Sunday, May 12, 2019

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 3

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

 

Here at the southern end of the Dead Sea you can see how dry and difficult the land would be to inhabit or even cross. The Kings of Israel and Judah took this route in their campaign against Moab, and here God provided the miracle of water.

 

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 3:15

But now bring me a musician.

What was Elisha doing? Why, when they wanted to hear from God, would he ask for a musician? Does this make sense? Yes! For anyone who has experienced the wonderful uplifting impact of worshipping God through music, it does make sense.
The Psalms continually urge us to sing and make music in joyful praise and worship! Psalms 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 101, and others exhort us to sing unto the Lord (click here for Psalm 100). Before we began the 100 Huntley Street daily telecasts, Psalm 100 was given to us by the Lord. We did several TV specials from 1975 to 1977 where we raised child care support for Calcutta, India. When this Psalm was read live on air and we would sing God’s praise, the telephones, which had been silent, filled with calls from new sponsors. God did miracles. He encouraged many people to hear from Him and respond as we worshipped. We turned these child sponsors over to World Vision for their excellent administration. This began the use of TV by World Vision, and they have become the largest child care agency in the world. Millions of children and their families have been recipients of this miracle of provision from God.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I sing unto You “a new song.” I pray for Your Holy Spirit to fill me with the refreshing water of life. You said, Lord Jesus, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). I’m doing that just now as I worship You. My spiritual thirst is being quenched. Thank You, Jesus!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

This month we will celebrate mothers! I’ve been so very blessed by the music of the mother of my four children. In the churches I pastored, she played piano or organ and led choirs. I was reading my diary from January 2, 1963. Here’s some of what I read: “We measured the children and weighed them. Elaine, 3′ 5″ and 40 lbs – Ellen, 3′ and 30 lbs – Reynold 2′ 8″ and 29 lbs. Norma-Jean is 3 and 1/2 months pregnant and weighs ???” (I’m being careful here). I love you, mother of my children. X0 X0! Ron arrived on May 29th, 1963, in the Deep River hospital. Ann, the mother of Ron’s three children, also gave birth to their daughter Andrea on May 29th, 1986. Andrea is now married to Rev. Jason Patterson, has earned her PhD, and is a mother of two herself.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you who have biological or adopted children and all women who celebrate being spiritual mothers to many children!

Yours because of “MOTHERS,”

David

P.S. Here’s a link I found on You Tube to a beautiful rendition of “Sing Unto the Lord” by a lovely couple. I believe they are from India (click here). You may have to endure an automobile commercial before the song, but it’s worth waiting for.

Another photo of the desert wilderness at the south end of the Dead Sea. David Reynold, our oldest son, has taken some amazing photographs. I must include soon some of his Uganda photos where he and the mother of his three children, Kathy, serve as missionaries.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

GUIDANCE

Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 1-2

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

 

In the Ancient Agora Museum in Athens Greece is a monument base commemorating the victory in a race at the Panathenaic Games from the 4th century BC. In these games a fully armed warrior jumps on and off a moving chariot. In today’s reading a chariot and horses of fire appear.

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

 

Key Verse: 2 Kings 1:6a

So they said to him, “A man came up to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go, return to the king who sent you, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?…'”‘”

