Monday, February 8, 2016

PIVOTAL PRAYING!

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 32

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Today’s reading says, “Look, the siege mounds!” None of these mounds remain at the walls of Jerusalem. Here is the mound built for the assault on the fortress of Masada following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 32:16b-17

I prayed to the Lord, saying: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You…”

 

The statement in today’s reading, “THERE IS NOTHING TOO HARD FOR YOU” (32:17B), and the question, “IS THERE ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR ME?” (32:17), should encourage us to expect God to accomplish, as Ephesians 1:11b says, “the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will!”

The fact is that Jerusalem was, at the time of Jeremiah’s writing of these words, under siege by the army of Nebuchadnezzar. This should have proven to King Zedekiah and his court that Jeremiah was a true prophet of God. Over and over again Jeremiah had foretold that this would happen. Rather than humbling themselves and repenting before God for their sins, they threw Jeremiah into jail. The countryside around Jerusalem, including Jeremiah’s hometown, Anathoth, had been conquered and plundered already. Therefore, land values would have been almost nothing. Yet in an act of faith for the future in obedience to God, Jeremiah purchased land from a relative who had lost all hope. In this way Jeremiah showed that although his prophecy of 70 years of captivity in Babylon would come to pass, God would bring His people back home where they would again occupy the land which He had given to His people. How about all of us saying out loud if possible, “THERE IS NOTHING TOO HARD FOR GOD!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m thinking just now of something (a private matter) that is definitely too hard for me, but I’m doing as Jeremiah said he did, “I prayed to God!” This is one of those “Pivotal Prayers,” as Dr. John Hull writes in his latest book. I ask You, Lord, to turn it around according to Your purpose. I pray these mercies in the Name of the most pivotal Person in human history, Jesus Christ (Messiah), Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve just read again yesterday’s blog where my son, Ron, put the information as to how every blog reader can get John Hull’s interview on pivotal praying. PRAYER can be the pivot on which our lives and the lives of those around us will turn around and go God’s way rather that our own way. In basketball, a team will lose the ball if they move to soon what is called their “pivot foot.” It’s called “travelling.” In order to move from the pivot spot, the player must either pass the ball or begin dribbling (bouncing the ball). I have a picture in my mind of all of us on God’s team. Our pivot foot must not move until we decide to take action. We turn around with that foot firmly planted in one place. If that pivot foot moves before passing or dribbling the ball, the referee blows his whistle and the opposing team takes over. Prayer is like that; we stay put, that pivot foot immovable, until we decide the right way to proceed and then we make our move confident that God will, as Proverbs 3:6b says, “Direct your paths” (straight to the basket). Do this and win!!!

Yours for being as 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord!”

David

The SEU “Fire” player has the ball. His pivot foot is planted just behind him and he has obviously made a decision to begin dribbling the ball and running around the opposing player.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A NEW COVENANT

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 31

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

First century family life is depicted by the actors in Nazareth Village as they attempt to recreate life as it was in ancient times. Today’s reading contains the statement, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel.” Jesus lived here in Nazareth from His childhood until He was 30 years old.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 31:31, 33

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah…But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

 

Jeremiah 31 was written as an encouragement to God’s people who had been forcibly removed from Jerusalem and relocated in Babylon. The prophet reminds them of God’s promise to their father, Abraham, that in his seed all families would be blessed. Statements such as, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” and “Again I will build you,” may have been the inspiration for Daniel’s prayer offered through his open window in Babylon, three times every day (Daniel 6:10-11).

Jeremiah 31:15-17 is a prophecy fulfilled in Bethlehem (Ramah) when Herod’s soldiers killed the babies two years old and under (Matthew 2:16-23).

