Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
We have begun a New Year. It is no longer 2022 but 2023. That is a boundary. The Bible says that boundaries are a God given gift to be respected. A classic verse on the subject is Proverbs 22:28:
Do not remove the ancient landmark that your fathers have set.
What is that about? It means that in ancient Israel farmers marked the boundaries of their lands (allotted by God through Moses) by large stones or piles of stones. A greedy neighbour could sneakily move those stones over time and enlarge his land at the expense of his neighbour.
The world is filled with myriads of boundaries at God’s design. Because God designed them they are good and not to be understood in a negative way as many might see words like ‘division.’ They are good and we’d do well to respect them. Some boundaries like those at Creation are fixed and immoveable: day and night, land and sea, etc. Other boundaries are moveable. Yet it is only in our pride that we seek to move what God has fixed. This is because in our desire to be as God (Gen 3:5) we don’t respect God or others but move those stones to our own advantage. (Even the Creator-creature distinction is a boundary, Ro 1:25. We can’t actually move it but we try!). How we respond to God’s boundaries can be appropriate and inappropriate, good and evil. All sins and troubles, particularly of the inter-personal kind, stem from, in pride, breaking God’s boundaries.
Considering just some of the good God-given boundaries that we find in the Bible:
Perhaps with this in mind you might now see more boundaries in Scripture and identify them in the world around us.
May we repent of boundary breaking, seek the boundary Maker for forgiveness, and find the Holy Spirit’s renewing power to respect the boundaries that God has established for our good.
In lieu of a 5MM on July 25, because of a longer sermon, it is being posted here.
This week’s PC 5MM is Hospitality.
Φιλόξενος in the Greek (φιλό/ξενος- to love strangers)
Oxford defines the word as, “The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors and strangers.”
Once it was seen as a common place duty amongst the ancients. Today hedonistic individualism and isolationism has almost driven it out of our vocabulary.
Yet for the Christian, this is what we are commanded:
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Pet 4:9, c.f. 1 Ti 3:2; Tit 1:8)
We might not all have the gift of hospitality but we can be hospitable and this demonstrates our love (as we entertain angels unawares), changing someone’s flat tire, helping someone cross the street, giving those who’ve lost their home in a fire use of your trailer. Hospitality is a powerful witness in deed of our faith, and an opportunity to verbally share our faith.
Hospitality isn’t just something we show to unbelievers, but amongst believers too.
I remember once in one of my churches, which met in a physically small space, one family who sat in the back pew never in twelve years having said hello to the family who sat in the front pew! This should not be! Talk to people at church, welcome newcomers—show hospitability. Invite people over for a meal, get together, do things together (like Jesus did)—fellowship! It builds trust, is edifying and enables us to accomplish our mission. If we can’t love our brother, how will we be ready and able to love our neighbour or stranger?
There are lonely people, even Christians, who need the love God has shown us, so pretty please, show hospitality!
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