Friday, September 4, 2015

A SPIRITUAL GIFT

Today’s Reading: 1 Timothy 3-4

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

 

The building on the left is known as the Mamertine Prison. Tradition tells us that Paul and Peter were both held in this prison before they were martyred. From here the letters to Timothy and Titus were written during the final imprisonment of Paul. In Paul’s first incarceration he was allowed to stay in a private house. Upon entering the city of Rome, “Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment” (Acts 27:1), handed Paul over to the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard (the commanding officer). The official duty of the Prefect was to keep in custody all accused persons who were to be tried before the Emperor. “Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him” (Acts 28:16). The church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami, built in the 16th century, now stands above the Mamertine.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Timothy 4:14a

Do not neglect the gift that is in you…

Chapter three gives practical instructions for those who carry the responsibilities of leadership in the church. The word “Bishop” is used interchangeably with “Pastor” in the churches of the first century. The role of a “Deacon” was defined in the first church in Jerusalem (read Acts 6:1-8). Stephen, the Jerusalem Deacon and first martyr, is a powerful example of someone who “served well” (1 Timothy 3:13b). Stephen most certainly had “great boldness in the faith, which is in Christ Jesus.”

Chapter four gives us a solemn warning concerning false teachers. We need to remember that Satan went into the religion business at the beginning of the human family (Genesis 3). Here are instructions for Timothy and all his helpers: (1) Instruct (2) Be a good minister (3) Follow carefully good doctrine (4) Reject fables (5) Exercise…to godliness (6) Bodily exercise profits a little – keep in good physical shape (7) Godliness is profitable in all things (8) Let no one despise your youth (9) Be an example (10) Give attention to reading (how about this blog) (11) Our key verse – exercise the gifts God has given (12) Meditate on these things (13) Take heed to yourself and the doctrine.This is good counsel for all of us too!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will not neglect the gift that is in me. May I faithfully recognize the gifts that are in my brothers and sisters in the faith. Help me to listen more carefully to the teaching of others who are called by You to teach, preach, witness, and serve. In Jesus’ Name I ask these requests, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

When I look at the pictures my son has taken and freely shared with us, I recognize that obedience to the call of God requires, if necessary, death to my own plans and ambitions. While still a teenager, I took great delight in following Jesus. I realized that as I “Delight [myself] in the Lord, He will give [me] the desires of [my] heart.” I’ve just taken time to read from King David Psalm 37:1-8, which teaches me that I should seek to know what delights the heart of God, and then line my desires up with His. When my desires are the same as His desires, “He shall give you [me] the desires of your [my] heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Rev. Keith Running, now of Medicine Hat, Alberta, once planted a new congregation in Brighton, Ontario. I followed him as Pastor there in the Fall of 1958. He had developed a marvellous document called a “Local Church Constitution.” The roles of Pastor and Deacons were outlined carefully, as well as other organizational matters. I learned a great deal from Keith. Because of such a wise document, even the church business meetings were enjoyable.

Yours for learning and applying the practical teachings of ministry in the local church,

David

In the lower level of the Mamertine Prison there is only one entrance and exit from the prison…you can see the hole in the stone ceiling through which Paul and Peter would have been lowered. It is said that Paul was chained to the pole at the back of the room.

Here you can see Peter and Paul depicted in these statues which are in the main room above the prison.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

CHIEF SINNER

Today’s Reading: 1 Timothy 1-2

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

 

The Odeon (Bouleuterion) in Ephesus. This building has the shape of a small theatre. It had a double function in use. First, it was used as a Bouleuterion for the meetings of the Boulea or Senate. The second fuction was the Odeum – a concert hall for performances. It was constructed in the 2nd century A.D by the order of Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Paiana, two wealthy citizens in Ephesus. Paul assigned Timothy to remain and minister in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-4).

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Timothy 1:15

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

 

The first and second letters to Timothy and Titus are the last letters Paul wrote. He was in the dungeon now, not the rented house where he served time earlier under house arrest. No doubt he expected his execution any day. These are the only letters addressed specifically to individuals. History proves that all human development for good or evil can be traced to the decisions of one person.

