Monday, September 25, 2017

TAMING THE TONGUE

Today’s Reading: Psalms 38-39

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 an “arrow loop” in the wall of Jerusalem’s Zion Gate. These were slots in the walls through which defenders would shoot arrows in ancient times. We may not shoot literal arrows, but Jeremiah 9:8a says, “Their tongue is as an arrow shot out.” Zion Gate is located in the southern part of the Old City. This gate was used by the Israel Defense Forces in 1967 to enter and capture the Old City. The stones surrounding the gate are still pockmarked by weapons fire. This entrance leads to the Jewish and Armenian quarters (wider photo below)..

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 39:1

I said, “I will guard my ways,

Lest I sin with my tongue;

I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,

While the wicked are before me.”

 

There’s a very big word here which has only one letter, the letter “i”. In these two Psalms, “i”, or actually the capital “I”, appears 19 times. Could it be that we focus on ourselves too much and not enough on God? Our tongues provide the most obvious indication of what’s going on inside the “I”. David, Solomon, Paul and James all wrote about the problem we have with our tongues. James even wrote that our tongues can start a forest fire (read James 3:1-10). Dangerous or what? David writes that he can stop sinning with his tongue by guarding his ways and restraining his mouth with a muzzle. We muzzle dangerous dogs, but is this the best way to keep us, as humans made in God’s image, from backbiting and attacking one another? Self (the big “I”) control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). The Spirit produces this fruit of self-control in our lives, not the big “I”. The Apostle Paul follows his description of the fruit of the Spirit with these words, “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (the “I”) with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). Therefore, controlling our tongues is possible by yielding daily to the Spirit of God. It will take time for good fruit to grow and ripen, so that if someone takes a bite out of us, they will taste the goodness of Jesus, who dwells in every believer.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your servant David, twice in today’s reading, compares our lives to “vapor.” Like the morning mist, my life seems to evaporate. I ask, “Where has time gone?” Therefore, Lord, I pray all the more fervently that You will make every moment and every word I speak or write count for good. Fill me up to overflowing, I pray, so that from the overflow of Your Spirit I will bless others with the words my tongue speaks. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

For some reason the sitcom which featured Archie and Edith Bunker comes to mind. I remember that when Edith would be making her point rather emotionally, Archie would say, “Stifle yourself!” I’m laughing as I imagine the scene, but in reality it was no laughing matter to be a part of such a dysfunctional family. Perhaps the essence of comedy is the difference between what I am as a person and what I know I should be. It’s much easier and more fun to laugh than to cry. Archie’s instructions to his wife, “Stifle yourself,” never worked. Edith’s tongue kept right on upsetting Archie in every episode.

By God’s Spirit, Who, according to the Scriptures, lives in me, I can have a tongue which follows the instruction given by Solomon, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

Yours for words “fitly spoken” to people around us and in prayer to God!

David

P.S. Ron here again. We noticed there was a problem recently with the email server for the daily “100 Words” email and you may have missed receiving your email recently. Sorry about that! If you ever miss an email, you can always go online at 100words.ca and find the posting you missed.

Regarding Dad…there has been a constant stream of family visiting Dad here in his hospital room as we await the Lord’s timing to usher him to his heavenly home.  We didn’t know whether he would make it through the weekend, but we’re happy to spend a little longer with him. During his lucid moments we are able to communicate our love, sing a song, share a memory, or simply help him to get comfortable. These moments are precious! Thank you for your continued prayers.

A wider view of the Zion Gate described in the photo above.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

FRET NOT THYSELF

Today’s Reading: Psalm 35-37

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

 

In 1667, Pope Clement X commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini to build a second fountain in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, which closely followed the design of the Maderno Fountain on the north side of the square. The Bernini Fountain was completed in 1677. In the distance you can see St. Peter’s Basilica and its dome. In our reading today, the psalmist, David, wrote of the Lord, “For with You is the fountain of life” (Psalm 36:9a).

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 36:8-9a

They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,

And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

For with You is the fountain of life.

This is not a dull, unexciting existence, but a life of fullness, a river of God’s pleasures, and for us, a “fountain of life!” In the first eight verses of Psalm 37, the words “DO NOT FRET,” begin and end a list that can guarantee us a joy-filled life. (1) Trust in the Lord. (2) Dwell in the land. (3) Delight yourself also in the Lord. (4) Commit your way to the Lord. (5) Rest in the Lord. Now, let’s go back over these five and ask ourselves whether or not they are happening in our lives.

