“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)
Christ’s life matched His teachings, and so must ours. Consider, for example, Christ’s teaching that we should “pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). This is matched by His prayer for His tormentors while on the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Elsewhere, He taught that our circle of influence should be greater than those of like thinking (Matthew 5:47), a fact that caused His detractors great consternation (Luke 15:2). He taught that our prayers should not be done so that “they may be seen of men” (Matthew 6:5). And the gospels record several times where He went “into a solitary place, and there prayed” (Mark 1:35; see also Mark 6:46). Christ placed great value on children, as we see in Matthew 18:6, and later He welcomed them (Matthew 19:14). He taught Peter to forgive “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22) and later forgave Peter for his continued denials (Mark 16:7).
Christ advocated paying taxes (Mark 12:17) and later enabled Peter to pay tribute for both of them (Matthew 17:27). He taught that “a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15), and He Himself had “not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). Likewise, He placed great store in aiding the poor (Luke 14:13), both in teaching and in practice (Matthew 14:13-21). Perhaps His teaching “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44) is best illustrated by His tender prayer for those who would soon take His life as He hung on the cross for the very ones responsible for His death (today’s text), all the while dying for them.
May God grant us the strength to follow not only our own teachings, but His teachings as well. JDM
“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” (Ezra 1:2)
It is noteworthy that the words of this verse are almost the same as in the last verse of 2 Chronicles. This is an indication that Ezra the scribe (who wrote the book of Ezra) was also the compiler and editor of the two books of Chronicles.
Even more noteworthy is the fact that the great emperor Cyrus seemed to acknowledge that the God of Israel was not just a tribal god, as many have claimed, but the Lord God of heaven—that is, Jehovah Elohim—recognizing Him as both Creator and Redeemer of the world. The Persians were largely followers of Zoroaster, but his religious system did bear some resemblance to the true monotheism of Israel.
But Cyrus had been called, and even named, by God, long before he was born (Isaiah 44:28–45:6). When he conquered Babylon, the prophet Daniel was there (Daniel 6:28). The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that Daniel even became prime minister under Cyrus and was able to read Isaiah’s remarkable prophecy to him, thus influencing him to send the Jews back to Jerusalem.
There have also been other Gentile rulers who acknowledged God, even before Christ came. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, once hating God, finally was forced to confess that He was “the most High” and “King of heaven” (Daniel 4:34, 37). Another was the Queen of Sheba, who recognized “the LORD thy God” (again Jehovah Elohim, 1 Kings 10:9). Then there was the king of Nineveh and Assyria, who believed in God at the preaching of Jonah (Jonah 3:6-10). In fact, in the ages to come “the kings of the earth” will all “bring their glory and honour” to the Lord in the holy city (Revelation 21:24). HMM
“In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)
One of the most amazing of the divine attributes is God’s omniscience. He not only understands all the complexities of relativistic science and higher mathematics, He ordained them in the first place! The same applies to every other discipline of study and activity.
And He knows all about each of us! “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off” (Psalm 139:1-2).
As far as human knowledge is concerned, it is vital to know that “the fear of the LORD” is the very foundation of “knowledge” and of “wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). All the greatest scientists of the past acknowledged that they were seeking merely to “think God’s thoughts after Him.”
How foolish it is to ignore or to oppose God! There are only four places in the Bible that speak of God laughing (Psalm 2:4; 37:13; 59:8; Proverbs 1:26), and each of them describes His response to such folly.
Instead, we should marvel at all the wonders of His creation and providence. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33).
Our text verse above (Colossians 2:3) is actually referring explicitly to the Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten and eternal Son of God. It is He who has given us access to the Creator God and therefore access to the divine knowledge and understanding. Part of the still-effective dominion mandate (Genesis 1:26, 28) is to learn what we can about God’s creation, always remembering that Jesus insisted that—no matter what unbelievers say—“the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). HMM
2013 Stop Abuse, SEED Ministry, 2014 100 Urdu Blogs for Women, Zion Heritage Centre, 2015 Cancer Journey Asia Pacific 2015 Nepal Earthquake 2015 Pokhara Christmas Village Outreach 2016 Pokhara Village Ministry 2015/2016/2017 Myanmar Theological College and orphanages 2017 Simbu Church