Our key verse is the most concise statement of the mission of Jesus on earth! Yes, He did come to earth to teach and to set the highest moral example as to how we should live our lives, but first and foremost His number one reason for becoming human was to save sinners! Until we trust Jesus for our salvation, we can’t even begin to follow in His steps. If Jesus had only come to show us how to live, we would have been frustrated and doomed, wallowing in our own constant failure! In spite of Paul’s great success as the Apostle to the Gentiles, and having won many to Christ, he never lost sight of his desperate need for the Saviour.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

O Holy God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I confess with Paul that I am the chiefest of sinners, and that You, Lord Jesus, came into the world to save me and all sinners who will believe on and in You (not just about You). As Paul wrote, Lord God, “For this reason I obtained mercy…” (1:16a). “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory forever and ever! Amen!!!” (1:17).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I can’t let this reading go by without reference to Paul’s words concerning women in ministry. I’ve mentioned before about Mrs. Willows from Winnipeg, whose ministry had a profound impact on my life. She was a powerful preacher/teacher. In the light of this fact, how do I understand Paul writing that women are “to be in silence” (2:12)? The golden rule of Bible interpretation is “Let the Bible interpret the Bible.” Because of Paul’s experience in Corinth with the husband and wife team of Priscilla and Aquilla, both of whom were teachers of God’s Word, we must draw the conclusion that Paul was dealing through Timothy with a circumstance culturally specific to Ephesus. In the worship of Diana, in her great temple in Ephesus, the leadership was provided by women priestesses. Also, there is the Orthodox Jewish approach to women in the Temple and in the synagogues that we should consider. In traditional Judaism women were forbidden from public ministry. Timothy had to balance these factors. Therefore, I conclude that these were not instructions for the whole Church, but specifically for the one person to whom Paul was writing, Timothy, and just for this specific congregation. In Acts 21:8-9 we find the four daughters of Philip were prophetesses.

Yours for ministry, public and private, by all God’s children,

David

Another view of the Odeon described in the photo above.

One of the main roads of ancient Ephesus that is just in front of the Odeon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

CELEBRATION

Today’s Reading: Job 41-42

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

 

Pictured above is a homestead in Haran which is now in modern day Turkey. After the Lord called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, he settled in Haran for many years (Genesis 11:31; Acts 7:2-4).

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

 

Key Verse: Job 42:10

And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

 

“Behemoth” and “Leviathan” are the names of two new roller coaster rides at Canada’s Wonderland just north of Toronto. These creatures have captured the imagination of people everywhere. At the Chinatown parades, an awesome creature that seems to resemble Leviathan snakes its way through the streets. Stories of fire-breathing dragons abound in almost every culture. It does appear that God wants to get people’s attention! His approach worked well for Job and his friends. In sincere humility, Job confessed, “I have uttered what I did not understand” (42:3b). Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar humbled themselves and submitted to God’s instructions for Job to pray for them.

Surprise! Job, who was now about 60 years old, was doubly blessed by God! As we are faithful to God, we can expect that the Lord will bless our “latter days” also. Job’s prayer for his friends was probably a daily discipline in Job’s life. We can learn much from these readings, which conclude today. Tomorrow we move back to the New Testament and Paul’s first letter to the young man, Timothy.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray with all my heart that I will continue learning the lessons Job and his friends learned about You. I sincerely want to hear You well and see You clearly with eyes of understanding. Grant me, I ask You, the discipline and concern necessary to pray fervently and consistently for all who come before me. I pray in the Name of Jesus, the One who went away by Himself every morning to pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

According to the last words of the book of Job, there was a great family party. I find it a great joy to celebrate! From time to time I need to relax, break the routine, and simply enjoy life, family and friends. I confess that most of the time I’m too serious, and through the years I’ve learned to celebrate more. I was thinking of Job’s party described in the last seven verses of the book. He must have enjoyed the festivities immensely! My eldest son, our blog photographer, is the father of Elizabeth, wife of David Lee, who gave our family one of the greatest parties when his Toronto Argonauts football team at the time won the Grey Cup (two years ago). Now we’re preparing for a much greater party. Any day now, David and Elizabeth’s first baby is expected to be born. One of my great-grandsons, James Stowell, who was featured yesterday with his dinosaur cap, put on David’s Grey Cup ring (photo below).