The results of practising the above are summed up in Psalm 37:23-25. We may want to reread these verses, taking time to meditate on them, and then pray the following prayer.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Grant me the grace to not fret! I am trusting You! I am dwelling with You! I am delighting myself in You! I commit my way to You! Having made this confession, I now rest in You! I pray that the One who lived this way 100% of the time, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom I’ve invited to live in me, will enable me to live as He lived! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Psalm 37:37 brings laughter to me as I read it. When I was a student at EPBC, now Master’s College and Seminary, in Peterborough, Ontario, we, a few students, carried out an odd practice for about two weeks. Some of us would carry in our pockets a marker pencil, and if anyone came across less than humble in a statement or attitude, out would come the marker, and an “X” would be placed somewhere on that person. The original English translations rendered verse 37, “Mark the perfect man!” We had a great deal of fun, but there were actually two messages here. First, I must not think of myself too highly, and second, I should not be so judgmental of others. The New King James translation, which I use for this blog, does not use the word “perfect,” but “blameless.” I learned that I am “in Christ,” and because of Him and Him only, can I be “perfect,” which I’ve come to understand means “complete” or “blameless.” For a New Testament reading, I suggest Ephesians 1:1-23. The words “in Christ” or “in Him” are repeated at least a dozen times. So…as the old English says, “Fret not thyself!!!”

Yours for Joy in our Journey!

David

P.S. Ron Mainse here. Dad’s current hospital journey is not so joyous, but there are moments when a smile comes over his face… usually when He’s thinking about Jesus, Heaven, or my Mother! Mom spends many hours every day at his bedside, and she often plays old hymns through her iPhone. She sings along with the music and tries to get Dad to sing along, which he sometimes does. We continue to await God’s perfect timing in ushering Dad home.

Another photo angle on the Bernini Fountain in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

BLESS AND BE BLESSED!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 33-34

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

 

At the entrance to the modern city of Jerusalem is a light rail bridge, known as the Jerusalem Chords Bridge. It was built in 2008 and symbolizes King David’s harp.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 34:1

I will bless the Lord at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 

The words, “the Lord,” occur 26 times in these two Psalms. There’s a saying about “the Lord”… that “He’s either Lord of all or not at all!” There should be no half-way measures in our faith! The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). The primary work of the Spirit of God in the earth is to make Jesus known as Lord of all. This blog is intended as an extension of that sublime purpose.

How do we “bless the Lord?” We please Him! We worship Him! We live a life which brings the smile of His approval! We read His Word and meditate on His Word daily! We pray in faith, believing Him for His response! We share His Message in our personal witness and in our support for ministries that are proven by researched fact to be effective in reaching the peoples of the world with the Good News of Jesus’ death, resurrection and the gift of forgiveness of sin and eternal life through Jesus Christ. So we can list some of the ways we bless God. Now let us think of the ways He has blessed us and is blessing us. It’s no wonder that we identify with King David when he writes, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Hallelujah! We magnify You O Lord! Bless Your holy name! Amen! Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will do as David did, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Grant that I will experience Your blessed Presence at all times. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Norma-Jean, my wife, is a multi-tasker. My tendency is to focus on one thing at a time. I guess that’s one of the general differences between men and women. However, I’m learning to multi-task in my commitment to King David’s statement, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” I don’t always speak the words of praise out loud, but they are there in my mouth at the tip of my tongue. It’s the same with Paul’s encouragement to “Pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Yours for giving thanks in everything!

David

P.S. Ron here again in Dad’s hospital room. He continues to hold on, but every now and then he speaks very clearly about going to be with Jesus. Yesterday Dad was talking with Ann and he said, “I want to be unleashed!” Ann asked, “From what?”, and he said, “It’s like I’m in a jail cell…I want to be free!” His eyes were closed and Ann said, “Let’s talk about Jesus.” Dad smiled, and then a few seconds later he said “Tell Him ‘I’m ready when He’s ready.'” Dad has been very “ready” for a while now. When the time comes and Jesus takes him home, it will be very difficult, but we will try to do as Dad exhorts us in today’s blog and “In everything give thanks.”

