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19 April - Deuteronomy 2; Proverbs 29; John 12


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Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:44 AM

First Portion

Deuteronomy 2


2:1 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea, as Yahweh spoke to me; and we encircled Mount Seir many days.

2:2 Yahweh spoke to me, saying, 2:3 “You have encircled this mountain long enough. Turn northward. 2:4 Command the people, saying, ‘You are to pass through the border of your brothers the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir; and they will be afraid of you: take good heed to yourselves therefore; 2:5 don’t contend with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on; because I have given Mount Seir to Esau for a possession. 2:6 You shall purchase food of them for money, that you may eat; and you shall also buy water of them for money, that you may drink.’”

2:7 For Yahweh your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand; he has known your walking through this great wilderness: these forty years Yahweh your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.

2:8 So we passed by from our brothers the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir, from the way of the Arabah from Elath and from Ezion Geber. We turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.

2:9 Yahweh said to me, “Don’t bother Moab, neither contend with them in battle; for I will not give you of his land for a possession; because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession.”

2:10 (The Emim lived therein before, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim: 2:11 these also are accounted Rephaim, as the Anakim; but the Moabites call them Emim. 2:12 The Horites also lived in Seir before, but the children of Esau succeeded them; and they destroyed them from before them, and lived in their place; as Israel did to the land of his possession, which Yahweh gave to them.)

2:13 “Now rise up, and cross over the brook Zered.” We went over the brook Zered. 2:14 The days in which we came from Kadesh Barnea, until we had come over the brook Zered, were thirty-eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were consumed from the midst of the camp, as Yahweh swore to them. 2:15 Moreover the hand of Yahweh was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp, until they were consumed. 2:16 So it happened, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people, 2:17 that Yahweh spoke to me, saying, 2:18 “You are this day to pass over Ar, the border of Moab: 2:19 and when you come near over against the children of Ammon, don’t bother them, nor contend with them; for I will not give you of the land of the children of Ammon for a possession; because I have given it to the children of Lot for a possession.”

2:20 (That also is accounted a land of Rephaim: Rephaim lived therein before; but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, 2:21 a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim; but Yahweh destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and lived in their place; 2:22 as he did for the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them; and they succeeded them, and lived in their place even to this day: 2:23 and the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and lived in their place.)

2:24 “Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the valley of the Arnon: behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. 2:25 This day will I begin to put the dread of you and the fear of you on the peoples who are under the whole sky, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of you.”

2:26 I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, 2:27 “Let me pass through your land: I will go along by the highway, I will turn neither to the right hand nor to the left. 2:28 You shall sell me food for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only let me pass through on my feet, 2:29 as the children of Esau who dwell in Seir, and the Moabites who dwell in Ar, did to me; until I shall pass over the Jordan into the land which Yahweh our God gives us.” 2:30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him; for Yahweh your God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into your hand, as at this day.

2:31 Yahweh said to me, “Behold, I have begun to deliver up Sihon and his land before you: begin to possess, that you may inherit his land.” 2:32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. 2:33 Yahweh our God delivered him up before us; and we struck him, and his sons, and all his people. 2:34 We took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones; we left none remaining: 2:35 only the livestock we took for a prey to ourselves, with the spoil of the cities which we had taken. 2:36 From Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was not a city too high for us; Yahweh our God delivered up all before us: 2:37 only to the land of the children of Ammon you didn’t come near; all the side of the river Jabbok, and the cities of the hill country, and wherever Yahweh our God forbade us.

