Thursday, December 14, 2017

RETURN, RETURN!

Today’s Reading: Song of Solomon 4-6

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

 

The Church of All Nations, also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic church located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane. It enshrines a section of bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before His arrest (Mark 14:32-42). In the garden, there are some extremely old olive trees; perhaps they were there at the time of Christ. In 4:12a of today’s reading, the spouse is likened to a “garden enclosed.” This is a term of endearment indicating the exclusiveness of the marriage relationship. Here, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter began his human efforts to fight for Jesus, which ended in his denial of Jesus at the High Priest’s palace. For a brief time Jesus and his beloved Peter were separated, as were the “lovers” in today’s reading.

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

 

Key Verses: Song of Solomon 4:10

How fair is your love,

My sister, my spouse!

How much better than wine is your love,

And the scent of your perfumes

Than all spices!

 

Whether we read this poem as simply a love story between Solomon and the lovely Shulamite maiden, or a portrayal of the love between God and His people, we will not find a more tender and moving expression of love. The young woman, having missed her opportunity to welcome her beloved on his unexpected visit, goes out to search for him. Deep within her heart, she is certain of his love.

Could it be that we, who say we love God, do not respond to His presence immediately, and we miss the relationship He desires to have with us? Like the Shulamite we can search in many places for Him, but the message is clear in the last verse of our reading (6:13a): We are called to “Return, return…Return, return!” Let us return to the place where we first met Jesus, not to the physical location, but the place of repentance as did Peter after he had been challenged for the third time by a waitress in the courtyard of the High Priest (read Luke 22:47-62).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord, like the Shulamite, I realize that I don’t deserve Your love, but I also recognize that You have chosen to love me. Please forgive me for not responding instantly to Your presence and Your love. I pray for grace to learn to return and to remain constantly in Your presence. I thank You that You have promised to never leave me nor forsake me. I’ve read this Lord, both in Deuteronomy and quoted in Hebrews 13:5. I pray this in the Name of the One who said, “I am with you always,” the Lord Jesus, Himself, Amen!!! (Matthew 28:18-20).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I often have dreams like the Shulamite says in the song, “I sleep, but my heart is awake.” Her dream involved searching for her beloved, and of being beaten and wounded during her search (5:2-7). Like the woman in our reading, my heart seems to be awake first. Peter failed badly in his denial of knowing Jesus. His heart kicked in the moment his eyes locked with the eyes of Jesus. Often it’s my heart that kick-starts my brain, then my mind, in turn, ignites my will power and I correct my decisions and do the right thing!

Yours for the “return” to God of all who have known Him as children but have run far away, where they have been beaten and wounded,

David

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

SONG OF SONGS

Today’s Reading: Song of Solomon 1-3

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

 

On this coin that was minted in Jerusalem is Yehonatan the King surrounding a lily flower. It is a Bronze prutah of the Hasmonean king Alexander Jannaeus and is dated 104-76 BC. Song of Songs, chapter 2, verse 2, likens the beloved to a “lily among thorns.”

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

 

Key Verses: Song of Solomon 2:10

My beloved spoke, and said to me:
“Rise up, my love, my fair one,
And come away…”

 

The story is told of the conference of Jewish Rabbis who were faced with the decision as to which writings were to be included in the Bible. One Rabbi said that the Song of Songs, as it is called in the Hebrew Bible, was much too sensuous and should be excluded. Then the aged Chief Rabbi stood to his feet and said, “Brothers, all the other books we are including in the sacred Scriptures are like the Holy Place in the Temple, but the Song of Songs is the Holy of Holies. It is all about intimacy with our God.” Of course they included Song of Songs! For our readings, it is vital to understand that all expressions of affection and physical lovemaking are pure, true love, not to be taken in an erotic, lustful way.

