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13 October - 2 Chronicles 1, 2; Ezekiel 39; John 5


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Posted 13 October 2007 - 11:13 AM

First Portion

2 Chronicles 1; 2


1:1 Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and Yahweh his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly. 1:2 Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every prince in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ households. 1:3 So Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the Tent of Meeting of God, which Moses the servant of Yahweh had made in the wilderness. 1:4 But David had brought the ark of God up from Kiriath Jearim to the place that David had prepared for it; for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. 1:5 Moreover the bronze altar, that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of Yahweh: and Solomon and the assembly were seeking counsel there. 1:6 Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before Yahweh, which was at the Tent of Meeting, and offered one thousand burnt offerings on it. 1:7 In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” 1:8 Solomon said to God, “You have shown great loving kindness to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 1:9 Now, Yahweh God, let your promise to David my father be established; for you have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. 1:10 Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this your people, that is so great?”

1:11 God said to Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches, wealth, or honor, nor the life of those who hate you, neither yet have asked long life; but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge my people, over whom I have made you king: 1:12 wisdom and knowledge is granted to you. I will give you riches, wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings have had who have been before you; neither shall there any after you have the like.”

1:13 So Solomon came from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the Tent of Meeting, to Jerusalem; and he reigned over Israel. 1:14 Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had one thousand four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. 1:15 The king made silver and gold to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. 1:16 The horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt and from Kue; the king’s merchants purchased them from Kue. 1:17 They brought up and brought out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred pieces of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of Syria, they brought them out by their means.

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 11:13 AM

2:1 Now Solomon purposed to build a house for the name of Yahweh, and a house for his kingdom. 2:2 Solomon counted out seventy thousand men to bear burdens, and eighty thousand men who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them. 2:3 Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, “As you dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build him a house in which to dwell, so deal with me. 2:4 Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of Yahweh my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him incense of sweet spices, and for the continual show bread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts of Yahweh our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.

2:5 “The house which I build is great; for our God is great above all gods. 2:6 But who is able to build him a house, since heaven and the heaven of heavens can’t contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, except just to burn incense before him?

2:7 “Now therefore send me a man skillful to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and who knows how to engrave engravings, to be with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father provided.

2:8 “Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon; for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon: and behold, my servants shall be with your servants, 2:9 even to prepare me timber in abundance; for the house which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful. 2:10 Behold, I will give to your servants, the cutters who cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.”

2:11 Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, “Because Yahweh loves his people, he has made you king over them.” 2:12 Huram continued, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who has given to David the king a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, that should build a house for Yahweh, and a house for his kingdom. 2:13 Now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, of Huram my father’s, 2:14 the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan; and his father was a man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson, also to engrave any kind of engraving, and to devise any device; that there may be a place appointed to him with your skillful men, and with the skillful men of my lord David your father.

2:15 “Now therefore the wheat and the barley, the oil and the wine, which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants: 2:16 and we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as you shall need; and we will bring it to you in floats by sea to Joppa; and you shall carry it up to Jerusalem.” 2:17 Solomon numbered all the foreigners who were in the land of Israel, after the numbering with which David his father had numbered them; and they were found one hundred fifty-three thousand six hundred. 2:18 He set seventy thousand of them to bear burdens, and eighty thousand who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred overseers to set the people at work.

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 11:14 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 39