Yours in celebration of God speaking through His Word and by His Spirit!

David

P.S. Number 11 great-grandchild due any time now. Here are Elizabeth and David waiting…

David and Elizabeth Lee...due any day now!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

GOD’S QUESTIONS?

Today’s Reading: Job 40

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

 

It was in this area of the Jordan River that Jesus was baptized. Looking from the Jordanian side, you can see the Greek Orthodox Church in the distance. Five kilometres beyond the church is Jericho. Today’s reading says of the Behemoth creature, “The Jordan gushes into his mouth” (Job 40:23b). This may have been a description 0f a brontosaurus dinosaur who, so it is estimated, could grow to a weight of 30 tons.

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

 

Key Verse: Job 40:7-8

Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?

 

Some day at the final judgement, God will ask the questions. This may be one of those questions. It is often said, “If God is good and all powerful, why does He let people die in war, famine, and disease?” Our answer is found in the key verse. People try to justify themselves or our fellow humans by making God out to be the culprit. Take the current events in Syria and iraq for example. In order to make the killing stop, God would have to violate His own moral standards and rob Isis leaders of their free will. They pray unwittingly to Satan, and the result is that they become destroyers like Satan. Free choices, the very qualities that make us human, are ours to make, and thus we suffer the consequences. The 20th century saw the greatest number (millions) of people in human history murdered. Perhaps 10 million perished as a result of what was called National Socialism in Europe (Hitler), and as many as 100 million in Russia, the Ukraine, China, Cambodia and other countries through Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and others (Communism). The undergirding belief common to both was that lower forms of life should be wiped off the earth so that more highly evolved people could thrive in a socialist paradise.

Dress the holocausts up however we will, it was the belief that we will never stand before God in judgment (either He does not exist or as one of the fathers of such thinking taught, “God is dead”), along with the belief in “the survival of the fittest,” which was the genesis of such tremendous evil!!! People who claim to believe that they are answerable to the great Creator of the Universe could not commit such atrocities without trembling in fear.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that increasingly I will fear You in great awe and respect, so that I’ll live my life honouring You, Your creation, and all the people on earth. Because You, Lord Jesus, took judgment for evil upon Yourself as You suffered on the Cross, I am justified in Your sight, O Holy God. Thank You for changing everything, Lord Jesus! In Your Name, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As a boy I was intrigued by dinosaur skeletons which we would visit in Canada’s national museum in Ottawa. When I made it clear that I believed God created these amazing creatures, I was ridiculed by my teacher. I felt like saying, “Pick on someone your own size,” but I did not believe I could defend my position at the time. I would have loved to have shown my science teacher our Crossroads Creation Series, which aired on television across the Soviet Union about 25 years ago. I’ll try to attach one of these episodes called “Dinosaurs and Man” (click here). The set of 13 shows fell into the hands of the head of the Russian Academy of Science, and he in turn gave them to the head of Radio and Television Moscow. I received a fax asking me for permission to air them across all 15 republics. I faxed back to the effect that I could’nt believe that the USSR, the centre for the promotion of world atheism, would do such a thing. I asked for an affidavit and a formal contract before I would believe them and agree to their request. Within a week they complied and carried our series in prime time for 13 weeks from January through the end of March,1989. They were released as the first Christian-produced telecasts ever carried on USSR television. Forgive me if I’m repeating myself, but my mind is still boggled at the magnitude of this development. This resulted in my invitation to preach the very first ever conference of church leaders from all 15 Soviet republics in Moscow. A mobile TV production truck, which Crossroads donated to a newly created Russian ministry, covered the conference, but that is another story far too complicated for this blog (I think I covered it in my “This Far By Faith” book).

Yours for the greater glory of our great Creator God!