One cannot miss the word “covenant” repeated four times in today’s reading (Jeremiah 31:31-34).  A “covenant” is the most binding agreement that can be made between two parties. These words constitute a legal document registered in God’s unchanging Word for time and eternity. This New Covenant (or “Testament” as in Last Will and Testament) was executed by God, Himself, and sealed with the Blood of the eternal Sacrifice of the Messiah as He died on the Cross (Hebrews 7:22 – 8:13). How wonderful it is that this New Covenant is written on our hearts, not just on tablets of stone!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God of Jeremiah and Daniel, I ask that I will gain a new understanding of the New Covenant written on my heart, and may I learn to pray powerful pivotal prayers for the fulfillment of Your Word as did Daniel. “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth” (Psalm 86:11a). I pray this in the Name of the One who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6a). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Hi friends…Ron Mainse here. Whether one is a brand new believer in Jesus or a seasoned follower of His, when life’s storms hit us hard, we need God’s help. But what are the keys to effectively connecting with God beyond a typical knee-jerk reactionary prayer? John G. Lake, an influential Christian leader in the early 20th century, observed, “There is a mighty lot of difference between saying prayers and praying.” Moira Brown interviewed John Hull regarding his book on prayer. If you missed it, you can watch it HERE.

The former president of Iraq (ancient Babylon), Saddam Hussein, was in the process of rebuilding the city of Babylon when the allied armies led by the U.S.A. invaded, occupied, and stopped the restoration project. This part of the wall is known as “The Ishtar Gate.”

Saturday, February 6, 2016

SEARCH!!!

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 29-30

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Here is the tel Herodian. It is located just southeast of Bethlehem. Excavations have revealed Herod’s Fortress Palace. Perhaps he was in this stronghold when he ordered the slaughter of the children in Bethlehem.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 29:11-13

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says the Lord, “thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

 

Our key verse is true for all people at all times, a good verse to memorize! It’s a guarantee of strength when one feels under pressure and vulnerable!

David Reynold’s photograph above speaks to the practice of empire builders of appointing puppet kings in the conquered regions. Everything was O.K. as long as the king ensured that taxes were paid to overlords (in Herod’s time, the Romans, and in Zedekiah’s time, the Babylonians).

Most of us do this blog for inspiration, but here’s some information. King Josiah, a king who did right before God, had sons who were corrupt and did evil in God’s eyes. The ones that ascended to the throne were Johannan, Shallum, Jehoiakim (his son Jeconiah), and Zedekiah (1 Chronicles 3:15). All reigned for very short periods of time. Jeconiah was taken to Babylon in the first captivity with others, including Ezekiel and Daniel. These displaced persons were treated rather well. The Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar obviously believed that Zedekiah would be content to be a puppet ruler and submit to every order from Babylon. That was not the case and when Zedekiah asserted Judah’s sovereignty, Nebuchadnezzar invaded again (11 years later) and destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon. He took Zedekiah and the people as slaves to Babylon (modern-day Iraq).

Words worth noting are “diminished” and “increased” (Jeremiah 29:6b). It’s our choice.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray fervently that I will, 24/7, do as Jeremiah’s letter exhorts me…search for You with all my heart. You are not hiding! I see You clearly in the Life and Words of my Saviour and Lord, Jesus, Messiah, in Whose Name I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Several times I have walked to the top of Herodian (pictured above) and meditated on the life of a king who, like Zedekiah, owed his throne to a foreign emperor. King Herod was totally spooked by the possibility of rebellion of his own family members and the people of Jerusalem. He murdered family members and anyone suspected of disloyalty, but he never rebelled against Rome. He constantly pandered to Caesar and with brutality collected the tribute from the Jews, sending great amounts of money to Rome.

I must not pass up the opportunity here on today’s blog to testify to the fact that the promise of our key verse is so very true (Jeremiah 29:11-13). The week I turned 17, at the altar in the tabernacle at Lakeshore Pentecostal Youth Camp in Cobourg, Ontario, I believe that I did seek God with all my heart. He found me, and I found Him in such a life-changing new direction that I’ve never been the same! He gave me a “FUTURE” such as I could have never imagined, and a “HOPE” which has been a constant throughout 62 years since that pivotal moment!

Yours for our “search” for God with the help of daily Scripture readings, daily prayer and this daily blog!!!

