Daily Update #180

Pause:  As we prepare to look at God’s Word let us quieten our minds, so that
   His Holy Spirit may speak to us today.

Readings:  Isaiah 48: 17 – 19;    Psalm 1;    Matthew 11 : 16 – 19

“This is what the Lord says…I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”

I imagine that all of us have pet sayings, or stock phrases, which we trot out from time to time.  Some of these may be silly, or even nonsense, whereas others may be based on experience or come from our backgrounds.  One of my favourite sayings is, “every day is a school day,” and I don’t just say that because I spent quite a lot of years, both in the Royal Navy and afterwards, as a teacher.  It comes from my firm belief that we never stop learning, that there is always something that we don’t know, and that we should keep our minds open in order to learn, however young or old we may be.  As some of you may know I am a great fan of quiz shows such as “Pointless”, “Count Down”, and “University Challenge”, and although obviously I don’t know all the answers, I do love hearing others’ responses, and maybe some of those will become part of my learning, and even perhaps surface at another time. 

As Christians we believe that there is always more to learn about our walk with the Lord, about His wonderful creation, and about our part in His plan of salvation for the world.  In the verse above we see the Lord sharing the truth that, through his prophet Isaiah, He will teach His people all that is best for them.  I don’t think I ever achieved that for my pupils, try as I might, but hopefully there were some good things that stuck!  In chapter 16 of John’s Gospel, which I quoted a couple of weeks ago, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, who will guide us into all truth.  In order for him to do that, however, we need to spend time with the Lord, in reading and studying His word and also in prayer, both speaking and listening. 

Psalm 1, set for today, is not attributed to a particular author, but the writer was obviously someone who had learned to spend time with his Lord.  “Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”  Now I’m not suggesting that we should devote ourselves to studying the Bible day and night; that is not really practical even for those of us who are retired!  I do believe, however, that any time spent reading and studying will prove beneficial.  We don’t have to be theological students to do this, there are many study guides, devotional guides, reading plans, which will help us, whatever level we are at.  If you would like help with finding something appropriate, please don’t hesitate to ask.

The writer of Psalm 1 talks poetically about the blessings that come from this time which is well spent; “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”
This does not, I hasten to add, guarantee prosperity; to me it speaks of a life of peace and of blessing, both for oneself and for others.

Almighty God, we thank you for your word which is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path.  May your Holy Spirit lead us on, that we may daily draw closer to you, our loving heavenly Father, and to Jesus Christ your Son our Saviour.  Amen.