David

P.S. The descriptions of unusual creatures in today’s and tomorrow’s readings cannot be anything other than Dinosaurs. Today’s sounds like a brontosaurus (the Behemoth, Job 40:15-24). Dinosaurs are so exciting to children that my great-grandson, James Stowell, wore a dinosaur hat. I find it difficult to resist sharing such pictures with you. Here it is…

 

Apatosaurus, also known as the Brontosaurus, possibly fits the unusual description of the Behemoth in today’s reading.

 

Monday, August 31, 2015

DO YOU KNOW?

Today’s Reading: Job 39

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

 

In Israel’s Jordan Valley, the wildlife reserve Hai-Bar Yotvata is located in the southern Arava Valley north of Eilat. It was established to foster the breeding of the kinds of animals mentioned in Job 39 and other endangered desert animals.

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

 

Key Verse: Job 39:13a

The wings of the ostrich wave proudly…

 

Mountain goats, wild donkeys, onagers, wild oxen, ostriches, storks, horses, hawks and eagles are all mentioned in today’s reading. Most of us have sat in classrooms and listened to teachers who taught that all life came into being as a result of some cosmic accident. In addition to truth about God’s power, there is much here in chapter 39 about the origins of each species. In the fossil records, all these creatures appear suddenly and fully formed. There are no fossils that show part dinosaur and part ostrich! If one transformed into the other over millions of years, there should be thousands of intermediate creatures in the fossil record. There are none to be found where a creature is being changed gradually into another species. National Geographic had several pages where they pictured a creature from the Gobi Desert in China that someone claimed was part reptile and part bird. Six months later a tiny article stated that the so-called evidence had been faked. This was also the case of other “missing links.” The Piltdown Man, the Nebraska Man, and others were all fakes created because of desperation to find some shred of evidence to disprove Intelligent Design and God’s creation.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord, I praise You for Your amazing, mind-boggling acts of creation! I feel the need to pray to You as the “Creator,” joining King David in his prayer, “Create in me a clean heart” (Psalm 51). I need You, Great Creator, every day in every way. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Crossroads has produced and released a documentary which features several highly credentialed scientists who are believers in Jesus as Saviour and Lord (click HERE to watch the trailer and HERE to order a DVD). For Crossroads, this is the first major effort at a “Science & Faith” production since 1979 when we produced the “Crossroads Creation” series. As I mentioned yesterday, God took that series beyond North America and all 13 episodes were released across all 15 republics of the former Soviet Union in the Russian language on prime time television. If we are all still here tomorrow by God’s grace, I’ll post a link to another video in that series.

Here is another excerpt from the new “Science & Faith” documentary highlighting the story of one of the four prominent scientists featured (click HERE).

Yours for God’s creative power flowing through us to do His will!

David

P.S. Below is a photo of me holding an ostrich egg. There is a story behind this egg…and behind the Scripture verse on it. I’ll have to tell you about it in a future blog posting.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? HOW???

Today’s Reading: Job 38

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

 

An aerial view of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

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

 

Key Verse: Job 38:4

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.

 

Who? What? When? Where? How? The “WHY?” question is not asked by God in our reading. He may be leaving that to us to figure out. God speaks!!! We must learn to be among those who know His voice. Jesus said, “My sheep know My voice” (John 3:27).