The first lesson from today’s reading is that we are to have nothing to do with any aspect of the occult. It’s tempting to try to know the future through non-biblical means. Seeking such knowledge brought the curse of death on Ahaziah. Let us heed the warning of Elijah!
The second lesson is that we must avoid distractions. The word to Elisha was that if he saw Elijah ascend, he would receive a double portion (the eldest son received double what others received as an inheritance, because he took care of needy family members). If Elisha had watched the chariot and the horses, he would have missed the blessing. He focused totally on Elijah, who was not taken up in the chariot, but in a whirlwind. Let us, with laser-like focus, keep our eyes on Jesus, and not be distracted by miracles, signs and wonders.
Thirdly, consider the differences between Elijah and Elisha. Elijah, according to the Scriptures, is a type of John the Baptist (Matthew 17:10-13). Elisha reminds us of Jesus. Elijah’s ministry emphasized judgment and the Law. He lived an austere life separated from the people. Elisha lived in constant touch with ordinary people, and his ministry emphasized life and grace.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, please help me to focus on You and You alone. You hold my future in Your hands. I trust You for daily guidance. Grant me grace to keep my eyes on You, Lord Jesus, and I know that as I refuse to be distracted, I can’t go wrong. Thank You, Jesus! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have a friend named Herman. Herman was a salesman for Litton Industries, a company that, among other products, manufactured a system for aircraft called “Inertial Navigation.” One day he shared this story with me…

“I’ve just sold and installed one of our systems in the corporate jet of the President of Home Oil of Calgary, Alberta. In order to have automatic guidance to your destination, you punch into the onboard computer the co-ordinates of the latitude and longitude of your desired destination. The unit was installed in Toronto and carried the President to Calgary. Herman received a call from Calgary about four hours after departure. The President sounded angry. He said, ‘We got over Calgary air space and then trouble. It landed us one foot to the left of the centre line on the runway.’ Then he burst into laughter.”

What amazing accuracy! The lesson Herman taught me was that if I want guidance, I simply put God’s promises into effect by praying and believing, and then take off. He has promised guidance to His desired destination for my life. This removes the potential for human error. Solomon got it right when he wrote, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Yours to help navigate our lives always to the centre line on the runway of life. God’s will is our destination, and we must not be distracted by other considerations,

David

Arrowheads displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Pella, Greece.

A warrior’s helmet displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Pella, Greece. By the time the books of Kings conclude, Greece was just beginning to rise as a world military power.

 

Friday, May 10, 2019

THE PROPHETIC WORD

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 22

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

 

A panoramic view from the top of the Golan Heights looking west over the south end of the Sea of Galilee.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Kings 22:15

Then he came to the king; and the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain?”

Micaiah is a prophet worth listening to. In verse 14 he makes this statement: “Whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” For us who are believers in Jesus, we may do well to read and pay close attention to the Apostle Peter who wrote about prophets. Read 2 Peter 1:15-21 and 2 Peter 2:1-3. There were false prophets in our reading for today. There are false prophets today. How do we recognize a false prophet? They will “exploit” because they covet our approval and our money for their own advantage. How do we recognize the truth when it is spoken as New Testament believers? According to Paul, the gift of prophecy will bring “edification, exhortation, and comfort” to us (1 Corinthians 14:3). New Testament prophecy is described as “the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 19:10b). Peter has warned us that we should expect to come across “false teachers” (2 Peter 2:1). We should ask ourselves these questions:  Does a teacher stick closely to the Scriptures? Is Jesus front and centre? Is the teaching in line with the historical understanding of Christian doctrine, or is it, as Peter warned us, a “private interpretation?”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear Lord, please keep me true to You and to Your Word. I do want to be true to Your Word, as Micaiah said, “Whatever the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” What You have said, Lord, is here in my Bible. I pray that I will let You speak through my Bible as Peter said, “The prophetic Word made more sure” (2 Peter 1:19a). I recognize that the written Word is “more sure.” Please continue to open the eyes of my understanding every day as I continue this Bible reading discipline. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

A while back I came across an old letter from my mother to a young man named Jim, who was interested in my teenage sister, Elaine. Elaine is almost six years older than I am. I really liked Jim and hoped he and Elaine would someday be married, but it was not to be. I was eleven at the time. Anyway, here’s some good advice for us all from Mother’s letter…

“It is an encouragement for us to know if we have helped someone heavenward. But then we remember that if we are living close to Jesus our influence is always telling for Him. If we get out of touch, we are ‘scattering abroad,’ instead of ‘gathering with Him.’ Last Sunday I had the privilege of teaching a class of girls, including Elaine [my sister]. One of them told us how she was troubled because evil thoughts would come to her mind. She never dwelt on them, but if she was right with God, these thoughts should not come. We told her that the very fact that she hated those thoughts and put them from her was proof that they had no part in her life. Christ was tempted, even to devil worship, but He resisted the devil. She surprised me in the evening service by coming and thanking me, as this which had troubled her for a long time was cleared up. And so the Lord does use each one of us to help others if we live where we are useable.”

