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20 October - 2 Chronicles 12; 13; Ezekiel 46; John 13; 14


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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:52 AM

First Portion

2 Chronicles 12; 13


12:1 It happened, when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established, and he was strong, that he forsook the law of Yahweh, and all Israel with him. 12:2 It happened in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had trespassed against Yahweh, 12:3 with twelve hundred chariots, and sixty thousand horsemen. The people were without number who came with him out of Egypt: the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. 12:4 He took the fortified cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. 12:5 Now Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, who were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says Yahweh, ‘You have forsaken me, therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.’”

12:6 Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, “Yahweh is righteous.”

12:7 When Yahweh saw that they humbled themselves, the word of Yahweh came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them; but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. 12:8 Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

12:9 So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king’s house. He took it all away. He also took away the shields of gold which Solomon had made. 12:10 King Rehoboam made in their place shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house. 12:11 It was so, that as often as the king entered into the house of Yahweh, the guard came and bore them, and brought them back into the guard room. 12:12 When he humbled himself, the wrath of Yahweh turned from him, so as not to destroy him altogether: and moreover in Judah there were good things found. 12:13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which Yahweh had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there: and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 12:14 He did that which was evil, because he didn’t set his heart to seek Yahweh. 12:15 Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, aren’t they written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the way of genealogies? There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 12:16 Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his place.

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:52 AM

13:1 In the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. 13:2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 13:3 Abijah joined battle with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: and Jeroboam set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, who were mighty men of valor. 13:4 Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel: 13:5 Ought you not to know that Yahweh, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? 13:6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up, and rebelled against his lord. 13:7 There were gathered to him worthless men, base fellows, who strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.

13:8 “Now you think to withstand the kingdom of Yahweh in the hand of the sons of David; and you are a great multitude, and there are with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made you for gods. 13:9 Haven’t you driven out the priests of Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves after the ways of the peoples of other lands? so that whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, the same may be a priest of those who are no gods.

13:10 “But as for us, Yahweh is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and we have priests ministering to Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work: 13:11 and they burn to Yahweh every morning and every evening burnt offerings and sweet incense. They also set the show bread in order on the pure table; and the lampstand of gold with its lamps, to burn every evening: for we keep the instruction of Yahweh our God; but you have forsaken him. 13:12 Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with the trumpets of alarm to sound an alarm against you. Children of Israel, don’t fight against Yahweh, the God of your fathers; for you shall not prosper.”

13:13 But Jeroboam caused an ambush to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 13:14 When Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind them; and they cried to Yahweh, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. 13:15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened, that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 13:16 The children of Israel fled before Judah; and God delivered them into their hand. 13:17 Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. 13:18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on Yahweh, the God of their fathers. 13:19 Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with its towns, and Jeshanah with its towns, and Ephron with its towns. 13:20 Jeroboam didn’t recover strength again in the days of Abijah. Yahweh struck him, and he died. 13:21 But Abijah grew mighty, and took to himself fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. 13:22 The rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the commentary of the prophet Iddo.

