Day 338, 4th August: Daniel, 1 John and Psalm
By Phil Ebsworth, Soul Survivor:Called to Lead
For the last 10 months I’ve had the privilege of having some great housemates, and we’ve had some great fun along the way. When I went to Australia I returned to find my three housemates had cling-filmed every single item in my room; and I mean everything! So when two of my housemates went away, I returned the favour by filling one of their rooms from floor to ceiling with balloons, and the other with over one thousand cups of water. Although in our case we were all having a laugh, there’s always a danger that it can get out of hand. In our reading from Daniel today we can see how something can get seriously out of hand.
The passage describes the power struggle between Persia and Greece that started around 500BC and also got the Romans, Jews and Egyptians involved as well. The passage reads like a slightly more brutal Soap storyline, with arranged marriages, backstabbing, double crossing, divorces, revolts and genocides. All these things happened in retaliation to something that happened in the past, everyone wanted the last say. In this passage, devastation and destruction happened because of the kings’ love of power and their yearning to “maintain royal splendour”. Luckily none of the above happened with my housemates, and maybe one of the reasons was because, although we wouldn’t admit it to each other’s faces, we love each other.
In today’s NT passage we are told that “whoever loves God must also love his brother”; “God is love” and so our response to that love is to love those around us, as this is the proof that we really do love Christ and share his heart. Unlike the characters in the OT, we have no need or purpose to ‘get our own back’ but we are commanded, as followers of Christ, to put others first; to value others over ourselves. We are also reminded not to love the things of this world that lead to destruction, but that perfect love is found in God, love that brings life and restoration.
In our world, it is easy to feel like we’ve been wronged by others or been treated unjustly but today we are urged to remember the tremendous love that Jesus showed to us on the cross and what that means in how we treat others. By showing them love we are showing them God himself.
Today’s picture was taken by…
Sam Wakeford outside the Library in Ephesus.Thanks Sam!
If you’d like to take your own picture to potentially be featured on the blog, then get your Soul Survivor Bible in One Year, and take a picture of yourself – and your Bible – at some interesting or colourful location. Then email it to us at email@example.com.
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