24 01 2011

DAY TWENTY-FOUR : Genesis 47 v. 13 – 48 v. 22; Matthew 16 v. 21 – 17 v. 13; Proverbs 3 v. 1 – 10

GENESIS 47 – first people gave all their money for food, then their livestock, then their land, and themselves (into servitude). 
Verse 24 – is this the first record of a ‘tax’ ? One fifth to be given to Pharoah.
Verse 29 – there’s that ‘put your hand under my thigh’ promise / vow thing again. Must try that sometime !

GENESIS 48 – Jacob elevates Joseph’s sons (Manasseh and Ephraim) as his own, but switches their order of superiority (why ?), and Jacob blesses Ephraim, Manasseh and Joseph.

MATTHEW – no sooner have we had the high point of Peter’s profound and high confession that Jesus is the Messiah, than Jesus spells out that the Messiah must suffer, die and be raised again. When Peter ‘rebukes’ Jesus for such talk, he has to hear Jesus speak His harshest. “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me….”
Here, though, Jesus is talking to Satan, the evil-tempter. He has heard this temptation before (one which will confront Jesus throughout His ministry), that there might be a pain-free, without-suffering, way to achieve what He was here for. He heard it in the wilderness, will do battle with it in Gethsemane, and will confront it head on on the cross. There is no other way. He is the Way.

THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP – verses 24 – 28 are vital for our discipleship. ‘Taking up the cross and following’ is a denying of self, offering of all, bearing the burden (which should, in Christ, feel light) of the cross. We must be willing to lose our life, our ‘rights’, our control, to gain life in all its fulness. If we hold onto life, our ‘rights’, control, then we will never be fully the person God has created us to be. It’s a learning process, emptying self to be filled with the Spirit of Christ.

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?
  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

THE TRANSFIGURATION – what a series of highs and lows and highs again, for Peter !! Now he finds himself standing on top of a mountain, with James and John (the inner core of Jesus’s friends) for a spiritual experience they’ll never forget.

Jesus meets with Moses and Elijah for a chat. Each of them glowing in glorious brightness.
Peter, ever practical, offers to set up camp for them. “Three shelters, Lord ? One each for you ?”
God answers back from a cloud of His presence, re-affirming Jesus’s status with words like those at His baptism,
“This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”
Lord, may we continue to hear Your voice, and listen well to all You say, that You  may be the Way, the Truth and the Life for us today….

FACEDOWN – how frequently we’ve seen this, that the only reaction to knowing the presence and the voice of God is to fall facedown, in awe. Jesus, of course, tells them not to be afraid. He suggests that the Elijah figure who was expected to return before the Messiah, had come in the form of John the Baptist, setting the scene, preparing the way for Jesus. The disciples are simply learning all this stuff as they go along. That’s a mark of discipleship – openness to learn, because there’s always more, a lot, lot more, to learn.

PROVERBS – God’s wisdom for us today.
“Trust in the Lord with all Your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil….
  Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits…then your barns will be filled to overflowing..”

My re-created thoughts :

Life-long learning
Yielding to You
Learning to let go
Taking up the cross
Knowing Your blessing
Falling face down
Exchanging self-made ambition
For a God-given crown.

Learning to lean on Your, Lord
Learning to trust
Learning to receive
Learning to LIVE.

Help me to learn from You today
Help me to learn to be like You
Help me to take up the cross today
And to walk Your way.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: