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10 September - 2 Kings 16; Ezekiel 6; Luke 2


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Posted 10 September 2007 - 11:05 AM

First Portion

2 Kings 16


16:1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. 16:2 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and he didn’t do that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh his God, like David his father. 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yes, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations, whom Yahweh cast out from before the children of Israel. 16:4 He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. 16:5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him. 16:6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drove the Jews from Elath; and the Syrians came to Elath, and lived there, to this day. 16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, who rise up against me.” 16:8 Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of Yahweh, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. 16:9 The king of Assyria listened to him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried its people captive to Kir, and killed Rezin. 16:10 King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, and saw the altar that was at Damascus; and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and its pattern, according to all its workmanship. 16:11 Urijah the priest built an altar: according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so Urijah the priest made it for the coming of king Ahaz from Damascus. 16:12 When the king had come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king drew near to the altar, and offered on it. 16:13 He burnt his burnt offering and his meal offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, on the altar. 16:14 The bronze altar, which was before Yahweh, he brought from the forefront of the house, from between his altar and the house of Yahweh, and put it on the north side of his altar. 16:15 King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, “On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meal offering, and the king’s burnt offering, and his meal offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meal offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice; but the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.” 16:16 Urijah the priest did so, according to all that king Ahaz commanded. 16:17 King Ahaz cut off the panels of the bases, and removed the basin from off them, and took down the sea from off the bronze oxen that were under it, and put it on a pavement of stone. 16:18 The covered way for the Sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry outside, turned he to the house of Yahweh, because of the king of Assyria. 16:19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 16:20 Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 11:06 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 6


6:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying, 6:2 Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy to them, 6:3 and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahweh: Thus says the Lord Yahweh to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places. 6:4 Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken; and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. 6:5 I will lay the dead bodies of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6:6 In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. 6:7 The slain shall fall in the midst of you, and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 6:8 Yet will I leave a remnant, in that you shall have some that escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries. 6:9 Those of you that escape shall remember me among the nations where they shall be carried captive, how that I have been broken with their lewd heart, which has departed from me, and with their eyes, which play the prostitute after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. 6:10 They shall know that I am Yahweh: I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them. 6:11 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Strike with your hand, and stamp with your foot, and say, Alas! because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel; for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. 6:12 He who is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he who is near shall fall by the sword; and he who remains and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my wrath on them. 6:13 You shall know that I am Yahweh, when their slain men shall be among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the places where they offered pleasant aroma to all their idols. 6:14 I will stretch out my hand on them, and make the land desolate and waste, from the wilderness toward Diblah, throughout all their habitations: and they shall know that I am Yahweh.

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 11:08 AM

Third Portion

Luke 2


2:1 Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. 2:2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 2:3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city. 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David; 2:5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant.

2:6 It happened, while they were there, that the day had come that she should give birth. 2:7 She brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn. 2:8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. 2:9 Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 2:10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. 2:11 For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 2:12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.” 2:13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying,

2:14 “Glory to God in the highest,
on earth peace, good will toward men.”

2:15 It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 2:16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough. 2:17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child. 2:18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds. 2:19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart. 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them.

2:21 When eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

2:22 When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord 2:23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”

2:25 Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 2:26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 2:27 He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law, 2:28 then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,

2:29 “Now you are releasing your servant, Master,
according to your word, in peace;
2:30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
2:31 which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
2:32 a light for revelation to the nations,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

2:33 Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him, 2:34 and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. 2:35 Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

2:36 There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity, 2:37 and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years), who didn’t depart from the temple, worshipping with fastings and petitions night and day. 2:38 Coming up at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem.

2:39 When they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 2:40 The child was growing, and was becoming strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. 2:41 His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover.

2:42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, 2:43 and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and his mother didn’t know it, 2:44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day’s journey, and they looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 2:45 When they didn’t find him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him. 2:46 It happened after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. 2:47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 2:48 When they saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you.”