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:53 AM

Second Portion

Ezekiel 46


46:1 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: The gate of the inner court that looks toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath day it shall be opened, and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened. 46:2 The prince shall enter by the way of the porch of the gate outside, and shall stand by the post of the gate; and the priests shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, and he shall worship at the threshold of the gate: then he shall go forth; but the gate shall not be shut until the evening. 46:3 The people of the land shall worship at the door of that gate before Yahweh on the Sabbaths and on the new moons. 46:4 The burnt offering that the prince shall offer to Yahweh shall be on the Sabbath day six lambs without blemish and a ram without blemish; 46:5 and the meal offering shall be an ephah for the ram, and the meal offering for the lambs as he is able to give, and a hin of oil to an ephah. 46:6 On the day of the new moon it shall be a young bull without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram; they shall be without blemish: 46:7 and he shall prepare a meal offering, an ephah for the bull, and an ephah for the ram, and for the lambs according as he is able, and a hin of oil to an ephah. 46:8 When the prince shall enter, he shall go in by the way of the porch of the gate, and he shall go forth by its way. 46:9 But when the people of the land shall come before Yahweh in the appointed feasts, he who enters by the way of the north gate to worship shall go forth by the way of the south gate; and he who enters by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate by which he came in, but shall go forth straight before him. 46:10 The prince, when they go in, shall go in with of them; and when they go out, he shall go out. 46:11 In the feasts and in the solemnities the meal offering shall be an ephah for a bull, and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs as he is able to give, and a hin of oil to an ephah. 46:12 When the prince shall prepare a freewill offering, a burnt offering or peace offerings as a freewill offering to Yahweh, one shall open for him the gate that looks toward the east; and he shall prepare his burnt offering and his peace offerings, as he does on the Sabbath day: then he shall go forth; and after his going forth one shall shut the gate. 46:13 You shall prepare a lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering to Yahweh daily: morning by morning you shall prepare it. 46:14 You shall prepare a meal offering with it morning by morning, the sixth part of an ephah, and the third part of a hin of oil, to moisten the fine flour; a meal offering to Yahweh continually by a perpetual ordinance. 46:15 Thus shall they prepare the lamb, and the meal offering, and the oil, morning by morning, for a continual burnt offering. 46:16 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: If the prince give a gift to any of his sons, it is his inheritance, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. 46:17 But if he give of his inheritance a gift to one of his servants, it shall be his to the year of liberty; then it shall return to the prince; but as for his inheritance, it shall be for his sons. 46:18 Moreover the prince shall not take of the people’s inheritance, to thrust them out of their possession; he shall give inheritance to his sons out of his own possession, that my people not be scattered every man from his possession. 46:19 Then he brought me through the entry, which was at the side of the gate, into the holy rooms for the priests, which looked toward the north: and behold, there was a place on the hinder part westward. 46:20 He said to me, This is the place where the priests shall boil the trespass offering and the sin offering, and where they shall bake the meal offering; that they not bring them forth into the outer court, to sanctify the people. 46:21 Then he brought me forth into the outer court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and behold, in every corner of the court there was a court. 46:22 In the four corners of the court there were courts enclosed, forty cubits long and thirty broad: these four in the corners were of one measure. 46:23 There was a wall around in them, around the four, and boiling places were made under the walls all around. 46:24 Then he said to me, These are the boiling houses, where the ministers of the house shall boil the sacrifice of the people.

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:54 AM

Third Portion

John 13; 14


13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 13:2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came forth from God, and was going to God, 13:4 arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 13:5 Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 13:6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”

13:7 Jesus answered him, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand later.”

13:8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.”

13:9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

13:10 Jesus said to him, “Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” 13:11 For he knew him who would betray him, therefore he said, “You are not all clean.” 13:12 So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13:13 You call me, ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You say so correctly, for so I am. 13:14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 13:16 Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him. 13:17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 13:18 I don’t speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.’ 13:19 From now on, I tell you before it happens, that when it happens, you may believe that I am he.. 13:20 Most certainly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me.”

13:21 When Jesus had said this, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me.”

13:22 The disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom he spoke. 13:23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was at the table, leaning against Jesus’ breast. 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.”

13:25 He, leaning back, as he was, on Jesus’ breast, asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

13:26 Jesus therefore answered, “It is he to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 13:27 After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him.

Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”

13:28 Now no man at the table knew why he said this to him. 13:29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus said to him, “Buy what things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 13:30 Therefore, having received that morsel, he went out immediately. It was night.

13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately. 13:33 Little children, I will be with you a little while longer. You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you can’t come,’ so now I tell you. 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another. 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

13:36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?”

Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you can’t follow now, but you will follow afterwards.”

13:37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

13:38 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for me? Most certainly I tell you, the rooster won’t crow until you have denied me three times.

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:55 AM

14:1 “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. 14:2 In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. 14:3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. 14:4 Where I go, you know, and you know the way.”

14:5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. 14:7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you know him, and have seen him.”

14:8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”

14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you such a long time, and do you not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How do you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ 14:10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works. 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 14:12 Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father. 14:13 Whatever you will ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.. 14:14 If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it. 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments. 14:16 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,— 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you. 14:18 I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me. Because I live, you will live also. 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 14:21 One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.”

14:22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, what has happened that you are about to reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”

14:23 Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. 14:24 He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me. 14:25 I have said these things to you, while still living with you. 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you. 14:27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful. 14:28 You heard how I told you, ‘I go away, and I come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I said ‘I am going to my Father;’ for the Father is greater than I. 14:29 Now I have told you before it happens so that, when it happens, you may believe. 14:30 I will no more speak much with you, for the prince of the world comes, and he has nothing in me. 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father commanded me, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 10:44 AM

20 October 2008

2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 05:41 AM

20 October 2009

2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 06:04 AM

20 October 2010

2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14

"BECAUSE I LIVE, YOU ALSO WILL LIVE"

Today’s and tomorrow’s chapters in John’s Gospel are two of the most meaningful in the whole of the Bible. We must not make the mistake, as sadly some do, of plucking a few of the words out of their context. An essential theme in these chapters is to see that Jesus is talking about relationships: firstly, his relationship with his father – and then with those who truly believe, beginning with believing in him, leading to belief and a relationship with the Father. This leads to a relationship with the Spirit which we notice is 3 times called “the Spirit of truth” [John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13).

When Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live” it is evident that he was not talking of normal human life. His resurrection will reveal that, it will turn their hearts from utter despair to absolute wonderment! We notice the future tense, “you also will live”! In what way? He had already said, in telling them of his own future “in the new world when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28]

Can you see the link between this and his promise to them in John 14:1-3? Many misunderstand his words, “Let not your hearts be troubled … In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

We are reading in Ezekiel of a wondrous house or temple that will be built. We should remember how earlier in John we read of Jesus condemning the Jews in the temple that then existed, saying “do not make my father’s house a house of trade” [John 2:16] Through Ezekiel we have a picture of a far greater house the Father will cause to be erected - and the resurrected disciples will one day occupy rooms in that house as they judge the 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus is saying to all who listen to him through reading his word, “Because I live, you also will live” Are we listening?

We will have more thoughts tomorrow on these most meaningful chapters.
-------
- DC

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 02:54 AM

20 October 2011

2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14

"IF ANYONE LOVES ME HE WILL KEEP MY WORD"

Our thoughts today flow on from yesterday’s, “Hate” is the opposite to “love” – and we saw the sense in which Jesus used the word “hate.” We know we cannot love the “life” that is all around us today with its self centred ways of thinking and doing. As we read John 13; 14 we see how Jesus tried to provoke deeper thinking among his disciples.

After “hating” the atmosphere of life in this present age we must then move on to find positive ways of thinking and understanding. John 14 starts “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God” What is it to “Believe in God”? If someone says ‘I believe my house is on fire’ – that belief is quickly proved or disproved. “Belief” can often be a ‘surface’ belief of no real substance. Jesus said to them, “I am telling you this now; before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.” [John 13:19] He repeats this again in John 14:9, he wants to make sure they get the point.

We can reason with people today so that they say, ‘Yes, I believe there must be a God, a Creator.’ Now that is just the first stepping stone – they – and we – must keep going! The final stepping stone is labelled “love.” Jesus says, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word” [John 14:23]. This is not keeping his word in a “ritual” way as the Pharisees and others did. Take special note of Jesus’ next words, “ … he will keep my word , and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Home!? What does he mean? He is surely speaking of a private and intimate relationship. The Jews had only thought in terms of a national relationship – God was the God of Israel. Keeping the words of Jesus is the result of believing them in such a way that they become part of our thinking. In John 15 we will read, “you are clean through the word I have spoken to you.” [John 15:3] The “dirt” in this world gives us much reason to realize his words are vital. It is evident, at least to others, if we do not wash regularly to keep our bodies clean. How evident is it with our mind? It is evident to God!
-------
- DC

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 06:35 AM

20 October 2012

2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14

"THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH"

Today’s and tomorrow’s chapters in John’s Gospel are two of the most meaningful in the whole of the Bible. We must not make the mistake, as sadly some do, of plucking a few of the words out of their context. An essential theme in these chapters is to see that Jesus is talking about relationships: firstly, his relationship with his father – and then with those who truly believe, beginning with believing in him, leading to belief and a relationship with the Father. This leads to a relationship with the Spirit which we notice is 3 times called “the Spirit of truth” [John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13).

When Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live” it is evident that he was not talking of normal human life. His resurrection will reveal that, it will turn their hearts from utter despair to absolute wonderment! We notice the future tense, “you also will live”! In what way? He had already said, in telling them of his own future “in the new world when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28]

Can you see the link between this and his promise to them in John 14:1-3? Many misunderstand his words, “Let not your hearts be troubled … In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

We are reading in Ezekiel of a wondrous house or temple that will be built. We should remember how earlier in John we read of Jesus condemning the Jews in the temple that then existed, saying “do not make my father’s house a house of trade” [John 2:16] Through Ezekiel we have a picture of a far greater house the Father will cause to be erected - and the resurrected disciples will one day occupy rooms in that house as they judge the 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus is saying to all who listen to him through reading his word, “Because I live, you also will live” Are we listening?

We will have more thoughts tomorrow on these most meaningful chapters.
-------
- DC

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:55 AM

20 October 2013

2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14

"IF ANYONE LOVES ME HE WILL KEEP MY WORD"

Our thoughts today flow on from yesterday’s, “Hate” is the opposite to “love” – and we saw the sense in which Jesus used the word “hate.” We know we cannot love the “life” that is all around us today with it’s self-centred ways of thinking and doing. As we read chapters 13 and 14 of John we saw how Jesus tried to provoke deeper thinking among his disciples.

