Wednesday, September 30, 2015

NO, NOT ONE

Today’s Reading: Psalms 51-53

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

 

This is a fresco found in ancient Ephesus, which is in modern-day Turkey.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 51:10-12

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your generous Spirit.

 

The third Psalm in today’s reading tells us twice that “There is none who does good, no not one” (53:1, 3). David wrote eloquent words, but Jesus put our confession much more bluntly. Jesus told the story of the man who, while standing at the back of the Temple in Jerusalem, hit himself over and over on his chest crying out, “God be merciful to me a sinner!” Jesus said that this man went home justified before God! Jesus guarantees that this prayer will change our lives (see Luke 18:9-14). To support this fact we can believe other Scriptures. In John 6:37a, Jesus gives us His Word that “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” These are the Words of Jesus and when we believe these Words, we are received by God. We confess our sin and are assured by the Apostle John that “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Having done this, it’s of vital importance to tell a fellow believer. Here’s a toll-free number to call to talk to a caring person…Crossroads 24/7 prayer line: 1-866-273-4444.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I am making King David’s prayer my own! I’m reading to You the words found in our key verses, Psalm 51:10-12. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Yes, by God’s grace I seek to live in an attitude of sorrow for sin and joy in forgiveness 24/7. Two amazing evidences of God’s grace are found in the ministry of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc.  Coming up on Wednesday, October 14th, we broadcast live on the Global Network for a full hour, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. the 10,000th 100 Huntley Street telecast. Global is donating the extra half hour. My special thanks to Global for allowing us to purchase time for the past 10,000 shows. Dr. John Hull, our Crossroads Global CEO, has asked me to host this hour! This is a big challenge for me in my eightieth year. Please pray for me and spread the word! In the evening of the 14th on “YES TV,” John will host a live 100 Huntley Street…telecast #10,001″ This is an exciting new beginning for 100 Huntley Street!

The other miracle of grace is that more than 12 million ministry telephone calls have been answered on our Prayer Lines. Need prayer? Call 1-866-273-4444 toll free. I’m calling for prayer for my health, strength, and divine inspiration for the 14th!!!

Yours for learning from King David, and, most of all, from Jesus,

David

This Feline was kind enough to strike a pose in the smaller of the two amphitheatres in the ruins of ancient Ephesus.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

THE RULE OF LAW

Today’s Reading: Psalms 48-50

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

 

Israel’s flag flies proudly over Mt. Zion. In the distance you can see the Church of the Apostles and the Church of the Dormition. The first-century Christians met on Mt. Zion, where they built a Judaeo-Christian synagogue-church that became known as the Church of the Apostles. Over the centuries a succession of churches were built on the site and later destroyed. These included the great Byzantine Basilica Church of Hagia Sion (Holy Zion), known as the “Mother of all Churches,” which covered the entire area now occupied by the Church of the Dormition, the Cenacle and the Tomb of David. Also located on Mt. Zion is the traditional site of the Upper Room, where Jesus instituted the remembrance of His broken body, His shed blood, and where the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 people on the birthday of the Church (Acts 2).

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 49:15

But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave,

For He shall receive me.

 

The first two verses of today’s reading (Psalm 48) are sung, probably not with the same tune as the sons of Korah, but still in worship of the one and only “LORD” Who is “GREATLY TO BE PRAISED” (click here for a recording — and why not sing along!).

Psalm 48 is an amazing example of God revealing Himself long before people had much knowledge of God’s plan for resurrection, Heaven, and eternal life. C. S. Lewis states that God chose this approach because He wanted His people to love and serve Him for Himself, and not for the benefits they would receive from Him.