David

On top of Herodian recording a Christmas Special, November 2013. Bethlehem is in the distance behind me.

This is a model of Herod’s fortress palace. Herod’s fears were not of the Roman overlords, but of his own people.

Friday, February 5, 2016

PERHAPS

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 26-28

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

A menorah stands atop a table at the altar of Christ Church in Jerusalem. This church is known as the Jewish Church and is the oldest Protestant church in Israel. It is located just inside the Jaffa (Joppa) Gate on the areal where Herod’s Palace once stood. Today’s reading mentions the vessels of the Temple several times. The menorah was one of these which was taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar and then returned by Cyrus. This happened exactly as was prophesied.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Jeremiah 26:8

Now it happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, “You will surely die!…”

 

Jeremiah 26 tells us that while Jeremiah did not die, his fellow true prophet, Urijah, did die for repeating and confirming Jeremiah’s words. Urijah was one of the unsung heroes of faith spoken of in Hebrews 11:36-40. Jeremiah was well aware of the price he might pay for speaking what God had commanded him to speak. However, Jeremiah’s love for God and his commitment to obey God were greater than his desire to be accepted by his peers.

Chapter 27 begins with a repetition of 26:1. Obviously Zedekiah was now king (verse 3b). Scholars agree that here is an example of a mistake by the scribe who copied this passage. This verse is omitted in some other manuscripts. Remember that the original in Hebrew was inspired by God and is correct. God allows human error. In fact, some mistakes like this can be good. Why? Because if someone at a later date was trying to cover up a copying error, it would put in question the accuracy of the record in other places. The fact is that those who copied the scrolls got it right 99.999% of the time.

Chapter 28 features one of the false prophets, Hananiah. Jeremiah said “70” years in Babylon and Hananiah said “2” years. They could not both be right. Jeremiah said “Amen” to “2” years because he wished it could be so. We always hope for what is the most optimistic outcome. Jeremiah finally said, “Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, but you make this people trust a lie” (Jeremiah 28:15).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for a willingness to trust You completely, even when my limited mind cannot fully understand Your ways. I surrender myself to You that Your will may be done in my life. In the Name of the One who always did Your perfect will, Jesus Christ. Amen!!! (I’ve just prayed the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray: “Our Father, Who art in Heaven…”)

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Jeremiah was severely persecuted, and his fellow prophet who supported him was murdered by a corrupt government. The same thing is happening today over and over. I’ve done my best through the years to speak out against these evil acts of persecution around the world. A great guest who appeared on 100 Huntley Street television several times was Rev. Richard Wurmbrand of Romania, Founder of Voice of the Martyrs. The communist authorities imprisoned him and beat him severely in order to try to silence him. They did not succeed! My favourite part of his story was his description of how he would worship, making music with the clanging of the chains fastened to his wrists. He would demonstrate for us on TV and say to a beat, “Cling clang! Cling Clang!” A great sense of joy would fill the studio as he sang. I was always challenged to my very core by this man as to my level of commitment to Christ!

Here’s Pastor Wurmbrand on video, recorded in the 1960’s. He would have understood all that Jeremiah was going through (click here).

Yours for being faithful to God and His Word, whatever the cost!

David

Thursday, February 4, 2016

REPENT!

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 24-25

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

A cross can be seen in windows of the Church of Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. This is the traditional place where Jesus was joined by Moses and Elijah, and where Peter suggested building three tabernacles. There are at least three buildings on the top of the mountain today built to celebrate the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8). I think that Moses and Elijah were there to encourage Jesus at a time when He needed human companionship in facing His suffering and death on the cross. Jesus had tried again and again to speak to His disciples about the cross, but they failed to understand the necessity of it.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Jeremiah 25:5

They said, “Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord has given to you and your fathers forever and ever…”

 

Our key verse summarizes the essential message of all the Prophets from Moses to Jeremiah. “Repent” is also a word proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter at the very beginning of their public ministries.

