Thursday, December 18, 2014

GOD IS “COMMANDER”

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 5-6

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 right-hand side).

 

The High Priest in the Holy Place of the replica of the Tabernacle which was erected behind the Crossroads Centre for the Summer of 1997 and again in 2012. Many thousands have understood the powerful symbolism as a result.

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

 

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 6:24

And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day.

 

Let us keep in mind the reason for God’s laws, “FOR OUR GOOD ALWAYS.” There are 15 repetitions of words that “COMMAND” us to obey. That’s not too popular in today’s “I-did-it-my-way” culture. The challenge for Moses, and for us, is in the first verse of today’s reading: “Learn them and be careful to observe them.” As I’ve mentioned before, when God desires to emphasize something, He inspires the writer to repetition. For example, in Deuteronomy the word “hear” is repeated 30 times, the word, “learn” 7 times, the word “keep” 30 times, and here’s one I like…”do” 100 times.

Chapters 5 & 6 summarize the Ten Commandments given first back in Exodus 20. Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus quoted Moses from Deuteronomy 6:5 as His answer, and then added an additional quote from God’s laws of social order, “And the second is like it; you shall love your neighbour as yourself” from Leviticus 19:18. Again, the reason for God’s laws? “FOR OUR GOOD ALWAYS.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I thank You that You have written Your laws on my heart and not just on tablets of stone. I ask for insight into keeping Your commandments in the light of the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. In the Name of the one “Who kept all the law,” the Name of Jesus, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In yesterday’s blog I placed a picture of my great-granddaughter in the arms of our Canadian Prime Minister. When her brother heard about her picture in my blog, his body language told me I had to pay the same attention to him. Myles turned 7 this month. I’ve always done my best to not show favouritism. Therefore, I plan to put pictures of the other great-grandchildren in tomorrow’s blog.

Frankly, I feel that I don’t deserve the joy which fills my heart. I’ll watch again the movie “A Christmas Carol.” I identify with Scrooge who knows he is not deserving of such happiness. But Scrooge exclaims, “I can’t help it” as he dances for joy. I may do the same after this is posted on the world-wide web. Modern technology…to think God built all this into the building blocks of the universe, and just now mankind has discovered more of His physical laws. As are the moral and spiritual laws, God intends them all to be “FOR OUR GOOD ALWAYS!” God forgive us for twisting these natural laws for our own purposes that are not for “our good always.”

Yours for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven,

David

P.S. Below is a birthday photo of Myles Livingston Neilson, who turned 7 last Wednesday (his baby sister River is over his shoulder), and the second photo is of all four Neilson kids…River June Neilsen is 6 months, Autumn Lillian Neilson is 4, and Noelle Stacey Neilson is 9.

 

 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

TAKE HEED, OBSERVE, POSSESS

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 4

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 right-hand side).

 

A father walks his child from a time of studying holy books in a Jewish library located in Jerusalem at the foot of the Temple Mount, beside the Western Wall. This Jewish father is obviously taking heed to Moses' instructions.

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

 

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 4:9

Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and grandchildren.

 