Friday, September 22, 2017

BY HEART!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 31-32

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

 

King David’s Tomb is a site traditionally believed to be the burial place of David, King of Israel. It is located on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Notice the harp, violin, and musical notes on the drapery that covers a sarcophagus, a stone casket. Songs, hymns, and poetry in the Hebrew language are the inheritance we have from King David. Jesus would have sung David’s songs in Hebrew. Our English language translators have done a great job in capturing the beauty of David’s language, particularly in the King James Version (1611 to about 1770 English). One of the reasons the New King James Version (the 1970s) is used in this blog is that while moving to modern English, the translators managed, for the most part, to keep the beauty and accuracy of the original English translations.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 32:5

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

 

The key verse should sound familiar to us because of our common human condition. David shows us that the only way we can experience the freedom and joy God intends for us is through acknowledging and confessing our sin. A New Testament teaching we should read regularly is 1 John 1, the entire chapter.

There are two other verses in today’s reading that we may want to read again. Jesus began His ministry quoting His Bible during His wilderness fasting, and now here are His last words from the Cross quoted from this psalm/hymn composed by David (31:5). Let’s move to these words, “Make Your face shine upon Your servant” (31:16). Back in Psalm 4 David writes, “Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.” David is borrowing from Moses here. Moses taught us a three-fold blessing which we use in our benedictions even today. Check it out from Numbers 6:22-27.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, my prayer today is Psalm 32:5-11. I’m reading this to You Lord! Thank You that as a result I can “be glad,” and I can “shout for joy!” Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

From my childhood the expression “to know by heart” meant I had memorized a poem for recitation to my public school teacher in front of the class. In Sunday School I was required to recite the weekly memory verse “by heart.” My mother and older sisters made sure I had it right. Again and again Jesus quoted from His Hebrew Bible. He’s my example of the importance of the “Word.” I’m learning daily to count on the Holy Spirit to bring to my memory Scriptures which I’ve learned by heart that show me how to respond to the need at hand. Please join me in reading John 16:7-15. The Holy Spirit guides within the authority of the written Word of God. I’ve learned to always check with Scripture, and to take the next step and actually pray the Scriptures.

Yours for proclaiming the joyful message of salvation through Jesus,

David

P.S. Ron Mainse here. Thank you for your numerous blog comments sharing your love and prayers for dad.  He continues to hold onto the gift of life, while the reality of experiencing the gift of eternal life seems to be imminent. Dad’s spirit is ready and longing to see his Lord face to face…leaving behind his tired and suffering body. We would much rather have him stay with us a lot longer, but that almost sounds selfish. He’s totally in God’s hands and timing. Thank you again for your prayers.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

TURNING MOURNING INTO DANCING

Today’s Reading: Psalms 28-30

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

 

On the Sea of Galilee, a statue beside the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy shows Peter kneeling before Jesus after His death and resurrection.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 30:5

For His anger is but for a moment,

His favor is for life;

Weeping may endure for a night,

But joy comes in the morning.

 

It’s hard to imagine the despair that David tried to express in Psalm 30. He was running for his life from his father-in-law, King Saul, whom David would follow as king. After a desperate prayer, David would always end with praising God, together with a statement of his unwavering faith in God’s power and God’s willingness to deliver him. David knew the continuing anger of Saul and the weeping it caused. This is not the way with God! We know that God wants life and joy! Yes, God is angry with sin, but when we ask His forgiveness, His anger toward us ceases. We do need to weep in repentance, not in self pity. Joy is the result!

In Psalm 29, the phrase “voice of the Lord” is repeated six times. The problem is that we are not good listeners most of the time. Hopefully this blog quiets us sufficiently so that we can hear what God has to say. Psalm 28 should result in a spirit of rejoicing because of our confidence in God’s answers to our prayers. God hears our voice much better than we hear His! We may think that those around us don’t listen to us, but God is a GOOD LISTENER!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I thank You for listening to me when I pray. In this I have complete confidence. Therefore, I pray for all those people that come to my mind. . . . (name them). Help me to care about those things about which You care, O Lord. I pray in the Name of the One who rose early every morning to spend much time in prayer, Jesus, Himself! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My eyes have been drawn to read again and again Psalm 30:11a, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing.” I don’t often dance, but there are times when joy is so strong that I break free of my reserve, and away I go! It happened at least once on live television when a young man, who had escaped from an Eastern European communist country, was playing a lively tune of rejoicing on his violin. Some may remember Georgian Banov. I’ve attached a clip of that spontaneous dancing (click here).

