Saturday, July 4, 2015

ROCK SOLID

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 24

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

 

The hill of Golgotha, next to The Garden Tomb. The Cross of Christ and the empty tomb are the solid bedrock of our faith! (John 19:41; Matthew 27:59-60). The north face of a Mt. Moriah quarry has the appearance of a skull, if one uses his or her imagination. The stones used in the Temple construction probably came from this quarry.

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 24:2

Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.

 

Yes, as long as Joash had the powerful influence of Jehoiada, he did well, but when Jehoiada was gone, he was like a ship without an anchor. He moved with the next wind that blew. The new influences moved him away from God to introduce idolatry back into Judah.

What more could Jehoiada have done to cause King Joash to be unmovable in his faith and service to the true God? Perhaps Jehoiada kept control for too long. After all, he had ruled as regent while Joash was still a child. Let us who are in the older generation be sensitive to the next generation. In wisdom, let us know when to back off our authority, using our influence wisely, so that those who follow us will become strong in their own relationship with God.

Jesus said that the wise man built his house on a rock (Matthew 7:24-27). It seems that Joash had built upon shifting sand.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I need to understand in a greater way that You, and You alone, are my solid Rock! By Your grace I pray that I will build my life on You, not being moved off my foundation by the floods of the current opinions of those who would push me away from You. Also, please let me know how and when to use my influence, so that those who follow after me will not be so dependent upon me that they will not be strong in You themselves. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Today is “Independence Day” in the United States. The time came when the leaders of 13 of the colonies of the United Kingdom had to stand on their own, not being ruled by King George III and the government across the Atlantic. The Americans had a faith in the God of their fathers and honoured Him in strong statements of their faith, which are found in the documents of the new republic. It was obviously important for these colonies to take a stand. The result is there for all to see. Happy 4th of July to my American blog readers. There is a book I’ve read more than once called, “The Light and the Glory” by Peter Marshall Jr. and David Manuel. To any who want to know the true history of the United States before the historical revisionists wrote their books, this is the one! (click here for information on getting this excellent book).

In 1982, Crossroads produced video segments honouring the United States and highlighting their Christian roots (click here for a sample of our efforts).

Yours for a strong Rock-solid foundation on which to build our lives and our countries,

David

The signing of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776. The Founding Fathers of the United States believed that their reading of the Bible gave them the right to resist tyranny. They had a “Rock solid” conviction that they had the blessing of God.

My son Ron with his wife Ann in Washington DC earlier this week. They were visiting Ann's brother, Frank Duracher, who is a major in the Salvation Army and Assistant Editor-in Chief of the War Cry magazine (the photo was taken by Frank's wife Libby, also a Salvation Army Major). They are standing next to the Lincoln Memorial and behind them in the distance is the Washington Monument.

My son Ron with his wife Ann in Washington DC earlier this week. They were visiting Ann’s brother, Frank Duracher, who is a Major in the Salvation Army and Assistant Editor-in Chief of the War Cry magazine (the photo was taken by Frank’s wife Libby, also a Salvation Army Major). They are standing next to the Lincoln Memorial and behind them in the distance is the Washington Monument.

Friday, July 3, 2015

BEDROCK CONFIDENCE

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 23

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

 

On several occasions when Israel was in big trouble, they cried out to the Lord (eg. 2 Chronicles 20:9). This photo is of an annual initiative on Parliament Hill in recent years called “The Cry,” where Christians gather to cry out on behalf of Canada. I was asked to lead in prayer at one of these events (photo below).

 

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 23:16

Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, the people and the king that they should be the Lord’s people.

 

In the midst of a record of ungodliness and the self-seeking lives of the Israelites, our key verse stands out like a jewel. In one of the darkest periods of Israel’s history, it is encouraging to find leaders who are faithful to the true God. The actions of the priest, Jehoiada, along with Jehoshabeath, reveal a bedrock confidence in the faithfulness of God. They had not rescued Joash for selfish purposes; instead they had a deep desire to see the people brought back to a relationship with God. The influence exerted by this God-fearing pair resulted in the nation being raised from the depths to which it had fallen.