39:1 You, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal: 39:2 and I will turn you around, and will lead you on, and will cause you to come up from the uttermost parts of the north; and I will bring you on the mountains of Israel; 39:3 and I will strike your bow out of your left hand, and will cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand. 39:4 You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you, and all your hordes, and the peoples who are with you: I will give you to the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the animals of the field to be devoured. 39:5 You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh. 39:6 I will send a fire on Magog, and on those who dwell securely in the islands; and they shall know that I am Yahweh. 39:7 My holy name will I make known in the midst of my people Israel; neither will I allow my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, the Holy One in Israel. 39:8 Behold, it comes, and it shall be done, says the Lord Yahweh; this is the day about which I have spoken. 39:9 Those who dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall make fires of the weapons and burn them, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the war clubs, and the spears, and they shall make fires of them seven years; 39:10 so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall make fires of the weapons; and they shall plunder those who plundered them, and rob those who robbed them, says the Lord Yahweh. 39:11 It shall happen in that day, that I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the valley of those who pass through on the east of the sea; and it shall stop those who pass through: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude; and they shall call it The valley of Hamon Gog. 39:12 Seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them, that they may cleanse the land. 39:13 Yes, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown in the day that I shall be glorified, says the Lord Yahweh. 39:14 They shall set apart men of continual employment, who shall pass through the land, and, with those who pass through, those who bury those who remain on the surface of the land, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 39:15 Those who pass through the land shall pass through; and when any sees a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, until the undertakers have buried it in the valley of Hamon Gog. 39:16 Hamonah shall also be the name of a city. Thus shall they cleanse the land. 39:17 You, son of man, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Speak to the birds of every sort, and to every animal of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. 39:18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 39:19 You shall eat fat until you be full, and drink blood until you are drunk, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 39:20 You shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, says the Lord Yahweh. 39:21 I will set my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. 39:22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am Yahweh their God, from that day and forward. 39:23 The nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they trespassed against me, and I hid my face from them: so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they fell all of them by the sword. 39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I to them; and I hid my face from them. 39:25 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Now will I bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name. 39:26 They shall bear their shame, and all their trespasses by which they have trespassed against me, when they shall dwell securely in their land, and none shall make them afraid; 39:27 when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations. 39:28 They shall know that I am Yahweh their God, in that I caused them to go into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them to their own land; and I will leave none of them any more there; 39:29 neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh.

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 11:16 AM

Third Portion

John 5


5:1 After these things, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 5:2 Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, “Bethesda,” having five porches. 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water; 5:4 for an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was made whole of whatever disease he had. 5:5 A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”

5:7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, another steps down before me.”

5:8 Jesus said to him, “Arise, take up your mat, and walk.”

5:9 Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked.

Now it was the Sabbath on that day. 5:10 So the Jews said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.”

5:11 He answered them, “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat, and walk.’”

5:12 Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your mat, and walk’?”

5:13 But he who was healed didn’t know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place.

5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

5:15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 5:16 For this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he did these things on the Sabbath. 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.” 5:18 For this cause therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 5:19 Jesus therefore answered them, “Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise. 5:20 For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires. 5:22 For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son, 5:23 that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him.

5:24 “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 5:25 Most certainly, I tell you, the hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of God’s voice; and those who hear will live. 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself. 5:27 He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man. 5:28 Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, 5:29 and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment. 5:30 I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don’t seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.

5:31 “If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid. 5:32 It is another who testifies about me. I know that the testimony which he testifies about me is true. 5:33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 5:34 But the testimony which I receive is not from man. However, I say these things that you may be saved. 5:35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 5:36 But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John, for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me. 5:37 The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form. 5:38 You don’t have his word living in you; because you don’t believe him whom he sent.

5:39 “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me. 5:40 Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life. 5:41 I don’t receive glory from men. 5:42 But I know you, that you don’t have God’s love in yourselves. 5:43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you don’t receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 5:44 How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God?

5:45 “Don’t think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. 5:47 But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

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Posted 13 October 2008 - 10:53 AM

13 October 2008

2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 09:29 AM

13 October 2009

2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 05:53 AM

13 October 2010

2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5

"YOU DO NOT HAVE HIS WORD ABIDING IN YOU"

We may read God’s word every day, we may find it interesting and helpful as a guide to living a satisfying life, but is that enough? What did Jesus mean when he spoke about God’s word abiding, that is, living in a person? Who was Jesus talking to on this occasion?

Today’s reading of John 5 is about the increasing confrontation of Jesus with the Jews [John 5:18]. The challenge for them had begun with preaching of John Baptist and Jesus says, “He was a burning and a shining lamp and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.” [John 5:35] They listened and there was a time of interest, even of rejoicing, but then it suddenly became too hard to accept, the message, especially that of Jesus, challenged their vested interests.

What a great lesson is there for us here. The words of God which Jesus conveyed to human beings has to be accepted into the minds of those who hear. If it is not accepted it cannot live in them. When it lives in them, it becomes part of their thinking. It is the “living water” that Jesus spoke to the woman of Samaria about – as we read yesterday [John 4:10] noting how Jesus went on to explain, “The water that I will give him become a spring of water welling up to eternal life” [John 4:14]

Water is a cleansing agent and the “living water” that Jesus provides is his cleansing word. But for it to do its work it has to abide in us. The Jews who rejoiced for a while at hearing John the Baptist failed to let his words abide in them. The same, very sadly, has been true of every generation. Human nature is such that all too often we only hear what we want to hear. On another occasion Jesus said, “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear … ” [Luke 8:17,18]