In Psalm 50, Asaph teaches us that as well as being our great King and our Redeemer, God is also our Judge & Jury, and because of His holiness and His “Rule of Law,” we will suffer the consequences of breaking His laws. Yes, we have the assurance that our sins are forgiven, but we must never forget that we will continue in this life to reap the results of sinful choices.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I am very aware that in this life I will reap what I have sown. Not only will I be affected by the consequences of my sin, but I bring sorrow and hardship on others, particularly my family members. I ask Your forgiveness Lord, and I have the assurance that You forgive me, but I also know that my body and the circumstances I have created by bad choices do not forgive. Therefore, Lord God, I pray fervently that You will keep me from sinning. Grant me the grace to truly repent of my sin, so that I quit sinning and begin living a truly holy life 24/7. In the Name of the One who lived a sinless life, Jesus my Lord! Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

This blog is a result of my daily devotions. I would be honoured if readers would post it on Facebook, etc. I ask you to pray for me so that the Holy Spirit will be able to bring helpful and inspirational messages from the heart of God.

Here in the western countries, we have deliberately subjected ourselves to “the rule of law.” Our Queen and other heads of state, along with our governments, police forces, the military, businesses, and individuals must all submit to the laws put in place by our elected governments. If a government is to function as our founders intended, it must submit to the highest law…The Rule of God’s Law! This is why the founders of Canada unanimously voted to make our definitive statement for our existence, “He [God] shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8 – see photo below). I confess with great sadness that my Canada has sinned against this commitment of our founders. I pray fervently that God will be merciful to Canada and Canadians. I love God, my eternal Saviour, and I fear God, the eternal Judge. The last eight statements in today’s Bible reading (50:16-23) puts the fear of breaking God’s laws into me. “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” AMEN!!!

Yours for living 24/7 under the rule of law, both man’s law and God’s law!!!

David

Psalm 72:8 is engraved into the stone of the main entrance on the centre block of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. Rising directly above these foundational words is the magnificent Peace Tower.

 

Monday, September 28, 2015

A GOOD THEME

Today’s Reading: Psalms 45-47

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

 

Glimpses of grandeur are seen everywhere as you walk through the ruins of ancient Philippi. The glory of ancient civilizations is in ruins, but not the glorious Church about which Jesus said, “I will build.” The Church is built of living stones; Jesus, Himself, is the Chief Cornerstone in the eternal building! (Ephesians 2:19-22).

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 46:1-2a, 47:1

God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear…

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!

Shout to God with the voice of triumph!

 

In yesterday’s reading, words such as “reproach, scorn, derision, dishonour, shame,” etc., were jumping out at us, but not so today. Today the words that stand out are, “a good theme, blessed, glory, majesty,” and over and over, “gladness.” The New Testament writer to the Hebrews quotes extensively from Psalm 45 (Hebrews 1:5-9).

Psalm 46 likens God to an unending river. These streams “make glad the city of God.” Psalm 47 begins with, “Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!” The sons of Korah, who composed these hymns of praise to God, did not try to contain the river of God within them. The river burst forth with strong emotion in spontaneous worship to God! There is a place for human emotion in our personal relationship with God. Expressing our feelings to God is a healthy part of our lives. Singing is an expression of the human soul. Psalm 47:6 encourages us to SING! SING! SING! SING! What are we waiting for? Let’s just sing praises to God now!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, as I read and sing these Psalms, my heart is overflowing with the knowledge of Your goodness to me. I pray that I will never take You for granted, but that I will acknowledge You with gladness every day without fail! You are the Source and the River of gladness which courses through my entire being. I worship You! I exalt You! Hallelujah!!! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Years ago I heard the story of a man who attended a rather formal church service where he heard the reading of a Psalm of praise to God. He raised his voice and said spontaneously and loudly, “Praise the Lord!” At the close of the service the minister was greeting the departing congregation and when he came to this man he said, “Sir, what were you doing shouting out as you did?” The man answered, “I was being blessed by God.” The minister responded, “I’ll have you know that this is no place to get blessed!” It’s a humorous story, but it makes the point that we need to be more free in our expressions of praise to God. Of course Psalm 46:10 makes the point that there is also a time to “be still.”