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:46 AM

Second Portion

Proverbs 29


29:1 He who is often rebuked and stiffens his neck
will be destroyed suddenly, with no remedy.
29:2 When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice;
but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
29:3 Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father;
but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
29:4 The king by justice makes the land stable,
but he who takes bribes tears it down.
29:5 A man who flatters his neighbor
spreads a net for his feet.
29:6 An evil man is snared by his sin,
but the righteous can sing and be glad.
29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor.
The wicked aren’t concerned about knowledge.
29:8 Mockers stir up a city,
but wise men turn away anger.
29:9 If a wise man goes to court with a foolish man,
the fool rages or scoffs, and there is no peace.
29:10 The bloodthirsty hate a man of integrity;
and they seek the life of the upright.
29:11 A fool vents all of his anger,
but a wise man brings himself under control.
29:12 If a ruler listens to lies,
all of his officials are wicked.
29:13 The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
Yahweh gives sight to the eyes of both.
29:14 The king who fairly judges the poor,
his throne shall be established forever.
29:15 The rod of correction gives wisdom,
but a child left to himself causes shame to his mother.
29:16 When the wicked increase, sin increases;
but the righteous will see their downfall.
29:17 Correct your son, and he will give you peace;
yes, he will bring delight to your soul.
29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
but one who keeps the law is blessed.
29:19 A servant can’t be corrected by words.
Though he understands, yet he will not respond.
29:20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.
29:21 He who pampers his servant from youth
will have him become a son in the end.
29:22 An angry man stirs up strife,
and a wrathful man abounds in sin.
29:23 A man’s pride brings him low,
but one of lowly spirit gains honor.
29:24 Whoever is an accomplice of a thief is an enemy of his own soul.
He takes an oath, but dares not testify.
29:25 The fear of man proves to be a snare,
but whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.
29:26 Many seek the ruler’s favor,
but a man’s justice comes from Yahweh.
29:27 A dishonest man detests the righteous,
and the upright in their ways detest the wicked.

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:51 AM

Third Portion

John 12


12:1 Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 12:2 So they made him a supper there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with him. 12:3 Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 12:4 Then Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, one of his disciples, who would betray him, said, 12:5 “Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?” 12:6 Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the money box, used to steal what was put into it. 12:7 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial. 12:8 For you always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me.”

12:9 A large crowd therefore of the Jews learned that he was there, and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 12:10 But the chief priests conspired to put Lazarus to death also, 12:11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

12:12 On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 12:13 they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”

12:14 Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written, 12:15 “Don’t be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” 12:16 His disciples didn’t understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him. 12:17 The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it. 12:18 For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign. 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him.”

12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those that went up to worship at the feast. 12:21 These, therefore, came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” 12:22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn, Andrew came with Philip, and they told Jesus. 12:23 Jesus answered them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 12:24 Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. 12:25 He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. 12:26 If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

12:27 “Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this time?’ But for this cause I came to this time. 12:28 Father, glorify your name!”

Then there came a voice out of the sky, saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

12:29 The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

12:30 Jesus answered, “This voice hasn’t come for my sake, but for your sakes. 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out. 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 12:33 But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die. 12:34 The multitude answered him, “We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever.* How do you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?”

12:35 Jesus therefore said to them, “Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn’t overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn’t know where he is going. 12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light.” Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them. 12:37 But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn’t believe in him, 12:38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke,

“Lord, who has believed our report?
To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

12:39 For this cause they couldn’t believe, for Isaiah said again,

12:40 “He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart,
lest they should see with their eyes,
and perceive with their heart,
and would turn,
and I would heal them.”

12:41 Isaiah said these things when he saw his glory, and spoke of him. 12:42 Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn’t confess it, so that they wouldn’t be put out of the synagogue, 12:43 for they loved men’s praise more than God’s praise.

12:44 Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me. 12:45 He who sees me sees him who sent me. 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness. 12:47 If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn’t believe, I don’t judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 12:48 He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day. 12:49 For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 12:50 I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak.”

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 11:14 AM

19 April 2009

Deuteronomy 2
Proverbs 29
John 12

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 11:43 AM

19 April 2010

Deuteronomy 2
Proverbs 29
John 12


LAZARUS

We read yesterday of the incredible drama of the raising of Lazarus to life again. The reaction to this event was the ultimate challenge to everyone! It produced opposite reactions – just like there is opposite reactions today to belief in Christ and God. In today's readings we see the outworking of that challenge! We read of how, following the news of Lazarus coming out of the tomb, alive after being dead 4 days, there was a big council meeting of Jewish leaders that even included "the chief priests." They put blindfolds on their minds as to the wonder of what had happened, instead they said, "What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation" [John 11:47,48].

Amazing! No denying that it happened. Tragically they had a total obsession with their own position and importance.

Today we read of a plot to kill Lazarus. "The chief Priests made plans to put Lazarus to death because, on account of him, many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus" [John 12:10]. Later in the chapter we read, "many of the authorities believed in him but for fear of the Pharisees did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue for they loved the glory that comes from man … " [John 12:42,43].