Jeremiah 24 contains the story of two groups taken to Babylon from Jerusalem, the first symbolized by the good figs and the second by the bad figs. The story of the first exiles is found in 2 Kings 24:11-16. These people were taken away for their own good. The Lord, in this way, protected them from the evil influence of King Zedekiah and from the slaughter and total destruction of Jerusalem, which would come eleven years later. Included in these first exiles were Ezekiel and Daniel. In a few weeks we’ll be reading their books.

Jeremiah 25 is another of Jeremiah’s messages to Judah and Jerusalem. For 23 years he has been faithfully preaching the message of repentance (sorrow and regret for sin sufficient to stop doing wrong). Here he predicts accurately that in the future there will be a 70-year captivity in Babylon. Now that 70-year period is history (read Daniel 9:1-4). Throughout human history, because of His love, God continues to offer forgiveness and restoration to all who “repent!” At the same time, because He is holy, justice is absolutely essential. Jeremiah speaks of God’s “fury” and His “fierce anger.” The most horrible crimes against humanity were committed under Judah’s evil kings. Imagine the emotions of the judges, who sat on the bench at the Nuremburg trials of the Nazis following WWII, watching the pictures from the death camps where children were systematically put to death along with their parents. The people of Jerusalem had put their children to death (Jeremiah 19:4-5; 2 Chronicles 28:2-3; 2 Chronicles 33:5-6).

When Jesus prayed just before His crucifixion these words, “Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42), perhaps He had in mind the words of Jeremiah, who six times in our reading uses the word “drink.” Evil had filled the cup of God’s anger against all that destroys people whom He loves. After being warned over and over again to “repent,” the religious and political leaders refused to do so. Judgment was the only alternative. Jesus drank that cup. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:20b-21, “We implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for grace to live in an attitude of repentance constantly. John, Your Apostle, wrote, “If we say that we have [present tense, and he included himself] no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1John 1:7-10). I confess my sin, and I believe that according to Your Word (You cannot lie), I am forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness. I know this to be true because, “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin,” and in His Name I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

One of our grandsons is named David-Peter (after his two grandfathers), but he likes to use the name “David Mainse the 3rd.” It’s on the cover of his Bible. I’ll try to get a picture of his Bible to add below. Also the back window of his friend’s Hummer vehicle has on it “Galatians 2:20.” This verse has been my daily confession each morning when I first awaken for many years. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Yours to help raise up a generation, unlike the one in today’s reading, where God’s Word is honoured, studied and obeyed!

David

I’m proud of all my grandchildren. I’ve told them that I would do this blog even if they were the only ones who read it.

Caleb’s grandfather has travelled from the USA to Canada as the guest preacher at Evangel Temple, Toronto. His Dad is a top executive at Hershey’s Chocolates in Pennsylvania. Caleb believes God has called him to preach the Gospel. His determination to witness for Christ is evident on his vehicle. “Fire” is the name of the SEU football team.

David Mainse III and Caleb Harris in front of one of the Southeastern University dormitory buildings. I’m proud of these young men who want to serve Jesus Christ with all their hearts, minds, and bodies.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A FIRE AND A ROCK

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 23

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Looking from the area on the south side of the Temple Mount you can look across the Kidron Valley and see the Mount of Olives with thousands of graves along the western slope.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Jeremiah 23:29

“Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord,

“And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”

 

The word “oracle” is repeated eight times in today’s reading. Obviously many were claiming to be prophets of God, but they were proven to be false prophets. The dictionary defines an oracle as one who gives “a message that is typically ambiguous or obscure.” That’s quite the opposite to the message given by Jeremiah! “A hammer” and “a fire” are strong and powerful words. Here is a prayer chorus sung in some gatherings: “Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. Break me! Melt me! Mould me and use me!” The Word of God, as we read it in our daily two-year blog journey through the Bible, should have that effect on us. The idea of an “oracle” was so misused by so-called prophets that God said, “Do not say, oracle of the Lord.” Why? “You have perverted the words of the living God” (Jeremiah 23:36).