It was a New Year’s Eve when I asked Norma-Jean to marry me. We had driven to Buffalo, New York, to attend a great church service. The people were the most spontaneous worshippers I had ever come across. I confess that I was so blessed by God in Norma Jean’s “Yes” to my proposal that I joined the people in loud praises. I did all that our key verse tells me to do. I clapped my hands, and I gave a “shout to God with the voice of triumph.” That’s just over 57 years ago, and I’m still expressing my strong emotions to God!!!

Yours for enjoying freedom in expressing praise to our God,

David

This mosaic artwork in ancient Philippi must have been a most beautiful floor in its day! Philippi was the city where Paul and Silas sang praises to God at midnight while their hands and feet were held in the stocks in the local jail. No wonder they were miraculously set free and the prison warden and his family became believers (read Acts 16:20-34).

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I USED TO

Today’s Reading: Psalms 42-44

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

 

Fleeing from King Saul, David and his men spent time among the caves around the oasis of Ein Gedi. They certainly would have appreciated the fresh water falling from the desert plateau above. There are several waterfalls of differing sizes that flow down to the Dead Sea nearby. Psalm 42:1 says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.”

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 44:1-2a

We have heard with our ears, O God,

Our fathers have told us,

The deeds You did in their days,

In days of old:

You drove out the nations with Your hand,

But them You planted…

 

“The good old days” may not have been so good after all! We have a tendency to exaggerate how good it was in days gone by. Psalm 44 reviews some bad days too. It is obvious that God’s long-term purposes include the good and the bad events of our lives. Today’s reading ends with a prayer; God will put the final period to the history book of our lives!

In the first two chapters of our Bible reading, Psalms 42 & 43, the same question is asked in each of these writings…”Why are you cast down, O my soul?” The words “cast down” were very familiar to the shepherd King David. When a sheep is on its back, it is unable to turn over and get up. It will lie there and eventually die unless someone helps it to turn over. We need a shepherd who cares about us, and in fact we have such a Shepherd. In both Psalms we find the life-saving answer to being “cast down.” It is “Hope in God!” An answer to the question, “Why are you cast down, O my soul?” may be found in the previous verse, 42:4, “I USED TO GO…TO THE HOUSE OF GOD…” Worshiping together with others, along with the teaching of God’s Word by a caring shepherd pastor, will put us back on our feet; we’ll be able to feed on green pastures and drink from the still waters.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, my soul thirsts for You like a deer in the desert looking for water to drink. I hear “the noise of Your waterfalls.” I drink from Your Word and Your refreshing presence. I pray that I will be faithful to go to Your altar, “To God my exceeding joy” (43:4). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’m in church every Sunday. Some Sundays I’m asked to bring a message from God’s Word, but at 79 years old, most Sundays I’m there to be blessed by the ministry of others. I’m no longer “cast down.” As both Psalms 42 and 43 tell me, I’m no longer “disquieted.” Life is sorted out. I’m content, and my spirit is calm and peaceful. The Apostle Paul writes, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some.” I’m reading from the New Testament, Hebrews 10:22-25. If for some reason I don’t get out to church, I’m conscious of an emptiness in my life that day.

Norma-Jean and I lived for 18 years on the farm and in the farmhouse where she was born. We kept sheep for many of those years. When it came time to sheer the sheep, I would help to turn the sheep over onto their backs (cast down). They resisted, of course, but I learned how to do it successfully. We sold the wool, but most of all we enjoyed the sheep. Norma-Jean was the true shepherd. She helped many as they were being born. Some of the little lambs she had to feed from a bottle. They knew her and she knew them by name. When she called them, they came running. I could call all day and they would ignore me! Like our Lord, she spent much time with the sheep and they knew her voice.

