To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2016 Issue – The Presence of God, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Psalm 55:1-23 (NIVUK): ”Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.
My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.’
Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.
If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshippers.
Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them.
As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.
God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change – he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.
My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant. His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.”
I like the last line of the above psalm – ‘as for me, I trust in You.’
Selwyn continues his discussion on the need for having a daily quiet time with God.
He writes: “In all my years as a Christian I have never met anyone who experienced a deep and constant sense of God’s presence yet did not have regular times of prayer and contemplation. …
Those who say that they can live in a state of strong spiritual awareness without having definite times for prayer and contemplation will probably find that eventually they neglect both. And to do so is like saying that one can live in a state of physical nourishment without eating regularly.”
I think that our quiet time with Jesus should always contain some verses from Scripture; a spiritual truth on which to focus and to seek God’s help to develop a deeper understanding of His Word.
I’ve found that the average Christian’s knowledge of the Bible, as an integrated whole is not that comprehensive; I don’t mean that we should memorise large section of Scripture but I do think that we should have a good idea of where to find specific spiritual truths described in the various texts (both the Old and New Testaments).
It’s of no use to quote an isolated Bible verse if we don’t know the appropriate context for its use. Consequently, we should read large enough sections of Scripture so that we can see the bigger picture and not get lost in the detail. What do you think?