Yours for turning mourning into dancing!

David

P.S. Ron here again at my Father’s bedside in the hospital. As we await the Lord’s timing for Dad to be ushered into His immediate presence, there is a sense of God’s peace in the room. The words of today’s blog, which Dad wrote two years ago, are particularly poignant today. It’s hard for our human minds to comprehend how God can “TURN OUR MOURNING INTO DANCING,” but that’s a result of the amazing hope we have as believers in the risen Lord! I just put my laptop computer on Dad’s bed and showed him the dancing video clip he referred to above. Dad broke out in a big smile! Our key verse says, “Weeping may endure for a night…BUT JOY COMES IN THE MORNING!” Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE

Today’s Reading: Psalms 26-27

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

 

Light breaks through the turbulent clouds on the dome of the Santi Luca e Martina church in Rome.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the strength of my life;

Of whom shall I be afraid?

 

Like diamonds when the light strikes the many facets, so is the content of these two Psalms given to us by God and His shepherd king David. Let us join David in his prayers. He prays, “Vindicate me – Examine me – Try my mind and my heart – Redeem me and be merciful to me – Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice – Have mercy upon me and answer me – Teach me Your way, O Lord.” He encourages us to – Walk in integrity – Walk in truth – Tell of all God’s wondrous works – Dwell in the house of the Lord – Behold the beauty of the Lord – Inquire in His temple – Wait on the Lord – Be of good courage!!! As a result of prayer and of taking courage from God, David can state, “I shall not slip – My foot stands in an even place – The Lord is the strength of my life – My heart shall not fear – I will be confident – I will sing praises to the Lord – The Lord will take care of me!”

Now, why not confess out loud the words of our key verse! Are we ready to face another 24 hours of life? Yes! Yes! Yes!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

O Lord, today I’m joining king David in his prayers. I’m making those prayers an integral part of my petitions to You! I wait on You Lord! You are strengthening my heart! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m thinking just now of the absolutely essential elements of loving and serving God which David highlights for us. In the 1970s, the song, “You Light Up My Life,” sung by Debbie Boone, was at the top of the pop charts for weeks. As I chose the key verse, “The Lord is my Light,” I was thinking of Debbie as she sat in the Green Room preparing to go out on the set of 100 Huntley Street. I may have told this story in a previous blog, but she was in Toronto performing the role of Maria Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” production in a local theatre. My contact with Debbie was through her dad, Pat Boone, who had been our guest several times. As we prayed together, Debbie began to cry. I heard her say, “O Lord Jesus, it’s been so long, so very long.” She had obviously been so preoccupied with her role in such a famous production that she had neglected having a daily experience of the Presence of God. One of my reasons for this daily blog is so that I will never have to say, “It’s been so very long.” My son Ron just told me that I wrote about Debbie Boone in a previous blog, and we linked to a 100 Huntley Street interview with her. In case you missed it, here it is again.

One more thing…out of the thousands of guests I’ve had the privilege of interviewing, there were several who quoted Psalm 27:10 as their personal experience, “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” I cannot imagine what life would be like if I didn’t know that God is taking care of me!!!

Yours for getting to know God better each day,

David

P.S.  Ann Mainse here… Thank you for your continued prayers for Dad.  He remains in the hospital, surrounded by his family, so looking forward to being in the very Presence of His precious Saviour, whom he has spent a lifetime “getting to know…better each day.”  Today’s key verse is especially sweet as Dad is trusting in God, his “light” and his “salvation,” completely without fear.  It is our prayer, dear blog reader, that you, too, have that same confident hope in Jesus.  He loves you so.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

THE CROSS, CROOK, and CROWN!!!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 23-25

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

 

The Golden Gate, also known as the Eastern Gate. According to Ezekiel 44:1-3, the Messiah will one day return to the Temple Mount through this gate. The Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent sealed off the Golden Gate in 1541 in an attempt to prevent the Messiah’s entrance.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