Today there is a renewed attack (in the Western world) on anything to do with believing there is a God, a Creator, of any kind! Believers are again open to ridicule. Academics who are confident they have the answer to everything about how the world began compete among themselves for the "glory" they can receive from each other and from the public they fool with their notions. Note what v.48 records of Jesus' words, "The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day." In that day we will be held accountable for our reaction to what we read in God's word.
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Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:16 AM

19 April 2011

Deuteronomy 2
Proverbs 29
John 12

"WALK WHILE YOU HAVE THE LIGHT"

Those who study history know that the world has gone through horrible periods of darkness all too many times. So it is significant that Jesus says, “I have come into the world as light” [John12:46] and then adds, “so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”

Those who turned to him found that “darkness” lifted from their minds as they embraced an awareness of the real meaning of life and accepted Jesus as their “shepherd” and Lord. Jesus said, “Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in darkness does not know where he is going” [John 12:35]. We can read the words of “light” but our minds must be receptive if they are to be meaningful and light floods our thoughts.

We must appreciate the point Jesus made when he said, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” [John 12:25]. He meant that if we find full satisfaction in what life offers us now - then he or she will lose the opportunity to exist for ever when life on earth takes on a far greater dimension when Jesus returns. And Jesus must are seeing God’s anger as the forces of nature are unleashed in greater and greater catastrophes. Man prefers to worship Mammon, that is money, and the “feet” of that god is now crumbling rapidly. Those who “control” Mammon have to struggle more and more to maintain and show a degree of confidence in their god. There are some awesome prophecies about this. Have a look at Isaiah 24, the first 6 verses! Frightening! This punishment comes “after many days” until “the LORD of hosts reigns” (look at the last 2 verses)

Any effort to shed any degree of light today is ridiculed. An example of this occurred last Sunday when a respected daily newspaper here published an article on The Bible in connection with Easter and how in Church schools it is still being taught and believed. To say the reaction was negative is an understatement! The on-line version attracted abundant vitriolic denunciation from the many who are convinced that the Bible is untrue. But note what Jesus says at the end of today’s chapter, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”
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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:53 AM

19 April 2012

Deuteronomy 2
Proverbs 29
John 12

"WHOEVER LOVES HIS LIFE LOSES IT"

Today’s chapter in John [John 12] is one of the most profound and challenging in the whole Bible. The words Jesus sometimes employs are single words which are ‘opposites.’ One either ‘loves’ or ‘hates,’ or ‘keeps’ or ‘loses’ ­ there is no third option. In the end, of course, this is what life amounts to, one is either in the kingdom to be established at Christ’s return ­ or one is not.


Jesus said, “whoever loves his life loses it” but “whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life,” [John 12:25]. In what sense do we “hate” our lives? Did Jesus ‘hate’ his life? Well, first think ­ what does it mean to love our lives? It is to pamper ourselves, to be self-centred, to think and set out to do all the things that will bring us personal enjoyment. Jesus set the example of doing the opposite! In this sense, we conclude, we should ‘hate’ our lives, turning away from all things that are self-centred. Those who fail to follow Jesus’ example will in the end ‘lose’ their lives. Jesus went on to say, “If anyone serves me, he (or she) must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him (or her).” [John 12:26]

Another contrast is light and darkness. Are our minds really illuminated by the true meaning of life ­ and what it really means to follow Jesus? Do we read God’s word looking for illumination? Jesus said, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” [John 12:46] How we live shows whether we really believe far more than what we say. Note the next verses, “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world … the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” [John 12:47,49] How are we measuring up now in keeping the words Jesus has spoken? “The last day” is as near as the day of our death ­ or the coming of Christ. Let our priorities in daily living be such that we “hate” our life so that we can “keep it for eternal life.”
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Posted 19 April 2013 - 01:58 PM

19 April 2013

Deuteronomy 2
Proverbs 29
John 12

“THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN”

What thought provoking chapters we continue to read in John’s Gospel! What point was Jesus making when he said, “If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him (or her); for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world” [John 12:47]

And so it is true that the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus was NOT followed by actions of divine judgment on the people and the nation. It seems remarkable that the time came when “a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” [Acts 6:7] – this was some time after the urgent appeal for repentance at and following the day of Pentecost when some 3,000 were baptized..

