Saturday, September 22, 2018

UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS

Today’s Reading: Luke 17-18

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 a millstone from the time of Christ that was uncovered in Capernaum on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verses: Luke 17:2 & 10

It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones…

So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’

 

Imagine the millstone pictured above hung around someone’s neck. Imagine that person with the weight of that stone being cast into the sea. Jesus presented very graphic word pictures. Jesus goes on to teach that if someone sins against us seven times in one day and says to us, “I repent,” we are to forgive that person. All this is humanly impossible. No wonder the disciples said to Jesus, “Increase our faith.” Jesus’ response to this request is as follows: First, take the tiny mustard seed faith we already have, and take authority over the mulberry tree and its roots. Get rid of any unnecessary thing that would take up space in our lives so that we’ll have more room for an increased level of faith. Second, consider ourselves “unprofitable servants.” Being small in our own eyes will leave more room for an increase of faith. Check out 1 Samuel 15:17 and 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m getting rid of anything that would clutter up my life. Please help me to identify the “mulberry tree.” Also, Lord, I humble myself before You and consider myself an “unprofitable servant.” Please fill the additional space now available with an increase in my faith in You. Thank You Lord! In the Name of Jesus I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I will never forget one of our frequent guests on the 100 Huntley Street telecast, the late Dr. John Wesley White. He was a native of Saskatchewan, an associate evangelist with Billy Graham, and a PhD from Oxford University. The very first time on air with me he looked into the camera and said to the viewers, “God has given you a guarantee that if a person will simply pray, ‘God be merciful to me, a sinner,’ that precious person will be made right with God.” I believe that millions have been justified as a result of humbly praying that prayer (Luke 18:13-14). Another guarantee from God is found in 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Yours for the sure knowledge that we are justified before God by believing and acting upon His Word  (“Mustard seed” faith is simply enough faith to do exactly what God tells us to do in His Word!!!),

David (the man who goes way over his 100 words, particularly in the P.S. below)

P.S. Here’s more on the historical accuracy and reliability of the Scriptures. The writer of 14 books of the Greek language New Testament Scriptures, the Apostle Paul, had a name change. Before his conversion to Jesus Christ (Acts 9), he was known as Saul of Tarsus, the fiercest enemy of the new movement of believers in Jesus Christ. He was educated by Rabbi Gamaliel, who was the grandson of Rabbi Hillel, perhaps the most famous Rabbi of all time. Saul had access directly to the High Priest. He asked for, and received, letters of authority to imprison, and even kill, followers of Jesus (Acts 7:58, 8:1).  He approved of the stoning execution of the early church deacon, Stephen. As a person of obvious Jewish religious power, he would have followed closely all the events over the three years of Jesus’ ministry and been aware of Jesus’ teaching, crucifixion, and reported resurrection. His rage was no doubt fuelled by the frustration at not being able to refute any of Jesus’ miracles, particularly Jesus’ resurrection from the dead!!! Therefore, after Saul of Tarsus’ conversion, we find Saul/Paul verifying all the historical records in his writings and teaching!!! Luke, the historian of a 60-70 year period from the birth of Jesus onward, was the constant travelling and ministry companion of the Apostle Paul. It is my firm conviction that if all Luke wrote was not accurate, and if the dozens of places in Paul’s writings where he references Jesus’ life were not reliable, Luke and Paul would have been contradicted by the Jewish historian Josephus, or one of the other contemporaries of Paul with whom he had been educated who had not been converted to Christ. No such contradictions exist!!! Think with me about these P.S. comments. My young friend, Dr. Jeremiah Johnston, has a goal in life – making Christians into thinkers and thinkers into Christians. You can visit his website here.

Friday, September 21, 2018

LOST AND FOUND

Today’s Reading: Luke 15-16

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).

 

Near Tabgha Beach, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, stands the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter. This square building of black basalt, built in 1934, is where Jesus is believed to have made a third appearance to His disciples after His Resurrection. As the event is described in the 21st chapter of John’s Gospel, Peter and six other disciples had been fishing all night without catching anything. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach, though they did not recognize Him. Jesus told the disciples to cast their net on the right side of the boat and the net filled with 153 fish. When the disciples dragged the net ashore, they found that Jesus had cooked them breakfast on a charcoal fire. The rock incorporated in the church floor is traditionally believed to be the place where Jesus prepared breakfast. It was known to medieval pilgrims as Mensa Christ (the table of Christ). Numbers are very significant to people who know Hebrew. The number 153 translates into “Ana Elohim.” “I am God!”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Luke 15:4-5

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it, and when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

 

The lost sheep! The lost coin! The lost son! Do we get it? Our reading finishes with the story of the lost rich man, his lost brothers, and the salvation of the beggar Lazarus. Jesus really cares about lost people. We must recognize the infinite value of one precious person. If we want to be like Jesus, there is no other way than to focus our attention on finding the lost and bringing them to our Father in Heaven. Do we look for the prodigal as the father did in the story, or do we betray an essential selfishness like the older brother who had been faithful but uncaring for his lost brother? Chapter 16 introduces money into the mix. Giving time is equal to giving money. We need to do both!!! Are our priorities right before God and before people?