Psalm 23 is classic literature and worthy of memorization. Even better than this is that it is true! We may want to read it aloud slowly, meditating on each line, applying it to our personal experience. David, the shepherd king, knew from childhood the literal truth of his words. Jesus, perhaps thinking of this Psalm, said, “I am the good Shepherd.” Let us add to David’s words the words of Jesus found in John 10:1-18. Jesus speaks of sheep and shepherds 20 times. He says that “The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”

Yesterday we read the Psalm of the CROSS. Today, the Psalm of the shepherd’s CROOK. Then in Psalm 24 we have the Psalm of the CROWN. Psalm 24:7-10 are also worthy of memorization. In the PAST, there is the finished work of Jesus on the CROSS! In the PRESENT, His shepherd’s CROOK is our constant source of guidance and protection! In the FUTURE, the CROWN…Jesus as “the King of Glory shall come in.” Amen! Amen! Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, the third Psalm in today’s reading is my prayer. I pray for You to (1) “Show me Your ways,” (2) “Lead me in Your truth,” (3) “Remember Your tender mercies and Your loving-kindnesses,” (4) “Pardon my iniquity,” (5) “Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,” (6) “Look on my affliction and my pain,” (7) “Forgive all my sins,” (8) “Keep my soul and deliver me,” (9) “Let me not be ashamed,” (10) Let integrity and uprightness preserve me.” ….. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m truly lifted up in my spirit as I sit at my laptop computer. I don’t know how anyone could read, “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in,” and not feel a surge of emotion! There’s another reason my spirit is lifted up…Happy 59th anniversary Norma-Jean! Thank you for your amazing commitment to me on September 19th, 1958 (see photo below). You are more beautiful to me than ever!!

The Islamic Sultan Suleiman in the 1500’s may have sealed up what is known as “The Golden Gate” (picture above), but when Messiah returns to the Mount of Olives, from which He ascended into Heaven (directly opposite the gate), a few stones will never hinder His entrance into the Temple Mount area. The angels said to the astonished and bewildered disciples of Jesus after He had ascended and disappeared from their sight, “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into Heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven.” Suleiman, as a Muslim, said he believed that Jesus was a great prophet, but his Jesus was not the “SAME” Jesus. Suleiman did not believe in the death of Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb of God. He did not believe in the literal physical resurrection of Jesus out from among the dead who showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs. I’m expecting the return of the “SAME” Jesus of whom Psalms 22, 23 and 24 speak!!!

Yours for knowing and loving “THIS SAME JESUS” (see Acts 1:1-11),

David

P.S. Ron here again at Dad’s bedside in the hospital. Last night, here in his room, we had a glorious time of singing and communion together as a family. Dad was alert and enjoying the Presence of God with us. Although it seems Dad is nearing what David wrote of in today’s reading… “The valley of the shadow of death,” he certainly has no fear…only much comfort from the Presence of the “Shepherd.” Today is Dad and Mom’s 59th wedding anniversary. They will have a special time together in the hospital today. Thank you for your continued prayers and words of encouragement on the blog comment section. God bless you!

Our wedding day, September 19, 1958

Norma-Jean and me in 2013.

Monday, September 18, 2017

WHY?

Today’s Reading: Psalms 21-22

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 Annunciation in Nazareth is spectacular, and when the light enters through the stained glass, the beauty of man’s expression through sculpting can be seen. Moses had the sculpture of a serpent placed on a pole foreshadowing the fact that Jesus took our sins and sicknesses upon Himself on the Cross (Numbers 21:7-9, also John 3:14,15). Today’s reading, which clearly details the crucifixion of Jesus, was written hundreds of years before the Romans had even devised this specific means of excruciating death.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 22:16b-17

They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me…

 

In today’s reading, Psalm 21 communicates the joy we experience in the knowledge of God’s strength. When the Apostle Paul was struggling, God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect (complete) in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9a). In Psalm 22 we learn that the Saviour took our weaknesses on Himself so that He may make us strong.