Historically, this is the courting and marriage of a shepherdess to King Solomon, and the delights and heartaches of wedded love. Later in life, Solomon married many women. This special person may have been Solomon’s only true love. Allegorically, it pictures Israel as the object of God’s love and as His bride. Israel was unfaithful to her Husband. The Prophet Hosea lived out God’s relationship with Israel. God instructed him to marry an unfaithful woman (read Hosea 2:19-23, Hosea 3:1). Make no mistake about it! “GOD IS LOVE!” For a New Testament reading check out 1 John 4:9-19.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, just as You chose Israel as Your “Spouse,” so You have chosen all who believe in Jesus as Your “Bride.” I pray for Your grace so that I will be faithful to You, not prostituting myself by yielding to temptations to commit spiritual adultery with a world that is opposed to You, and living in a way that is so dishonouring to You. I love You, Lord Jesus, and I pray this in Your Name and for Your sake, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I know that every time I go to make a call or click an icon on my iPhone, up will come a picture of my bride, my spouse, and me (the same photo is posted below). Norma-Jean is my love. I think of her when I read the song of the Shunamite maiden and Solomon. That same picture is on the back cover of my latest book, This Far By Faith. As you can tell, I’m very fond of that picture. If you don’t yet have a copy of my book, here’s how to get it (click here).

I have not been able to read every response since I began on June 3rd, 2012, but lately I’ve been faithful to read everything readers say. You are a great encouragement to me. Keep them coming!!! If you wish to post a comment on my blog, go to www.100words.ca and click on the “Comments” bubble (which is next to the date). Then scroll to the bottom, where it says, “Leave a Reply.”

Yours, as the Scripture says, “And to communicate, forget not!” (Hebrews 13:16 KJV),

David

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

REMEMBER YOUR CREATOR

Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 10-12

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

 

When we see the Creator’s handiwork, our hearts are filled with awe. The First Nations peoples of our land refer to God as “THE GREAT CREATOR,” and have done so since before the European explorers arrived on this continent.

 

Key Verses: Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13-14

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,

Before the difficult days come,

And the years draw near when you say,

“I have no pleasure in them.”

…Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,

For this is man’s all.

For God will bring every work into judgment,

Including every secret thing,

Whether good or evil.

 

“A dead fly”… Chapter 10 begins by warning us that a little foolishness like a dead fly (in our soup?) can contaminate much of the good that wisdom has accomplished. The consistent application of our minds and hearts to wisdom, such as this daily blog encourages, will help keep us on track. As 10:4b instructs us, “Do not leave your post!”

In order to help his large family understand the Scriptures, Ken Taylor created a paraphrase called “The Living Bible.” He renders Ecclesiastes 11:4 this way: “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” Someone has called this “the paralysis of analysis.” God has given us the ability to asses a situation, make a decision, and move forward boldly.

The final chapter gives us Solomon’s conclusions. The wisdom God gave him is summed up in our key verses. Let’s take time to meditate on “the whole matter!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, You have created me, according to the Scriptures, in Your likeness. Therefore, I ask that I will be conscious minute by minute of Your Presence so that I will fulfill Your plans for my life. You expect me to make my decisions with a confidence that if I’m going wrong, You will steer me by giving me Your wisdom, so that I can make course corrections. Thank You that You give purpose and meaning to my life. I pray in the Name of the One who “set His face like a flint” to go to the Cross for me, Jesus, my Messiah! Amen!!! (read of the decisions of Jesus in Isaiah 50:6-7 and Luke 9:51-53).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have often spoken to teens and young people in their twenties from Ecclesiastes 11:9-10, as well as from Chapter 12 verse one. “REMEMBER!” and again in verse six, “REMEMBER!” For my own life I’ve sought to “REMEMBER!”  Solomon’s conclusion, after trying all kinds of things, is clear and concise. I realized as a teen that I don’t have to go through all the things that messed up Solomon’s life! He stated at the beginning of Ecclesiastes, “Vanity of Vanities, says the preacher, all is vanity.” Instead of emptiness, I am full. Instead of a vacuum in my life, I overflow with the Presence of the Lord. As Ephesians 5:18 says, “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit” (read Ephesians 5:15-21).

Yours for being filled with God’s Presence and for keeping filled 24/7,

David

 

Monday, December 11, 2017

THE GRAVE

Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 7-9

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

 

Half way down the hillside of Mount Zion on the south side of the Old City of Jerusalem there is a Christian graveyard. Many Christian and Arab believers are buried there. The most popular grave to visit is likely that of Oskar Schindler, the industrialist who saved the lives of many Jews in Nazi Germany.