My mother died just six months after she wrote that letter to Jim. Some years ago, when Jim became a Pastor in Hamilton, he gave me two letters he had received from my mother. I treasure these letters. I have given one to each of my two daughters, Elaine and Ellen.

Yours for reading God’s “more sure Word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19a – King James Version).

David

Thursday, May 9, 2019

SULKING, POUTING, ETC.

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 21

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

 

A present-day vineyard in what was ancient Samaria.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Kings 21:4

So Ahab went into his house sullen and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no food.

A big baby, a spoiled brat always used to having his own way, a sulker, etc…these are names that come to mind to describe Ahab. He tried to get his own way by manipulating other people. Then there was his wife, Jezebel. She was the daughter of a neighbouring king and probably had seen her father get his way by exercising raw power. It becomes a “do it my way or else” approach to challenges. Both approaches are caution signs, warning “immature people ahead!”
God has provided a way out for both the victim of such childishness and for the one who succumbs to such “poor me” efforts to manipulate others. Repent of such attitudes and actions. Refuse to be an enabler of such actions. Ahab would not have bothered to sulk unless he knew that by so doing Jezebel would feel sorry for him and spring into action.
Ahab tried to turn his life around by going through acts showing repentance, and God’s judgment was postponed for a time. However, the prophet’s predictions would eventually come to pass.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will not succumb to the fleshly impulse to sulk and pout over my circumstances. May I mature into Jesus’ faithful follower. And please Father, when I “grow up,” I want to be like Your Son, Jesus. In His Name I ask for Your help, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I remember saying several times to my students when I was a public school teacher, “Grow up!” A chapter title in my most recent book (This Far By Faith) is “From Mess to Maturity, a Work in Process.” GROW UP! I remember the Apostle Paul wrote something about this. He tells us to be no longer children, manipulated by trickery, craftiness, and outright deception. I’ve just read for a New Testament reading, Ephesians 4:11-16. Words such as “equipping – edifying – perfect (complete) – stature – fullness” cause me to do spiritual stretching exercises.

When my children were little and they would pout, I kept a mirror handy so I could show them their facial expression. It’s really hard to retain a snit when you look in a mirror. That screwed-up face would soon become a smile and then lots of laughter. It has been said, “Laughter is the best medicine,” and I would add that laughing at one’s self is, without a doubt, the very best kind of laughter. Need a good laugh? I have a suggestion. Go to the mirror now and make the face you used to make as a child when you were really feeling sorry for yourself because of real or imagined hurt feelings. I’ve just done that. What a good laugh!

Yours for continuing to “grow up,”

David

A man stands atop a large pillar base in the ruins of ancient Samaria.

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

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

SULLEN AND DISPLEASED

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 20

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

 

The Damascus Gate in Jerusalem leads to the Damascus road, which runs from the capital city of Israel to the capital of Syria. This was a major thoroughfare even in the days of King Ahab and King Ben Hadad. Of course, the Apostle Paul had his life-transforming experience with Jesus on the road to Damascus! (Acts 9).

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Kings 20:43

So the King of Israel went to his house sullen and displeased, and came to Samaria.