Jesus quoted from Psalm 22 as He suffered on the Cross. He cried out the words given to David as a prophecy of the suffering Messiah, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46 “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”). Jesus, in His humanity, asked, “Why?” We are learning the answer to His question as we read God’s Word daily. There are many other references in Psalm 22 to death by crucifixion. Crucifixion was unknown for hundreds of years after David’s time, yet he wrote, “They pierced My hands and feet” (Psalm 22:16b). We read in that Psalm at least eight statements which refer to the words and events spoken and experienced by Jesus on the Cross. A number of New Testament readings illustrate the truth of David’s prophecy. Here’s just one reading for us (John 19:20-24). Compare that with Psalm 22:18, “They divide My garments among them and for My clothing they cast lots.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, You revealed the sufferings of the Messiah King to the shepherd king in advance. I pray that You will reveal to me in a new way the historical fact of the crucifixion of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I humbly bow at the foot of Jesus’ Cross. Lord Jesus, You did this because of Your love for me and for all people throughout all time. I give my life to You as the best way I can express my love to You. As David sang, “A posterity shall serve Him” (22:30), and his last words in Psalm 22, “They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this.” Lord Jesus, here I am. Please help me to declare this fact to everyone who will read and listen. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m overwhelmed just now as I think of the dozens of places in the Hebrew Scriptures where the sufferings of Jesus are foretold. No one else who ever lived could step into the fulfilment of these prophecies. The first one was written by Moses in Genesis 3:15, where the “Seed of the woman” would be bruised. Throughout all of Holy Scripture, the seed was, without exception, from a man. Isaiah, of the tribe of Judah, wrote hundreds of years before Jesus was born of the virgin, “Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

Yours for declaring that “He has done this!”,

David

P.S. I came across a beautiful rendition of the hymn that begins, “Alas, and did my Saviour bleed and did my Sovereign die…” by Isaac Watts. We don’t know David’s melody for “The Deer of the Dawn” to which Psalm 22 was originally sung. Click here for the Sharon Singers and this unique rendition of “At The Cross” with a different melody. Be blessed; meditate on Jesus’ sufferings on our behalf, and share the blessings.

P.P.S. Thank you once again for your prayers for Dad and your wonderful blog comments during this time of hospitalization. We are simply waiting on God, who is totally sovereign over our lives, as recorded in Psalm 139:16, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

Sunday, September 17, 2017

DAY UNTO DAY

Today’s Reading: Psalms 19-20

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

 

A beautiful sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork (Psalm 19:1).

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 19:1-3

The heavens declare the glory of God;

And the firmament shows His handiwork.

Day unto day utters speech,

And night unto night reveals knowledge.

There is no speech nor language

Where their voice is not heard.

 

Francis Collins, physician, scientist, and leader of the successful project to map the human genome, wrote in his book, Belief, the following statement: “These arguments from the observed order of the universe are compelling [he has just stated scientific reasons as to why he is a believer in the Creator God], but they say little about whether such a “creator” God would be interested in human beings.” King David, inspired by the Creator God, acknowledges that the heavens and the earth, the universe itself, speak in every language to all people everywhere! Then David points all who hear or sing Psalm 19 to the fact that God is “interested in human beings.” God has communicated to us in the “law,” and in “testimony” (19:7). God has given us “statutes” and “the commandment” (19:8). These verses teach us that the Word of God not only communicates the thoughts of God, but they bring conversion, wisdom, rejoicing, and enlightenment!

These are the reasons for this blog! When we grasp the fact that God wants us to know Him (not just knowledge of His physical universe, but to know Him and His thoughts), we can begin to understand that God’s Words in His Book are, “more to be desired than gold,” “sweeter than honey,” and “in keeping them there is great reward” (19:10-11).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Psalm 20 uses the word “may” seven times as a prayer. May King David’s written words be my prayer too, dear Lord, as I make them personal to me. I believe that You do “answer in the day of trouble;” You do “help… strengthen… remember… fulfill all your (my) purpose” (for my existence). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In the 1990s, Crossroads published eight books, one for each season over a two-year period. The titles of all of these books were, Day unto Day, taken from Psalm 19:2. They had the same purpose as this blog, i.e. getting the Word of God into the hearts and minds of people everywhere on a daily basis. Two of our team members at the time wrote the daily commentaries. Rev. Nizar Shaheen covered the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament), and Rev. Jim Cantelon covered the Greek Scriptures (the New Testament). Simultaneously with the publication of these books, Jim and Nizar gave daily teachings on each Bible reading on television. These TV segments were filmed on locations as close as possible to the Biblical sites where the events described in the Bible took place. As the host of 100 Huntley Street, I arranged for these to be carried daily. We repeated them twice over a four-year period. We found in our video archives the Day Unto Day segment from 1991 for today’s reading, Psalms 19-20 (click here to watch… I just noticed a bit of a surprise at the end!).