We need to look beyond our present circumstances to the living God. In our day, spiritual renewal will become a reality when we, as individuals, are willing to risk all in a fresh covenant relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to commit to a renewed covenant with You today and every day. I ask for Your Holy Spirit to enable me to risk all for You. In Your Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

After I had made my lifetime decision at 16 to be a 100% follower of Jesus, I must confess that I slipped from 100% to 99%, and lower, from time to time. I would be moved by the Spirit to rededicate myself to the Lord over and over. Someone said that my “rededicator” was broken from so much use. I’ve mentioned this before I’m sure, but here goes again. I learned thoroughly the foundation of my faith in the doctrines of salvation. I reaffirmed that I was kept by the power of God. I memorized the words of Jesus in John 10:27-29, “My sheep know My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” Those words of Jesus, and other Scriptures, gave me a solid foundation on which to build a consistent Christian life. This is a primary reason why I’m so very committed to this program of reading the Word of God every day. It’s tough going here in 2 Chronicles, but please don’t give up. In a few days we’ll shift over to the “Epistle of Joy,” Philippians.

Yours for the development of a more solid knowledge of God’s Word,

David

Crying out to God at “The Cry” event on Parliament Hill.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

IN HIDING!

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 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 most unique rock formations are seen in Meteora, Greece. On the front right you can see Monastery Roussanou.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 22:12

And he (Joash) was hidden with them in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.

 

Jehu was carrying out judgment on the land. Ahaziah was caught and killed because, as they said, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat who sought the Lord with all his heart” (22:9). It seemed as if all the descendants of Jehoshaphat were to be slain, but into the picture stepped Jehoshabeth, the king’s daughter. She rescued Joash, then one year old, and hid him in the Temple. Six years later Joash was anointed king. The enemies of God will try to thwart God’s plan, but it was not God’s will for the righteous influence in the royal family to cease. God had prepared Jehoshabeth and Jehoiada, the high priest, to intervene. Joash was hidden in the Temple for six years.

We learn from this story of God’s love and His power to provide for His people. Sometimes we wonder how God could possibly make a way through a seemingly impossible situation. But He does! For a New Testament reading today, we may want to read about what would seem to be an impossible situation, the shipwreck of Acts 27:13-44.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I need to learn to be hidden in Your place of safety where the enemy cannot find me. I pray with King David, “Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You. When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy” (Psalm 61:1-3). In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

This morning I’ve been singing two hymns, “Rock of Ages” and “Hiding in Thee.” The words of the first are, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee,” and the second are, “Hiding in Thee, hiding in Thee, thou blessed Rock of Ages, I’m hiding in Thee” (click here for a medley of these two beautiful hymns). There have been times when I had to hide from the pressures and influences of the world. One such occasion was when a sergeant of the Hamilton, Ontario, city police told me that the average age of the lawbreaker with whom they were dealing was just 12. My heart was broken for the children of our city. I withdrew to my bedroom for a week to fast and pray. Norma-Jean would bring me water and join me from time to time. Directly out of that time of hiding in God came our children’s television ministry, Circle Square, and out of those telecasts came the Circle Square Ranches, where over the years, approximately 250,000 children and teens have spent at least a week each. It’s estimated that around 100,000 of them made first time decisions to give their lives to Jesus. This Summer I intend to “hide away” and spend much more time hiding in God’s presence. I turn 79 on August 13th, and I need to hear from God about the future.

Yours for hiding for a while,

David

P.S. Here are some pictures that Gilles Laframboise, the official RCMP photographer, took just before and during the Musical Ride. Norma-Jean and I were honoured to ride in the landau (carriage) and sit at the front of the viewing stand two years ago. This was part of the Canada Day celebrations in Canada’s capitol city of Ottawa.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA!!!

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 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 westerly view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. This was Jehoshaphat’s “Parliament Hill.”

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 20:3

And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

 

Jehoshaphat had learned a very hard lesson! When the next crisis came, he began to pray with fasting before he made his plans for battle. After his bad experience with King Ahab, the attack of the Moabites and the Ammonites sent him straight to God. Prior to this he traveled throughout his kingdom and into some territories of the northern kingdom as well, teaching the things of God and bringing the people “back to the Lord God of their fathers” (19:4). Imagine, a political leader who was also a teacher/evangelist. Here in Canada (today is Canada’s birthday) we’ve come close to this model with several of our leaders. Our second Prime Minister, Alexander MacKenzie, was a man of God who not only taught the things of God, but it is recorded that he prayed three times a day, out loud, on his knees with his office door open. The staff crowded around the door to listen in and say “amen” at the conclusion of his prayers. According to the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, our first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald, found Jesus later in life. Of course, who can forget the longest serving Premier of any Canadian Province, The Hon. Ernest C. Manning, who preached the Word of God on Radio across Canada for 40 years every Sunday morning on what he called “Canada’s National Back to the Bible Hour.” God blessed the leadership of Jehoshaphat, and He promises to bless us too as we learn the lessons for Godly leadership.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray on this, the birthday of our country, for Your blessing on our land. Have Your way Lord! Keep this land glorious and free! Please raise up men and women in whose lives You are Lord! Put it in their hearts and minds to lead in “paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake.” Please forgive me for my failure to stand more firmly for Your will to be done in my country as it is in Heaven. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

