Pass It On

 

‘Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.’ Matthew 7:12 ESV

The Bible says, ‘There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves… of money… abusive… slanderous, without self-control, brutal… treacherous…’ (2 Timothy 3:1–6 NIV) If you don’t believe that, watch what happens in a shopping centre just before Christmas when a motorist whips into a parking space another car has been waiting for. Normally reasonable people become savage with rage.

The Bible says, ‘Be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. Care about them as much as you care about yourselves.’ (Philippians 2:3–4 CEV) Jesus said, ‘Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.’ In other words, practise putting others first. It’s called the ‘Golden Rule’. And it’s so simple. Treat other people with the same courtesy and respect you’d want for yourself.

If you need motivation, start looking for the good qualities in people instead of the bad ones. And remember, they have to do the same in your case. Do something to help them. If you really want to get ahead in life, love others a little bit more than they deserve, just like God loves you. Too often we expect everyone else to practise the Golden Rule but not do the same ourselves.

Has someone done you an unexpected kindness? Well, pass it on. If no one has, then you be the one to start! Do someone else an unexpected kindness. Pay it forward. Take love with you wherever you go.

SoulFood: Lam 3:40–5:22, Mk 13:1–11, Ps 113, Prov 14:1–4

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2018

Today’s Readings

Lamentations 3:40–5:22 (Listen)

40   Let us test and examine our ways,
    and return to the LORD!
41   Let us lift up our hearts and hands
    to God in heaven:
42   “We have transgressed and rebelled,
    and you have not forgiven.
43   “You have wrapped yourself with anger and pursued us,
    killing without pity;
44   you have wrapped yourself with a cloud
    so that no prayer can pass through.
45   You have made us scum and garbage
    among the peoples.
46   “All our enemies
    open their mouths against us;
47   panic and pitfall have come upon us,
    devastation and destruction;
48   my eyes flow with rivers of tears
    because of the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49   “My eyes will flow without ceasing,
    without respite,
50   until the LORD from heaven
    looks down and sees;
51   my eyes cause me grief
    at the fate of all the daughters of my city.
52   “I have been hunted like a bird
    by those who were my enemies without cause;
53   they flung me alive into the pit
    and cast stones on me;
54   water closed over my head;
    I said, ‘I am lost.’
55   “I called on your name, O LORD,
    from the depths of the pit;
56   you heard my plea, ‘Do not close
    your ear to my cry for help!’
57   You came near when I called on you;
    you said, ‘Do not fear!’
58   “You have taken up my cause, O Lord;
    you have redeemed my life.
59   You have seen the wrong done to me, O LORD;
    judge my cause.
60   You have seen all their vengeance,
    all their plots against me.
61   “You have heard their taunts, O LORD,
    all their plots against me.
62   The lips and thoughts of my assailants
    are against me all the day long.
63   Behold their sitting and their rising;
    I am the object of their taunts.
64   “You will repay them, O LORD,
    according to the work of their hands.
65   You will give them dullness of heart;
    your curse will be on them.
66   You will pursue them in anger and destroy them
    from under your heavens, O LORD.”