2:49 He said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 2:50 They didn’t understand the saying which he spoke to them. 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

World English Bible - (WEB) - Public Domain

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 10:38 AM

10 September 2008

2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 12:26 PM

10 September 2009

2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 04:26 AM

10 September 2010

2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2

“ON EARTH PEACE AMONG THOSE WITH WHOM HE IS PLEASED”

Modern versions of today’s reading [Luke 2] which give us the words the angels sang to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, render the conclusion of the song as above. The old translation is as the words in the familiar Christmas Carol “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

There is a significant difference. The old version fits in with the belief that God is totally a God of love, that his attitude of goodwill applies equally to all human beings. So we need to ask, with whom is God pleased today, here and now?

Well, we know with whom He became pleased after the death of Jesus: those who believed in His Son and accepted him as their Saviour and then lived trying to follow his example. Although there is more than 3 months to go, all too soon we will have Christmas themes surrounding us again, especially in the shops. How many will wonder if God is pleased with them? What will make him pleased with them? Food for our thoughts!

Food for further thought is the different role the angels are destined play at his second coming? In a week’s time we will read [Luke 9:26] “For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him will the Son of man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father of the holy angels.”

Are we ashamed to admit we believe this divine message that has been so miraculously preserved and translated for us to read? Are we ready to give a rebuke to those who push the notion that we are just the highest form of animal that has evolved? Let it be a gentle, loving rebuke – for a “soft answer turns away wrath” [Proverbs 15:1]

What we wonder about is how literal is the role and work of the angels we read about in the book of Revelation! “Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet … so the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.” [Revelation 9:15] “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, ‘The kingdom of the word has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and he shall reign for ever and ever.” [Revelation 11:15]
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Posted 10 September 2011 - 10:39 AM

10 September 2011

2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2

"THAT THE THOUGHTS FROM MANY HEARTS MAY BE REVEALED"

What thoughts are provoked in your mind as you read the Bible? We keep many of our thoughts to ourselves, especially if they are “disturbing” thoughts. Today we read in Luke 2 of something that was to happen “so that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed” [Luke 2:35] Who said this to whom?

The man who said it is only mentioned in this chapter of the Bible. His “name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel (i.e. the Messiah), and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came … into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation … a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel’” [Luke 2:25-32] A remarkable thing to say: especially that this baby would be “a light to the Gentiles.” The Jews saw themselves as superior to all other races - a Jew of that era, for example would not sit and eat with a non Jew [Acts 10:28], they had virtually ignored many Old Testament references to the Gentiles. Only an extraordinary set of circumstances led to Simeon’s prophecy being fulfilled.

Then Simeon “said to Mary his mother ‘Behold this child is appointed for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed’” [Luke 2:34-35] What heart searchings there were in the years that followed, especially Mary’s as she stood by his cross. The teaching and life of Jesus Christ has challenged the thinking and actions of human beings ever since. Those who ignore him will find he will ignore them on that future day, now so close, when he comes again. We must all ask ourselves what thoughts does that babe in the arms of Simeon 2,000 years ago, provoke in my heart? Those thoughts must lead to actions of one kind or another.
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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:46 AM

10 September 2012

2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2

“ON EARTH PEACE AMONG THOSE WITH WHOM HE IS PLEASED”

Modern versions of today’s reading [Luke 2] which give us the words the angels sang to the shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, render the conclusion of the song as above. The old translation from the Greek is not a good one, but it is as the words in the familiar Christmas Carol “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

There is a significant difference! The old version fits in with the belief that God is totally a God of love, that his attitude of goodwill applies equally to all human beings. So we need to ask, with whom is God pleased today, here and now?

Well, we know with whom He became pleased after the death of Jesus: those who believed in His Son and accepted him as their Saviour and then lived trying to follow his example. Although there is more than 3 months to go, all too soon we will have Christmas themes surrounding us again, especially in the shops. Few will wonder if God is pleased with them! What will make God pleased with us? Food for our thoughts!

Food for further thought is the different role the angels are destined play at his second coming? In a week’s time we will read [Luke 9:26] “For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him will the Son of man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

Are we ashamed to admit we believe this divine message that has been so miraculously preserved and translated for us to read? Are we ready to give an answer to those who talk as if we are just the highest form of mindless evolution?

