Yet, more and more people have locked their minds into believing there is no God!!

However, those who are fully convinced there is One God and that the Bible is his message must make sure that this conviction is on the inside! This is where God looks! What Peter wrote is so meaningful; “let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” [1 Peter 3:4]. This surely applies to both men and women, make sure it applies to you.
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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:31 AM

19 September 2012

1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11

"WHEN YOUR EYE IS HEALTHY"

In today’s chapter [Luke 11] Luke records some of the sayings of Jesus which require careful thought and comparison with other scriptures to unravel our Lord’s underlying meaning. In Luke 11:33 he comments on the correct use of lamps, needed when there is darkness – and then speaks of darkness as being both literal and spiritual.

Jesus next says, “Your eye is the lamp of your body” [Luke 11:34] and that is true, how difficult life is for the blind – but Jesus’ then makes it clear he is not talking of physical blindness: “when your eye is healthy your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.” What kind of “eye” is this? What is the “light”?

This reminds us of the exclamation of Job at the climax of his life. He had agonized with many words about the ways of God in allowing all the troubles that had befallen him. His 3 friends were sure of the reason, in their ‘mechanical’ perception that troubles only come as a punishment for sin! But Job, although he could not understand why events had happened to him, knew better. His final words to the LORD, after the Almighty speaks to him are, “”I know that you can do all things, that no purpose of yours can be thwarted … I have uttered what I did not understand …I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent …” [Job 42:2,3,5,6]

Job now “saw” with the “eye” of his mind the ways of God! This is what Jesus is talking about; so many of the minds of his hearers were “full of darkness.” Note his next words; “therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body be full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright …” [Luke 11:35-36] How wonderful. But so often human beings only look at the physical and not the spiritual; in Luke 11:27 a “woman in the crowd said to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb that bore you …” But Jesus responds, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” Today we can say, ‘Blessed are those who read the word of God – and after reading it, keep it – and then the “eye” of their thinking will be healthy.

A final thought – how meaningful are the words of Paul to the Ephesians, “I do not cease to give thanks for you … in my prayers … having the eyes of your hearts enlightened that you may know …” [Ephesians 1:16,18] Read the context, it is very enlightening, let us all have the eyes of our hearts enlightened.
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Posted 19 September 2013 - 03:23 AM

19 September 2013

1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11

"BLESSED RATHER ARE THOSE WHO ..."

We live in a world in which people more than ever focus on physical possessions and experiences, they inter-act between themselves in all that they and others experience but, says Jesus, these are not the things that matter.

We will read in Luke’s gospel tomorrow – his comment that, “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of (our) possessions” [Luke 12:15] Today’s chapter [Luke 11] contains quite a number of sayings by Jesus which challenge our understanding; one is a parable [Luke 11:24-26] about an “unclean spirit” which, when it has “gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there.” Then Jesus gives the lesson the parable is teaching, he says “and the last state of that person is worse than the first”

So Jesus is making a point about the human state of mind – what “possesses” the mind – the need to get rid of bad attitudes. In Luke 9 we read the comment of Jesus’ disciples James and John (aptly named ‘sons of thunder – Mark 3:17) who, when a Samaritan village did not provide for them, said “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them? But he (Jesus) turned and rebuked them, you do not know what manner of spirit you are of..” [Luke 9:52-55] At the beginning of the chapter we read how Jesus had sent out “the twelve and gave them power …” But now, in this situation, their spirit, that is, their attitude of mind, was wrong.

So the lesson of the parable is that in getting rid of bad ways of thinking it is essential we put good ways of thinking in their place and not leave “the house” of our mind empty. Now back in today’s chapter, the next verse [Luke 11:27] contains a very significant point. “As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him. ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!’

This shows the woman’s mind was focussed on physical things- but there was no lasting value in that! We can see in history the meaningless worship of the Virgin Mary for which God’s word gives no warrant at all – she is dead and buried and awaits the resurrection like all other worthies who have served the Almighty; as we read in Hebrews of those who do God’s will, “These all died in faith, not have received the things promised, but having seen than and greeted them from afar …” [Luke 11:13]

Finally, notice how Jesus responded to the woman who made this comment! His answer is most significant! He said, “blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” And, wonderfully, we can read it whenever we want to! But maybe we have a “spirit” in our house that hinders this? Let us be blessed through the word of God and “keep” in our house what we read so that our minds are dominated by a right spirit.
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Posted 19 September 2014 - 01:45 PM

19 September 2014
 
1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11 
 
“THEREFORE BE CAREFUL LEST …”
            
Our chapter (11) in Luke’s gospel today is full of challenging sayings by our Lord. There is great spiritual value in deeply meditating on them and seeing the extent to which they have application to the circumstances in which we live today.  The background to many of them is the self-righteous attitudes of the religious leaders who contended with Jesus. 
            
Praise of Jesus’ mother developed in early centuries and led to the cult of a sort of Mary worship. Luke records a little incident which those influenced by such attitudes must gloss over and ignore.  We read the response of Jesus to a woman in the crowd who calls out, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed”  Jesus responds, “Blessed rather are those who hear the words of God and keep it.” [Luke 11:27-28]  May we all be blessed for that reason, and recognise our additional blessing in being able to read all the words of God.
            
The way that we “keep it” will result in us being “full of light”!   As a result our “eye is healthy” [Luke 11:34] and so our eye (or ear) keep bringing ‘healthy food’ into our minds.  This is more and more essential today as our world is so full of junk food!
            