4:1   How the gold has grown dim,
    how the pure gold is changed!
  The holy stones lie scattered
    at the head of every street.
  The precious sons of Zion,
    worth their weight in fine gold,
  how they are regarded as earthen pots,
    the work of a potter's hands!
  Even jackals offer the breast;
    they nurse their young;
  but the daughter of my people has become cruel,
    like the ostriches in the wilderness.
  The tongue of the nursing infant sticks
    to the roof of its mouth for thirst;
  the children beg for food,
    but no one gives to them.
  Those who once feasted on delicacies
    perish in the streets;
  those who were brought up in purple
    embrace ash heaps.
  For the chastisement of the daughter of my people has been greater
    than the punishment of Sodom,
  which was overthrown in a moment,
    and no hands were wrung for her.
  Her princes were purer than snow,
    whiter than milk;
  their bodies were more ruddy than coral,
    the beauty of their form was like sapphire.
  Now their face is blacker than soot;
    they are not recognized in the streets;
  their skin has shriveled on their bones;
    it has become as dry as wood.
  Happier were the victims of the sword
    than the victims of hunger,
  who wasted away, pierced
    by lack of the fruits of the field.
10   The hands of compassionate women
    have boiled their own children;
  they became their food
    during the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11   The LORD gave full vent to his wrath;
    he poured out his hot anger,
  and he kindled a fire in Zion
    that consumed its foundations.
12   The kings of the earth did not believe,
    nor any of the inhabitants of the world,
  that foe or enemy could enter
    the gates of Jerusalem.
13   This was for the sins of her prophets
    and the iniquities of her priests,
  who shed in the midst of her
    the blood of the righteous.
14   They wandered, blind, through the streets;
    they were so defiled with blood
  that no one was able to touch
    their garments.
15   “Away! Unclean!” people cried at them.
    “Away! Away! Do not touch!”
  So they became fugitives and wanderers;
    people said among the nations,
    “They shall stay with us no longer.”
16   The LORD himself has scattered them;
    he will regard them no more;
  no honor was shown to the priests,
    no favor to the elders.
17   Our eyes failed, ever watching
    vainly for help;
  in our watching we watched
    for a nation which could not save.
18   They dogged our steps
    so that we could not walk in our streets;
  our end drew near; our days were numbered,
    for our end had come.
19   Our pursuers were swifter
    than the eagles in the heavens;
  they chased us on the mountains;
    they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.
20   The breath of our nostrils, the LORD's anointed,
    was captured in their pits,
  of whom we said, “Under his shadow
    we shall live among the nations.”
21   Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,
    you who dwell in the land of Uz;
  but to you also the cup shall pass;
    you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare.
22   The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished;
    he will keep you in exile no longer;
  but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish;
    he will uncover your sins.

5:1   Remember, O LORD, what has befallen us;
    look, and see our disgrace!
  Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers,
    our homes to foreigners.
  We have become orphans, fatherless;
    our mothers are like widows.
  We must pay for the water we drink;
    the wood we get must be bought.
  Our pursuers are at our necks;
    we are weary; we are given no rest.
  We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria,
    to get bread enough.
  Our fathers sinned, and are no more;
    and we bear their iniquities.
  Slaves rule over us;
    there is none to deliver us from their hand.
  We get our bread at the peril of our lives,
    because of the sword in the wilderness.
10   Our skin is hot as an oven
    with the burning heat of famine.
11   Women are raped in Zion,
    young women in the towns of Judah.
12   Princes are hung up by their hands;
    no respect is shown to the elders.
13   Young men are compelled to grind at the mill,
    and boys stagger under loads of wood.
14   The old men have left the city gate,
    the young men their music.
15   The joy of our hearts has ceased;
    our dancing has been turned to mourning.
16   The crown has fallen from our head;
    woe to us, for we have sinned!
17   For this our heart has become sick,
    for these things our eyes have grown dim,
18   for Mount Zion which lies desolate;
    jackals prowl over it.
19   But you, O LORD, reign forever;
    your throne endures to all generations.
20   Why do you forget us forever,
    why do you forsake us for so many days?
21   Restore us to yourself, O LORD, that we may be restored!
    Renew our days as of old—
22   unless you have utterly rejected us,
    and you remain exceedingly angry with us.

Mark 13:1–11 (Listen)

13:1 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 113 (Listen)

113:1   Praise the LORD!
  Praise, O servants of the LORD,
    praise the name of the LORD!
  Blessed be the name of the LORD
    from this time forth and forevermore!
  From the rising of the sun to its setting,
    the name of the LORD is to be praised!
  The LORD is high above all nations,
    and his glory above the heavens!
  Who is like the LORD our God,
    who is seated on high,
  who looks far down
    on the heavens and the earth?
  He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
  to make them sit with princes,
    with the princes of his people.
  He gives the barren woman a home,
    making her the joyous mother of children.
  Praise the LORD!

Proverbs 14:1–4 (Listen)

14:1   The wisest of women builds her house,
    but folly with her own hands tears it down.
  Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD,
    but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
  By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
    but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
  Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
    but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.

Fri 01 June, 2018


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