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, in today’s reading, You are getting through to me. There are lost souls all around me. Help me to bring the lost back home to You today and every day. Help me, and help my church and the ministries I support, to constantly find opportunities to reach out to those lost in the maze of man-made philosophies, self-centred goals, and all the traps set by the enemy of our souls. I pray this, determined to look for the lost, in Your Name, Lord Jesus. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

One tool that the Crossroads ministry has used to find the lost and bring them to Jesus has been to encourage Christian pavilions at World Expos. The last Expo in which we were involved was Germany’s first…Expo 2000 in Hanover. The great fish, sketched out on the dining room table of our home, designed by architect Rob Adsett of Australia and pictured below, was voted the “Icon of the Expo” by the German people. The content of the pavilion in Hanover, Germany, was a movie based on the story of the prodigal son and the story of Jonah, written and produced by Bruce Stacey. Out of the millions who visited the pavilions in four Expos, at least 100,000 lost souls were found and brought home to our Father God. Names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, were recorded. They signed up for a Bible correspondence course and they were followed up by Scripture Union and churches around the world. I’ve learned that while these great efforts are important, they are not to be considered a substitute for my personal, one-to-one, soul winning.

Yours for finding lost people and bringing them home with us,

David

P.S. For several days now I’ve been writing here about the reliability of the Scriptures. Yesterday I referenced Tacitus, a primary historian of the Roman Empire (Annals 15:44). Today it’s Josephus, the most prominent Jewish historian. Josephus writes of James, whom we know as “the brother of our Lord” and author of the epistle of James. Josephus tells us of a trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin of “a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ” (Antiquities 20:198-202).

“The Pavilion of Hope” at Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany, was shaped like a “great fish.” This design was first sketched out on our dining room table by our Australian architect friend. His skills were evident at three World Expos, as well as in the Crossroads Centre in Burlington, Ontario. The German people voted to keep this as a symbol of Expo 2000 and the icon of the Expo. Today it serves as the offices for World Vision Germany.

 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

O JERUSALEM

Today’s Reading: Luke 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 on the right-hand side).

 

This is a Somali wild donkey with the signature horizontal black stripes on its legs. This was photographed at Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve in Israel, where you can see a variety of biblically referenced animals. From time to time Jesus used His creatures (today, a hen and her brood) to illustrate His message. James 3:8 says that no man can tame the human “tongue,” and it is said that this wild donkey cannot be tamed. In today’s reading Jesus refers to the tamed variety of “donkey.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Luke 13:34

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!

 

At the beginning of chapter 13, Jesus repeats for emphasis His call to repentance. Repentance essentially means that we are to turn from our own way and go God’s way. It means a Godly sorrow for sin, sorry enough to quit sinning; sorry enough to ask God’s forgiveness immediately when we sin. God reaches out to us as individuals, and He also reaches out to entire communities. The woman with the spirit of infirmity was ministered to individually. She responded, but Jerusalem, as a whole, did not. The heart of Jesus yearns also for our city, for our country, as well as each precious person. Jesus points out the hypocrisy of many religious leaders in the way they keep the Sabbath. He cares about donkeys and oxen (14:5), and how much more for people? Judgment and justice are inevitable. We need to come to Jesus humbly in repentance.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You’ve invited me over and over to come to You. I do this now in repentance for my sin. Grant me a constant attitude of repentance. I fervently desire to live this life pleasing to You. I pray these mercies in Your Name. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Fall is in the air. I marvel that God, who put stars in place and arranged the seasons, would care for me individually. The story is told of the astronomer who spent his life studying the stars and who came to the conclusion that a God big enough to create the stars could not possibly care for him as an individual. As a retirement gift, he was given a microscope. As he studied that which was too small for the naked eye, he came to believe that a God who would create the molecule was even bigger than he had thought. He concluded that God cared about the little things, as well as the great big universe, and therefore, God cared about him. He opened his heart to the fact that God became Human in Jesus Christ.