We ponder the role and work of the angels that we read about in the book of Revelation! Is this literal? “Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet … so the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind.” [Revelation 9:15] “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, ‘The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ and he shall reign for ever and ever.” [Revelation 11:15] Let us build up our faith and face the future with God given confidence.
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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:23 AM

10 September 2013

2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2

"THOUGHTS FROM MANY HEARTS ... REVEALED"

The start of our reading in Luke 2 covers one of the events which is often quoted at Christmas time. Most know of the angelic appearance to the shepherds on the hillside and how they came and found the babe in the manger and tell of what they had seen and heard “out in the field .. concerning this child.”

“All who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.” [Luke 2:17-18] Our thoughts however went particularly to their impact on Mary who “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Can we imagine Mary’s ponderings?

The Law of Moses required first born children to be taken to Jerusalem for “’every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’ and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law …” [Luke 2:23-24]

When they do this a man “whose name was Simeon who was righteous and devout” [Luke 2:25] came “and took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, ‘Lord … my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for the glory of your people Israel.’ … his mother marvelled at what was said about him. And Simeon … said to Mary … ‘Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel” [Luke 2:31-34]

Simeon then adds, “he will be a sign that is opposed … so that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

The opposition to all that Jesus preached began at the start of his ministry and has continued throughout history – this illustrates the meaning of Simeon’s words. Every human being is challenged as to where they stand in relation to Christ! Are they willing to become related to him? Are they willing to live their lives letting his words influence their thinking and give direction to the course of their lives.

If we ignore Jesus – then he will ignore us when he returns. As we read the Bible it becomes ever more evident to seeking hearts how the words of Jesus and his followers give inspiration and light to their lives as the darkness of this world increases.
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Posted 10 September 2014 - 02:12 PM

10 September 2014
 
2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2  
 
“… AMONG THOSE WITH WHOM HE IS PLEASED” 
            
Once again our 2nd Kings chapter is an account of depraved worship in Jerusalem, but it ends on an encouraging note, the wicked king Ahaz dies – but the new king will be his son Hezekiah. How is it that he shows himself to be godly, after such a father? It is reasonable to think that his mother must have been a worthy woman – surely a lesson for today. 
            
Ezekiel 6 is another message of God’s anger against the godlessness of idol worship, with the LORD saying, “Thus will I spend my fury upon them. And you shall know that I am the LORD when their slain lie among their idols.” [Ezekiel 6:12-13]  A prophet today would bring the same message to our world.  
 
But, in contrast, what a pleasure for uplifting meditation is our chapter (2) in Luke with its’ account of the birth of our Lord. We read the well-known account of “the angel of the Lord” appearing to the “shepherds out in the field.” Are his words too familiar to us?  Imagine you were one of the shepherds.  “… behold I bring you good news of great joy for unto you is born … a saviour who is Christ (Messiah) the Lord.” [Luke 2:10-11]  The angel is then joined by “a heavenly host” who sing words often sung at Christmas, but the original English version of the words, so familiar to us, is wrong.  The angels did not sing “peace on earth” but, as modern versions correctly translate the Greek, “Glory to God in the highest , and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” 
            
May we be among those who experience this in our hearts, especially as our world is experiencing, as we will read the words of Jesus in Luke 21, “distress of nations in perplexity” and “people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world.” [Luke 21:25-26]. Genuinely faithful believers will have his encouragement  echoing in their minds, “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” [Luke 21:28]  
 
People are not yet fainting with fear, but when that time comes the Lord’s coming will surely be near and he will be wonderfully “among those with whom he is pleased”   May we all, by his mercy, be among all those who “raise their heads”, but, as a hymn, by Islip Collyer, we sing expresses it, ‘we make the answer now.’ 
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Posted 10 September 2015 - 09:32 AM

10 September 2015
 
2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2  
 
"PEACE AMONG THOSE WITH WHOM HE IS PLEASED”
            
The second chapter of Luke’s gospel is just as thought provoking as the first.  Luke’s effort “to write an orderly account” [Luke 1:3] of events is of great value.  It is also valuable for us to have a more accurate translation as a result of more and more ancient documents being found.  A particular example of this is in today's chapter, Luke 2:14, the words the angels sang to the shepherds as they watched over their flocks. 
            
