From: Su Min
My dear family and friends,
GREETINGSIn the Matchless Name of JESUS
Grace, peace and love.
Today I write with an extra sense of gratefulness to God for the goodness He has showered upon me.
The African Children's Choir just sang at Wesley Church last Friday and Saturday night. The joy of the 26 children aged 8-12, of the 11th & 12th choir so formed, belies the horrendous lives these orphans have experienced: victims of famine, war, genocide, and man's inhumanity to man. It is a miracle in itself that these orphans have survived. Yet these children sing "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow". Jesus lives. AMEN! The love of God and the burden to minister to orphans, lead a Canadian to set up a ministry in Africa to provide sustenance and education to these children. The choir pioneers are already graduating from University and poised to take leadership roles in their own community. Praise God that He has spared most of us these terrible experiences. May we be moved to offer more than just lip service to these, the least of our brothers and sisters!
TEXT: Today we look at Matthew_13:47-52
SUMMARY of preceding textThis is the concluding of a series of 7 parables in this chapter:
- Sower (3-9)
- Weeds (24-29)
- Mustard seed (31)
- Yeast (33)
- Treasure (44)
- Pearl (45)
- Net (47)
There is a sense of completion as seven is a perfect number, suggesting that these seven facets of the kingdom may be assembled to give us a composite picture. The kingdom grows from strength to strength: ordinary people responding to the extraordinary call: different people respond differently: some WILL not hear: the ultimate goal is a great everlasting treasure: all will be judges and sorted.
SORTING THE CATCHOnce again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away (Matthew_13:47-48)
BEING THERE IN GALILEEIt has been my very great privilege to experience a Holy Land pilgrimage two years ago. We spent about three days in the vicinity of Lake Galilee, visiting sites such as Capernaum, Tiberas and Mount of Beatitudes. We took a boat across the sea of Galilee and it was explained to us how the geography caused sudden storms to erupt. (Fortunately we were spared the stormy experience). As we crossed the waters we saw swarms of fish: St Peters fish, we were told. Later we even ate some of these fish, freshly fried, at a lake side restaurant. We were shown a fisherman's boat, recently salvaged from the bottom of the lake, archeologically dated to the time when Jesus was teaching His disciples to become "fishers of men".
FAMILIAR EXAMPLESo it is easy for me to see how practical was this example that Jesus used: for many of his audience must have been fishermen, themselves casting nets into the Sea of Galilee, and hauling the catch onto the beach to be sorted; the good fish to be brought home to eat, or to the market to be sold, or to be salted away for a rainy day: the bad fish to be discarded, left to rot or for the wild pigs and birds to eat. Even if they were not directly involved in the fishing themselves, they would have, as they went about their everyday affairs to and fro from home to the market or workplace, daily seen the fishermen at their work, doing just as Jesus had described.
AT THE ENDThis is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew_13:49-50)
This is how it will be at the end of the age.
The angels will come and separate
the good fish from the bad fish.
the sheep from the goat (Matthew_25:32)
the good trees from the bad trees (Matthew_3:10,_7:19)
the children of light from the children of dark (Matthew_4:16)
the wheat from the weeds
the repentant from the defiant
the penitent from the recalcitrant
the confessed sinner from the proud publican
All will be judged
There will be no exception
There will be no escape
We either enter into God's presence for eternity
or lapse into the hands of the deceiver, to be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation_20:18).
Which group are you headed for, beloved?
Treasures Old and New (Matthew_13:51:52)
"Have you understood all these things?", Jesus asked.
"Yes", they replied.
He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old."
Jesus, TEACHER Supreme.
Jesus, our beloved master and teacher, pauses to give an opportunity for questions and clarification. With His excellent exposition, His disciples have no further questions. They have understood his message.
Then Jesus uses the multiplier effect to spread His teaching. He elevates the position of his riffraff motley band of followers to that of the exalted scribes and teachers of the law... While the scribes and teachers of the law have undergone formal training, here, the disciples of Jesus have learned by following Him for three years, listening to His teaching and learning from his practical demonstration of love and forgiving.
"You, who have understood all these things, are teachers of the law who has been instructed in all things about the kingdom."
"You, are teachers of the law, and are to, in your teaching, bring out of your storeroom new treasures as well as old."
Jesus came not to abolish the old law, but to fulfil it.
In doing so he preached the message of repentance, reconciling the holy requirements of the God of Wrath, with the forging reconciliation of the God of love.
JESUS speaks to YOU.
You are a chosen people
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation (1_Peter_2:9)
You and I, dearly beloved,
having heard His Word and understood it,
are appointed by Him as teachers of the law.
You are charged to bring out of your storeroom new treasures as well as old.
Study the Word.
Meditate upon it.
Show the old treasure.
Show the new treasures.
This is what our Lord and Master wants us to do.
He who has ears, let him hear.
---------------- POEM (forwarded via my friend Heifer) ---------------------
I Love the Word IMPOSSIBLE - Ann Kiemel
i love the word impossible...
it's like joy after sorrow,
people being friends after being enemies,
rainbows after drenching rain.
a wound healed.
sunsets on quiet evenings after hot, noisy days.
paralysed, injured limbs learning to grow strong and useful again.
forgiveness after wrong.
truth after fog.
new love-made babies.
birds learning to fly and own the sky.
bitterness turned to mellowness.
fresh, genuine hope...once abandoned.
people finding each other at right moments,
in unexpected, obscured places...
for God-ordained reasons.
i love the word impossible because my God
believes in adventure and extraordinary mountains, and He dares
to be alive in a world crawling with terrible situations.
He promises to be bigger than any impossibility
because He is love...
and love always finds a way through,
love isn't scared.
it builds bridges instead of walls.
it never gives up..
it always hangs on.
it waits with stubborn, strong hope
sometimes even years.
love makes God alive in far more than human souls.
like sun and clear sky and drooping branches
and dark birds and colour and design and music...
and the sound of water on a shore.
IMPOSSIBLE means that i,
an ordinary young woman,
can be something special and significant
in an enormous, hurting world.
i can be love where i live,
and that is Christ
and He really does make ALL
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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