16 July 2011
Fatherly Advice (King David’s final words to his son Solomon)- Extracted from 1 Kings 2: 1-4
As David’s life drew to its close he laid this charge on his son Solomon, ‘I am going the way of all the earth.
Be strong and show yourself a man. Observe the injunctions of Yahweh your God, following his ways and keeping his laws, his commandments, his customs and his decrees, as it stands written in the Law of Moses, that so you may be successful in all you do and undertake, so that Yahweh may fulfill the promise he made me,
“If your sons are careful how they behave, and walk loyally before me with all their heart and soul, you shall never lack for a man on the throne of Israel”.
The Word of Yahweh cannot fail - Extracted from Isaiah 55: 10-11
Thus says the Lord:
‘As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating,
so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.’
The parable of the lost son (the prodigal son) and the dutiful son – Extracted from Luke, Chapter 15:
11 Then he (Jesus) said, 'There was a man who had two sons.
12 The younger one said to his father, "Father, let me have the share of the estate that will come to me." So the father divided the property between them.
13 A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.
14 'When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch;
15 so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs.
16 And he would willingly have filled himself with the husks the pigs were eating but no one would let him have them.
17 Then he came to his senses and said, "How many of my father's hired men have all the food they want and more, and here am I dying of hunger!
18 I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
19 I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired men."
20 So he left the place and went back to his father. 'While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him.
21 Then his son said, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son."
22 But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we will celebrate by having a feast,
24 because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found." And they began to celebrate.
25 'Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing.
26 Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about.
27 The servant told him, "Your brother has come, and your father has killed the calf we had been fattening because he has got him back safe and sound."
28 He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out and began to urge him to come in;
29 but he retorted to his father, "All these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed any orders of yours, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends.
30 But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property - he and his loose women - you kill the calf we had been fattening."
31 'The father said, "My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours.
32 But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found." '
Fatherly Advice-Extracted from Ecclesiasticus/ Sirach Chapter 5:
Wealth and Presumption
1 Do not put your confidence in your money or say, 'With this I am self-sufficient.'
2 Do not be led by your appetites and energy to follow the passions of your heart.
3 And do not say, 'Who has authority over me?' for the Lord will certainly give you your deserts.
4 Do not say, 'I have sinned, but what harm has befallen me?' for the Lord's forbearance is long.
5 Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to sin.
6 And do not say, 'His compassion is great, he will forgive me my many sins'; for with him are both mercy and retribution, and his anger does not pass from sinners.
7 Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off day after day; for suddenly the Lord's wrath will blaze out, and on the day of punishment you will be utterly destroyed.
8 Do not set your heart on ill-gotten gains, they will be of no use to you on the day of disaster.
9 Do not winnow in every wind, or walk along every by-way (as the double-talking sinner does).
10 Be steady in your convictions, and be a person of your word.
11 Be quick to listen, and deliberate in giving an answer.
12 If you understand the matter, give your neighbour an answer, if not, keep your hand over your mouth.
13 Both honour and disgrace come from talking, the tongue is its owner's downfall.
14 Do not get a name for scandal-mongering, do not set traps with your tongue; for as shame lies in store for the thief, so harsh condemnation awaits the deceitful.
15 Avoid offences in great as in small matters, and do not exchange friendship for enmity,
16 July 2011
23 July 2011
What I want is mercy – Extracted from Matthew, Chapter 12:
1 At that time Jesus went through the cornfields one Sabbath day. His disciples were hungry and began to pick ears of corn and eat them.
2 The Pharisees noticed it and said to him, 'Look, your disciples are doing something that is forbidden on the Sabbath.'
3 But he said to them, 'Have you not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry
4 how he went into the house of God and they ate the loaves of the offering although neither he nor his followers were permitted to eat them, but only the priests?
5 Or again, have you not read in the Law that on the Sabbath day the Temple priests break the Sabbath without committing any fault?
6 Now here, I tell you, is something greater than the Temple.
7 And if you had understood the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the blameless.
8 For the Son of man is master of the Sabbath.'
Be a good example- Extracted from 1 Timothy 4: 12, 16
Do not let people disregard you because you are young, but be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith and your purity.
Take great care about what you do and what you teach; always do this, and in this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.
23 July 2011