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

 

Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

 

Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, lived a long life. He had the opportunity to observe the power and majesty of God, as well as the futility and meaninglessness of life apart from God. It’s not hard to observe that Solomon, having received many blessings from God, was not always committed fully to Him. As a younger man, Solomon had worked diligently in building the Temple and in developing alliances with neighbouring countries. Peace and prosperity flourished. In his later years, he turned his attention to satisfying his personal desires for pleasure and wealth, and it began a trend in which Israel eventually turned away from God to embrace the religions of its neighbours. As an encouragement for us to serve God with all our heart, our mind and our strength, we could read Romans 13:11-14.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Father God, I pray for the grace to do as our key verse says and serve You with all my might. Help me to never, never, never give up on doing right and in doing it with a passionate love for You and my neighbours. In the Name of the One who did this 100% of the time, the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In meditating on our key verse, I turned to Luke 9:62 and read the Words of Jesus, “No one, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.” I know my only fitness spiritually is because of my faith in Christ, but here and now by my human free will I have “put my hand to the plough” in a multi-year commitment to this daily blog. Readers can start at any time and 24 months later achieve the most worthy goal of reading, with time for meditation, all of God’s Word to His human family. Take your Bible in “HAND” and read and digest in your innermost being God’s Word. “DO IT WITH YOUR MIGHT.”

Yours for, as Jesus said, “Not looking back!”,

David

Sunday, December 10, 2017

GRASPING THE WIND OR HOLDING THE TRUTH

Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 4-6

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

 

Hierapolis was an ancient city located on hot springs in classical Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale in Turkey and currently comprise an archaeological museum designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many architectural grave monuments in Hierapolis. The oldest graves are of the Hellenistic Period (1st and 2nd centuries BC). “BC” denotes before Christ. One wonders if Christ preached to the person memorialized here as well as the writer of Ecclesiastes. First Peter says that Christ preached to the imprisoned spirits who formerly were disobedient (e.g. the people of Noah’s day, etc. Read 1 Peter 3:18-22).

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

 

Key Verse: Ecclesiastes 5:2

Do not be rash with your mouth,

And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.

For God is in heaven, and you on earth;

Therefore let your words be few.

 

In Nelson Mandela’s book, Conversations with Myself, he wrote, “Spiritual weapons can be dynamic and often have an impact difficult to appreciate, except in the light of actual experience in given situations. In a way they make prisoners of free men, turn commoners into monarchs, and dirt into pure gold. To put it quite bluntly, Duggie [his friend], it is only my flesh and blood that are shut up behind these tight walls.” According to some of those who visited Mandela in prison, he read his Bible daily. No doubt he read the words of our key verse about “words.” I’ve read Mandela’s words at his trial before his 27 years in prison. He was very intelligent then, but after he emerged from prison, he was not only smart, but very wise with his words. Thousands of hours in a private and secret place can develop wisdom. Ecclesiastes is part of what is known as “Wisdom Literature.”

Mandela and John Bunyan both had prison experiences. In 1678 Bunyan wrote Pilgrims Progress while in prison. The word “vanity” appears eight times in today’s reading. Bunyan tells us of two men, Christian and Faithful, who visit “Vanity Fair.” Here they are mocked for their desire to proceed on to the “Celestial City.” Faithful is executed and proceeds to Heaven. Christian is remanded to prison but escapes and proceeds on his journey. For a good summary of this story click here and check out the fourth paragraph.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, as I meditate on the words I’ve read today about “the tears of the oppressed,” (4:1b) and seeing “the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness” (5:8a), I pray that the example of a Nelson Mandela would challenge me to change as he did during his 27 years of prison. Then may I do my best to change my world first, and then to help where I can to make change for the better in the world around me. I pray this in the Name of the One, who more than any other, changed everything…Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In my recent reading about Mandela, I noted that in his call to affect political change, he made a deliberate decision to be private in his expressions of his personal faith. He does put in his book, Conversations With Myself, the fact that he taught Sunday School at one time, and he reflects on his education in Wesleyan Methodist schools. He also takes considerable space in his book to tell the story of “The Trial of Christ by Pontius Pilate” (pages 223 – 227). Jesus obviously had a major impact on Mandela’s life.

Yours for grasping God’s eternal truths and never letting go, holding and speaking the truth in love,

David

P.S. The name of one of the entities that make up the Crossroads Family of Ministries is “Tricord.” This name is from Ecclesiastes 4:12b, “A threefold chord is not easily broken.” Click here for information about Tricord (try clicking various items in the “Catalogue” at the top, such as “Documentaries”).