 

Here is a prime example of a failure in godly leadership by King Ahab. The Lord arranged tests for Ahab. Ahab failed those tests! While Ahab still had his title as King, his wife, Jezebel, had become the real leader. Yesterday’s reading began with the words, “And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done.” Then Jezebel took over. Verse two of 1 Kings 19 says, “Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying…” There is no doubt that after the Mt. Carmel confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, Ahab knew what was right and what he should do. He was too weak as a leader to take his place of authority as King and as a husband. Now, in today’s reading, Ahab continues to waffle in his decisions. While Jezebel is not mentioned in the 20th chapter, we can be sure that Ahab continued in the pattern already established. No doubt he “told Jezebel all.” God was seeking to lead Ahab, but while Ahab knew the victory God gave initially over Ben Hadad, he failed to follow God’s leading fully. Ahab’s reaction to the final word of a prophet of God, probably a graduate of Elijah’s School of the Prophets, caused him to pout in a childish way. Ahab needed to call on God fervently, man up, and lead according to the way God instructed him. He failed to do so. His leadership was slipping away.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, there is a lesson for me to learn here. Two characters in today’s reading failed to follow through as You had instructed. May I hear Your instructions clearly and may I have the intestinal fortitude to follow through. Please keep me from being “sullen and displeased.” I need Your strength, Lord. In the Name of the strongest Leader ever, the Lord Jesus, Himself, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

The night before last, as Norma-Jean and I were about to close our eyes in sleep, I turned to her and said, “Thank you, darling, for your support of my leadership.” I didn’t bring this up, but in our marriage ceremony almost 59 years ago, she actually promised to obey me. In this day of political correctness, that sounds positively old fashioned. In my early days of ministry, it was generally agreed that the internal discussions of the Board of Deacons in the churches I pastored, and later in the Board of Crossroads, stayed there, and a Deacon or Director would not do as Ahab did in telling all to his wife. From a personal point of view, I wanted to leave these matters inside the Boardroom. I very much wanted my home and my marriage relationship to concentrate on our family and our relationship as husband and wife. I think I can say that the result was harmony in our home, and some success in the ministry to which God called me. For this I give God the glory. Please forgive me if I’ve offended anyone here. It’s just that every time I read about Jezebel, I’m amazed at her control over her husband. Why, even Elijah, fresh from the victory of God sending the fire to consume the sacrifice, was overpowered by her.

Yours for hearing from God,

David

This is the original Damascus Gate from the time of Jesus. It’s below the level of the current gate pictured above.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

SUCCESSOR

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 19

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

 

A view of the Sea of Galilee from the north shore. Jesus commanded, “Peace be still.”

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Kings 19:12

After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

Here we are brought to a standstill as we catch a glimpse of the stillness there is in God. Let us remember how Jesus slept while His disciples struggled with the storm. Jesus brings a stillness to our lives (Mark 4:35-41). By faith we understand this and we come to rest in Him.
The revelation of God to Elijah was preceded by violent signs. We must understand that if we choose to follow God’s call and engage head on with the enemy of our souls, we will be thrown into the midst of the struggle. This is war! Those who engage in the struggle must do so with total confidence in the assurance of the ultimate victory of our God.This will be our constant experience as we live with inner stillness, while engaged in the struggle.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m listening for Your gentle whisper. Father, in spite of the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, I pray that I will hear Your “still small voice.” In the Name of the One who said, “My peace I give unto you,” the Lord of all, Jesus Christ (John 14:27), Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have great memories from 1978 when Norma-Jean and I saved for quite a while to take our sons to Israel. The girls had come to Israel with us a couple of years before this. The boys’ high school principal, David Craig, told us, “Your sons will learn more in that month than they could ever learn in the same time in high school. You have my permission to take them out of school for a month.” Reynold, Ron and I backpacked from place to place, and Norma-Jean, with a friend’s van, would meet us with supplies from time to time.

On Mt. Carmel we read the chapters we’ve been reading in this blog for the past two days, and we wondered how Elijah could arrive back in Samaria before Ahab got there (18:45-46). Then as we climbed down the east side of Mt. Carmel, we realized that Elijah probably went down the way we were taking, while Ahab, with his horses and chariots, had to go down the gentle slope of the mountain which went in a westerly direction, the opposite direction from Samaria, before he could turn east again.