Words repeated in a chapter stand out to me. “TAKE HEED” (3 times), “OBSERVE” (3 times), and “POSSESS” (4 times). I believe God wants us to pay attention to Him, carefully scrutinize His Word and our response, and then assimilate (make part of our being) what we are learning. This will equip us to pass on our stories to the next generations, and for us personally, “That you may live” (vs 1)…also, “Lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life” (vs 9). Another reason to TAKE HEED, OBSERVE, AND POSSESS is…”Lest you act corruptly” (vs 16). How about “Lest you forget?” (vs 23). The result of our diligence is found in verses 29-31. This is so important that I’m going to type those verses here for extra emphasis, “BUT FROM THERE YOU WILL SEEK THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND YOU WILL FIND HIM IF YOU SEEK HIM WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL. WHEN YOU ARE IN DISTRESS, AND ALL THESE THINGS COME UPON YOU IN THE LATTER DAYS, WHEN YOU TURN TO THE LORD YOUR GOD AND OBEY HIS VOICE (FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS A MERCIFUL GOD), HE WILL NOT FORSAKE YOU NOR DESTROY YOU, NOR FORGET THE COVENANT WHICH HE SWORE TO THEM.” Amen!!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I can’t do this on my own, nevertheless I’ll give it my best. My best won’t be enough Lord. Therefore, I ask you for sufficient grace to fully “Take Heed,” “Observe,” and “Possess.” Through the Person and work of Jesus, the One who did it right, I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Telling my stories to my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren is a joy for me (I’ve written a book of my stories. Interested? – click here to order a copy). Besides, when I do this I’m being obedient to God’s instructions given to us through Moses. As I ponder what story I should tell here, in my mind’s eye I see a framed front page picture from the National Post that I have at home. It’s of Stephen Harper in 2006 (who would be elected Prime Minister in 3 days’ time) holding my great-granddaughter, Noelle Neilson (I’ll put a copy of that picture below). His campaign bus stopped right in front of Noelle’s townhome in Waterdown, Ontario. Meanwhile, I had a book of photographs from the 1948 Stanley Cup Champions, the Toronto Maple Leafs, that I thought Stephen Harper would enjoy, knowing that he’s a BIG hockey fan and was working on a book about hockey. I had prayed, “Lord, I have no idea how to get these historic pictures into Stephen’s hands; can You help me?” Now back to that surprise street visit…Mr. Harper asked Noelle’s Mom, my granddaughter Sheryl, “Who is this child.” She answered, “This is David Mainse’s great-granddaughter.” He responded, “Tell David I’m going to call him next week.” The day after the election, as I was walking into a nursing home to get the “okay” from the elderly couple who had given me the hockey photographs, my cell phone rang. Guess what? It was our new P.M. I travelled to Ottawa and presented him these amazing photos on Thursday that week. No one could tell me that God does not have a hand in even small events if we ask Him to. Hebrews 11:6 says, “He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” So that’s another story for my great-grandchildren. Noelle is now nine, and eight more great-grandchildren have arrived since!…And one more scheduled to make her debut on Valentines Day with the help of mother Elena. Elena is our miracle Russian princess. Be sure to check out her miracle story in my book. It comes complete with pictures.

Yours for passing on stories of God’s love and grace,

David

P.S. Prime Minister Harper gave deeply-felt words yesterday regarding the murders of the children of Pakistan by the Muslim Islamic group known as the Taliban (click here for a video from Global News).

Here is the photo from the National Post which I referred to above. It was from January 20, 2006. You can click on the photo to enlarge it.

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

STICK WITH THE PLAN

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 3

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

 

This photo looks east across the Jordan Valley to the mountains of Moab in Jordan. An acacia tree is seen in the foreground.

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

 

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 3:22

You must not fear them, for the Lord, your God, fights for you.

 

In today’s reading, Moses recounts how the Children of Israel were a few short weeks from entering the Promised Land. En route there they won several battles. For Moses personally, the big battle was within himself. He made an impassioned plea to be allowed to enter the land. God answers his prayer with an adamant “NO.” He tells Moses to never speak of the matter again. God sends Moses to the peak of Mt. Pisgah to view the Promised Land, and He tells him to commission Joshua as the new leader. God tells Moses to use his authority to “command” Joshua. Moses was still God’s leader, and his “commands” were a source of encouragement and strength to Joshua moving forward.

When God says “No,” He has other plans underway. We need to learn that God’s purposes are His #1 priority, not our plans which we may seek to implement. God’s will be done!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Father God, help me to always be totally obedient to You, never questioning Your authority. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I identify with the Apostle Peter who, on one of the occasions when Jesus spoke of His impending death, said to Jesus, “Far be it from You, Lord, this shall not happen to You!” (check out Matthew 16:21-26). I’ve learned from this that the word “no” and “Lord” must never be found in the same sentence. If Jesus is not “Lord,” then I can say “no.” I have the free will. But if He’s my “Lord,” and He is, I can never say “no” to Him. From time to time I’ve sought to put my own plans in place. They never succeed. I’m 78 now, and I look back over 7 decades. I’ve learned some hard lessons. This blog is one way to pass on to others the wisdom of those lessons. God willing, in another 18 months I’ll complete this second blog journey through the Bible. You can start anytime and 24 months later you’ll read the Bible’s last word. Therefore, stick with me and we’ll be equipped for living life God’s way. I’ve said to Norma-Jean many times, with a smile on my lips and a twinkle in my eye, “Stick with me, baby, and I’ll give you diamonds as big as your eyes” (I’m sure that’s a quote from some scriptwriter). Of course, I gave her a little diamond upon our engagement (a magnifying glass would have come in handy – my excuse was that I was a student). Then in a burst of enthusiasm, I bought her a larger one about 30 years later when I spotted a bargain in a foreign country. Unfortunately, when I had it checked at a local Canadian jeweller, it was flawed. It wasn’t a bargain after all. I know she still loves me, and I also know that she’ll stick with me. I’m a blessed man!