Yours for green pasture and still waters,

David

Another waterfall in the beautiful desert oasis of Ein Gedi.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A HORRIBLE PIT

Today’s Reading: Psalms 40-41

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

 

Located in the ruins of the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest, is the pit that Jesus was lowered into for the night, just after His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. Caiaphas’ house is now covered by the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu, which is located in Jerusalem. The windows cut in the stone were for the guards to keep watch over the prisoners who were in this horrible pit.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 41:9

Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,

Who ate my bread,

Has lifted up his heel against me.

 

In yesterday’s Psalms, that big word “I” was repeated over and over. Today the words that stand out are “my” and “me.” At least 35 times we are directed inward to think about ourselves. Psalm 40 starts out, not with a pity party for poor “me,” but with a powerful declaration of what God has done for David. He testifies that God has (1) inclined to me, (2) heard my cry, (3) brought me up out of a horrible pit, (4) set my feet on a rock, (5) established my steps, and (6) put a new song in my mouth. From verses 4 to 10 there is more positive confession. Then David seems to slip off the “Rock,” and back into that horrible pit. He writes, “My heart fails me…”

In Psalm 41 there are some directions for staying on the rock and out of the pit. (1) Blessed is he who considers the poor. (2) The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. (3) The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive. (4) He will be blessed on the earth. (5) The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness. Then David’s feet slip again as we read verses 4 to 9. But let us not despair; he’s back up again for the last 4 verses of Psalm 41. One of the reasons the Psalms appeal to us is that David is so very human. We can identify with his struggles and his triumphs!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, help me to wait patiently for You. Please set my feet on the Rock and keep me there by Your presence and power. You have given me the doxology of Jude 1:24-25. I confess Your ability to keep me from falling back into that horrible pit. I pray this with confidence that I am standing firmly on the Great Rock, the Lord Jesus Himself, Amen!!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve had the opportunity several times of descending literally into the “horrible pit” in which Jesus was kept overnight, beneath the palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest. It’s clean now, but when Jesus was there it was filthy; excrement would perhaps have covered the floor. Just next to the pit is the torture room where prisoners would be tied and whipped. I am overcome with the horror of it all. Jesus subjected Himself to this outrage when He could’ve simply spoken a word and set Himself free. He did it so that I, and millions of others, could be rescued from the pit of self pity and despair. He went down so that He could reach under all humankind and lift us up to stand on the unshakable Rock, which is Himself. He cleans us up through the cleansing of His blood (1John 1:7) and keeps us clean by the washing of water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26).

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, recorded a message which I would like to share with you. It ties in with David’s lament about his own familiar friend who has turned against him (click here). You may also want to order her book, Wounded By God’s People, which has been featured on 100 Huntley Street (click here).

Yours for standing firm on the “Rock,”

David

This is the torture chamber area where prisoners were scourged. It’s located in the lower levels of Caiaphas’ house where Jesus spent the first night after His arrest and before His trial and crucifixion.

Friday, September 25, 2015

TAMING THE TONGUE

Today’s Reading: Psalms 38-39

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

 

Here is an “arrow loop” in the wall of Jerusalem’s Zion Gate. These were slots in the walls through which defenders would shoot arrows in ancient times. We may not shoot literal arrows, but Jeremiah 9:8a says, “Their tongue is as an arrow shot out.” Zion Gate is located in the southern part of the Old City. This gate was used by the Israel Defense Forces in 1967 to enter and capture the Old City. The stones surrounding the gate are still pockmarked by weapons fire. This entrance leads to the Jewish and Armenian quarters (wider photo below)..

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 39:1

I said, “I will guard my ways,

Lest I sin with my tongue;

I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,

While the wicked are before me.”

