Original Documents

Click below to see readings for the week:

Read Matthew 24:36-44


Friday

Read Matthew 24:36-44

36 “No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come—neither the angels in heaven nor the Son;y the Father alone knows. 37The coming of the Son of Man will be like what happened in the time of Noah. 38In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat; 39yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes. 40At that time two men will be working in a field: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind. 41Two women will be at a mill grinding meal: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind.
42 “Be on your guard, then, because you do not know what day your Lord will come. 43If the owner of a house knew the time when the thief would come, you can be sure that he would stay awake and not let the thief break into his house. 44So then, you also must always be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.

Think

Some say that Jesus warnings in Matthew 24 secured the survival of Christians during and after the destruction of the temple in 70AD.  They fled for the hills.
Today we understand our need to be ready for his return - hopeful rather than fearful.

Pray

Prepare my heart for your coming.  May it be an attitude of hope rather than one of fear.

Read Luke 23:33-43


Thursday

Read Luke 23:33-43

33When they came to the place called “The Skull”, they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. 34Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.”d
They divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice. 35The people stood there watching while the Jewish leaders jeered at him: “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah whom God has chosen!”
36 The soldiers also mocked him: they came up to him and offered him cheap wine, 37and said, “Save yourself if you are the king of the Jews!”
38 Above him were written these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You received the same sentence he did. 41Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.” 42And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!”
43 Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.”

Think

"I promise you that today you will be in paradise with me."
- Luke 23:43
Only the King can make this call.  Pardoning the condemned criminal and inviting him into his palace.  Instead of condemning - this King redeems.

Pray

If I was on a cross the last thought on my mind would be reconciliation and forgiveness.  Thank you that you recognize me in my distress and sin - and you promise me hope and healing.

Read Colossians 1:11-20


Hello, sorry for the sporadic sending of Read Think Pray... 

I'm finishing up my MTh at Stellenbosch University and have been rushing to write my Thesis.

I should be back to normal the week after next :) Please don't hesitate to send a reminder if I forget the Read Think Pray :)

God bless,
Gus

Wednesday

Read Colossians 1:11-20

11–12May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks tob the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for his people in the kingdom of light. 13He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us safe into the kingdom of his dear Son, 14by whom we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven.
15 Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the firstborn Son, superior to all created things. 16For through him God created everything in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and for him. 17Christ existed before all things, and in union with him all things have their proper place. 18He is the head of his body, the church; he is the source of the body’s life. He is the firstborn Son, who was raised from death, in order that he alone might have the first place in all things. 19For it was by God’s own decision that the Son has in himself the full nature of God. 20Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his Son’s bloodc on the cross and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven.

Think

The story of humanity is one of rebellion and arrogance.  God shows the world humility by coming into the world - and bringing the whole universe back to God through him.
God made peace.

Pray

Help me to understand how you make peace on the cross.  And help me to take up my cross and follow you.

Read Jeremiah 23:1-6


Tuesday

Read Jeremiah 23:1-6

23  How terrible will be the LORD’s judgement on those rulers who destroy and scatter his people! 2This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says about the rulers who were supposed to take care of his people: “You have not taken care of my people; you have scattered them and driven them away. Now I am going to punish you for the evil you have done. 3I will gather the rest of my people from the countries where I have scattered them, and I will bring them back to their homeland. They will have many children and increase in number. 4I will appoint rulers to take care of them. My people will no longer be afraid or terrified, and I will not punish them again. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
5 The LORD says, “The time is coming when I will choose as king a righteous descendant of David. That king will rule wisely and do what is right and just throughout the land. 6When he is king, the people of Judah will be safe, and the people of Israel will live in peace. He will be called ‘The LORD Our Salvation’.

Think

Jeremiah foresees a day when God will restore his Kingdom.  As Christians we see this prophecy fulfilled in Jesus who gathers God's people together.  "That king will rule wisely and do what is right and just throughout the land." (Verse 5)

Pray

Jesus, you are the true King and I am your subject.  The scripture says that you will rule wisely and do what is right and just.  As my Lord I invite you to rule me.  Help me to be obedient.