On the eve of Canada Day two years ago, Norma-Jean and I had the honour of riding in the landau (carriage) as guests of honour of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at their Musical Ride. The magnificent horses performed in an arena with God providing a glorious sunset there in Ottawa. We were the guests of the Chief Superintendent Commanding Officer, National Headquarters of the RCMP, Ronald Mostrey. We were celebrating in this event 50 years of achievement of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Canada. This award encourages young people ages 14 to 25, including youth at risk, to make a difference while exploring their potential, taking on new challenges and finding success. The fund raises money to help in the transformation of the lives of youth at risk by developing local community programs in support of child safety, drug awareness, crime prevention, literacy, internet safety, anti-bullying, and victim assistance. I encourage all blog readers to make a donation to the RCMP Foundation, a charity established for this purpose. The RCMP fund and more information can be found at WWW.rcmp-f.ca (click “about us” and then click the “donate now” button). I’m so impressed with the good works of this charity that Norma-Jean and I are sending a gift. This could be considered a birthday gift to Canada on her 148th birthday. Happy birthday Canada!!!

Yours for God to bless the lands where we live and the lands of our births all over the world, Amen!!!!!!!!

David

 

 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

NO SHEPHERD (COACH)

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 18

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

 

Sheep feeding on the lush winter grass of the Jordan Valley while three sheep dogs keep a close eye…especially on the photographer, our son Reynold, who is now serving the Lord in Uganda.

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

 

Key Verses: 2 Chronicles 18:4 &16 – And Jehoshaphat said to the King of Israel, “Please inquire for the word of the Lord today.”

Then he (the prophet of the true God) said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the Lord said, ‘These have no master. Let each return to his house in peace.'”

 

Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, was a man of God. However, there is no record that he prayed about the decision to join King Ahab of the northern tribes of Israel. Big mistake! Jehoshaphat understood the seriousness of the war that Ahab was about to wage, and he asked whether Ahab had inquired of the Lord. Ahab immediately sought the word of the prophets which had been chosen to serve the golden calf worship. Elijah had destroyed Baal worship. Finally, at Jehoshaphat’s insistence, a prophet of the true God was summoned. His word from God was one of judgment, and for this he was put into prison.

Can we learn from Jehoshaphat’s poor decisions? He rejected God’s counsel and went along with the bad advice of ungodly people. The result was a disaster. King David had written in Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly.” Jehoshaphat failed to pay attention to the very first sentence of the Psalms of his great-great-great-grandfather, King David. Surely Jehoshaphat knew this verse of his Bible.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, as a result of reading Your Word, I want what You want. Now and always, grant me, I pray, the grace of moving Your Word from my head to my heart and then to my will power, in obedience to You! In the name of the One who always did Your will, Father, Your Son and my Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Love sports? Norma-Jean and I are fans! Our grandson-in-law, David Lee, husband of our granddaughter, Elizabeth (her Dad, Reynold does the photography for my blog), played for the Toronto professional football team in the finals two years ago. They won the Canadian championship! I sometimes think that our competition between cities and countries in sports takes the place of the constant wars of ancient times between city states and neighbouring countries. In fact, in the Canada/Soviet Union hockey series of 1972, Canadian Phil Esposito of Sault Ste. Marie declared, “This is war!” Canada won! We’ve produced a documentary featuring Paul Henderson, who scored the Goal of the Century (click here to view part one of my interview with Paul about the documentary and here for part two). Like the coach, God will sometimes order a particular strategy or play. All decisions are based on the playbook. So it is with our book of instructions, the Bible. David Lee, our grandson-in-law, was constantly reading and memorizing his playbook. We noticed that after one great play, the coach patted David on the helmet, probably saying, “Good job!” Someday, I hope my Coach, the Lord Jesus, will say to me, “Well done, David!” After the game, a large number of the players on both teams gathered in the middle of the field to pray (see photo below). I’ve never seen so many players kneel together before God at one time. I’m encouraged!

