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Showing posts from October, 2008

Bible Sunday 2008

Psalm 119:9-16

Today is known as Bible Sunday, and we are looking at some verses from Psalm 119, the longest Psalm.

Psalm 119 is written by a person who is passionately devoted to the bible as the Word of God. It is interesting that as you look through these 8 verses, the word 'your' is used 10 times: 'Your word, your commands, your word, your decrees, laws that come from your mouth, your statutes, your precepts, your ways, your decrees, your word'

I say that he is passionately devoted to the bible as the Word of God, but that is not strictly true. For the Psalmist, the word of God was what we know now as the first 5 books of the bible. These are the laws and commands and decrees and statutes and precepts about which he writes. 

For Jews who lived later, the word of God came to include all of what we call the Old Testament; and for Christians, the word of God comes to include what we know as the New Testament, the writings of the apostles and those who were with them. 

And …

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God

Matthew 5:8
As you will be aware, we've been going through the beatitudes. They're called the beatitudes because the latin for 'blessed' is 'beatus'. And the thing that has struck me quite forcefully this time is the fact they are about a present state, 'of being blessed', in view of what is going to happen in the future.
Imagine a baby born to a wealthy and loving family. Imagine the baby is hungry. Her hunger is taking her over. She has worked herself up into a state. She is screaming. You have a very unhappy baby. But an observer looking on, who knows the child's background, knows the child's destiny, knows that in a few minutes time mum is going to walk through the door, pick up the baby and feed her, could say, "What a blessed baby".
Blessing is not just about what we are feeling or experiencing now. The blessing that is being spoken of here is the blessing that comes when we see the complete picture.
At the moment we may be mourn…

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”

Matthew 5:5
VERSION 1
"I had a lousy childhood. We had nothing. Never knew my father, and my mother had a stream of boyfriends. But I made it. Today I am at the top of my business, other people listen to me when I speak; I've just bought a fourth house - in New York.
I did it: I've worked hard; I've overcome the difficulties; I've made some cracking decisions and I've earned the respect and influence that I have. I firmly believe that you make yourself what you are. If you are quality it'll show. I don't like scroungers or layabouts: I'm not saying that bad things don't happen to good people, but you get what you deserve in life. Even this credit crunch: I'm OK. I've invested wisely; I didn't stretch myself too far.
You've got to believe in yourself, in your abilities. Nobody's going to help you. They want what you've got – they'll take it if they can. And nobody stands in my way. Three years ago someone tried to def…