But note the next words of Jesus in today’s chapter, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” [John 12:48] A knowledge of God’s word as spoken by his son, inevitably causes a reaction in the minds of those who hear or read it, but for many, at first, it was a negative reaction – and today?

What is it to “receive” the words of Jesus? It is that they become part of you, of your thinking. Jesus expresses displeasure at those who say “Let me first go and …” – he then comments that no-one who “looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” [Luke 9:59-61]

Jesus warned his hearers that the time will come when “the master has risen and shut the door … you begin to stand outside … saying, ‘Open to us … we ate and drank in your presence and you taught in our streets … (but) there will be weeping when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out.” [Luke 13:25-28] Will others say, ‘but we did sometimes read your word’?

Jesus continues, “people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God.” Will you be among them? All those who had responded to “the word that I have spoken” – or who read that word and put it “first” in the priorities in their lives, having become conscious that their reaction to that word – in mind and deed – will be the basis of judgment “on the last day” – will surely be among them.

May we all be there! There is a hymn that ends, ‘We make the answer now.’
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Posted 19 April 2014 - 01:19 PM

19 April 2014

Deuteronomy 2
Proverbs 29
John 12

“EVEN THE AUTHORITIES BELIEVED”

What is it to believe in Jesus? Are there different kinds of belief? There are verses in today’s 12th chapter of John that challenge and open up our understanding of this. It is a question it is vital we ask ourselves. We read, “many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” [John 12:42-43]

So in what sense did many of the authorities believe? Could yours or mine be similar? The first 8 verses in our chapter indicate the belief that Judas Iscariot had – and think of all the many and different miracles Judas must have witnessed! Judas was one of the 12 and when Jesus sent them out he would have performed healings, &c see Matthew 10:5-8.

We read today that at Bethany, 6 days before the Passover [John 12:1] when Jesus was there, “Mary … took a pound of expensive ointment and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” [John 12:3] Judas Iscariot reacted by asking, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii (300 days pay for a .labourer) and given to the poor, he said this … because … having charge of the money bag he used to help himself to what was put into it” [John 12:5-6].

What kind of “heart” did Judas have as a result of all he had experienced? No doubt there are similar hearts today who diligently read and know God’s word – but who try to serve both God and money, but Jesus bluntly warns of the impossibility of doing this, see Luke 16:13. To “serve” God and His Son in this way – is not service at all.

Our ultimate thought on Judas is that, as he witnessed Jesus escape on several previous occasions, for e.g. Luke 4:29-30 when the Nazarene’s in the “synagogue were filled with wrath … and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill … so they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst he went away” so, when Judas was offered 30 pieces of silver he accepted agreeing to betray him in the darkness and quietness of the night, but he fully expected Jesus would escape again. Such illustrates ways in which the minds of those work who believe, “even as the authorities believed” but, for whom there is no depth to their belief, it has no genuine foundation! Make sure yours has!

Finally, note and deeply meditate on John 12:48 in today’s chapter, “the word that I have spoken” said Jesus, “will judge him (us) on the last day” We must more and more take the fullness of his word into our hearts and let it guide our thoughts and actions.
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Posted 19 April 2015 - 07:06 AM

19 April 2015
 
Deuteronomy 2
Proverbs 29
John 12 
 
“GOING AWAY AND BELIEVING …”
            
We read yesterday of the incredible drama of the raising of Lazarus to life again.  Their reaction to this event was the ultimate challenge to everyone!  It produced opposite reactions – just like there are opposite reactions today to belief in Christ and God. In today’s readings we see the outworking of those reactions!  
            
Following the news of Lazarus coming out of the tomb, alive after being dead 4 days, there is a big council meeting of Jewish leaders, this even includes “the chief priests.” They put blindfolds on their minds as to the wonder of what had happened, instead they said, “What are we to do?  For this man performs many signs.  If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation” [John 11:47-48].
            
Amazing!  No denying that it happened. Tragically they had a total obsession with their own position and importance.  Today it is the same, just about everyone is totally self-centred.  Is this spirit affecting you and I?
            