In a very real sense, I’m travelling every day through the land of the Bible as I read, meditate, pray, and write this blog. After I have finished writing between 4:00 and 6:00 a.m., I am “still.” The telephone never rings. No one knocks at the door, except Jesus. The old hymn says, “Blessed quietness, holy quietness, blest assurance in my soul!” (click here for the lyrics).

Yours for waiting on God in the quiet place,

David

 

Monday, May 6, 2019

ELIJAH

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 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).

 

Ruins of ancient Samaria-Sebaste, capital of King Ahab and the northern 10 tribes of Israel. The prophets of Baal, Jezebel’s religion, dominated here when Elijah showed up. The ruins populate the hillside and comprise remains from six successive cultures dating back thousands of years: Canaanite, Israelite, Hellenistic, Herodian, Roman and Byzantine. This photo was taken in the modern Palestinian authority territory.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Kings 18:22

Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.”

 

Who would have guessed that the odds favoured the one against so many formidable opponents? Yet that is precisely what happened. This dramatic confrontation has frequently drawn the comment, “One person with God is always a majority.” However, as Elijah learned, there were actually 100 other prophets of the Lord hiding (in 2 caves of 50 each), waiting for the day when they could boldly take a public stand once again. We should never give in to a “poor me pity party.” God ensures that we are never alone.

The Apostle Paul, in words to Timothy, felt very alone (Read 2 Timothy 4:9-16). But then he rallied and declared, “The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen”!!! Take time to worship God along with our prayers! He promised never to leave us alone. He’s over us, under us, around us and in us. Rejoice!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your eternal Word, which will never pass away, declares, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4b). Please grant me a constant awareness of Your presence. May I be as Paul urged me, “Be filled with Your Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). In the Name of the One who was filled at all times with the fullness of God, my Friend who sticks closer than a brother, the Lord Jesus. AMEN!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m very aware that there are more ungodly leaders featured here in Kings than godly ones. Therefore, I’m taking comfort in the fact that, while there are bad leaders in our world today, there are also some good ones. Over the last two days I’ve mentioned President Reagan of the USA and Canada’s second leader, Prime Minister MacKenzie. I’ve also mentioned a very godly leader of Great Britain, Prime Minister Gladstone, who sponsored missions all over the U.K. where people were led to Christ. He was the one who negotiated with our Canadian leaders for separation without violence. The 13 British colonies to the south fought a bloody war for separation. It would seem that in the case of the United States, while there were some godly leaders on the American side, they did not have godly people to deal with in England. The colonies to the north waited about 90 years, but Canada was born without bloodshed. One of the people on the Canadian side was a man whom God used by the name of Sir John A. MacDonald, our first Prime Minister. I sat for at least an hour beside his grave in Kingston, Ontario, meditating on all I had read about him over the years. Yes, he had an alcohol problem. Yes, he was a flawed human being like all of us, but he dreamed big dreams. I sat in his seat in the Presbyterian Church he attended in Kingston. I was the guest of the minister, Rev. Max Putnam, who was serving as Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. I had studied history but learned for the first time from Max that John A. MacDonald had undergone an experience of genuine conversion to Christ, and for the last years of his life he shunned alcohol. Sometime later, in Grimsby, Ontario, I was shown a poster advertising a Methodist camp meeting at which our first Prime Minister was guest preacher. Finally, the press got it right in an article in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper headlined, “THE DAY SIR JOHN A. MET JESUS!” I’ll try to attach the article within the next couple of days, if I can locate it.