After “hating” the atmosphere of life in this present age we must then move on to find positive ways of thinking and understanding. John 14 starts “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God” What is it to “Believe in God”? If someone says ‘I believe my house is on fire’ – that belief is quickly proved or disproved. “Belief” can often be a ‘surface’ belief of no real substance. Jesus said to them, “I am telling you this now; before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.” [John 13:19] He repeats this again in John 14:9, he wants to make sure they get the point.

We can reason with people today so that they say, ‘Yes, I believe there must be a God, a Creator.’ Now that is just the first stepping stone – they – and we – must keep going! The final stepping stone is labelled “love.”

Jesus says, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word” [John 14:23]. This is not keeping his word in a “ritual” way as the Pharisees and others did. Take special note of Jesus’ next words, “ … he will keep my word , and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Home!? What does he mean? He is surely speaking of a private and intimate relationship. The Jews had only thought in terms of a national relationship – God was the God of Israel. Keeping the words of Jesus is the result of believing them in such a way that they become part of our thinking.

In John 15 we will read, “you are clean through the word I have spoken to you.” [John 15:3] The “dirt” in this world gives us much reason to realize his words are vital. It is evident, at least to others, if we do not wash regularly to keep our bodies clean. How evident is it with our mind? Let is never ignore the fact - it is evident to God!
-------
- DC

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Posted 20 October 2014 - 11:05 AM

20 October 2014
 
2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14  
 
“BELIEVE IN GOD”
            
In what circumstances did Jesus say, “Believe in God”?  What is it to believe in something?   When we or someone says. “I believe” there can obviously be varying intensities of meaning depending on the circumstances!  If someone rushes in and says, “I believe the house is on fire” everyone who hears immediately acts to verify its truth and to then take whatever action they can without delay. 
            
In our John readings we have the final message of Jesus before his arrest, a personal message to strengthen the disciples spiritually after Judas the betrayer has left. John 14 starts, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”  They will need the deepest convictions of belief in their minds when, in a very short space of time he is arrested and they are overwhelmed with anxieties, only one of them was faithful to Jesus up until the end. When we come to John 19 where the frightful crucifixion scene is described our eyes light on John 19:25-27, “… standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby … he said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.”  
            
In times of total stress acts of supporting one another will be essential.  Are not such times now more plainly on the horizon of our  world than ever!  The way we cope will show – to ourselves whether we really “believe in God.”  The hearts of the disciples were “troubled” – but after the resurrection they acted with heart-felt belief.  What dramas do we read about in Acts!  These excite and challenge us!  Acts 4 tells us how the disciples were arrested for “proclaiming Jesus and the resurrection of the dead …  but many of those who heard the word believed …”  [Acts 4:2-4]  With what conviction the disciples believed now – and showed that conviction of belief by their actions.  
            
Recall that after Jesus told the disciples to “believe in God” – he then said “Let not your hearts be troubled”  Surely he is saying that to believers now.  Notice how he says this again later in the chapter – it is so important.  John 14:27 – memorise it. “Peace I leave with you: my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let them be afraid”  Heartfelt prayer and meditation on God’s word provide the foundation for possessing his “peace.”
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- DC


#13 Librarian

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 11:42 AM

20 October 2015
 
2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14  
 
"BECAUSE I LIVE, YOU ALSO WILL LIVE"
              
Today’s and tomorrow’s chapters in John’s Gospel are several of the most meaningful in the whole of the Bible. We must not make the mistake, as sadly some do, of plucking a few of the words out of their context.  An essential theme in these chapters is to see that Jesus is talking about relationships:  firstly, his relationship with his father – and then with those who truly believe. The result of fully believing in him leads to belief and a relationship with the Father. This leads to a relationship with the Spirit of God which we notice is 3 times called “the Spirit of truth” [John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13].
            
When Jesus said, “Because I live, you also will live” it is evident that he was not talking of normal human life. His resurrection will reveal that, it will turn their hearts from utter despair – to absolute wonderment!  We notice the future tense, “you also will live”!  In what way? He had already said, in telling them of his own future “in the new world when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 18:28] A specific promise to the faithful disciples.
            