Saturday, December 9, 2017

VANITY OF VANITIES

Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 1-3

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

 

This is the monument to Pius VIII in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Italy. The Pope is shown kneeling, accompanied by a statue of Christ enthroned, with statues of Sts. Peter and Paul. Pius VIII was imprisoned in 1808 during the French domination of Italy for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to Napoleon. Napoleon, the Emperor of France, Europe, North Africa and much of the middle east, would probably agree with Solomon that “All is vanity,” particularly if Napoleon was asked about his life from his imprisonment and exile during his later years.

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

 

Key Verses: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 3:11

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;

“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”

…He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

 

We cannot help but notice the repetition “the Preacher” used for his desired emphasis. The word, “vanity” occurs 37 times. It means “useless” or “empty.” The “preacher” has tried all life has to offer. Worldly wisdom, works, wealth, etc., as well as laughter and wine are all found to be empty. This can all be discouraging to us, his readers, unless we refer several times during our readings to chapter 12. We may want to read Solomon’s conclusions about life each day.

The word “time” is repeated 31 times in today’s reading. Time is short here on earth, but a ray of hope shines through with the statement that God “has put eternity in their hearts.” All anthropological studies done in every people group on earth prove that our human family is constantly reaching beyond ourselves and into eternity. The monument pictured above gets it right. Peter and Paul got it right. Pius seems to have gotten it right. Napoleon got it wrong, as is the case of everyone who seeks their ultimate values here and now in this life alone.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will live every moment of my life with eternity’s values in mind. As I grow older, may I grow up into Your love and truth. I ask for grace to keep the vain things of earth in their proper perspective, always seeking to use material possessions and human pursuits for eternal purposes. Thank You for putting “eternity” in my heart. I pray that eternal values will also be in my head, my consistent thoughts and decisions. In the Name of Your eternally existing Son, Father God, I ask these mercies, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Remember the TV show Hee Haw? I know one of the main characters personally. Gordie Tapp is the son of Salvation Army officers. I have no doubt that when he and Roy Clarke sang of gloom, despair, etc., he knew about the book of Ecclesiastes. In fact, that song could’ve been lifted right out of this book.

I’m thinking again today of the late, great man, Nelson Mandela. He had such high hopes for his people. It must have been discouraging for him as reality set in and he observed the rampant corruption that has become epidemic in the South African government after he stepped aside from the presidency. He surely tried his best and I commend him for setting such a good example. I want to commend highly our former Prime Minister of Canada, the RT. Hon. Brian Mulroney, for taking the strongest stand of any world leader for doing what was right in South Africa prior to Mandela’s release from prison, and after. God bless you former Canadian P.M. I’m proud of you!

Yours for filling the emptiness of life with the fulness of Christ!

David

P.S. Here’s the Hee Haw song I referred to (click here). While Solomon tells us that “laughter” accomplishes little, it is good for us. In Proverbs 17:22a, Solomon told us that “A merry heart does good like a medicine.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

CHARACTER

Today’s Reading: Proverbs 31

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

 

On display in the Archaeological Museum in Pella, Greece, is a golden leaf crown. This was created to resemble the wreath of leaves placed on the head of Olympic champions. Of course the Emperor had to have one made of Gold. Today’s reading should help us all strive to be the best we can be with God’s Spirit working 24/7 within us.

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

 

Key Verses: Proverbs 31:10-11

Who can find a virtuous wife?

For her worth is far above rubies.

The heart of her husband safely trusts her;

So he will have no lack of gain.

 

Could it be that Solomon was describing his own mother and the wife of his father. David and Bathsheba’s first child died at birth, and Solomon was their #2 child. No doubt Bathsheba shared in the words of repentance found in Psalm 51. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, believed that King Lemuel, whose name is mentioned in this chapter, was Solomon himself and that Lemuel was one of Solomon’s names which means, “One who comes from God.” Wesley notes, “Perhaps David and Bathsheba, as a pledge of their reconciliation with God, gave Solomon this name, along with others, to remind him of his obligation to God.” It’s very possible that in Solomon’s eyes, his mother Bathsheba became the “virtuous wife” he describes. We serve a God who redeems the fallen and who, by His Holy Spirit, develops character so that a person, made in God’s image, can change and grow into the “stature of the fulness of Christ.” For a New Testament reading check out Ephesians 4:12-16.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray with my whole being for Your help to fulfill all the potential that You desire to develop in me. Help me to be honest, virtuous and honourable. May the character of Jesus grow more and more in me, not by my own efforts alone, but by Your Spirit filling me, changing me, and growing me until I come into the “stature of the fulness of Christ.” Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Over the years I have read extensively about a man of character, Nelson Mandela, as well as reading his own writings.  Mandela said on one occasion, “One thing 27 years in prison taught me was to use the silence of solitude to realize how precious words are.” Reading this and thousands of Mandela’s other words has caused me to strive to do a better job of using words here on my blog. I’ve read that during his years in prison with just bread and water for breakfast, he would lift the bread to God and say, I receive this in remembrance of Your body, Lord Jesus, and with the water, “I receive this in remembrance of Your blood.” This would have been in keeping with his Wesleyan Methodist upbringing. Then he would be taken outside to the hard labour which they required of him. I saw a photo in a Toronto newspaper from just before Mandela was elected President. It was of Mandela, DeKlerk, President at the time of South Africa, and Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the Zulu people, kneeling together during a prayer meeting. A bloody civil war was averted, and a week later Mandela was President. Could Mandela’s deep and mainly private relationship with God have been the secret of his amazing strength of character? I leave this for you to judge.

