The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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April 1

Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.

Reading 1 - Num 15:37-40

"The LORD said to Moses, 'Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God' " (Num 15:37-40).

"What nation under heaven can show a feature of civilisation like this? Talk of the fashions for the month. Here is a fashion for ever! whose sole object was to keep before the mind the one thing most odious of all others to the taste of the followers of Parisian models. It shows more eloquently than anything else the place which God should have in human life, according to God's view of the matter, and His view alone is the one which will prevail with the children of wisdom. All other views are bound to become as extinct as the vegetation of the carboniferous era" (Robert Roberts, "Law of Moses" 81).

Reading 2 - Pro 11:25

"A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed" (Pro 11:25).

"We are here taught the great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others, we are ourselves watered. How? Our efforts to be useful, bring out our powers for usefulness. We have latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise. Our strength for labour is hidden even from ourselves, until we venture forth to fight the Lord's battles, or to climb the mountains of difficulty. We do not know what tender sympathies we possess until we try to dry the widow's tears, and soothe the orphan's grief. We often find in attempting to teach others, that we gain instruction for ourselves. Oh, what gracious lessons some of us have learned at sick beds! We went to teach the Scriptures, we came away blushing that we knew so little of them. In our converse with poor saints, we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth. So that watering others makes us humble. We discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it; and how much the poor saint may outstrip us in knowledge. Our own comfort is also increased by our working for others. We endeavour to cheer them, and the consolation gladdens our own heart. Like the two men in the snow; one chafed the other's limbs to keep him from dying, and in so doing kept his own blood in circulation, and saved his own life. The poor widow of Sarepta [1Ki 17:9] gave from her scanty store a supply for the prophet's wants, and from that day she never again knew what want was. Give then, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and running over" (CH Spurgeon).

Reading 3 - Luk 24:2

"They found the stone rolled away from the tomb" (Luk 24:2).

Was ever a mountain so "large" as the great stone which sealed Christ's tomb? Truly, as miracles go, no miracle has been or could be so great as the one that caused this "very large" stone to be removed, and thus proclaimed Christ's tomb to be open... forevermore.

Jesus had told his followers, "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him' " (Mar 11:23). Of course, we have trouble with moving literal mountains, even as we have trouble explaining this passage.

But seen from a spiritual perspective, isn't the greatest "mountain" of difficulty -- which no man can move -- death and the grave? Engineers with bulldozers and explosives can move even literal mountains. But who among them can move the mountainous "stone" that covers the grave? Not a one!

And even the disciples of Jesus could not move such a stone from the mouth of his sepulcher... not at that time; they were weeping in sorrow, and hiding in fear. It was the faith of Jesus alone -- though he was dead and unconscious in the tomb -- that moved the hand of the angels of God, and rolled back the stone. It may be said that the greatest miracle that Jesus ever performed was this: the blood of this wholly righteous man cried out from the depths of the earth, and the Father heard!

Do WE, today, have faith to move mountains? The answer, I believe, is really another question: 'Do WE have faith that the greatest "mountain" has already been moved?' "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours" (Mar 11:24). Our faith may be -- not a prospective -- but a retrospective faith: we look backward, and ask, 'Do I really believe that the "mountain" has been moved?' If we truly believe that, then -- it is absolutely sure and certain -- ALL THINGS are possible for us!

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