Yours for following the instructions from our heavenly Coach,

David

Many players from both teams gathered at centre field after the game to pray.

My grandson-in-law, David Lee (#91), rushing the quarterback.

Norma-Jean and I enjoying the football game with our son Ron and his wife Ann.

 

Monday, June 29, 2015

ASA and JEHOSHAPHAT

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 16-17

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

 

Here is the view from half way up the south end of the Golan Heights in Northern Israel. Looking east you can see into the north of Jordan and to the far left you can see the south end of Syria.

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

 

Key Verses: 2 Chronicles 16:12, 17:9

And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians…So they taught in Judah, and had the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught the people.

 

Asa started out so well, but in the last 5 years of his 40-year-long reign he changed. Because his reliance was no longer on God, God backed off and Asa made bad decisions. When we stop seeking the Lord (honouring Him, praying consistently, watching carefully for His guidance) we invariably mess up.

Asa’s son, Jehoshaphat, was watching his father make mistakes. At some point he must have decided to be different than his Dad. The key to his success may be in 17:6, “His heart took delight in the ways of the Lord.” His great-great-great-grandfather (King David) had left his writings for future generations, and I think that Jehoshaphat had access to the Psalms. He probably read them daily. There in Psalm 37:1-8, it says in verse 4, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Of course, when we delight in the Lord, we want what He wants before anything else. Therefore, we will avoid the bad decisions represented by Asa. We will pray fervently for God’s will to be done in all things and we will, as Psalm 37 goes on the say, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” Amen and amen!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord God, Give me grace, I pray, according to Your promises. I trust in You! I delight in You! I commit my way to You! I rest in You! Therefore, I thank You for Your faithfulness! I receive the desires of my heart! You bring to pass Your will! I do not fret! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

On June 28th, 2013 I had the opportunity to host Billy Graham’s grandson, Will Graham. He quoted the words of John the Baptist about Jesus, “He must increase and I must decrease.” He said that this was the way that George Beverly Shea, his Grandpa’s soloist, whose home as a youth was Ottawa, Canada, had lived his life. Chief Superintendent Ronald Mostrey of the RCMP, Ottawa, told of his decision to travel to North Carolina to honour that great Canadian. George Beverly Shea, who had gone to be with his Lord and Saviour at 104 years old, lived a life filled with honour and great contentment. George’s last e-mail to me was when he was 102. He said that he continued to watch 100 Huntley Street online every day and that the telecast was a great source of strength to him. I encourage everyone who reads this to do the same. You can find that telecast by clicking here.

The pictures Reynold Mainse has taken of the Syrian bunkers (below) remind me to pray fervently for the Syrian followers of Jesus. Recently I visited with two businessmen whose roots are in the Middle East. They were so very solemn as they had just viewed, on an iPhone, the scene of two Christians brutally beheaded by a Syrian mob. They refused to show it to me as they said it was too gruesome. People need Jesus as never before.

Yours for the desires of the heart of God to be fulfilled,

David

This photo and the one below are of Syrian bunkers that were built during 1948-67, when Syria controlled this area known as the Golan Heights. They used the area as a military stronghold from which its troops randomly sniped at Israeli civilians in the Hula Valley below, forcing children living on Kibbutzim to sleep in bomb shelters. Israel now controls this territory.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

HEART & SOUL

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 15

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

 

In the Museum of the Ancient Agora in Athens Greece, you can see four fragments of sculptures, probably from the Temple of Ares dating from 435-420 BC. Today’s reading would have taken place hundreds of years before these were carved. King Asa of Judah ordered the removal of all the idols which some had been worshiping (2 Chronicles 15:8).

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 15:7

But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!

 

God has made us in His image. Therefore, the choice is ours as to whether we serve Him or not. God will not turn us into puppets or robots. At the beginning of our reading, it’s obvious that our decisions about our lives will determine God’s decisions whether or not to bless us or leave us alone to the consequences of His absence from our lives. Verse two tells us that while we are with Him, He is with us, and that if we seek Him, He will be found by us, and if we forsake Him, He will forsake us. God lets us take the lead in our own lives.