Job 38 amazes me. It speaks of God’s protection of the continents from being inundated by the sea. It infers that the Earth rotates like a potter turning his clay. It seems to refer to the great ice age when the light was withheld from the Earth. It’s obvious that the constellations in the heavens are still the same. The Lord refers to the human mind, which the famous neurosurgeon, Dr. Wilder Penfield of Montreal, declared “is NOT the brain.” Yet we know that the human brain is the most complicated organization of matter in the known universe. The “mind” lives on after the brain has gone to dust. The “heart” (our innermost being, not the pump in our chests) lives forever. Let us spend time meditating and perhaps reading this chapter several times slowly. Listening to it being read online is worth trying, if you haven’t already (HERE is the link, then click on the small speaker icon above the Scripture passage). The New King James translation, which I use, does not yet have an audio recording available on the BibleGateway website. The NIV is also an excellent translation.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I need Your help to even begin to get my mind around the fact of Your greatness. I sing, “How Great Thou Art” (click here for a worship experience). I pray in the Name of the One Who is “Creator,” Who, according to Paul, was the reason all things were created…”All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:15-17), Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I hosted a TV series produced back in 1979 which became the first Christian production ever carried by state television across all 15 republics of the Soviet Union. It was designed to create doubts in the minds of those who declared, “There is no God.” The disastrous experiment of atheistic government would not have been possible without some source of intellectual undergirding. Charles Darwin provided that philosophical foundation. The evils of the Nazi regime, as well as the communist regimes, were based on the concept of “the survival of the fittest.” I invite our readers to CLICK HERE for one of the Crossroads Creation series (note that the contact information on these 1979 programs is no longer correct). Of course, the Russian language was recorded over my English words and those of my guests. These were thirteen 30-minute shows. I hope my fellow bloggers can take time to watch. The second Christian series carried across the USSR was a children’s program we produced called Kingdom Adventure. More than 1,000,000 letters were received from kids into the Moscow office asking for the colouring book, which explained the way of salvation and invited the children to believe in Jesus and invite Him into their hearts. In my most recent book, which was published in June, 2013, I give many more details of this amazing intervention of God into USSR prime time television (pages 105, 109, 112, and 166-172). Here’s how you can get a copy of, This Far By Faith.

Yours, as I’ve written many, many times in my letters over the years, “in Christ’s love and service,”

David

P.S. I love this picture of Myles, one of my great-grandsons, and me. Myles is starting to ask the what, why, where, when, how, and who questions!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

STAND STILL

Today’s Reading: Job 36-37

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

 

Here in the Judean Desert, beneath the historic mountain of Masada, you can see many large rock formations and crevasses created by flash floods washing down to the Dead Sea. This sky was the perfect backdrop for this dramatic rock. As our key verse says, “Consider the wondrous works of God!”

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

 

Key Verse: Job 37:14

Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.

 

The theology of this young man Elihu was right on. However, his judgement of Job was unfair and far from correct in God’s eyes. God had said of Job, “There is none like him in all the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). We would do well to remember the words of Jesus, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). We can be theologically correct and not understand our fellow human being. We should all be encouraged by the fact that Elihu was correct when he said that God “does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous” (Job 36:7). In God’s eyes, we who have believed in Jesus are seen to be righteous. Back on the blog from Friday, August 23rd, we considered the righteousness which is ours. We may want to read that posting once more (click here).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I ask for grace to “stand still!” May I stop all my busyness for a time and take the time to meditate on Your “wondrous works.” Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m keenly anticipating the next four days of reading Job. God Himself begins to speak to Job! God’s description of nature and His creation is awe-inspiring to me.

I remember well heroes to me in Christian ministry. I heard Rev. Hope Smith say one day, “The way out of the rat race is to slow down and walk with God.” He and his ministry co-worker, Rev. Laurie Price, were an amazing team. They were Pastors of a Church called Evangel Temple, located (at that time) at the corner of Dundas and Bond Streets in Toronto, just a block west of what is known as the longest main street in the world, Yonge Street. They told the story of when Hope, who was injured and crippled in WW2, and Laurie, who had been injured in a car accident, were driving up Yonge Street in the late 1940s, when their old car stalled, backing up traffic for blocks. Horns were blowing and people were angry. From the waist up they looked like two able-bodied young men. No one could understand why they didn’t get out of the car and push it out of the way. In spite of all the fuss and rush of downtown traffic, they were totally at peace within themselves. It’s a humorous scene to imagine. Laurie was healed by God and gained great mobility later, and Hope continued with a serious limp throughout his life, but it never slowed him down. They impacted my life greatly when I was a teenager. They were filled with joy and incurable optimism. For some reason when I read the words in our key verse “stand still,” I thought of Laurie and Hope…by far the most unique ministry team I’ve ever met.