Also I must thank God for Psalm 19 particularly, as it was verses 1 & 2 which God used in 1977 to confirm to me that Crossroads was to add a DAILY live voice to our weekly TV productions of Crossroads and Circle Square for children. That daily live voice was named after the address of the studio building in downtown Toronto, “100 Huntley Street.” Now, for over 40 years on daily TV, “day unto day” and “night unto night,” there has been a voice speaking words about God (we’re well over 10,000 programs!). We’ve also done productions in 18 languages which have been seen on TV in over 50 countries, and now with the internet, our content is available everywhere. We have graduates of our School of Broadcasting in over 80 countries, and in many of these areas our grads are producing television in a variety of languages which take “their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:4).

Yours for listening daily and nightly to our communicating God,

David

P.S. Ron here again. Thank you for your kind blog comments and prayers for Dad… keep it up! He remains in hospital in a serious, declining condition. Dad has often said, “I’m indestructible until the Lord is finished with me… and if He is finished with me here on Earth, I don’t want to be around one minute longer… I want to be with Him!” God is in control!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

MY ROCK

Today’s Reading: Psalm 18

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

 

Monasteries are built high above on great rocks in this rugged landscape in Greece. The monasteries that you see are the Great Meteoro and Varlaam.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 18:1-2

I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

 

The conclusion David draws from the above statement is this, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies” (18:3). David composed and sang this song to celebrate the Lord’s deliverance from the hand of King Saul. Saul was trying to kill him. Again and again David hid amongst the great rocks in the area of En Gedi, east of the Dead Sea. It is plain to see as we learn about David, as well as from David, that his rock-solid confidence was not in the rocks, but in the “Rock,” his God! David exclaims in song, “Who is a rock, except our God?” (18:31b). “The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock!” (18:46a).

The confidence that those of us have who believe in Jesus is expressed in song too. Let’s find online that amazing hymn, “Rock of Ages,” and sing along (click here).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You gave me instructions about the foundation for my life. I know that I must build my life on the Rock! You are that Bedrock, dear Jesus. I rest securely on You, not on the shifting sands of contemporary human experience and the philosophies of mankind. I pray that I will stand firm on You, Lord God! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I may have referred to this sometime last year, but here goes… I was listening to a French language radio station as the late Pope, John Paul II, was speaking in Quebec City. Here are the words I heard, “Pierre (Peter) est un petit pierre (is a little stone), mais Jesus est Le Grande Pierre! (but Jesus is The Great Rock!).” He was referring to the words of Jesus following the answer of Peter to the question of Jesus, “Whom do men say that I am?” Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Then Jesus said to Peter, “You are Peter (a little rock) and upon this Rock (a great Rock, Jesus Himself), I will build My Church.” In my early days as a follower of Jesus, I struggled with my understanding of these words of Jesus found in Matthew 16:18. My concerns about the Church being built on Peter were highlighted by the words of Jesus just five verses later (Matthew 16:23): “But He, (Jesus) turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind Me Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.'” Yes, Peter was mightily used of God. I want to be used of God too, but I’m ever so thankful that no church is built on me, a weak and flawed human being. There is only one GREAT ROCK!!! Jesus Himself!!! I’ve just read again Matthew 16:13-26. Like those very small-appearing monasteries built on that great rock in Reynold’s photograph above, I’m building my life and my hope for eternal life on Jesus alone!!!

Yours for the only true eternal Foundation for life, “The Christ, the Son of the Living God,”

David

P.S. Hi folks, Ron Mainse here again. For those who may have missed yesterday’s P.S., please allow me to repeat what I wrote…

I wanted to let you know that Dad is back in the hospital and is very ill. The doctors are very concerned, as his health has been steadily declining. I’m writing at his bedside now as he sleeps.  Although he currently doesn’t have the strength to keep up with writing/editing this blog, Ann and I will continue to post his daily words and photos from his previous two-year journey through the Bible. Please keep him in your prayers. God bless you!  – Ron