 

There’s a very big word here which has only one letter, the letter “i”. In these two Psalms, “i”, or actually the capital “I”, appears 19 times. Could it be that we focus on ourselves too much and not enough on God? Our tongues provide the most obvious indication of what’s going on inside the “I”. David, Solomon, Paul and James all wrote about the problem we have with our tongues. James even wrote that our tongues can start a forest fire (read James 3:1-10). Dangerous or what? David writes that he can stop sinning with his tongue by guarding his ways and restraining his mouth with a muzzle. We muzzle dangerous dogs, but is this the best way to keep us, as humans made in God’s image, from backbiting and attacking one another? Self (the big “I”) control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). The Spirit produces this fruit of self-control in our lives, not the big “I”. The Apostle Paul follows his description of the fruit of the Spirit with these words, “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (the “I”) with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). Therefore, controlling our tongues is possible by yielding daily to the Spirit of God. It will take time for good fruit to grow and ripen, so that if someone takes a bite out of us, they will taste the goodness of Jesus, who dwells in every believer.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your servant David, twice in today’s reading, compares our lives to “vapor.” Like the morning mist, my life seems to evaporate. I ask, “Where has time gone?” Therefore, Lord, I pray all the more fervently that You will make every moment and every word I speak or write count for good. Fill me up to overflowing, I pray, so that from the overflow of Your Spirit I will bless others with the words my tongue speaks. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

For some reason the sitcom which featured Archie and Edith Bunker comes to mind. I remember that when Edith would be making her point rather emotionally, Archie would say, “Stifle yourself!” I’m laughing as I imagine the scene, but in reality it was no laughing matter to be a part of such a dysfunctional family. Perhaps the essence of comedy is the difference between what I am as a person and what I know I should be. It’s much easier and more fun to laugh than to cry. Archie’s instructions to his wife, “Stifle yourself,” never worked. Edith’s tongue kept right on upsetting Archie in every episode.

By God’s Spirit, who according to the Scriptures lives in me, I can have a tongue which follows the instruction given by Solomon, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11).

Yours for words “fitly spoken” to people around us and in prayer to God!

David

A wider view of the Zion Gate described in the photo above.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

FRET NOT THYSELF

Today’s Reading: Psalm 35-37

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

 

In 1667, Pope Clement X commissioned Gian Lorenzo Bernini to build a second fountain in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, which closely followed the design of the Maderno Fountain on the north side of the square. The Bernini Fountain was completed in 1677. In the distance you can see St. Peter’s Basilica and its dome. In our reading today, the psalmist, David, wrote of the Lord, “For with You is the fountain of life” (Psalm 36:9a).

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 36:8-9a

They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,

And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

For with You is the fountain of life.

This is not a dull, unexciting existence, but a life of fullness, a river of God’s pleasures, and for us, a “fountain of life!” In the first eight verses of Psalm 37, the words “DO NOT FRET,” begin and end a list that can guarantee us a joy-filled life. (1) Trust in the Lord. (2) Dwell in the land. (3) Delight yourself also in the Lord. (4) Commit your way to the Lord. (5) Rest in the Lord. Now, let’s go back over these five and ask ourselves whether or not they are happening in our lives.

The results of practising the above are summed up in Psalm 37:23-25. We may want to reread these verses, taking time to meditate on them, and then pray the following prayer.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Grant me the grace to not fret! I am trusting You! I am dwelling with You! I am delighting myself in You! I commit my way to You! Having made this confession, I now rest in You! I pray that the One who lived this way 100% of the time, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom I’ve invited to live in me, will enable me to live as He lived! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Psalm 37:37 brings laughter to me as I read it. When I was a student at EPBC, now Master’s College and Seminary, in Peterborough, Ontario, we, a few students, carried out an odd practice for about two weeks. Some of us would carry in our pockets a marker pencil, and if anyone came across less than humble in a statement or attitude, out would come the marker, and an “X” would be placed somewhere on that person. The original English translations rendered verse 37, “Mark the perfect man!” We had a great deal of fun, but there were actually two messages here. First, I must not think of myself too highly, and second, I should not be so judgmental of others. The New King James translation, which I use for this blog, does not use the word “perfect,” but “blameless.” I learned that I am “in Christ,” and because of Him and Him only, can I be “perfect,” which I’ve come to understand means “complete” or “blameless.” For a New Testament reading, I suggest Ephesians 1:1-23. The words “in Christ” or “in Him” are repeated at least a dozen times. So…as the old English says, “Fret not thyself!!!”