Yours for “sticking” with the plan,

David

P.S. Norma-Jean also has her mother’s engagement diamond and she is blessed and content.

Monday, December 15, 2014

TRUDGING INTO JOY

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 2

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 right-hand side).

 

A rock formation in the wilderness located in the Jordan Vally near the Dead Sea in Israel. During the desert wilderness wandering of the Children of Israel, the landscape would have looked much like this.

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

 

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 2:7

For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.

 

“Trudging”…a word that describes most of the days of our lives. When God brought His people through the Red Sea, there was dancing. They started off toward the Promised Land with excitement, then came the trudge. Our key verse was spoken to people who repeatedly failed the Lord. God had provided for them to move within a short time into the Promised Land. They refused to go in. God provided food and water in the wilderness. They grumbled. While there were some awful consequences along the way, God continued to care for them and to guide them. His presence remained among them. God was ready to restore them and give them success whenever they were ready to believe His promises and move into His plan for their lives. Guidance from Scripture is important for us moving forward! Did you know that Deuteronomy is quoted at least eighty times in 17 of the New Testament books?

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I seem to be trudging a lot. In these times, please help me to keep putting one foot in front of the other, moving forward and not backward. Thank You for those times when I walk with a determined stride, and even run and dance. I ask for grace from Your Spirit in the trudging times. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Norma-Jean and I are staying home today hoping and praying that we will finally overcome  the tail end of a nasty flu. So…while I may trudge sometimes today, I also plan to dance a bit (try it when you’re alone if it embarrasses you) this evening, whether I feel like it physically or not! I am so blessed! I’m already dancing in my spirit this morning!!! In the story Jesus told of the son who returned home, He said there was, “music and dancing.” God’s Son has returned home to His Father, having completed His work for our salvation. Surely we have the greatest of all reasons to celebrate.

I suggest a New Testament reading which I have just read, Luke 15:11-32. Let’s pray for all our loved ones to come home to Father God. Christmas would be a great time for that to happen. Also, here’s a great rendition of “Joy to the World” (click here).

Yours for joy in the journey and for grace in those trudging times,

David

P.S. Below is a photo of my son Ron and his wife Ann (Ann checks my blog for punctuation, etc. and Ron makes sure it’s posted properly daily at 6 a.m.). They visited Petra in Jordan a couple years ago, leading a Crossroads tour group. The city is carved into the solid rock! This was the area inhabited by “The descendants of Esau who live in Seir,” as mentioned in today’s reading (Deut. 2:4). You can click on the picture to enlarge it.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

GOD SPEAKS

Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 1

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 right-hand side).

 

This photo is taken from Israel looking towards Jordan. This is the Gulf of Aqaba (some call it the Gulf of Eilat). It is located at the northern tip of the Red Sea.

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

 

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 1:21

Look, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord God of your fathers has spoken to you; do not fear or be discouraged.

 

This book is essentially a reminder for the Children of Israel of events and laws already covered in Moses’ first four volumes (Genesis through Numbers). Moses’ final book is called the Deutero-Nomos, the second law. It restates God’s laws and purposes in order to impress the message on hearts and minds.

Moses tells the people in verse 6, “You have dwelt long enough at this mountain” (it may have looked just like the mountain in Reynold’s picture above). It’s a fact that we are often comfortable where we are and don’t want to confront the mountain. God has delivered us from the past, and now He wants us to move forward into the land flowing with milk and honey which He has promised us. But there is this mountain. Jesus said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed (enough faith to obey), you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20b).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, give me the courage to speak to (not about) this difficulty facing me. I do so now in Your Presence. MOVE!!! Now, I need the grace to move forward. Thank You for the grace You are giving me to obey Your instructions. Here we go Lord! Hallelujah! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

One of the great people God sent to work with me in ministry is Fred Vanstone. He first introduced me to these words in business matters…”moving forward.” He was the son of a miller in Bowmanville, Ontario. He became the #2 man in the bank of British Columbia, then CFO for the Pattison Group. He took on the administration of a University, owned a Vancouver business, and then as we traveled together down a mountainside in the Rocky Mountains, we both knew God had spoken to us that we were to work together as a full-time team. Tears come to my eyes as I think of the amazing administrative gifts Fred brought to Crossroads. The mountain of debt on our 143,000 square foot TV production centre disappeared. The “promised land” of the CTS (YES-TV), a network of several over-the-air TV stations, was licensed by the federal government. Fred continued after he left Crossroads to run a company based in Philadelphia with several thousand employees. Thank you, my friend Fred, and thank you Jim Pattison for sending Fred to us initially. “Moving forward,” the mountain moved out of the way. What God has done on the business side of Crossroads, He is doing constantly in my personal day-to-day life.