The other misused word featured in Jeremiah 23 is “shepherd.” The title “pastor” denotes a shepherd in our time. For an inspiring look at what God considers that a true shepherd should be, let’s read again Psalm 23 and John 10:11-18.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m praying the words of the chorus I mentioned above. By the hammer and the fire of Your Word, I ask You to do whatever is necessary in me to make me all You want me to be. In and through the Person and work of Jesus Christ (Messiah) I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have often stood on one side or the other of the valley pictured above and meditated on the fact that a huge number of people are buried with their feet pointed toward the Eastern Gate in the wall of Jerusalem, the gate through which it is prophesied that the Messiah will enter into a rebuilt Temple. Most of these people expect to be given resurrected bodies, which will enable them to stand up facing the Messiah as He enters through the gate. Modern science shows that all that is needed to recreate one’s entire being is one microscopic speck of DNA dust. It’s all there! My Bible is still open to John 10 as mentioned above, and my eyes have just moved across to the opposite page where I see John 11:24-45. Jesus, the Prophet and the Son of God, spoke words that had the impact of a “Hammer” and a “Fire” when “He cried with a loud voice, ‘LAZARUS COME FORTH!’ And he who had died came out!” I don’t understand how all this happened, but years ago I made a lifetime decision to believe with childlike faith. I’ve not parked my brain! I read, ponder, and wonder. But at the same time I believe! I’m currently reading a book by a nuclear physicist who believes that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity shows that time is not locked into our perception of a 24-hour day. God is outside of time (the basis of true prophecy about the future), and therefore we should not be thrown for a loop by the modern development called “quantum physics.” Well, that’s another subject.

Yours for keeping the faith and also giving it away to the whole world!

David

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

HORSE SENSE AND GROUNDHOGS

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 22

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

A view looking east over the Old City of Jerusalem towards the Mount of Olives.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 22:25

…and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear — the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans.

 

Notice the number of sentences in the Bible that start with the conjunction “and.” Would an English teacher let us away with that today? Not! (as I’ve heard some teens say). People who’ve decided to believe in the verbal (word by word) inspiration of the Bible, might ask, “Why the ‘and’?” It may be that God is never really finished His work until He puts the final period on the last sentence of human history here on this earth as it is in the present.

Our key verse indicates that the time comes when God has been rejected so totally that He can do no other than shift from mercy to judgment. He did not force the Babylonians to conquer Jerusalem, but He knew that He was not wanted by the religious, political, and social elites who were in power, and with great regret He withdrew His presence and, thus, His protection. Three times in this chapter God speaks through Jeremiah of those who “sit on the throne of David.” The last of King David’s descendants, through Solomon, is about to be deposed and taken to Babylon where he will die. BUT a descendent of King David through David’s son, Nathan, is yet to come. Although King Jeconiah and King Zerubbabel are listed in the genealogy of Joseph, Jesus’ foster father, Jesus did not come from Joseph (Matthew 1:6-12); He came as a human Person through the Virgin Mary (Luke 3:31). Legally, Jesus was linked to Joseph, but His DNA was all God and Mary!!! What about that?

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your servant, Jeremiah, urges people to “weep bitterly for him who goes away.” I pray for as much of Your great heart of compassion as You know I can handle. You are infinite in Your capacity to grieve, and I’m so very small and finite. Thank You, Lord, for being willing to share a little bit of the heavy burdens You bear with me. In the Name of the One who went into prayer early every morning, bearing our sorrows and griefs (Isaiah 53:3-5). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There’s the word “woe” in Jeremiah 22:13! One farmer from my childhood, when they still used horses for just about everything (before most of them had tractors), said that the word “woe (whoa)” to a horse meant “STOP!” That’s horse sense! Horses know enough to stop what they are doing when they hear “woe.” I’ve just checked the dictionary for “Whoa!” It still means stop or slow down. When God says something that sounds like “whoa,” let’s pay attention!

The Lord, through Jeremiah, reminded King Jehoiakim about his dad, King Josiah, whom God said did what was right. Josiah was just and righteous. “He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well!!!” (Jeremiah 22:15-16).