Read Luke 1:68-79

Monday

Read Luke 1:68-79

Luke 1:67–79 (GNB):  68  “Let us praise the Lord, the God of Israel! He has come to the help of his people and has set them free.  69  He has provided for us a mighty Saviour, a descendant of his servant David.  70  He promised through his holy prophets long ago  71  that he would save us from our enemies, from the power of all those who hate us.  72  He said he would show mercy to our ancestors and remember his sacred covenant.  73  With a solemn oath to our ancestor Abraham he promised to rescue us from our enemies and allow us to serve him without fear,  75  so that we might be holy and righteous before him all the days of our life.  76  “You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High God. You will go ahead of the Lord to prepare his road for him,  77  to tell his people that they will be saved by having their sins forgiven.  78  Our God is merciful and tender. He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us  79  and to shine from heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death, to guide our steps into the path of peace.

Think

He would save us from our enemies...

The saying, ‘you are your own worst enemy’ is often true.  What internal enemies do you need saving from?  Doubt, Fear, Cynicism, Resentment?

Guide our steps into the path of peace...

Pray

Let every step I take be gently guided by you into the path of peace.

Read Luke 21:5-19

Friday

Read Luke 21:5-19

5 Some people were talking about the beautiful stones used to build the temple and about the gifts that had been placed in it. Jesus said, 6 “Do you see these stones? The time is coming when not one of them will be left in place. They will all be knocked down.”

7 Some people asked, “Teacher, when will all this happen? How can we know when these things are about to take place?”

8 Jesus replied:

Don’t be fooled by those who will come and claim to be me. They will say, “I am Christ!” and “Now is the time!” But don’t follow them. 9 When you hear about wars and riots, don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end.

10 Nations will go to war against one another, and kingdoms will attack each other. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in many places people will starve to death and suffer terrible diseases. All sorts of frightening things will be seen in the sky.

12 Before all this happens, you will be arrested and punished. You will be tried in your meeting places and put in jail. Because of me you will be placed on trial before kings and governors. 13 But this will be your chance to tell about your faith.

14 Don’t worry about what you will say to defend yourselves. 15 I will give you the wisdom to know what to say. None of your enemies will be able to oppose you or to say that you are wrong. 16 You will be betrayed by your own parents, brothers, family, and friends. Some of you will even be killed. 17 Because of me, you will be hated by everyone. 18 But don’t worry![a] 19 You will be saved by being faithful to me.

Footnotes:
21.18 But don’t worry: The Greek text has “Not a hair of your head will be lost,” which means, “There’s no need to worry.”
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Think

As people worry about God's coming judgment day Jesus reminds them of his promise of salvation.  He promises that they will know what to say and what to do even under duress.

Pray

Lord keep me faithful even in trying times.

Read Luke 20:27-38

Thursday

Read Luke 20:27-38

27 The Sadducees did not believe that people would rise to life after death. So some of them came to Jesus 28 and said:

Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry the widow. Their first son would then be thought of as the son of the dead brother.

29 There were once seven brothers. The first one married, but died without having any children. 30 The second one married his brother’s widow, and he also died without having any children. 31 The same thing happened to the third one. Finally, all seven brothers married that woman and died without having any children. 32 At last the woman died. 33 When God raises people from death, whose wife will this woman be? All seven brothers had married her.

34 Jesus answered:

The people in this world get married. 35 But in the future world no one who is worthy to rise from death will either marry 36 or die. They will be like the angels and will be God’s children, because they have been raised to life.

37 In the story about the burning bush, Moses clearly shows that people will live again. He said, “The Lord is the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”[a] 38 So the Lord isn’t the God of the dead, but of the living. This means that everyone is alive as far as God is concerned.

Footnotes:
20.37 “The Lord is the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” : Jesus argues that if God is worshiped by these three, they must be alive, because he is the God of the living.
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

Think

Jesus helps the Sadducees who didn't believe in the resurrection of the body to see that even after people have died God speaks about them in the present tense; reminding us that they are alive in him.

Pray

Lord help me to remember that this life and its work are not for nothing.


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