Yours for “moving forward”,

David

Saturday, December 13, 2014

ROME

Today’s Reading: Acts 28

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 right-hand side).

 

"But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand...But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm." Acts 28:3, 5

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

 

Key Verse: Acts 28:8

And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him.

 

Throughout the centuries, divine healings have been instrumental in turning people’s attention toward Jesus. Firstly, in today’s reading, we read of God’s physical protection for Paul from an always fatal snake bite, and secondly, the immediate recovery of Publius. We should never hesitate to pray for people’s healings. Then, share Jesus as Saviour and Lord! (MOST IMPORTANT!!!)

Believers in Jesus from Rome came to meet Paul. They may have been secret believers because of persecution. The main Jewish community seemed to know little of Paul’s message. Oral history tells us that after two years in Rome, Paul was released and went to Spain where he established churches. Some suggest that he may have gone to Britain also. His final arrest back in Rome brought his death under Nero. After Paul’s first visit to Rome, Luke, our historian, disappears from the scene. His work was done and done very well.

Tomorrow, back to Deuteronomy. Let us not give up on this systematic tour of the Scriptures. Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, grant that I may bring people to You, regardless of the cost, as Jesus and Paul did. I’m trusting You for the grace necessary to be true to Your calling. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I spent a great deal of time in Spain before and during World Expo ’92 in Seville. Crossroads sponsored a pavilion there where more than 1,000,000 people visited our witness for Jesus. More than 53,000 precious souls made first-time recorded decisions to give their lives fully to Jesus. Each one signed up for a Bible correspondence study in their native language and were followed up around the world by Scripture Union. While there, I visited places where Paul first preached the Good News of Jesus. Even though the Bible does not share that Paul was in Spain, you could never tell the Spanish people that Paul was not there! Monuments testify to this fact.

I asked for the picture of the serpent seen above. In our reading, the venom could not destroy Paul. Revelation 12:9 speaks of “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.” You may want to read that entire section (click here). Satan has been defeated through the Cross of Christ. As Paul did literally, we do spiritually. Shake the serpent off and into the fires of Hell. He cannot hurt those who put their trust in Jesus. Check out again the first verses of today’s reading, and do to the serpent as Paul did!

Yours for effectively winning people to Jesus,

David

Friday, December 12, 2014

TAKE HEART

Today’s Reading: Acts 27

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 right-hand side).

 

Kavala is the site of ancient Neapolis where Paul's boat landed on his way to Philippi.

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

 

Key Verses: Acts 27:22 & 24b

And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship…….God has granted you all those who sail with you.

 

From time to time throughout 37 years of the daily 100 Huntley Street television ministry, we have featured “household salvation” based on Paul’s statement to the Philippian prison warden, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). As people began to pray with greater fervency for their loved ones, miracles have taken place. We have received reports of entire families accepting Jesus as their Saviour, and others where every week a new family member has come into Christ’s Kingdom. Now, in today’s reading, we see people being saved in a physical way. The same God who keeps His promises is at work. In a very real sense, “God has granted you all those who sail with you” (27:24b). It is our responsibility to live a Christ-like life, to speak to our family members with wisdom and love, and to pray continually for them. We must never, never give up. We can expect God to protect and save each one.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I pray for the protection and salvation of each of my family members by name… “_________”, and also for those I’ve spiritually adopted (names). I also pray for all others who “sail” with me. Keep each one in Your love and by Your power. Save each one. In Your name I pray, Lord Jesus. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

At the close of thousands of letters I have written, I would have these words, “May the Lord keep you in His love and by His power. In Christ’s love and service, David Mainse.” I still do that because I believe with all my heart that there is a personal loving God who is “Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). When I knew Norma-Jean was expecting, I began to pray fervently for the salvation of each precious little one. These prayers continue to this day. It would be the greatest tragedy, having been responsible for helping to bring my children into this world, for them to be lost eternally. How I rejoiced when they were still small to hear them pray to receive Jesus into their hearts. I know that their names were written in “the Book of Life” (Rev. 21:27). As I type this, I’ve taken the time to read, for additional scriptural input, the entire last chapter in the Bible, Revelation 22. Also, several times, as I’ve prayed this morning, the old hymn “Rescue the Perishing” has come from my lips. Ron knows how to find these old hymns on the Internet. I’ll ask him to do this before this is posted (OK Dad, the link is HERE – Ron).