Yours for a “Horse Sense” commitment, something which is all too uncommon…just doing something because it is the right thing to do,

David

P.S. Jeremiah’s detailed prophecies have come true. They are now history. Peter describes the Bible Prophets as giving “the prophetic word made more sure” (2 Peter 1:19a). Today is “Groundhog Day” across North America. It is said that when a groundhog comes out of his underground burrow February 2nd and sees his shadow, it is a prophetic word indicating an early Spring. If this is true it will be chance. Only God knows the future, and He told Jeremiah the “Word made more sure!” Of course, the groundhog folklore is just for fun. God’s prophets were dead serious!

An artistic rendering of the core of Jerusalem created in 1660 AD (from the Library of Christ Church in Jerusalem).

Monday, February 1, 2016

FIRE IN MY BONES

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 20-21

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Underneath the Convent of the Sisters of Zion, pilgrims can visit stone pavings which are believed to be the “Pavement,” “Gabbatha,” (Lithostrotos). Nearby, Pilate had his judgment seat (John 19:13). This place is considered the second station of the Via Dolorosa (the path that Jesus took while carrying His cross on His way to be crucified). The Roman soldiers’ game in Lithostrotos pavement can still be seen as shown in the picture. Markings in the paving stones indicate a dice game known as, “The King’s Game.” It may be that this was where Jesus was mocked by the placing of a crown of thorns on His head, the old robe of royal purple, and the words, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (John 19:2-3).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Jeremiah 20:9

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,

Nor speak anymore in His name.”

But His word was in my heart like a burning fire

Shut up in my bones;

I was weary of holding it back,

And I could not.

 

Jeremiah considered being “politically correct” and keeping quiet about God’s Word of judgment which the people were bringing upon themselves. However, regardless of the pressure to be silent, he continued to shout God’s message of warning, calling for repentance! Is it possible that we could be so consumed by the fire of God’s Spirit that holding back makes us “weary,” and we open our hearts and out of our mouths comes God’s Word to our generation? What does Jeremiah’s level of commitment look like in the lives of the first generation of those who followed Jesus? Read of the example of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:1-11. Paul wrote, “O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open!” Jesus describes a good man as recorded in Luke 6:45. He says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good…out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks!” This blog’s main purpose is to make sure that our hearts are full of God’s Word daily! Amen! So be it!!!

Jeremiah’s prophecy about King Zedekiah was 100% accurate. Read 2 Kings 25:6-11 and 2 Chronicles 36:11-21. How tragic it was that the leadership of Israel failed to act on the message of Jeremiah 21:8, “Now you shall say to this people, ‘Thus says the Lord: behold I set before you the way of life and the way of death.'” Moses said, centuries before when he presented the same challenge to Israel, “THEREFORE, CHOOSE LIFE!!!” (Deuteronomy 30:14-20).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I choose life! I pray that I will never falter in that choice, giving in to the pressures of political correctness. You, O Lord, are the Judge, not me. I know that my job is to speak Your Word to those with whom I come into contact. Holy Spirit, I pray that Your breath will blow on the embers of my heart daily, causing fire, as Jeremiah experienced, to burn in my bones so that I feel helpless to contain Your Word for my own benefit only. I ask You for the boldness of Peter and John who said, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve stood several times on the “Pavement” pictured above and tried to explain how the Roman soldiers would use the game engraved on the stone to mock their prisoners. During my first visit in 1968, a Roman Catholic Nun took us down to the level of the ancient street below her convent and explained what happened. She was quite distant, lacking any passion when she explained the place. The next time I visited, the same sister took us downstairs. This time she passionately described how Jesus’ claims to be King were mocked, and then she began to sing, “He is Lord. He is Lord. He is risen from the dead and He is Lord! Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!” I said to her, “Sister, the last time we were here you just gave us cold facts. Something has changed. What has happened?” She answered, “O, I know Him now!” In further conversation I discovered that she had begun attending a charismatic prayer group’s meetings in the Old City of Jerusalem, and she had come into the assurance of her salvation, and been baptized with the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4!