Yours, marvelling at God’s great universe and marvelling even more at His care for me,

David

[NOTE: The P.S. below was written by David on September 20, 2016]

P.S. Yesterday was the 58th wedding anniversary for Norma-Jean and me. Some of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren came together to celebrate with us at the hospital (see photos below).  At such times I get to speak what’s on my heart. Yesterday I shared with my family my deep love for Norma-Jean and how blessed I’ve been to have her by my side for these 58 years.  I also shared that in the last few weeks I’ve been meditating a lot on the historical accuracy of Holy Scripture. There is much evidence from historical writers that the Scriptures give us factual information. For example, Jesus was executed by crucifixion (a fact denied by Muslims). The fact that this happened is stated by the Roman historian Tacitus, who was not a believer. He wrote that this happened during the reign of Emperor Tiberius, and that Pilate was the Governor of Judea at the time…confirming what scripture says. Be assured, the writings chosen for inclusion in the Bible are historically accurate!

IMG_3367 IMG_3383

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

CONSIDER

Today’s Reading: Luke 12

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).

 

Wild flowers grow on the wall of David’s Citadel. This structure is part of the Old City walls of Jerusalem and is surrounded by what used to be a moat and angled walls. Built to strengthen a strategically weak point in the Old City’s defences, the citadel that stands today was constructed during the 2nd century BC and subsequently destroyed and rebuilt by, in succession, the Christian, Muslim, Mamluk, and Ottoman conquerors of Jerusalem. It contains important archaeological finds dating back 2,700 years, and is a popular venue for benefit events, craft shows, concerts, and sound-and-light performances.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Luke 12:8 & 12:27

Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God….Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

 

Consider the lilies and confess Jesus. We should take the time to smell the roses. When we do, our delight in living will be obvious and infectious. With that joy manifested to others, our communication of Jesus will also be infectious. The saying is, “Better caught than taught”…the teaching will come later (hopefully you’ve encouraged others to check out this blog ). What a chapter this is! I’ve just read it twice. In today’s reading there are only three verses completely in black. There are 56 verses in red print, the words of Jesus. Just imagine, Jesus confessing our names, and then an angel writing them in the Book of Life (Luke 10:20).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord, You are so very good. Forgive me for those times when I have selfishly kept You to myself, not sharing You with others. Please fill me so full of Your goodness that when I open my heart and wear it on the outside, I cannot hold back Your love for others. Your goodness and Your Word will flow out of me. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

It was March, 1978, when Reynold and Ron and I back-packed around Israel. At other times of year, most of the hills resemble a desert because of the lack of rain. However, we experienced little flowers everywhere. Just a little water and the flowers jump from the ground. We sat in the midst of the flowers on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho. What a glorious fragrance! We did as Jesus told us to “consider the lilies.” Also, as I’ve pointed out over the past few days, consider the reliability and historical accuracy of Scripture. We have in the Mishna, the minutes of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the arrest notice for Jesus, but no where is there a denial of the facts of His miraculous deeds. It is as historian Dr. Luke recorded it!!! “TRUTH!!!”

Yours for sharing joyously the best news ever,

David

P.S. Today is Norma-Jean and my wedding anniversary, and below is a photo from our wedding on September 19th, 1958. God had a great idea. One man and one woman together as long as we both shall live!

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

THE HOLY SPIRIT

Today’s Reading: Luke 11

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).

 

Between the Mount of Olives and the Old City walls of Jerusalem is the Kidron Valley. The cone-shaped structure is the Tomb of Absalom and is the first of three major tombs as you go down the valley. Behind Absalom’s Tomb are thousands of Jewish graves that face towards the Eastern Gate, where they believe the Messiah will some day enter the city.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Luke 11:13

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

 

