Through the Bible in a Year – June 30

The scheme for May – June can be found here

Pr 10-11; Mat 13:36-end; Psalm 78:1-31

Many in our age even in the church are at best uncertain about deeds of power in the church today. We treat reports of the dead being raised with great scepticism – for we have not seen such things

In a sense we discern why in our reading from Matthew’s gospel today. Jesus is unable to do a deed of power because of the unbelief of the people of Nazareth. Perhaps here is a word for the contemporary church? ‘Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.’

We have been thinking recently about repentance and obedience. These are the acts on our part which open the door to the Life of Jesus. Could it be that we do not live repentant lives, and thus his life and these deeds of power are rare amongst us? This repentance as I have said is concrete acts of love towards the neighbour. Yesterday we thought briefly about Cornelius and how Repentance wasn’t necessary for him – in his generous giving of arms, his heart was open to his neighbour. So when The Neighbour, in the guise of Christ comes to Him – His Life is immediately released.

I wonder if we know the Treasure of the Kingdom? I wonder whether we have gone to seek it out – giving up all we have for it?

It is instructive to note how so often in the Scriptures, our actions PRECEDE the outpouring of God’s Grace. ‘Give . . . and it will be given to you’ – ‘Forgive . . . and you will be forgiven’. The preparation of our hearts through simple obedience to the Great Commandment – Devotion to God and neighbour – opens our hearts to the Treasure – the very Life of Jesus Christ . . . and the world to his deeds of power.

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