There is no point in listening to Jesus and his message from God if we do not let his words live in us and change our thinking and our lives for Jesus also said, as we read today, “whoever hears my word and believes on him sent me has eternal life” [John 5:24], surely meaning that their names are now in “the book of life” as we read last week in Philippians 4:3.
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Posted 13 October 2011 - 01:50 AM

13 October 2011

2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5

"ALL THE NATIONS SHALL SEE ... "

Today we completed a sequence of chapters [34 to 39] in Ezekiel about a great final rebirth of Israel with their return to their homeland “in the latter years” [Ezekiel 38:8]. This chapter describes a massive attack from the north on regathered Israel led by a man called “Gog” God said, “In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.” It will be greater than when God’s holiness was vindicated by delivering Israel from Egypt under Moses. “With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgement with him (Gog) and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him, torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulphur.” [Ezekiel 38:22]

Today’s chapter [Ezekiel 39] first describes the 7 months work to cleanse the land after this destruction! [Ezekiel 39:14] God declares that as a result of this cataclysmic event “all the nations shall see my judgement that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward” [Ezekiel 39:21,22]

God further says he will “have mercy on the whole house of Israel and I will be jealous for my holy name” [Ezekiel 39:25]. This reminds us of what we read in Ezekiel 36, “Thus says the Lord GOD, It is not for your sake I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which has been profaned among the nations” [Ezekiel 36:22] God’s name essentially refers to, in this context, his reputation; but today, so many deny God even exists!

The world is full of scoffers; they will be more than silenced! We read in Jeremiah 2 months ago, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Behold disaster is going forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth! And those pierced (slain) by the LORD shall extend from one end of the earth to the other” [Jeremiah 25:32-33] Finally, we noted in today’s chapter in John’s gospel [John 5] the point Jesus made that unless you “have his word abiding in you” [John 5:38] you will not have eternal life. May we diligently read his word so that his word abides (lives) in us.
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Posted 13 October 2012 - 07:13 AM

13 October 2012

2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5

"LIVING WATER"

We may read God’s word every day, we may find it interesting and helpful as a guide to living a satisfying life, but is that enough? What did Jesus mean when he spoke about God’s word abiding, that is, living in a person? Who was Jesus talking to on this occasion?

Today’s reading of John 5 is about the increasing confrontation of Jesus with the Jews [John 5:18]. The challenge for them had begun with preaching of John Baptist and Jesus says, “He was a burning and a shining lamp and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.” [John 5:35] They listened and there was a time of interest, even of rejoicing, but then it suddenly became too hard to accept, the message, especially that of Jesus, challenged their vested interests.

What a great lesson is there for us here. The words of God which Jesus conveyed to human beings has to be accepted into the minds of those who hear. If it is not accepted it cannot live in them. When it lives in them, it becomes part of their thinking. It is the “living water” that Jesus spoke to the woman of Samaria about ­ as we read yesterday [John 4:10] noting how Jesus went on to explain, “The water that I will give him become a spring of water welling up to eternal life” [John 4:14]

Water is a cleansing agent and the “living water” that Jesus provides is his cleansing word. But for it to do its work it has to abide in us. The Jews who rejoiced for a while at hearing John the Baptist failed to let his words abide in them. The same, very sadly, has been true of every generation. Human nature is such that all too often we only hear what we want to hear. On another occasion Jesus said, “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear … ” [Luke 8:17,18]

There is no point in listening to Jesus and his message from God if we do not let his words live in us and change our thinking and our lives for Jesus also said, as we read today, “whoever hears my word and believes on him sent me has eternal life” [John 5:24], surely meaning that their names are now in “the book of life” as we read last week in Philippians 4:3.
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Posted 13 October 2013 - 04:21 AM

13 October 2013

2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5

"YOU WERE WILLING TO REJOICE FOR AWHILE"

We may read God’s word every day, we may find it interesting and helpful as a guide to living a satisfying life, but is that enough? What did Jesus mean when he spoke about God’s word abiding, that is, living in a person? Who was Jesus talking to on this occasion?

Today’s reading of John 5 is about the increasing confrontation of Jesus with many of his hearers [John 5:18]. The challenge for them had begun with the preaching of John Baptist and Jesus says of him, “He was a burning and a shining lamp and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.” [John 5:35] They listened and there was a time of much interest, even of rejoicing, but then it suddenly became too hard to accept the message, especially when Jesus forcefully endorsed John’s criticism challenging their vested interests.

What a great lesson is there here for us. The words of God which Jesus conveyed to human beings have to be accepted into the minds of those who hear and made part of the principles by which they live. . If it is not genuinely accepted it cannot live in them. When it lives in them, it becomes an integral part of their thinking. It is the “living water” that Jesus spoke to the woman of Samaria about – as we read yesterday [John 4:10] noting how Jesus went on to explain, “The water that I will give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life” [John 4:14]

Water is a cleansing agent and the “living water” that Jesus provides is his cleansing word. But for it to do its work it has to abide in us. The Jews who rejoiced for a while at hearing John the Baptist failed to let his words abide in them. The same, very sadly, has been true of every generation since and is even more true of our generation..

Human nature is such that all too often we only hear what we want to hear. On another occasion Jesus said, “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear … ” [Luke 8:17-18] There is no point in listening to Jesus and his message from God if we do not let his words live in us and change our thinking, and therefore, the priorities in our lives become re-directed.

Jesus also said, as we also read today, “whoever hears my word and believes on him who sent me has eternal life” [John 5:24], surely this means that their names are now in “the book of life” as we read last week in Philippians 4:3. Let us be fully willing to live so that we “rejoice” day by day, week by week and year by year, so that our names remain “in the book of life” (see Revelation 3:5).
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Posted 13 October 2014 - 12:54 PM

13 October 2014
 
2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5  
 
“… HAS ETERNAL LIFE” 
 
Our readings are now moving into the heart of the Gospel of John and we ponder deeply the profound sayings of our Lord that John was caused to remember and write down. Jesus speaks in the ‘present tense’ because, in a sense, there is no passage of time with him and his Father.  We saw this in the first chapter, Jesus “the word” that “was in the beginning with God” [John 1:2] That “word (of promise) became flesh” and now we ponder deeply on the words which John brought to his remembrance [see John 16:4] and wrote down – for us!  How much do we value them?
            
The more we read and then meditate and carefully fit the pieces together, as with a very large jigsaw, the clearer the meaning of the more profound parts become in our minds.  God has created words for the world which are a lifelong study for those who truly seek him.  Jesus tells them, ”For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.” [John 5:21]  What and when is this “life” the Son gives? John 5:24 challenges our understanding, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life”    We may at first be inclined to think he means the time of the resurrection, but the next verse tells us, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live” 
            
Paul’s words, telling the Ephesians “you were dead in trespasses and sins” [Ephesians 2:1], aid us in slotting this piece of the jigsaw into place.  It is the spiritually dead who hear and who live – so everyone has the need to hear – and then respond!  Jesus taught this lesson to Nicodemus, we saw this in John 3:3-12.  A spiritual rebirth is essential, not just being “born of water” [John 3:5], Jesus told him. 
 
Today’s chapter reveals how God sees the overall picture: following genuine rebirth, names are entered in “the book of life” and as long as they remain there, then he or she “has eternal life” from God’s way of seeing the situation.  But names can be blotted out of “the book of life” [see Revelation 3:5], as happened to Judas Iscariot.
            
We read on in today’s chapter [John 5:25-29] and see the wondrous picture of the resurrection!, How close are we now to that time when,  “all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life …”  May we all “hear his voice” – but we need to “hear” it now and, in our lives today, show that we have heard it.
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Posted 13 October 2015 - 10:20 AM

13 October 2015
 
2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5  
 
"HOW CAN YOU BELIEVE, WHEN ..."
            
John is inspired to record in intimate detail the conversation Jesus had with the religious leaders who challenged him.  They thought they knew all the answers!  The same spirit exists today – not on religious matters – but in so-called scientific knowledge as to the ‘natural’ origin of life – the need for a ‘Creator’ is left entirely out of the picture.  Jesus challenged them, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life ... you refuse to come to me that you may have life." [John 5:39-40]  Jesus bluntly told them, "I know that you do not have the love of God within you." [John 5:42] 
            
Genuine love – is total commitment – and this leads to a wonderful relationship. How challenging are the words of Jesus in John 5:44, "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?" This pinpoints the underlying weakness in all human thinking – the aim, consciously or sub-consciously, to achieve self-glory: we all have this weakness in some measure and have to strive to overcome it. 
            