Yours for the salvation of our families and other loved ones,

David

Thursday, December 11, 2014

ALMOST PERSUADED

Today’s Reading: Acts 26

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 right-hand side).

 

This is the Damascus Gate in the northern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. In its current form, the gate was built in 1537 under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Underneath, remains of a gate dating to the time of the Roman rule of Hadrian in the 2nd century AD have been discovered and excavated.

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

 

Key Verse: Acts 26:19-20, 28

“Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance…” Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”

 

Paul obeyed “the Heavenly vision.” A few days ago we read about Mark, who failed, but later returned to obey God’s call. All the disciples (except perhaps John) abandoned Jesus the night of His arrest, but they were restored. If we have failed, return now and God will complete the work to which He has called us. An excellent example of the “work” is Paul’s testimony before the King and the Governor. (1) We start by speaking well of the person to whom we are witnessing. (2) We give a brief personal account of how we came to faith in Jesus. (3) Quote from Jesus Himself…e.g. “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). Paul heard the voice of Jesus in his physical ears. We may hear as he did, but we definitely hear His voice as we read His Word each day. (4) Make a direct appeal for a decision for Christ. Some people will respond with “yes,” and some are “almost persuaded.” (5) Like Paul, don’t give up. Make another appeal (Acts 26:29).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, give me a stubborn refusal to give up on witnessing of Your salvation, and grant me wisdom and persistence in seeking to win precious people to You. I would be the most selfish person if I kept the message of Your love to myself. As I move throughout the hours ahead of me, and as the opportunity is present, I am determined, with the working of Your Spirit in me, to win someone to You. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In my personal witness one-to-one, as well as in my public speaking to groups of people in church, on the street, or on daily television for many years, I’ve followed, more or less, Paul’s five points listed above. I can assure you, results follow. Just as Jesus said in the parable of the sower, when I sow seed, (1) some seed is stolen, (2) some falls on stoney ground, (3) some falls amongst thorns, and (4) some seed falls on good ground and yields a beautiful harvest. I’ve just taken the time to read Matthew 13:1-9. If I don’t see results, I take the time to pray fervently so that the devil (the birds) will be driven back and held back from stealing the seeds. Then I may have to spend time clearing the ground of stones and thorns. The ONLY REASON I will not see results is that I have not sown good seed on enough new ground. The law of averages has proven true. At least one in four people to whom I witness give their lives to Jesus. I can’t sow the good seed inside the same four walls each Sunday and expect to see a harvest. I have to get out to where people live and die.

Have you ever heard or sung the great invitation hymn “Almost Persuaded” (click here)? Experience God’s Spirit. If anyone reading this has not welcomed Jesus into his or her life, do it now. Please, please, don’t turn down this invitation. You can call our toll-free prayer number at 1-866-273-4444, and someone who loves God and loves you will answer 24/7. A caring, non-judgmental person is waiting for your call. If you get a busy signal, try again.

Yours for winning precious, never-dying souls to Jesus,

David

P.S. Norma-Jean and I recorded a Christmas greeting yesterday that will be aired on 100 Huntley Street‘s Christmas Day program. My son Ron snapped this photo during the taping.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A CONVENIENT TIME

Today’s Reading: Acts 24-25

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

 

A view at sunset of the Roman aqueduct that supplied water to the ancient port city of Caesarea from the north. This structure supplied water from the springs of Mount Carmel for Paul during the two years he was incarcerated here.

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

 

Key Verse: Acts 24:25

Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.”

 

Paul was a Jew and also a Roman citizen. Such a prisoner would usually be under house arrest, not in a dungeon. The Roman centurion, Cornelius, his family and friends had been the first non-Jews to believe in Jesus (Acts 10). No doubt there were many Christians in this city who would care for Paul with food and housing, meeting his needs. We might become impatient with two years in which our movements were restricted, but not Paul. He was content to wait for God’s timing. He knew there were thousands more to win for Jesus, but there he sat. Think of it. Instead of thousands blessed by Paul’s ministry, there are millions who are blessed by the books of Romans and Galatians which appear to have been written during this time. Luke, Paul’s travelling companion, had two years to interview shepherds in Bethlehem, believers in Jesus in the Galilee, and dozens of people who knew Jesus personally. God could’ve released Paul to freedom as He had done before in Phillippi. Paul’s witness for Christ to two Roman governors and to the Jewish puppet-king Agrippa was in God’s plan.