Yours to help encourage people in whom we can believe to run for leadership positions in all areas of human concern,

David

Sir John A. MacDonald, 1815-1891, first Prime Minister of Canada, 1867-1873. He served a second term as PM from 1878-1891.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

GODLY CHARACTER IN LEADERS

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings15-16

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

 

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

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

 

Key Verses: 1 Kings 15:11 & 14b

Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did his father David……Asa’s heart was loyal to the Lord all his days.

 

Here’s some encouragement for us all. While kings who did evil in God’s eyes came and went with frequency in the northern 10 tribes, now called Israel, Asa, King of Judah, remained constant for 41 years. Character, formed by a rock-solid determination to always do what is right, will win in the long run. Often there are difficult times for the person who fervently desires to please the Lord, and sometimes it seems that a short cut would be advantageous, but we must resist. We need to ask God to harden our backbones, keeping us upright in all our decisions and deeds.

What a marked contrast between Asa in the south and Ahab in the north. “Ahab did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him” (1 Kings 16:30). Nevertheless, God had a plan! We are about to witness the arrival of a firebrand preacher in the north by the name of Elijah.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord, someone asked, “Where is the God of Elijah?” The answer came back, “He’s waiting for an Elijah to call on Him!” I’m calling on You, Lord God! Others are calling on You! I pray that You will continue to show Yourself strong through me and others. In the Name of Someone greater than Elijah, the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!!!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

The character of our political leaders is so very important (Asa and Ahab). Our second Canadian Prime Minister, The Rt. Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, was solidly converted to Christ back in Scotland before he came to Canada. As our first Leader of Canada’s Loyal Opposition, he was involved in the negotiations with Britain for our peaceful separation from political and economic control. I’ve had the privilege to lecture on Mackenzie’s life to political parties; I extolled the virtues of this man before the Law Society of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Here’s just one story about this godly leader.

Prime Minister Mackenzie arrived at his office at 7:00 a.m. each morning. The Prophet Daniel, Mackenzie’s political hero, prayed with his window open each day (Daniel 6:10-13). Mackenzie, with the door open and on his knees, would pray out loud for God’s blessings on Canada for a new day. This was repeated at noon and again before he left for home at 7:00 in the evening. His staff, who were expected to arrive before him in the morning and leave after him at night, would gather around the door to listen to the Prime Minister pray. All Canadians need to know that this may be one of the main reasons why Canada has been blessed so greatly.

Yours for living “right in the eyes of the Lord,”

David

Rt. Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, 1822-1892, Canada’s second Prime Minister from 1873-1878.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

JUDGMENT

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 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).

 

You can still see the enormous cut rocks that were thrown down onto the street from the upper walls of the Temple Mount by the Roman soldiers during the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Kings 14:22

Now Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done.

“Here we go again.” This was a defining line spoken by candidate Ronald Reagan to President Jimmy Carter in an election debate in 1980. As President, Reagan used the word “evil.” The chattering class was incredulous. An American President had actually used that word to describe the relationship between North Korea and Iran. He also used that word to describe the Soviet Union, calling it “the evil empire.” As Governor of California and before that as a young actor, he had benefited from the outstanding Bible teaching of a solid evangelical by the name of Henrietta Mears, as well as one of those she mentored, Reagan’s Pastor at the Bel Air Presbyterian church, Rev. Don Moomaw. Another one she mentored well was Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ. Reagan learned to tell it like it is, as the Bible does. In our reading today the “here we go again” cycle begins. But let us not be discouraged; every once in a while we’ll read stories about kings like Asa, who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” Imagine, a man with the fortitude to remove his own grandmother from the position of Queen Mother because she had created and erected a pornographic image of a pagan goddess. We’ll keep watching for the good guys in upcoming readings.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, the wheels of justice grind our deeds, as the saying goes, “exceedingly fine.” As Job 23:10 tells me, when You have tested me, may I “come forth as gold.” Grant me the grace to obey You as Job did, and most of all as Jesus, who lives within me, did. In His all-sufficient Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