King Asa took action, and God responded as a result. First, Asa removed the idols. Second, he restored the altar of the Lord. Third, he made a sacrificial offering to the Lord. Fourth, he even removed his own mother from being honoured as the Queen, because she had made an obscene image of a goddess which was worshiped in neighbouring countries. He cut it down, crushed it, and burned it at the brook just between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. Because of Asa’s decisions to honour the Lord, God responded by blessing Judah with peace.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I have decided to take action in my life to serve You with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. I love You! I pray now for Your peace to fill my being at all times. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer with Your “Yes.” I’m experiencing Your peace now as I pray. In the Name of the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There is a powerful statement of God’s response to our move toward Him found in Romans 10:1-15. The Apostle Paul quotes from his Hebrew Bible the words of the Prophet Joel, “Whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32a). I’ve just taken the time to read chapter two of Joel (click here).

For over 60 years I’ve been telling everybody who will listen to me that I refuse to make it complicated to be saved. It’s so very simple…just call on the Lord. The 100 Huntley Street telecast has produced a very powerful TV documentary on the life of Michael “Bull” Roberts, a career criminal who did just that while lying on a hotel room floor. The Lord responded to this man who had suffered terrible abuse as a child and was declared criminally insane at 16. When he cried out to God, he experienced true love for the first time in his life. I encourage everyone who reads this blog to check out this story by watching 100 Huntley Street (click here).

Yours, because as a 16-year-old I called on the Name of the Lord and was “saved,”

David

Remains of grandeur at the east end of the Roman Agora (marketplace) in Athens that once lead to the Temple of Ares. The Bible teaches that the one true God dwells in our hearts since Jesus came and not in temples made with hands. It was in Athens, surrounded by magnificent temples, that the Apostle Paul said “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24).

Looking over the fence into the Roman Ancient Agora where the Temple of Ares was located. Just next door to the Agora is Mars Hill (or Areopagus, “Hill Of Ares”), where Paul delivered his message to the Athenians (Acts 17:22-31).

Saturday, June 27, 2015

LESSONS LEARNED?

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 13-14

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

 

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is located on one of the roof portions of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem. Here, you can see two Ethiopian nuns in front of their home in the courtyard of the church.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 14:11

And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”

 

Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, had forsaken the counsel of his father and that of the elders, and the nation was split in two. Jeroboam, who had returned from exile in Egypt after the death of Solomon, ruled the north and Rehoboam the south. When Rehoboam humbled himself and prayed, things would go well. But he sought the Lord only when he was in trouble.

Jeroboam also forsook the Lord and appointed false priests and established the religion of Egypt, the worship of golden calf gods. War between the north and the south was fairly constant. What a tragedy!

Rehoboam died. His son Abijah ruled in the south. War continued. Then came King Asa, great-grandson of King David. Our key verse says it all! Can we learn from these stories, or must we repeat over and over the poor decisions of former generations?

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Father God, help me to learn the lessons of history, I pray. Like Asa, I cry out to You for Your help. May I receive the grace from You to rest on You. I ask this, not only when I’m in trouble, but every day! In the Name of the One who cried out to You again and again as recorded in the Gospels, the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!!! (Luke 22:39-46).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Information on excellent, educational, and informational reading is important for me. A great read is a book called, “The Blessing.” It’s all about experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit. The authors, Trask and Goodall, begin the book with these words about their country, “The decadence and darkness of our nation is more profound than it has been since the founding of this nation more than two centuries ago. The only power that can cleanse and restore this nation is the power of Christ.” I have read parts of this book before, but this time I’m reading it all carefully. My wife bought copies for each of our grandchildren. We have given them out at a gathering of our family when we had the opportunity for a serious devotional exercise. Click here for ordering information on “The Blessing.

Like King Asa, I recognize that only God can help me, my family and all with whom I’m in contact.

Yours for the most powerful blessing, the intervention of the Holy Spirit in our lives,

David

The entrance to one of the rooms at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.

Centuries old Christian symbols in the walls of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church courtyard.

Friday, June 26, 2015

CLEAN!!!

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 11-12

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

 

During his years of ministrey in Assiut Egypt, my father, Roy Lake Mainse, wrote out the words of a favourite hymn that he lived by that was written by J. B. Coats. This piece of paper was kept inside the cover of his Bible. He wrote the first part as a constant reminder of the importance of God’s Word and the second part heralds the importance of truth (click on the photo to enlarge for easier reading).

 

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 12:14

And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.

 

There is always a cause for any effect! King Rehoboam would listen to the voice of the Lord and Judah would prosper. But when prosperity and success were granted, he would forsake God’s laws, and very shortly afterward they were in trouble again. It’s not that God moved away; it was the king and other leaders who moved away from God.