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Let us make sure we get the point of their words, the promise of "peace" is only for " those with whom he is pleased!"  We fear that all too few today qualify!  Let us make every effort to make sure we do.
            
The baby Jesus is brought into the Temple [Luke 2:27] and Simeon, who was "righteous and devout ... and the Holy Spirit was upon him … took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,  ‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word;   for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,  a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.’" [Luke 2:28-32]
            
And so it happened!  Jesus became "a light for revelation" that the Gentiles in particular saw: eventually all around the world!  In the process of this happening the words in 2 Peter 1:19 were fulfilled. There came into existence "a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns." 
            
What a wonderful transformation in human thought spread round the world in the generations that followed - as accounts such as Luke's were circulated.  How wonderful!  But today - how few see the light!?  God's word is more and more ignored.
            
When we come to Luke 18 we will read a significant question uttered by Jesus!  "... when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" [Luke 18:8] We pray there will still be some "with whom he is pleased."  May you and I be among them.  
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Posted 11 September 2016 - 06:00 AM

10 September 2016
 
2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2  
 
"AND HIS MOTHER TREASURED UP ...”
 
What a challenging, but also wonderful, life Mary had. We read today in Luke 2 details far more than the other gospel’s of the early events in the life of Jesus. The danger is that our very familiarity with some of these incidents may cloud our perception and resultant meditation on their full significance.
 
Let us not miss the ‘minor’ but somewhat significant changes later translations have made: in particular what the shepherds heard the angels sing! "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" [Luke 2:14] Let us make sure “he is pleased” with us. 
 
Then we have the account of Jesus, at the age of twelve staying behind in Jerusalem – and Mary and Joseph returning and spending 3 days searching for him until “they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress." [Luke 2:46-48]
 
But Jesus knew that Joseph was not really his father! “And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" The chapter ends by telling us Jesus “went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.” How well have we “treasured up” God’s word in our hearts?
 
The Scripture records 2 more events in the life of Mary that stand out! When Jesus was on the cross he “saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” [John 19:26-27] A spiritual relationship! Are we standing near the cross – spiritually? We should! We must!
 
The final mention of Mary is in Acts 1. The disciples are gathered in the upper room  [Acts 1:13] and “were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” [Acts 1:14] If there was anything more of significance to be recorded about the life of Mary the Scriptures would surely record it. Let us follow her example and “treasure up” these inspired messages in our heart.
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Posted 10 September 2017 - 04:21 AM

10 September 2017
 
2 Kings 16
Ezekiel 6
Luke 2  
 
"THAT THE THOUGHTS FROM MANY HEARTS MAY BE REVEALED"
 
What thoughts are provoked in your mind as you read the Bible? We keep many of our thoughts to ourselves, especially if they are   'disturbing' thoughts. Today we read in Luke 2 of something that was to happen "so that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed" [Luke 2:35]
 
Who said this to whom? The man who said it is only mentioned in this chapter of the Bible. His "name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel (i.e. the Messiah), and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came … into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, 'Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation … a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel'" [Luke 2:25-32]. A remarkable thing to say: especially that this baby would be 'a light to the Gentiles.'  
 
The Jews saw themselves as superior to all other races - a Jew of that era, for example would not sit and eat with a non-Jew [Acts 10:28]; throughout their lives they had virtually ignored many Old Testament references to the Gentiles, but an extraordinary set of circumstances led to Simeon's prophecy being fulfilled.
 
Then a child is brought to Simeon and he said to Mary his mother "Behold this child is appointed for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed" [Luke 2:34-35] 
 
What heart searchings there were in the years that followed, especially Mary's as she stood by his cross. The teaching and life of Jesus Christ has challenged the thinking and actions of human beings ever since.
  
Those who ignore Jesus will find he will ignore them on that future day, now so close, when he comes again. We must each ask ourselves, what thoughts does that babe in the arms of Simeon, 2,000 years ago, provoke in my heart? Those thoughts lead to our actions - of one kind - or another.
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- DC





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