I ask my readers, “Do you know Him?” If you have any doubt about this and would like an introduction to Jesus in Person, please, please call 1-866-273-4444 toll free and ask one of our prayer partners to introduce you to Jesus Himself. They, like the Nun in Jerusalem, “KNOW HIM NOW!” The person who will answer the phone is filled with God’s Spirit. They are non-judgmental, loving, caring friends of Jesus! Go ahead, call as soon as possible. It’s available 24/7! If you get a busy signal, please don’t give up! Try until you get through.

Yours for “Knowing Him!”

David

Sunday, January 31, 2016

THE POTTER’S HOUSE

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 18-19

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

In Pella, Greece, at the Archaeological Museum, pottery vessels from ancient times are on display. In today’s reading, Israel is likened to “clay…in the potter’s hand.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 18:2 &11b

Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear my words…Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”

 

Jeremiah heard God’s Words and proclaimed them to the people of his time and ours too! God’s invitation, which we can accept or reject, is conditional. If we RETURN, REPENT, and decide to DO WHAT IS RIGHT, the vessel of our lives and our land will be made by the Divine Potter into a new creation of God, “As it seemed good for the Potter to make!!!” (18:4b). See Romans 9:20-23 as a New Testament example of the Divine Potter and we who are to be the clay which is molded by His hands.

What horror and evil the people brought upon themselves. During the siege by the Babylonians, people turned into cannibals. The same happened, according to the historian who wrote on the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, following the rejection of the Messiah Jesus by the political and religious leadership. There were many exceptions to this extreme evil. In Jeremiah’s day, there were young men like Daniel and the three Hebrew children who lived righteous lives (Daniel 3:10-30). The same courage was shown by many during and following the Roman destruction (see yesterday’s blog). As was the case with the Babylonian destruction prophesied by Jeremiah, so the Romans, according to Josephus’ “Jewish Wars,” took 700 prisoners back to Rome, paraded them in chains behind Titus’ chariot through the streets, and then sold them as slaves to Roman households. Some were believers in Jesus. Some were even part of the Royal household of the Caesar (Philippians 4:20-23). God continues to mold human clay into vessels which He can fill and employ in His good purpose.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

O, Potter of my life, I yield myself in wholehearted willing surrender to Your hands. I pray that I will be “as the clay is in the Potter’s hand!” I’m aware that the fire is necessary to complete my vessel in order that I may be useful to carry the Water of Life to others. May I be poured out, filled again and again, and poured out often for Your purposes, Lord God! In the Name of the One whose very life was poured out for the entire world, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

It was 1992, in Seville, Spain, at the great World Expo attended by at least 40 million people from all over the world where Crossroads built “La Pabillion de la Promessa” (The Pavilion of Promise). During the months of the Expo, over 53,000 people made first-time decisions to receive Jesus, not as a religion, but as personal Saviour and Lord! The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Seville wept as he said, “My people, my people need this message!” However, my memory backs up 500 years to the Spanish Inquisition, the persecution and martyrdom of many, not by the common people, but by religious and political leaders, as it was at the time of Christ. Two Seville priests had made their way to England where they translated the Bible into Spanish for the first time. In Seville, each morning as I walked from our apartment to the Expo grounds, I would walk through the square where at least 1,500 were burnt at the stake for their contention that the only Words of salvation were in the Bible, which they had recently acquired from those two priests. Crossroads had run out of money to pay our bills and human reason said, “Pack it in, stop construction, and head home.” However, I believe I heard that still small Voice saying to me, “Look down at the ancient dust packed beneath and around the cobblestones under your feet. There are minute particles of the ashes left from the bodies of those who simply wanted to cherish the Scriptures and its message of eternal life, and their blood cries out to Me from the ashes of their sacrifice!” These priests and people believed that salvation was theirs, not by a religious ceremony, but by faith through grace according to the Scriptures (Ephesians 2:1-9). I think it was 1959 when Pope John XXIII proclaimed that all Roman Catholics were to get a Bible of their own and read it!!!