One story in my latest book is about my last grandson, Nathaniel Shaheen. The account is longer than I have space for here. You may be interested in ordering my book by calling Crossroads at 1-800-265-3100. He was born in the Hadassah hospital on Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, in November of 2000. A serious bowel restriction almost took his life at birth, but his Dad, Nizar, and his Grandma, Norma-Jean, took a handkerchief, poured oil on it, and had our tour group, who were visiting Israel at that time, lay hands on the cloth and pray. At least one of our group touched God, because as the hanky was laid on Nathaniel, he began to improve. Five months later, his mother, Ellen, travelled to Canada to visit us, and Nathaniel was diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis. He was dying. He was rushed to McMaster Children’s Hospital for emergency surgery. As the surgeon came into the waiting room following the operation, I said, “Doctor, just before you tell us the results, take a look at the TV. There on the screen was a repeat of 100 Huntley Street which I had hosted earlier that day. The children in the studio audience were joining me in prayer for Nathaniel and his surgeon. Doctor Walton’s first words were, “Well it worked! I was able to remove the dead bowel tissue and connect perfect pink tissue. He will be fine.” Click here to see that video from 2001 (I want to thank Joan Rock of our Crossroads/CTS team for digging out the video from our archives).

Yours for knowing a personal God who cares about us all,

David

P.S. Below are photos of Nathaniel Shaheen as a baby and as a 14-year-old young man. Here, he was quarterback for his high school in Burlington, Ontario.

Nathaniel Shaheen

Nathaniel Shaheen, age 14.

 

Friday, May 3, 2019

DIVISION

Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 12

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

 

Beyond the security fence, looking from Israel into Palestine, you can see the area that was ancient Bethany. It is now the present day Arab village of Al-Ezareyya, the Arabic name for Lazarus, the one Jesus raised from the dead in Bethany. This area is situated on the Eastern slope of the Mount of Olives.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Kings 12:13

Then the king answered the people roughly, and rejected the advice which the elders had given him…

As the wall in the photograph shows, the land is divided. In the days of Rehoboam and Jeroboam, it was also divided. Friedrich Hegel, the philosopher, said, “We learn from history that we don’t learn from history.” Rehoboam may have been able to maintain unity if he had taken time to read Scriptures from Moses, Joshua, his grandfather David, and his father Solomon. Political leaders then and now need the wisdom of the ages and the sages. We need to pray, not only for our western leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-8), but particularly for Jerusalem and the whole region. The current population consists of Jews and Arabs. “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” King David wrote those words. We may want to read that Psalm and honour his prayer request (Psalm 122).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Yes, Lord, I pray right now for the peace of Jerusalem. Only You, Lord God, fully understand all the issues involved. Please give wisdom to the leadership of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas. There is nothing impossible for You. Just as You gave David and Solomon the wisdom to bring about decades of peace, please do it again. In the Name of Jesus, the One who is the Prince of Peace, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned the wisdom that can be found in the diligent study of God’s Word. People who have shown themselves to possess wisdom should also be read and studied. Another of my heroes that I’ve mentioned before is the late Rev. Tom Johnstone. He was what you would call “self-educated.” He was a voracious reader who had a brilliant mind, but he did not leave us his thoughts in books. It’s a pity. One time I was visiting the Seniors’ residence, Shepherd Village in Toronto, calling on some of my “old” friends. I noticed a very distinguished looking man around 50 years old who was just leaving the building. I said to Joan Telford, the Administrator, “Who is that man?” She said, “Oh, he’s a Professor of Mathematics from the University of Toronto. He’s been visiting Tom Johnstone.” Tom would’ve been about 95 then. She went on to say, “There are a number of Professors who visit him regularly to learn from him.” Why was I not surprised? He had learned deeply in many subjects. I visited him also. He was a friend who had been like a Grandfather to our children. There is great and wise advice found in James 1:1-7.

Yours, asking for wisdom from God, knowing that according to James, I will not be turned down,

David