Do you know someone who is waiting for a more convenient time to receive Christ. I do. Let us press for a decision now while there is still time.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, may I not become impatient in my present circumstance but make the most of the opportunities You’re giving me TODAY to share Your love and truth with those around me. Thank You that I can rest in the knowledge that You are in charge, because I’ve yielded control of my life to You. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Since I began this blogging journey on June 3rd, 2012, I’ve received close to 18,836 comments. Thanks so very much for the gift of your time and input. I am blessed by your care. Have you watched the music video that a reader sent to me. It’s attached to yesterday’s blog. What a powerfully creative statement about God’s care for each one of us! I’m amazed by the technology available to us for spreading God’s Word. Through Crossroads Christian Communications and other ministries, millions of precious people will be presented with the Good News of Jesus, encouraged in their faith, and challenged to be soul winners for Jesus. Just as Paul’s brothers and sisters in Christ supported his ministry, I ask you to do the same for those called of God to lead Crossroads. With the year-end approaching, there is an urgent need for offerings to support the greatest cause and the greatest outreach in our 52-plus years of ministry…100 Huntley Street! Receipts for income tax deductions for 2014 will be issued early in the New Year. Crossroads is a federally chartered charity in Canada and in the U.S.A. God bless you for making the outreach possible through your generous and sacrificial giving! Here’s the link for donations, or you can call 1-800-265-3100, or mail a cheque to Crossroads, Box 5100, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, L7R 4M2.

Yours for discovering God’s timing and purposes in our lives,

David

P.S. Below…I asked Ron to post a recent photo of the on-air team from this week’s 100 Huntley Street program.

The team ministering on the set of 100 Huntley Street this week. Left to right, Ron Mainse, Moira Brown, Tanner Keith, and Dr. John Hull.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

GOD’S CHOICE

Today’s Reading: Acts 22-23

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

 

The shoreline of Caesarea in Israel. Paul was taken to Caesarea to appear before Felix the Governor (Acts 23:33).

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

 

Key Verse: Acts 23:11

But the following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.”

 

Paul, formerly a persecutor of believers in Jesus, now is persecuted for his faith in Jesus. God delights to turn enmity into friendship, hostility into love. Jesus changes everything for all who give Him their lives. It would appear that Paul’s nephew had come to faith in Christ as evidenced by his warning of the plot to kill Paul, or it could’ve been family loyalty that God used to save Paul’s life. Either way, God was not finished with Paul yet. Our key verse is the final statement by Paul in his first appearance before the Rome-appointed Jewish leadership. The party of the Sadducees believed that God does not do the miraculous, as do liberal Protestants or reformed Judaism today. The Pharisees believed, but as Jesus said in Mark 7:13, “Making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down.” The result is the same for those who deny the daily activity of God in human lives, or for those who put the intervention of God into the past only. As Paul experienced the “be of good cheer” Words of Jesus, so we should expect Jesus to communicate with us. Are we listening carefully?

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I’m one of Your sheep. Therefore, as You said, I will know Your voice. I’m listening, Lord Jesus. Thank You for that “still small voice” I’m hearing just now. You are telling me that You love me. I love You also! Amen! (John 10:4 & 1 Kings 19:12)

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I am so very blessed by Norma-Jean, my wife, my children and their spouses, Elaine and Bruce, Ellen and Nizar, Reynold and Kathy, and Ron and Ann. I think the most often repeated words to each other are, “I love you.” I won’t list all my 16 grandchildren, but it is the same with them. Five of my great-grandchildren are already telling me, “I love you, great-grandpa.” I cannot begin to tell how these simple, yet most profound words warm my heart. I encourage you to read 1 John 4:7-21, if you have time. “Love” is the very essence of God’s Being. Just as I am telling my daughters and sons that I love them, and they tell me that they love me, so my Father God tells me, and I tell Him. It’s not trite. It never becomes stale. The great theologian Karl Barth was asked for his most profound thought ever. He answered, “Jesus loves me. This I know.”

Yours for love of God and for love of each other,

David

P.S. In a previous blog comment, one of my readers, blessed me with a link to a wonderful music video. Here’s what was written, along with the link…

“My wife blessed me with this song written by Brenton Brown & Paul Baloche. I am sharing my blessing with you. When we stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and let Him lead us, as Paul did, we can weather the storms and adversities in our path. Praise God!” (Click HERE for the song).