Yours for coming to a total stop once in a while in order to “consider the wondrous works of God,”

David

Friday, August 28, 2015

SONGS IN THE NIGHT

Today’s Reading: Job 34-35

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

 

A nighttime view of the Old City of Jerusalem.

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

 

Key Verses: Job 35:7, 10

If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand?…But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night?…’

 

Many questions, but what about answers? Elihu picks up on some of the things Job has said. He points out Job’s statements and then leaves it up to Job to decide whether he is right or wrong. Perhaps we can learn from this. Rather than accusing others of wrong, we can point to God’s thoughts on the matter and the need to consider their actions and reactions toward God. Then we can pray fervently and leave it up to the Holy Spirit to do His work. Jesus said, “When He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13a). For a full description of the work of the Holy Spirit, we may want to take the time to read Jesus’ teaching found in John 16:1-15.

The second key verse speaks of “songs in the night.” God was there for Paul and Silas in jail: “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (see Acts 16:25-34). We may have many questions that seem to be unanswered, but as we are faithful in reading God’s Word, His answers will be revealed.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, often I come to You in the night hours. I’ve been through what has been called “the dark night of the soul.” Every time You’ve been there to meet me. Sometimes I have had to learn to wait as You are accomplishing Your purposes in my life. I pray for continued grace to listen for Your words of comfort and guidance. In Jesus’ Name I ask this, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Two years ago Norma-Jean and I received a call from Myles Neilson, our 5-year-old great-grandson (now seven). He said, “I’ve had a very serious talk with my Mom [Sheryl] and it’s important.” At that point Sheryl picked up the phone and said they would like to come over to our apartment. They arrived around 5 p.m. in time for dinner, and I heard the story. Myles had asked his Mom why he did so many bad things, and even though he tried to be good, it didn’t work. Sheryl asked Myles if he had ever asked Jesus to come and live in his heart. He said, “No, and I’d like to do that.” They prayed together and Myles received Jesus. He had a question for me. He asked his great-grandpa (and he waited until I could write his question down), “When I pray at night, I ask God to help me to listen. I wake up in the morning, but I don’t think God heard me, because I mess up again. God annoys me because He doesn’t help me. What’s wrong?” I made an attempt at responding to Myles, but I want the help of my fellow bloggers. How would you respond to Myles?

When I wrote about this two years ago, I received the most responses in the history of 100words.ca (click here to read the amazing replies from two years ago).

Yours for “songs in the night,”

David

Thursday, August 27, 2015

THE 4TH FRIEND

Today’s Reading: Job 32-33

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

 

A young boy at Nazareth Village working in the carpentry shop. Nazareth Village depicts what life would have been like for Jesus in the first century AD. Jesus, while still a boy, learned His trade in a shop in Nazareth. The Carpenter’s hands are still at work in our lives.

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

 

Key Verses: Job 32:6-7

So Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said: “I am young in years, and you are very old; therefore I was afraid, and dared not declare my opinion to you. I said, ‘Age should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.’…”

 

Elihu tells us he is about to give Job his opinion (32:7). We have in Scripture not just someone’s opinion but TRUTH! Again in 32:17 Elihu says he’s full of words, his opinions. Sounds like our radio and television talk show hosts today. Let’s check out our opinions to make sure they line up with the wisdom of the ages given in the inspired Word of God! We can form our opinions by comparing Scripture with Scripture. For example, Job 33:20-21 refers to our physical health. Read Psalm 107:18-20. It surely sounds like anorexia, but there is healing promised, “He sent His Word and healed them.” There’s healing in the Word we study every day. Also, before forming a final opinion about Job, consider 1 Peter 1:7, where we learn to rejoice, “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, might be found unto praise, honour, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

A correct understanding of suffering does seem to be beyond our human capabilities. It does not occur to Job’s friends or to Job himself that his sufferings are not evidence of God’s judgment on Job, but rather a means of expressing God’s confidence in Job. In gaining an understanding of the sufferings of believers, we may want to read further in 1 Peter 4:12-19.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I am thinking of Your sufferings on the Cross, not for Your sins, but for mine. I pray that I will, more and more, show a truly genuine and constant repentance for my sin. As You said to the woman who was accused of adultery, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” Grant me grace, I pray, to live as You lived, Lord Jesus! In Your Name I ask this, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

One Sunday morning, shortly after giving my life to Jesus and receiving the assurance of Salvation, I learned a new prayer song in the Pembroke church: “O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee! Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art. Come in Thy sweetness. Come in Thy fullness. Stamp thine own image deep on my heart” (click here for this song). O how my heart longed for His purity. Tears would flow down my cheeks as I sang this prayer. Tears still flow! When we see Him someday soon, “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2b).