Yours for Joy in our Journey!

David

P.S. I was checking out Crossroads360.com and came across Ron’s “Stay in Touch” segment on “Joy.” It seemed appropriate to suggest that, in the light of “fret not thyself,” all of us watch this (click here).

Another photo angle on the Bernini Fountain in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BLESS AND BE BLESSED!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 33-34

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 a 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 Verse: Psalm 34:1

I will bless the Lord at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 

The words, “the Lord,” occur 26 times in these two Psalms. There’s a saying about “the Lord”… that “He’s either Lord of all or not at all!” There should be no half-way measures in our faith! The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). The primary work of the Spirit of God in the earth is to make Jesus known as Lord of all. This blog is intended as an extension of that sublime purpose.

How do we “bless the Lord?” We please Him! We worship Him! We live a life which brings the smile of His approval! We read His Word and meditate on His Word daily! We pray in faith, believing Him for His response! We share His Message in our personal witness and in our support for ministries that are proven by researched fact to be effective in reaching the peoples of the world with the Good News of Jesus’ death, resurrection and the gift of forgiveness of sin and eternal life through Jesus Christ. So we can list some of the ways we bless God. Now let us think of the ways He has blessed us and is blessing us. It’s no wonder that we identify with King David when he writes, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Hallelujah! We magnify You O Lord! Bless Your holy name! Amen! Amen!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will do as David did, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Grant that I will experience Your blessed Presence at all times. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Norma-Jean, my wife, is a multi-tasker. My tendency is to focus on one thing at a time. I guess that’s one of the general differences between men and women. However, I’m learning to multi-task in my commitment to King David’s statement, “His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” I don’t always speak the words of praise out loud, but they are there in my mouth at the tip of my tongue. It’s the same with Paul’s encouragement to “Pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

I do my best to read all the comments sent in response to this blog or those commenting on the response of others. They are all excellent! Thanks for blessing me in this way. I’d love to repeat all the comments for those who don’t get to read them. However, there is one from someone by the name of “David T.” I happen to know that he has his Doctor of Education degree. So let’s allow this teacher to teach us. This was a response from my Psalm 27 blog two years ago, during our first two-year journey through the Bible… (click here and look for the 2nd comment).

By the way, when I put the words, “Bless the Lord” into the google search engine, a little line at the top said, “21,000,000 results in .25 seconds.” Obviously we’re not alone in blessing the Lord!

Yours for blessing and being blessed!

David

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

BY HEART!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 31-32

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

 

King David’s Tomb is a site traditionally believed to be the burial place of David, King of Israel. It is located on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Notice the harp, violin, and musical notes on the drapery that covers a sarcophagus, a stone casket. Songs, hymns, and poetry in the Hebrew language are the inheritance we have from King David. Jesus would have sung David’s songs in Hebrew. Our English language translators have done a great job in capturing the beauty of David’s language, particularly in the King James Version (1611 to about 1770 English). One of the reasons the New King James Version (the 1970s) is used in this blog is that while moving to modern English, the translators managed, for the most part, to keep the beauty and accuracy of the original English translations.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 32:5

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

 

The key verse should sound familiar to us because of our common human condition. David shows us that the only way we can experience the freedom and joy God intends for us is through acknowledging and confessing our sin. A New Testament teaching we should read regularly is 1 John 1, the entire chapter.