Do we realize Jesus experienced this!? We will read an instance of Jesus resisting, indeed, fleeing from, this in John 6 tomorrow. After the miraculous feeding of the of the 5,000, the one miracle recorded in all 4 gospels, the resultant attitude of the people led them to say "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!'  What happened then!? Jesus "Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself." [John 6:14-15] 
            
But Jesus was to become king!  But not this way!  Let us learn the lesson and constantly seek to give all the glory to God – and keep none for ourselves. Let us fully appreciate the point made in Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."
            
One of our more subtle temptations – is to do the 'right' thing – the 'wrong' way – not in God's way! This was the temptation before Jesus.  Our world is full of people seeking their own 'glory'. Let us imprint into our minds our Master's words, "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?" [John 5:44].
            
These words are 'food' for our careful meditation, let us offer David's prayer, "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!" [Psa. 139:23-24].
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- DC


#13 Librarian

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Posted 13 October 2016 - 12:34 PM

13 October 2016
 
2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5  
 
"YOU DO NOT HAVE HIS WORD ABIDING IN YOU"
 
We may read God’s word every day, we may find it interesting and helpful as a guide to living a satisfying life, but is that enough? What did Jesus mean when he spoke about God’s word abiding, that is, living in a person? Who was Jesus talking to on this occasion?
 
Today’s reading of John 5 describes the increasing confrontation of Jesus with the Jews [John 5:18]. The challenge for them had begun with the preaching of John Baptist and Jesus says, “He was a burning and a shining lamp and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.” [John 5:35] 
 
They listened and there was a time of interest, even of rejoicing, but then it suddenly became too hard to accept. The divinely inspired message of Jesus, challenged their vested interests.
 
What a great lesson is there for us here. The word of God which Jesus conveys to human beings has to be accepted into the minds of those who hear. If it is not accepted in this way it cannot live in them. When it lives in them, it becomes part of their thinking. 
 
It is the “living water” - as Jesus told the woman of Samaria about – as we read yesterday [John 4:10]. Remember how Jesus went on to explain, “The water that I will give … become(s) a spring of water welling up to eternal life” [John 4:14]
 
Water is a cleansing agent and the “living water” that Jesus provides is his cleansing word. But for it to do its work it has to abide in us. The Jews who rejoiced for a while at hearing John the Baptist failed to let his words abide in them. Jesus sadly, but bluntly told them, “you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.
 
The same, very sadly, has been true of every generation. Human nature is such that all too often we only hear what we want to hear. Or – today – only read what we want to read!
 
On another occasion Jesus said, “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear …” [Luke 8:17-18] There is no point in reading God’s word, and of Jesus and his message if we do not let his words live in us and change our thinking and our lives. Jesus also said, as we read today, “whoever hears my word and believes on him who sent me has eternal life” [John 5:24], surely that means their names are now in “the book of life” as we read last week in Philippians 4:3.
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- DC


#14 Librarian

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:32 AM

13 October 2017
 
2 Chronicles 1; 2
Ezekiel 39
John 5  
 
"AN HOUR IS COMING WHEN …"
 
The words of Jesus recorded in John 5 make it one of the most challenging chapters in the Bible. After healing a man lame and unable to walk from his birth – Jesus declares that "… the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel." [John 5:20]. 
 
In John 5:25 we have some particularly thought challenging words! "I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live." What kind of "dead" is he talking about?  
 
Our thoughts go back to what we read in John 3 – the conversation of Jesus with Nicodemus, when Jesus told him, "You must be born again" and be "born of the Spirit." [John 3:7-8] This is the re-birth from "death" that Jesus is talking about! And it was "now here"! It occurred when they listened to Jesus and took his words into their hearts. It happens today to those who read and truly absorb God's word.
 
Paul told the Ephesians [Ephesians 2:1], "you were dead in trespasses and sins". The spirit inspired message of Jesus and his followers brought about the "hour" in which those "spiritually dead" were made alive – spiritually! Their minds were opened to the real meaning of life! That "hour" is in its final period in our days.
 
The climax to Jesus' words is in John 5:28, a prophecy yet to be fulfilled when Jesus returns. Jesus declares, "an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment" [John 5:28-29]. 
 
But those who have never bothered to learn and know his voice - the "life giving" words he spoke – causing them to "be born again" (remember what Jesus said to Nicodemus - John 3:5-7) they will not be "among those who hear" when Jesus comes to establish his kingdom. How sad! But they will not be "conscious" to know – they will have followed "the way (that) is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many …" [Matthew 7:13]. Let us be ready for the "hour (that) is coming"?
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- DC





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