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Seek ye first the kingdom of God

Some people are good at multi-tasking.  No-one is good at multi-seeking. Jesus has been teaching us that we have only one heart.  And our hearts attend to what we treasure.  Essentially we can treasure God or we can treasure the things of this world, Mammon. To invest in earthly treasure is the way of worry.  But, […]

Love your enemies

What does divine perfection look like? Usually we think of God’s perfect nature as that which excludes.  You know the sort of thing – “God is perfect, you are not.  You’ve got a snowflakes chance in hell with a perfect God, etc, etc.” When we think like this it shows that we don’t really like God […]

Going the extra mile

We think “going the extra mile” means giving 5 star service when much less would do.  It’s when you go “above and beyond” the call of  duty to offer something special. But that’s not really what it meant originally.   Here’s how Jesus puts it in the sermon on the mount: “Ye have heard that […]

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy

We all know the sayings: —  Credit where none is due. —  Don’t get mad, get reconciled. —  God helps those who are helpless themselves. —  Every lunch is a free lunch. —  It’s a dog help dog world. —  Survival of the feeblest… Alright I made those ones up. But if they sound ridiculous, […]

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled

—  Righteousness – the goodness of God. —  Righteousness – the blessed life in action. —  Righteousness – setting the world to rights. When seen in its true light, righteousness is incredibly attractive.  And incredibly elusive. From its first mention in the bible, “righteousness” is a consuming passion.  In Genesis 15, Abraham is taken outside […]

Physician heal thyself

The chain-smoker warning her son about cigarettes… The  bankrupt lecturing on good business practices… The church riddled with divorce, preaching ‘family values’ to the culture… In all these situations we might use this saying: “Physician heal thyself.”  We expect that those promoting healing powers should be the best advertisements for their cure.  Well what about […]

Be horribly afraid

What could be so bad that it warrants this warning?  A scientist morphing into an insect?  An alien monster rampaging through a spaceship?  What could have possibly produced: “Be horribly afraid”?  What dread terror might have birthed this saying? Answer:  The refusal of God’s abundant grace.  According to God, that is the horror of horrors! […]

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard

It’s probably Paul’s quotation of Isaiah 64 that has become the best known version of this phrase: “As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man…”  (1 Corinthians 2:9) Such words can be the equivalent of the magician’s puff of smoke.  When a bible teacher […]

Led like a lamb to the slaughter

When someone is “led like a lamb to the slaughter” it’s not pretty.  Perhaps a partner in the firm is about to be ousted for the sake of the company.  As he blithely enters the boardroom he’s like a lamb to the slaughter. It’s a brutal verbal picture.  An innocent lamb will follow a leader […]

The heavens declare the glory of God

It’s a beautifully symmetrical phrase.  The first five syllables perfectly mirror the last five.  In each, the stresses are on the second and fifth syllable.  This is the work of the translators.  And we should remember that the King James version was written to be read aloud. Yet the poetry in the underlying Hebrew comes […]