Yours for being molded in the hands of the Divine Potter according to the Scriptures,

David

P.S. For a fuller story of Expo ’92 and Crossroads’ mission, please get my book, find the pictures of our pavilions in four World Expos, and then turn to page 138. Click here to order your own copy of This Far By Faith!

A close-up view of the ancient pottery on display at the Archaeological Museum. They come in all sizes and shapes, just like us, and there is a special purpose for each vessel!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

THE HUMAN HEART

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 16-17

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The Arch of Titus in Rome was constructed in 82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’ victory in the Sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD (note the extra photo below of the inside of the Arch). The Arch of Titus has provided the general model for many of the triumphal arches erected since the 16th century, including the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. In the P.S. today is the description of the destruction of Jerusalem according to the Jewish historian, Josephus. The Roman historian, Tacitus, also covers this massacre of Jewish people and the rape of the Temple. It’s not unlike what must have happened to Jerusalem when it was destroyed by the Babylonians hundreds of years earlier as prophesied by Jeremiah.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 17:9, 14

The heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately wicked;

Who can know it?

…Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved, for You are my praise!

 

Heart disease is our #1 killer physically. Same thing spiritually! Many of us have done “The Daniel Plan,” which will help heal and strengthen that blood pump inside (click here for information), and for spiritual healing there is this blog! “He sent His Word and healed them” (Psalm 107:20a). There’s healing both for the body as well as the soul and spirit in daily, daily, daily reading and meditating on God’s Word!!! For potential new 100words.ca readers, you can start any time and finish in two years (compared to one-year plans, there are shorter readings and extra time for meditating). Soak in God’s Word and experience physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing!!!

Jeremiah diagnosed the human heart as deceitful and desperately wicked. Is there a guaranteed healing prescription? Can this terminal heart condition be healed?

The ultimate heart healing treatment is this…Romans 10:8-10. The word “heart” is repeated three times in that passage. It’s an oral medication. You take it by mouth! Speak these words out loud or even whisper them. That gets God’s Word down into our hearts. Healing and wholeness follows. Now, having ingested God’s healing medicine, let’s do as the last words of our key verses instruct us: “You [Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ] are my [our] praise!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your Word declares that You “inhabit the praises of [Your people!] Israel!” (Psalm 22:3b). I pray that I will learn more and more to use Scripture in my praise of You! As I do this, I know that I am inhabiting the realm of Your Presence! I’m singing now the glorious hymn of praise, “I Will Praise Him!” (click here for the Messianic Jewish family — believers in Jesus — The Isaacs singing this hymn). Let us praise God together!!! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

It can be discouraging to read Jeremiah because of his prophecies of woe. I heard a preacher on the local Christian radio station say, “When God says, ‘Woe,’ it means, Whoa!” That’s horse language for STOP!!!” Good advice?

I debated whether or not to quote the Jewish historian Josephus in his description of the next destruction of Jerusalem after the one prophesied by Jeremiah. There are probably similarities in both destructions of the city which the religious and political leaders brought on themselves. When God is not wanted and when He withdraws as a result, all hell breaks loose. This quote is from 70 A.D., after thousands of Christian Jews had left Jerusalem, as they were warned in a prophecy to escape. In case you don’t want to read of such horror, I’ll put it in a post script.

Yours for ingesting God’s Word and inhabiting, as God does, the PRAISE SPACE!!!

David

P.S. Josephus, a Jew, was in Jerusalem under the protection of the future Roman Emperor Titus when he wrote, “You would have thought the hill on which the Temple stood was boiling from the bottom upwards, that everywhere was a mass of flames, that here lay a sea of blood deeper than the fire, that there were more killed than killers. You could not see a single piece of ground anywhere because it was so thickly covered with bodies, forcing the soldiers to climb over them in order to reach further victims.”

Inside the Arch of Titus in Rome, one side depicts the Roman soldiers removing the menorah, table of showbread and silver trumpets from the Temple as it was destroyed in AD 70.