Yours for becoming all we can be with the great help of God’s Spirit dwelling within us,

David

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A STIFF NECK

Today’s Reading: Proverbs 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).

 

The Hyrax, also known as a rock badger, lives on rocks all around Israel. This one was photographed in the Ein Gedi reserve on the shore of the Dead Sea. It is described in today’s reading as “little on the earth,” but “exceedingly wise” (Proverbs 30:24, 26).

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

 

Key Verses: Proverbs 29:1

He who is often rebuked and hardens his neck,

Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

Two kings of Israel, Saul and David, were both rebuked…Saul by Samuel and David by Nathan. Saul was as one who “hardens his neck,” becoming stubborn and unwilling to change. David’s reaction was not to try to justify himself as Saul did, but to repent and change his ways. Saul’s attitude resulted in the loss of his position and eventually his very life. David’s response, “I have sinned against the Lord,” resulted in forgiveness and restoration. We may want to read the words David wrote to describe his repentance. They are found in Psalm 51.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, when I’m made aware of sin in my life or am corrected in some way by one of Your servants, may I not make excuses and stubbornly continue going my own way, but may I receive the grace of repentance, turn around, and go Your way. I pray that I will keep a gentle spirit and always be ready to receive a rebuke from You or from someone You send to confront me. I ask for Your restoration in the Name of Jesus, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My first encounter with a rock badger was in company with my two sons, Reynold, my photographer for the blog, and Ron, who formats and posts the blog. We were back-packing in Israel in 1978, and as we climbed over the rocks descending Mt. Carmel, there was a little creature looking at us for a moment. He (or she), according to Scripture, is “exceedingly wise,” and darted under a large rock for protection from these three large creatures who were approaching. Proverbs says that they are “a feeble folk.” They are called “people” in the original King James Version. It occurs to me that when anything appears too big for me to handle, I need to scurry under the Rock of God’s safety. Psalm 61:2b reminds me that “When my heart is overwhelmed,” I need to pray, “Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”

Yours for “exceedingly wise” counsel from God’s Word,

David

P.S. The old hymn says, “Hiding in Thee. Hiding in Thee. O thou blest Rock of Ages I’m hiding in Thee” (click here for a recording of this great hymn).

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A FRIEND AND A LION

Today’s Reading: Proverbs 27-28

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

 

After preaching the gospel in Philippi, Paul passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia with Silas during his second missionary journey, traveling on the Ignatia Way from Philippi to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1). Amphipolis was one of the most important cities of Macedonia in antiquity. The “Lion of Amphipolis” has been dated from the fourth century B.C. It stands on a restored pedestal on the very spot where its broken and scattered pieces were found. It was either a funerary monument or a monument erected to commemorate some as yet unidentified military victory. For readers of 100words, the Lion can remind us to be, as Proverbs 28:1b says, “Bold as a lion.” To my photographer son, Rev. David R. Mainse (seen in the photo above), I say, “Never flee from a challenge. As a righteous man you are as bold as a lion.”

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

 

Key Verses: Proverbs 27:17, 28:1

As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

…The wicked flee when no one pursues,

But the righteous are bold as a lion.

The word “friend” in our first key verse refers back to 27:10a which says, “Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend.” True friends never forsake one another, and true friends interact with each other in a way that “sharpens!” “Dull” is not very attractive in any life! When we love each other, we want the very best for our friends, and therefore we are not afraid to confront, to argue sometimes, and to seek change for the better, humbly recognizing that we too need to change, more often than not…probably more than our friends need to change.