Underline the next 2 verses, “Therefore be careful lest the light (you think you have) be darkness”  [Luke 11:35] Let’s fully absorb the point Jesus makes in the next verse, “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.” Are you and I “full of light”?   How difficult it is to maintain such light in the increasing darkness of this world – evil words and deeds multiply all around us.  Now the words of David in Psalm 139 are a special inspiration to us with his perception of the light of God in the darkness. 
            
“If I say,’ writes David, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.” [Psalm 139:12] Read the rest of that Psalm, especially the last 2 verses – and then you and I will be even more dedicated to “be careful lest” the light of God’s word be smothered by the darkness that increasingly surrounds us.   
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Posted 19 September 2015 - 08:02 AM

19 September 2015
 
1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11  
 
"WHEN YOUR EYE IS HEALTHY"
            
Our chapter in Ezekiel [Ezekiel 15] again indicates how godless his nation had become – and the prophet is told that  “you will know that I am the LORD, when I set my face against them ... I will make the land desolate, because they have acted faithlessly, declares the Lord GOD." [Ezekiel 15:7-8]  
            
Our world is "acting faithlessly"!   Indeed, it is increasing; the spirit in the world is just the same as in Ezekiel's day – and – until God carries out his word nearly everyone in the world will persist in their blindness – especially the belief of most – that no Creator really exists. 
 
Our New Testament portion, Luke 11, has many interesting sayings of Christ for us to meditate upon – and receive the "true light, which gives light to everyone" [John 1:9]. But how dark is our world today, it is so very similar to Ezekiel’s day! How few (at least in this country) are interested in coming to the "light" that God so wondrously provides?  His word is neglected – ignored – let us not be influenced by this spirit.
            
Sadly there are deceptive competing lights – only careful meditative reading reveals the "true light."  Jesus warns, as we read in Luke 11:35, "be careful lest the light in you be darkness."  The "true light" brings health to us and the result is, "When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light," [Luke 11:34]   How vital to have a "healthy" eye!  But what sort of "eye" – we could be wondering?  
            
How powerful and full of meaning are the words Paul wrote to the Ephesians; he prayed that they would experience "having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe ..." [Ephesians 1:18-19] 
            
This form of knowing – is knowing in our hearts.   This results in us having an overwhelming sense of commitment – it is far more than intellectual knowledge; it also brings a sense of awareness of "his power toward" those who believe. Paul’s prayer should be our daily prayer – and also our prayer for one another – creating the wondrous result that, "when your eye is healthy" then "(y)our whole body is full of light." 
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Posted 19 September 2016 - 10:51 AM

19 September 2016
 
1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11  
 
"THEREFORE BE CAREFUL LEST ..."
 
Our chapter in Ezekiel once again is the message the prophet receives from the LORD to send to the people in Jerusalem who are facing the potential destruction of their city and of Solomon’s wonderful Temple. 
 
They appear to have had the expectation that the LORD would not allow its destruction! But today’s message ends with the LORD saying, “… when I set my face against them… I will make the land desolate, because they have acted faithlessly, declares the Lord GOD." May our Lord never set his face against us! But he will against some! For example, recall what we read yesterday in Luke 10:15. The people of Capernaum had been wonderfully blessed in seeing many of Jesus’ miracles, but did they appreciate them! The comment of Jesus shows they did not – and how many people today have God’s word readily available. But do they appreciate this?
 
In Luke 11 today we read the teaching of Jesus in which he draws lessons from simple truths, he says, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.” [Luke 11:34] Then comes the lesson, let not this lesson be seen as ‘too simple’ that our heart does not feel sufficiently challenged by it.
 
“Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness”. Do we ‘see’ the point? Physically there is a huge contrast between light and darkness – but, in the spiritual sense, our minds can be ‘blind’ to the contrast.
 
May the next verse [Luke 11:36] be wholly true for us, “If then” (what a vital ‘if’ this is) “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light." God’s word alone can make our minds (and as a result our words and actions) “wholly bright.” “Therefore” let us all “be careful lest …"
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- DC


#13 Librarian

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 02:24 AM

19 September 2017
 
1 Chronicles 2
Ezekiel 15
Luke 11  
 
"BUT INSIDE YOU ARE FULL OF …" 
 
Our Luke reading today features Jesus' criticism of the religious leaders. They were obsessed with unimportant ritual. They had elaborated on the straightforward commandments of Moses about washing hands and making sure cups and vessels were clean. What really motivated them to do this?
 
The ritual they had created was more important to them than the reason for the commandment. The lesson Jesus draws from this failure is one we must value. He says, "You Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness" [Luke 11:39].  
 
The outward appearance, what other people saw, was most important to them. They did things which would be seen by others, creating the image that they were righteous, good living people. The way politics is often played out today for the media, provides us with a Twenty First Century parallel. Jesus went on to comment that they gave a tithe (a tenth of the value) of all the little things [Luke 11:42] but neglect justice and the love of God. Let us beware; spirituality can so easily be just a facade. Some churches are a bad odour today when the facade collapses.
 
God's anger built up against that generation; they had seen all the wonders of His Son's miracles. Our generation has learnt far more than any other about the intricate miracles of what God did at the creation of the world; things that had previously been beyond human sight. 
 
Yet, more and more people have locked their minds into believing there is no God! However, those who are fully convinced there is One God and that the Bible is his message must make sure that this conviction is on the inside! This is where God looks! What Peter wrote is so meaningful; "let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious" [1 Peter 3:4]. This surely applies to both men and women, make sure it applies to you. 
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- DC





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