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Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

The Root of Jesse

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Isaiah 11:1–11
 
1 And a rod will go forth from the root of Jesse, and a flower will ascend from his root.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and piety.
3 And he will be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. He will not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears.
4 Instead, he will judge the poor with justice, and he will reprove the meek of the earth with fairness. And he will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and he will slay the impious with the spirit of his lips.
5 And justice will be the belt around his waist. And faith will be the warrior's belt at his side.
6 The wolf will dwell with the lamb; and the leopard will lie down with the kid; the calf and the lion and the sheep will abide together; and a little boy will drive them.
7 The calf and the bear will feed together; their young ones will rest together. And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 And a breastfeeding infant will play above the lair of the asp. And a child who has been weaned will thrust his hand into the den of the king snake.
9 They will not harm, and they will not kill, on all my holy mountain. For the earth has been filled with the knowledge of the Lord, like the waters covering the sea.
10 In that day, the root of Jesse, who stands as a sign among the people, the same the Gentiles shall beseech, and his sepulcher will be glorious.
11 And this shall be in that day: the Lord will send forth his hand a second time to take possession of the remnant of his people who will be left behind: from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Ethiopia, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
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The Golden Rule

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Matthew 7:6, 12–14
 
Sun shining through trees in golden light
 
The Golden Rule is the heart of justice and of righteous behaviour.  The rule is “golden” because if we apply it in any situation, it becomes clear to us what we ought to do – it may not be easy, but we can see the right course of action.
 
Thinking about thsi rule can cure us of the blindness we often have when we get angry about what others do to us without realising that we do exactly the same to them.  But if we live by this rule we are sure to keep God’s commands and thus fulfil “the law and the prophets”.  Jesus links this to what he has just said about God’s goodness and generosity: if we keep the rule we are acting as true children of our heavenly father, who loves us however wicked we are and however often we reject him.
 
Lord, you call us to tret others as we would wish to be treated.  May we have the wisdom to remember this rule in our lives, and the strength to follow it, and so pass through the narrow gage that leads to eternal live with you.
 
Chris
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