In the second key verse, the word “BOLD” stands out BOLDLY! The Apostle Paul was a true friend of the young Pastor Timothy. Iron was sharpening iron in Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 4:2, “PREACH THE WORD! BE READY IN SEASON AND OUT OF SEASON. CONVINCE, EXHORT, WITH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND TEACHING!” In 2 Timothy 4:5 Paul cuts with the sharp iron sword of God’s Word when he writes, “YOU BE WATCHFUL IN ALL THINGS, ENDURE AFFLICTIONS, DO THE WORK OF AN EVANGELIST, FULFILL YOUR MINISTRY” (see 2 Timothy 4:1-5).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I thank You for my friends. I pray that I will consistently cherish friendship, never taking my friends for granted, and always having their best interests in my prayers and my actions. I thank You, Lord Jesus, that You are my very best true Friend forever. I ask for grace to be as Proverbs 28:1 says, “As bold as a lion,” in telling everyone about my Friend, Jesus, who is also the Son of God and my Saviour and Lord, in whose Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve just watched again the interview I did many years ago with Dr. Roland Harrison, the lead Hebrew scholar in the “New King James” translation of the Bible (If you missed it, click here). With us on that same edition of 100 Huntley Street was Dr. Charles Ratz. In Massey Hall, Toronto, during my college graduation exercises, my Dean of Theology, Dr. Ratz, gave the charge to the graduates. He quoted the Apostle Paul saying, “I CHARGE YOU THEREFORE BEFORE GOD AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO WILL JUDGE THE LIVING AND THE DEAD AT HIS APPEARING AND HIS KINGDOM: PREACH THE WORD!” That charge sharpened me and still does. That charge cut deeply into my innermost being and still does. It helped motivate me to be “BOLD AS A LION” throughout the almost 57 years since that time. This has been purely and completely God’s grace which has been given to me. I will be eternally grateful to my friends who, through the years, have been true and faithful in their friendship. I have been corrected, and as a result have become, I think, a new and improved version of David Mainse. Thank you! Thank you! Thank You! Most of all I say to Jesus, “Thank You!!!!!”

Yours for friendships throughout time and eternity,

David

 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

THE ROLLING STONE

Today’s Reading: Proverbs 26

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

 

The Abu Badd is a rolling stone used as a fortified door of a Byzantine monastery from an old village in Jordan. It is now on display on Mount Nebo in Jordan, the mountain top from which Moses viewed the Promised land. My son David Reynold Mainse must have set his camera on the tripod, put it on a timer, and walked over into the shot. Thanks Reyn for great photos.

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

Key Verse: Proverbs 26:20

Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.

 

In the margins of the New King James Version, The Open Bible Expanded Edition, there are comments on our key verse and the two verses following it. It indicates that “talebearer” could have been translated “gossip.” Proverbs 26:22 reads, “The words of a talebearer [gossip] are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.” Again the NKJV notes that gossip goes, and here is the literal translation, into “rooms of the belly.”

Proverbs 26:27b presents a dramatic word picture, “He who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.” This is in the context of talebearing or gossip. It talks of “fervent lips with a wicked heart” (26:23a). Just imagine pushing the stone pictured above and having it roll back to crush the person trying to hold the weight of false words.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that You will enable me to watch my words carefully lest they, like a stone, roll back on me. You’ve given me words here in Proverbs which produce life and not death. May my entire vocabulary be influenced by the “Wisdom” I am reading daily. I pray this in the Name of “Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Today’s blog has me thinking of the rock group, The Rolling Stones. Through the years those Stones have rolled over millions of people, the lyrics of their songs leaving a lasting impression on young people particularly. Consider these lyrics: “I can’t get no satisfaction…’cause I try and I try and I try and I try. I Can’t get no…I can’t get no…satisfaction.” My answer? TRY JESUS. He’s the only One who truly satisfies!

Speaking of “rolling stones,” Bruce Stacey has created a great animated children’s production “Rez, the Rock that Rolled” (click here for a preview). I plan to put this powerful animated message on my laptop and show it to children, God willing, whenever I get a chance. Here is a link to where you can find it online.

Yours for the Rock that doesn’t roll, “The Rock of Ages,” a solid foundation for our lives,

David