We won’t miss anything if we are following Him closely and watching Him carefully. Jesus and the disciples would’ve often passed by the upside down funnel shape of Absalom’s Tomb (also known as “Absalom’s Pillar” – 2 Samuel 18:18). Would they have talked about the fact that Absalom was filled with pride, so much so that he tried, by force, to take his father David’s throne? We don’t have a record of such a conversation. Jesus will speak of things to us if we’re close enough to hear Him. He’ll share lessons from everyday things we see. Jesus said, “When He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). It may be helpful for us to read now the first 15 verses of John 16 (click here) and then meditate on our key verse. It is obvious that if we ask for the Holy Spirit and we are willing to receive, and if our Heavenly Father is “more” willing to give of the Holy Spirit than we are to receive, and He is, then we are being filled now and always. We need to begin to praise God now. Worship Him for His generous Gift of the Holy Spirit Who fills us to overflowing (Acts 2:4, Ephesians 3:19, Ephesians 5:18).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Heavenly Father, I am willing to receive of the Holy Spirit here and now. You have given the Holy Spirit to indwell me when I first believed in Jesus, and every day I need to be filled. I’m reminded of a funnel as I look at the picture of Absalom’s Tomb. I imagine turning the funnel over and You pouring into my life more of the Holy Spirit than I have room to hold inside me. Overflow my life, Lord, so that others around me will experience Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name I pray, and keep on praying and receiving. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I wrote a book called 100 Huntley Street which was first published in 1979 by Logos International of New York City. In the early 1980’s it was published again by Thomas Nelson of Nashville, and then again in the late 1990’s under the title 100. Why tell you about this? My story of being filled for the first time with the Holy Spirit as a 16 year old is on pages 40 and 41 of the original publication. Perhaps if you know anyone who has watched or supported 100 Huntley Street over the years, ask them if they have a copy for you. I’m greatly blessed by the memories, but most of all by experiencing the Presence and fullness of the Holy Spirit right now.

Yours for being filled, and keeping filled, with the Holy Spirit,

David

P.S. Luke, the New Testament historian, is right on!!! Good history is a record of what actually happened according to those whose stories are told and those who were eye witnesses. I believe that Luke, a physician, spent at least two years interviewing the people whose stories are in his Gospel. He did this while his leader in ministry, the Apostle Paul, was in Roman custody in Caesarea, the capital city of the Roman province of Palestine. These P.S. thoughts are for the purpose of showing that the Bible is “RELIABLE!” Tomorrow…Did the enemies of Jesus living at the time ever write anything which contradicted the Gospel stories?

Monday, September 17, 2018

EQUIPPED TO SERVE

Today’s Reading: Luke 10

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 covering is built over the place thought to be the Good Samaritan Inn, on an ancient road between Jerusalem and Jericho. In my “100 Personal Words” I tell the story of my friend Bob who learned a “Good Samaritan” lesson.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Luke 10:18-19

And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you…”

 

Here we are back in school as “Talmudim,” students in Jesus’ study class for disciples. First, Jesus teaches us that He has a prayer request of us! (verse 2). Second, Jesus says “Yes” to His prayer request when we pray it. He says to us, “You, yes you, are the answer to My request for prayer.” Third, Jesus equips us for the harvest of precious souls by giving us His authority. Fourth, He teaches us to beware of the sin of pride in the results He gives us. Jesus does not say, “Good job” to the seventy. He immediately refers to Satan’s fall from Heaven as a result of pride and the desire for self exaltation. Fifth, Jesus instructs us that the greatest reason for His joy and our rejoicing is the fact that our names are written in Heaven. Sixth, as any good trial lawyer, the man who asked the question of Jesus already knew the answer. Seventh, The Good Samaritan story teaches what true ministry is all about. Eighth, like Mary, we learn to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn from Him.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, the prayer request You ask Your pupils to pray is obviously very important to You. I’m available as a labourer in Your harvest field. “Here I am, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). I ask You, Lord, to consider this blog as a small part of my daily labour. Help me to be a Holy Spirit starter, and not just a self starter for the rest of today and tonight until I retire to bed. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

When I work in His harvest field, all I have to do is pray with anyone who’s willing to have me pray with them, share the Word of God concerning their need, give them money and time, work with my hands whenever the opportunity presents itself, and Jesus will take care of the results. He will accomplish His purpose in each willing mind and heart. He gets all the credit. According to Luke 17:10, having done my duty, I’m to consider myself an “unprofitable servant.” I know that the correct attitude will enable me to avoid the sin of Satan, pride.

I am reminded of the Good Samaritan by Reynold’s picture. I have a friend named Bob Curle who spoke in our chapel. He said, “I always prayed to be the Good Samaritan, and one morning while sitting in Church the Lord spoke to me. He said, ‘You can’t be the Good Samaritan, that’s My job. You are the innkeeper. I’ll bring hurting needy people to you. I’ll provide the necessary funds, and when I return you’ll be paid in full.'” I really enjoy going to Jesus’ school daily.