Let us understand the link between this and his promise to them as we read John 14:1-3? Many misunderstand his words, “Let not your hearts be troubled … In my Father’s house are many rooms.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”  We are told in so many places in Scripture more details of “the new world” – it is clear the whole world becomes “the Father’s house’ 
            
In a sense it always has been “the Father’s house”, note how the LORD caused Isaiah to write of himself as the one who “formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): ‘I am the LORD, and there is no other.’” [Isaiah 45:18] These are some of the Scriptures which give the same message from God – of his purpose with the earth: Daniel 2:44; 7:18,27; Zechariah 14:9; Psalms 2:6-8; 22:27.
            
We are reading in Ezekiel of a wondrous future house or temple. We should remember how earlier in John we read of Jesus condemning the Jews in the temple that then existed, saying “do not make my father’s house a house of trade” [John  2:16]  Through Ezekiel we have a picture of a far greater house the Father will cause to be erected – and the resurrected disciples will one day occupy rooms in that house as they judge the 12 tribes of Israel.  Jesus is saying to all who listen to him through reading his word, “Because I live, you also will live” Are you listening?
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- DC


#14 Librarian

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 11:02 AM

20 October 2016
 
2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14  
 
“THAT YOU LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU”
 
What is love – that is love as Jesus means it – as he passionately teaches his disciples in the hours before his arrest? What thought challenging chapters we are reading in John’s gospel! John is inspired to record the words of Jesus in detail and they are a lifelong source of inspiration for us. Today, in John 14:26, we read the promise of how John was able to do this.
 
Jesus challenges them – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you …” [John 13:34] Jesus had set them the example of the kind of love he meant – his concern for them – his guidance – his compassion. The one disciple who did not deserve this, Judas Iscariot had earlier gone, “out. And it was night.” [John 13:30] Judas had heard earlier in his ministry how “Jesus spoke to them saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." [John 8:12] May we all have that “light”!
 
Jesus also knew that Peter’s faith would be severely challenged and told him the morning would not come “till you have denied me three times.” [John 13:38] When this happened Peter would realise the full reality of their premature declaration that we will read in John tomorrow, “Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God." [John 16:30] That belief is the foundation – a foundation that we all must build upon.
 
Our building on this foundation will be especially important as we read the descriptions of the events which are to occur as our Master returns to earth, see for e.g. Luke 21:25-27. But then, after that “distress” Isaiah’s prophecy will be fulfilled.” to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder … Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end … to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness…” [Isaiah 9:6-7] To be there – will be the reward of those who respond, with all their hearts, to the “new commandment” of Jesus “that you love one another: just as I have loved you …”
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- DC


#15 Librarian

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:59 AM

20 October 2017
 
2 Chronicles 12; 13
Ezekiel 46
John 13; 14  
 
"BECAUSE I LIVE, YOU ALSO WILL LIVE"
 
Today's and tomorrow's chapters in John's Gospel are two of the most meaningful in the whole of the Bible. We must not make the mistake, as sadly some do, of plucking a few of the words out of their context.  
 
An essential theme in these chapters is to see that Jesus is talking about relationships: firstly, his relationship with his father – and then with those who truly believe. The result of fully believing in him leads to belief and a relationship with the Father. This leads to a relationship with the Spirit of God which we notice is 3 times called "the Spirit of truth" [John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13].
 
When Jesus said, "Because I live, you also will live" it is evident that he was not talking of normal human life. His resurrection will reveal that, it will turn their hearts from utter despair - to absolute wonderment!  
 
We notice the future tense, "you also will live"! In what way? He had already said, in telling them of his own future, "in the new world when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on 12 thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." [Matthew 19:28] This was a specific promise to the faithful disciples.
 
Let us understand the link between this and his promise to them we read in John 14:1-3! Many misunderstand his words, "Let not your hearts be troubled … In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." We are told in so many places in Scripture further details of "the new world" – it is clear that the whole world becomes "the Father's house".
 
In a sense it always has been "the Father's house", note how the LORD caused Isaiah to write of himself, that He was the one who "formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): 'I am the LORD, and there is no other. " [Isaiah 45:18] These are some of the Scriptures which give the same message from God – of his purpose with the earth: Daniel 2:44; 7:18,27; Zechariah 14:9; Psalms 2:6-8 and Psalm 22:27.
 
We are reading in Ezekiel of a wondrous future house or temple. Let us link this with what we read earlier in John's gospel of Jesus condemning the Jews in the temple that then existed, saying "do not make my father's house a house of trade." [John 2:16] 
 
Through Ezekiel we have a picture of a far greater house (Temple) the Father will cause to be erected - and the resurrected disciples will one day occupy rooms in that house as they judge the 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus is saying to all who listen to him through reading his word, "Because I live, you also will live" Are you listening?
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- DC





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