The prophet reminded Rehoboam of his sinfulness and again the king and priests humbled themselves before God. Therefore, they escaped destruction. Like Rehoboam, we will inevitably get into trouble when we fail to seek God. When we begin to do our own thing and not God’s, trouble is not far behind! Let us return daily to the Lord, so that the enemy will not prevail.

As our key verse reminds us to prepare our hearts to seek the Lord, so does this daily blog. Let’s stick together on this journey. Please be reminded that anyone can start at any time, and in two years we’ll complete the entire Bible. Amen! Amen! Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord, by Your Holy Spirit, who lives in every believer in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, keep me in a daily, living relationship with You. Thank You for this fresh bread to eat every day. In Jesus’ name I praise and worship You! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Besides the words written in the photo above, I also found written inside the front cover of my Dad’s old Bible these words: “Sin will keep you from this Book, and this Book will keep you from sin!” The Apostle Paul wrote about the fact that the Word cleanses us and washes us with the “Water of the Word.” Why do we need this cleansing? To produce “A glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” We are to be “Holy and without blemish.” The daily washing of the Word will accomplish this goal! (Ephesians 5:26-27).

I grasped the concept of constant cleansing in my late teens. It was from a sermon my Dad preached on 1 John 1:5-10.

Yours for consistency in being washed by the Word of God,

David

Thursday, June 25, 2015

WISDOM

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 9-10

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

 

In Jerusalem, attached to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Here, an Ethiopian nun does bead work to support her church.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Chronicles 9:23

And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.

 

The people of Ethiopia believe that their Queen, the Queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon, became pregnant as a result of a relationship between her and King Solomon. Menelik, their son, became their first great King, and the people converted to the religion of Judaism as a result. A New Testament reading for today may be the story of the Ethiopian who was the minister of finance for another “Queen of Sheba” whose name was Candace (Acts 8:26-40). The Ethiopian treasurer, who was Jewish, had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and on his way back home God miraculously brought the Deacon Philip to witness to him of Jesus. He was reading from the Prophet Isaiah as he travelled, probably Isaiah 53, and as Philip explained God’s plan of salvation, the official believed in Jesus and was baptized. As a result, the Church of Ethiopia was born. A majority of the Jewish people in that country became Christian. It is so to this day.

What a sad turn of events in the second chapter of today’s reading. There are some things one can only learn by living long enough. Solomon’s advisors were probably in their sixties and seventies. By ignoring their advice, King Rehoboam lost the ten northern tribes, and the Kingdom was divided. War between the north and the south was narrowly avoided. How sad! Our choices have consequences! Let us choose to pray fervently as David and Solomon did. There is no record of Rehoboam praying for wisdom, as did his father. Instead of asking God for guidance, King Rehoboam asked his boyhood friends for counsel and followed their advice. The history of Israel is proof of the consequences of poor choices.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for the wisdom to listen carefully to the guidance of those who pray much and who know how to hear Your answers to their prayers for wisdom. I need You every day to provide me with an understanding of Your will in all things. In Jesus’ Name I ask for Your wisdom, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Someone has said that every movement for good or evil in the history of the world can be traced to the decision of one person. Rehoboam’s decision to listen to friends of his age rather than the elders of Israel resulted in the beginning of the disintegration of a great nation. The decisions of Philip and the Ethiopian treasurer resulted in good things.

When Crossroads ministry took on the challenge of helping the Ethiopian people during the famine of the 1980s, I had many experiences that impacted my life. One of these was standing on a street in Addis, the capital city, and hearing a young priest calling the people back to God. He said that the government had turned away from the God of their fathers to communism and atheism, and the famine was God’s judgment as a result. Whether this was true or not, God knows. However, I was tremendously impressed by the fearlessness of that young man. I do believe that God heard the prayers of the Ethiopian people, and a part of His provision was that the partners and viewers of 100 Huntley Street responded so very generously. Canada’s ambassador to Ethiopia at the time said in a speech to the Empire Club at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, “100 Huntley Street and their supporters saved the lives of at least 50,000 people from death by starvation.” On pages 77, 78 & 79 of my book, This Far By Faith, there is an amazing Ethiopian story. I would like to see this book in the hands of as many people as possible (click here for ordering).

Yours for seeking diligently for God’s will in our decisions,

David

Beyond the courtyard of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, you can see the steeple of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

One of the doorways into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.