Yours for the best education in the universe,

David

P.S. As I indicated yesterday, Luke, as an historian, covers 70 years of history. All major religions, other than Judaism and Christianity, have as their essential writings mystical or instructional books which originate with a prophet or teacher. Because they are personal and private writings, they cannot be proven either true or false. Luke, on the other hand, gives names of persons, places and public events. The historical accuracy of his work can be proven to anyone who does not let personal bias blind his eyes to truth (more, God willing, over the next few days).

Sunday, September 16, 2018

DAILY

Today’s Reading: Luke 9

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).

 

Tabgha is situated on the north-western shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. It is the traditional site of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. This altar is built over the place where it is said that Jesus took the two fish and five loaves of bread and blessed them. I like to think that in His DAILY early morning prayer time, Jesus received His confirmation from His Father for the miracle of the feeding of the thousands of hungry people.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Luke 9:23

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me…”

Peter, Andrew, James and John left their nets. Levi (Matthew) left his tax collecting post. The others left whatever it was they were doing. Now Jesus teaches that this decision must be made DAILY! As God, Jesus made the decision, with His Father, to become Man. As Man, He learned DAILY to live in obedience. “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Isaiah 50:4 says, “He awakens me morning by morning to hear as the learned.” In verse 7 of Isaiah 50, the experience of the Messiah is described this way, “I have set my face as a flint.” This blog is designed to help us all every day in making a fresh decision to follow Jesus.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I confess that most mornings I would like to stay in bed for another hour, but I know that I cannot follow You closely without doing as Jesus did, taking up His cross daily. I praise You for the grace You give me to follow You. Please continue to give me the gift of discipline every day. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

[Written by David September 16, 2016]

As some readers know, I was told by the experts in March 2012 that I had two years to live. Thanks to the professionals and the Lord Himself, as a result of your prayers, that “expiry date” has been changed. God knows! I’ve been in hospital ever since shortly after my 80th birthday on August 13th. They say I have cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection. Some speculate that an insect bite might be the original cause. The infection, particularly seen on my right leg, is now in retreat.  Praise the Lord!

I take comfort in that often-repeated Bible verse, “His mercy endures forever.” That’s found 26 times in Psalm 136. God is consistent. I need to learn by making a deliberate decision every single day to follow Jesus more consistently. How are you, my blog partner, doing in this department?

Yours for “daily” following Jesus,

David

P.S. Luke, the Physician, is the primary historian of the New Testament. In Luke and Acts he covers a period of 70 years. Over the next few days, I would like to beg the indulgence of readers as I write in the P.S. some thoughts on the reliability of the historical record of Scripture!

 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

A HUNDREDFOLD

Today’s Reading: Luke 8

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 path, bordered by wheat fields, leading down from the Mount of Beatitudes to the Sea of Galilee. Does this look like a 100-fold return on the original seed sown?

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Luke 8:8

“…But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

 

This reading begins with the deliverance of Mary Magdalene from seven demons. It also contains the deliverance of the man on the other side of the lake who had many demons. What are we to make of this? We hear little of deliverance from demons now. Why? Perhaps it is because of the lack of the Gift of the Spirit known as “discerning of spirits” (1 Corinthians 12:10). First Corinthians 12:31 tells us to “earnestly desire the best gifts.” The outward expression of these two tormented people varied. Jesus’ way of dealing with them varied and the results varied. Mary of Magdala was the first at Jesus’ empty tomb, and the second was sent home by Jesus to minister to His family. May I suggest that the key to a ministry of deliverance is in our key verse…”a hundredfold.” Let us move from 30 and 60 on up to our full potential in Christ. Other spiritual gifts necessary in deliverance are most certainly: “The word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith” (1 Corinthians12:8). Please take note of the word “another.” Powerful results will be seen when we work in unity with others!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You are my Deliverance! In You I trust! Hallelujah! Please send Your Holy Spirit to accelerate my growth towards that 100-fold goal. I desperately need that “more excellent way” spoken of by Paul (1 Corinthians 12:31) and described in 1 Corinthians 13, “the way of love.” Please fill me with Your love and grant me wisdom in all my ministry. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve learned through 64 years since God called me to ministry that love is the essential ingredient. Love calls me to great care for others, to respecting each person as made in God’s image, to work with others closely, submitting one to another, and not allowing any one person to manipulate or lord it over others. “God is love” (1 John 4:8). In my devotions earlier, I read 1 John, chapters 2 to 4. Also, I read 1 Corinthians 13. I’ve taken note that this “Love Chapter” is like the meat in the sandwich of chapters 12 and 14. These chapters are about the Gifts. Without a full growth of the Fruit of the Spirit, which is “Love,” gifts exercised in a loveless way can do more harm than good (Galatians 5:22-23). I need to constantly remember that the “fruit of the Spirit” is the character of Jesus and the “gifts of the Spirit” were the means through which He ministered to human need. Though He was fully God, He functioned as a Man, 100% filled with the Holy Spirit. Oh, how I pray fervently for a greater measure of the fullness of God’s Spirit. I’m gazing into His face by faith now as the Holy Spirit fills me for this new day. As John wrote, “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). My heart is so full that I’ve typed well over my goal of 100 words. Please be patient with me.