There are two other verses in today’s reading that we may want to read again. Jesus began His ministry quoting His Bible during His wilderness fasting, and now here are His last words from the Cross quoted from this hymn composed by David (30:5). Let’s move to these words, “Make Your face shine upon Your servant” (30:16). Back in Psalm 4 David writes, “Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.” David is borrowing from Moses here. Moses taught us a three-fold blessing which we use in our benedictions even today. Check it out from Numbers 6:22-27.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, my prayer today is Psalm 32:5-11. I’m reading this to You Lord! Thank You that as a result I can “be glad,” and I can “shout for joy!” Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

From my childhood the expression “to know by heart” meant I had memorized a poem for recitation to my public school teacher in front of the class. In Sunday School I was required to recite the weekly memory verse “by heart.” My mother and older sisters made sure I had it right. Again and again Jesus quoted from His Hebrew Bible. He’s my example of the importance of the “Word.” I’m learning daily to count on the Holy Spirit to bring to my memory Scriptures which I’ve learned by heart that show me how to respond to the need at hand. Please join me in reading John 16:7-15. The Holy Spirit guides within the authority of the written Word of God. I’ve learned to always check with Scripture, and to take the next step and actually pray the Scriptures, This past weekend Norma-Jean and I saw a most powerful example of this in the movie, War Room, currently showing in some local Cineplex Theatres. Please, please, don’t miss this. I never thought I’d live to see such a powerful Jesus message on a theatre screen! (click here for information).

Yours for proclaiming the joyful message of salvation through Jesus,

David

P.S. It has occurred to me that some of our blog readers may have children visiting today. So let me link you to one of Crossroads’ recent productions which ties in with our key verse on forgiveness…click here for one of our children’s productions from crossroads360.com. The program is called RocKids TV.

Monday, September 21, 2015

TURNING MOURNING INTO DANCING

Today’s Reading: Psalms 28-30

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 Sea of Galilee, a statue beside the Church of St. Peter’s Primacy shows Peter kneeling before Jesus after His death and resurrection.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 30:5

For His anger is but for a moment,

His favor is for life;

Weeping may endure for a night,

But joy comes in the morning.

 

It’s hard to imagine the despair that David tried to express in Psalm 30. He was running for his life from his father-in-law, King Saul, whom David would follow as king. After a desperate prayer, David would always end with praising God, together with a statement of his unwavering faith in God’s power and God’s willingness to deliver him. David knew the continuing anger of Saul and the weeping it caused. This is not the way with God! We know that God wants life and joy! Yes, God is angry with sin, but when we ask His forgiveness, His anger toward us ceases. We do need to weep in repentance, not in self pity. Joy is the result!

In Psalm 29, the phrase “voice of the Lord” is repeated six times. The problem is that we are not good listeners most of the time. Hopefully this blog quiets us sufficiently so that we can hear what God has to say. Psalm 28 should result in a spirit of rejoicing because of our confidence in God’s answers to our prayers. God hears our voice much better than we hear His! We may think that those around us don’t listen to us, but God is a GOOD LISTENER!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I thank You for listening to me when I pray. In this I have complete confidence. Therefore, I pray for all those people that come to my mind. . . . (name them). Help me to care about those things about which You care, O Lord. I pray in the Name of the One who rose early every morning to spend much time in prayer, Jesus, Himself! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My eyes have been drawn to read again and again Psalm 30:11a, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing.” I don’t often dance, but there are times when joy is so strong that I break free of my reserve, and away I go! It happened at least once on live television when a young man, who had escaped from an Eastern European communist country, was playing a lively tune of rejoicing on his violin. Some may remember Georgian Banov. I’ve attached a clip of that spontaneous dancing (click here). Also, from Crossroads 360 under the topic “Arts Dancing” is the most amazing, joy-filled video. Little Clara, an autistic girl, shows amazing talent and brings such joy. Her parents were interviewed by Magdalene, one of our 100 Huntley Street reporters. I dare readers to watch this without experiencing joy and perhaps a few tears (click here).

Yours for turning mourning into dancing!

David

Ann Mainse, our daughter-in-love, as we say, celebrates her birthday today. Ann reads this blog faithfully before it is posted and ensures that I’ve used correct punctuation, etc. Ann has edited a number of books, written widely published articles, and is in demand as a speaker for conferences, etc (click here for Ann’s web site). Happy Birthday Ann! Thanks for all your help! Below is a picture of Ron and Ann.