There is a plot to kill Lazarus!  “The chief Priests made plans to put Lazarus to death because, on account of him, many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus” [John 12:10].  Later in the chapter we read, “many of the authorities believed in him but for fear of the Pharisees did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue for they loved the glory that comes from man …" [John 12:42-43].
            
Today there is a renewed attack (in the Western world) on anything to do with believing there is a God, a Creator of any kind! Believers are again open to ridicule. Academics, who are confident they have the answer (or at least acceptable opinions) to everything about how the world began, compete among themselves for the “glory” they can receive from each other and from the public with their notions.
            
Note what John 12:48 records of Jesus’ words, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” Words of Jesus that prompt our deepest meditation!  We will be held accountable for our reaction to what we read in God’s word.   How carefully and prayerfully we should read to make sure we understand it, so that we are “going away and believing,” acting and speaking in ways which show we do - as we travel along the pathways of life each day. 
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Posted 19 April 2016 - 11:52 AM

19 April 2016
 
Deuteronomy 2
Proverbs 29
John 12  
 
"THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN WILL ...”
 
Deuteronomy, which we are now reading is, to some extent, a kind of history lesson to the next generation – the children of those who had died in the wilderness.  This is an example to us – to look to the lessons history teaches!  We must specially note its’ lessons about the reasons why God acted in response to human actions: the times of his guidance (and the reasons why) and then the times of judgement and of punishment. In Deuteronomy 2 we learn that an “entire generation, that is, the men of war, had perished from the camp, as the LORD had sworn ..." [Deuteronomy 2:14]  They had perished because of their lack of faith - shown by their failure to go up to the promised land.
            
In Proverbs 29:16 it states "When the wicked increase, transgression increases ..." How true today!  But the rest of the verse says, "but the righteous will look upon their downfall" How soon will that be for us? Let us make sure we are among “the righteous.”
            
In John 12 we see how the mortal life of Jesus is moving toward its' climax.  As it does Jesus utters some challenges to the people - some of which equally apply to our world as it moves towards its' divinely ordained climax.  "I have come into the world as light" Jesus says [John 12:46].  In those early generations after he ascended to heaven that "light" transformed the understanding of the meaning of life for many, especially as the gospels and letters were written and circulated. It happened again, when the Bible was translated and printed in many languages 4 to 500 years ago. 
            
Jesus says, "If anyone hears (we can add ‘or reads’) my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world." [John 12:47] So many responded - at first - but soon "darkness" descended again – and  the baser desires in human lives dominated.  We recall what we read in John 3 and the observation of Jesus that "whoever does not believe is condemned ... light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil." [John 3:18-19]  Our world is full of darkness today.
            
The words of Jesus which particularly jump out and challenge us in today's chapter are in John 12:48 "The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day."  This is the day of judgement - when Jesus returns - how soon now!? 
            
Could you possibly be among those who do "not receive" Jesus' words?  May his words really come alive in our minds - for our response to them will "judge" us "on the last day."  We will take a final thought from the writings of Paul, "if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing." [2 Corinthians 4:3] Let us all make sure - by our thoughts and actions to “the word” - every day - that we are not among the "perishing."
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- DC


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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:04 AM

19 April 2017
 
Deuteronomy 2
Proverbs 29
John 12 
 
"THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN WILL JUDGE"
 
How challenging are the words of Jesus that form the closing verses in today's chapter of John's gospel! "The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day." [John 12:48]  
 
The 2 verses which follow, the last in the chapter, are equally challenging! Jesus says, "I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me." [John 12:49-50]
 
Oh the wonder of "eternal life"! It is far beyond our comprehension! It is clear there is no neutral position, Jesus declared, "Whoever is not with me is against me" [Matthew 12:30]. What is our reaction to "the word that" Jesus has "spoken"? So many ignore it today! We cannot do that – we have to do the opposite! 
 
How close are we now to "the last day"? Is this the last year? It is 70 years since Israel became a nation again and soon their Saviour will appear – how astonished they will be! But what about our astonishment! It is all beyond our imagining! Are the words we read at the end of Hebrews 9 true of us? "Christ … will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." Those eagerly waiting will have no fear about how "the word that" Jesus has "spoken will judge" them "on the last day." [Hebrews 9:28]  
 
Let us each examine our hearts to make sure that is true for you and for me.
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- DC





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