I’ve been involved in creating several different television shows throughout the years. The first one was the weekly Crossroads telecast back in 1962. Then there were children’s and teen’s shows, the daily 100 Huntley Street ministry, documentaries, open-line shows, senior’s shows, etc. I continue to dream of creative new beginnings.

Please keep me in your prayers. I tend to be like the man of whom it was said, “He jumped on his horse and rode off in all directions.” I cried earlier. Now I’m laughing!

Yours for God’s truth to become much more evident in our opinions,

David

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

IF

Today’s Reading: Job 31

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

 

Northwest hillside of the Sea of Galilee. Mount Arbel can be seen in the background. My friend, Jimmy Snow, son of Hank Snow, and Johnny Cash’s Pastor, believes Arbel is the mount where Jesus was transfigured. He is a brilliant student of the Scriptures and was often a guest on the 100 Huntley Street telecast.

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

 

Key Verse: Job 31:35

Oh, that I had one to hear me! Here is my mark. Oh, that the Almighty would answer me, that my Prosecutor had written a book!

 

Job…He does hear you! God, the One you mistakenly think is prosecuting you, has indeed written a book! We are studying it every day on this blog. Job…in today’s reading you’ve used the word “if” 18 times. That word “if” is just a little word, but it is filled with uncertainty. You can be certain and know God answers prayer!

In a handwritten book dated January 20, 1953, my father, Roy Mainse, D.Th, wrote about the conditions of prevailing prayer:

(1) Entire dependence on the merits and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way for a claim of blessing! (see John 14:13-14).

(2) Separation from all known sin. Psalm 66:18 tells us, “If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us.”

(3) Faith in God’s promises as confirmed by His oath. Not to believe Him is to make Him out to be a liar and perjurer (see Hebrews 6:13-20).

(4) Our motives must be godly; we must not seek any gift of God to consume it on our own selfish desires (see James 4:1-10).

(5) Importunity and supplication! There must be waiting on God with consistency (see Luke 18:1-8).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, through James, the man known as Your brother, You told us that, “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16b). You are the “Righteous One,” therefore I come to You, Lord God, in and through the Person and work of Your Son and my Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ. Here are my prayer requests for today ……….. AMEN!!! (I spent considerable time in prayer before composing this blog.)

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve been meditating on that little but powerful word “if.” I went into Google and found the famous poem by Rudyard Kipling written in 1894 entitled “If” (click here). Job might have been helped by this poem. One of the lines says, “If you can wait, and not be tired of waiting, or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, or, being hated, don’t give way to hating…” The poem ends with these words: “If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run, Yours is the earth and everything in it, And — what is more— you’ll be a man, my son!” My Dad pointed me to this poem when I was still a child. After his death in 1972, I found amongst Dad’s writings the following poem he wrote in his own handwriting. It’s also entitled “If”…

“If” is a word of great import,
But of such dwarfish dimensions
Using the future to support
It’s great and varied intentions
“If” is a fact like a barn-door hinge,
On which our movements seem to swing,
And we are no doubt hindering
Our best laid plans ere they can wing
Their way into the world of things,
Where they can claim to be a fact,
On which the future thus may act,
And discard “If” forevermore
Among the gods of old folk-lore.

Yours, for reaching out diligently for God’s perfect will,

David

P.S. I came across a picture (below) taken in 1924 of my Dad in front of the place where one of the prayers of Jesus was answered, the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus said on this occasion, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me” (John 11:41-42). This is the reason we pray, “In Jesus’ Name!”