Yours for 100-fold living in Christ,

David

Friday, September 14, 2018

GREAT FAITH

Today’s Reading: Luke 7

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).

 

In the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, this octagonal baptismal font in the south aisle dates from the 6th-century church of Justinian; it originally stood near the high altar. The inscription reads, “For remembrance, rest and remission of sins of those whose names the Lord knows.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Luke 7:9

When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

 

From yesterday’s reading we are to be “talmudim,” disciples, students, of Jesus. Today we learn more from our Teacher, Jesus. In the last verse of chapter 7, we learn that the woman had “faith.” “Great faith” is not just believing for our sins to be forgiven, but a recognition of the absolute authority of Jesus. Authority is communicated by words. In the case of this Roman officer, he gave commands and was obeyed. His authority came from Caesar, the Emperor of Rome. His “great faith” was in recognizing that Jesus’ authority came from Almighty God. When Jesus speaks, it is done! We need to read and listen for His Word. Like the officer, ask Him to “speak the Word.” God’s Word for this new day is powerful. I suggest we read this chapter a second time. Jesus is speaking to us.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I’m reading and listening. I’m learning as Your student about “great faith.” I recognize Your authority over me. Please give me the grace to obey You. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I remember being stopped on a busy Toronto street by a police woman. She raised her hand and I obeyed. Thousands of pounds of metal came to a halt at her gesture. I thought, “She does not have the power physically to stop all these cars, but she has the authority.” She is backed up by the city, the province, the government of Canada, and the Queen. I thought, how much more should I instantly obey Jesus. He’s backed up by all the authority of the cosmos. He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples [students] of all the nations” (Matthew 28:18b & 19a). I’m confident that this blog is done in obedience to what I believe Jesus has spoken to me. Please, if you have not already done so, check out the story of how this blog came to be. Click here.

Yours, recognizing the universal authority of Jesus,

David

Thursday, September 13, 2018

TALMUDIM

Today’s Reading: Luke 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 hills above the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, near Capernaum. It’s possible that Jesus walked this very hill to find His place of all-night prayer (Luke 6:12).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

Key Verse: Luke 6:12-13

Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles…

 

The word in the Hebrew language for disciple is “talmudim.” In Israel, even the little child who started school a few days ago is a “talmudim,” a student, a learner. We are Jesus’ students. What can we learn from today’s reading? (1) Is it possible that the religious leaders would rather have left the man in his crippled state? Before we condemn these guardians of religious rules and regulations, let’s be sure we cannot find ourselves in their midst. How often have we prevented the moving of the Holy Spirit because what was happening did not fit into our existing structures? On the Sabbath day, Jesus healed a man and allowed His disciples to harvest some grain. We must not allow a religious spirit to trump the freedom of the Holy Spirit to do all He desires to do. (2) After rejecting the rules of the Scribes and Pharisees, Jesus gives His rules. These are the really difficult rules. These rules can never be obeyed apart from the Holy Spirit in us and upon us. You may want to read these again…verses 27 to 38. Can we keep these commandments on our own? Think about it. Be a “talmudim.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, for over three years You had “talmudim,” students under Your teaching. I am Your kindergarten pupil. Teach me today and empower me by Your Spirit to obey Your instructions. I ask these mercies in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m painfully challenged by Jesus’ teaching and also His example. Before calling His apostles from among His disciples, He spent a night in prayer to God. How often I could’ve avoided poor decisions if I had spent more time in prayer. I’ve tried to take myself by the scruff of my neck and force myself to spend nights of prayer. Most times I have fallen asleep on my knees, but there were times when God the Holy Spirit moved so powerfully that I could not sleep if I tried. One was when President Jimmy Carter was at Camp David with President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel. I can’t explain that night except for the empowering of the Holy Spirit on me to pray. Another time was when a precious baby was not expected to live the night. On both occasions God answered prayer with a “Yes.” Others were praying also, I’m sure, but I was part of a victory as a result of strong and prolonged prayer.

Yours for being students of the Teacher of teachers,

David