Sunday, January 31, 2016

THE POTTER’S HOUSE

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 18-19

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

 

In Pella, Greece, at the Archaeological Museum, pottery vessels from ancient times are on display. In today’s reading, Israel is likened to “clay…in the potter’s hand.”

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 18:2 &11b

Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear my words…Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.”

 

Jeremiah heard God’s Words and proclaimed them to the people of his time and ours too! God’s invitation, which we can accept or reject, is conditional. If we RETURN, REPENT, and decide to DO WHAT IS RIGHT, the vessel of our lives and our land will be made by the Divine Potter into a new creation of God, “As it seemed good for the Potter to make!!!” (18:4b). See Romans 9:20-23 as a New Testament example of the Divine Potter and we who are to be the clay which is molded by His hands.

What horror and evil the people brought upon themselves. During the siege by the Babylonians, people turned into cannibals. The same happened, according to the historian who wrote on the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, following the rejection of the Messiah Jesus by the political and religious leadership. There were many exceptions to this extreme evil. In Jeremiah’s day, there were young men like Daniel and the three Hebrew children who lived righteous lives (Daniel 3:10-30). The same courage was shown by many during and following the Roman destruction (see yesterday’s blog). As was the case with the Babylonian destruction prophesied by Jeremiah, so the Romans, according to Josephus’ “Jewish Wars,” took 700 prisoners back to Rome, paraded them in chains behind Titus’ chariot through the streets, and then sold them as slaves to Roman households. Some were believers in Jesus. Some were even part of the Royal household of the Caesar (Philippians 4:20-23). God continues to mold human clay into vessels which He can fill and employ in His good purpose.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

O, Potter of my life, I yield myself in wholehearted willing surrender to Your hands. I pray that I will be “as the clay is in the Potter’s hand!” I’m aware that the fire is necessary to complete my vessel in order that I may be useful to carry the Water of Life to others. May I be poured out, filled again and again, and poured out often for Your purposes, Lord God! In the Name of the One whose very life was poured out for the entire world, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

It was 1992, in Seville, Spain, at the great World Expo attended by at least 40 million people from all over the world where Crossroads built “La Pabillion de la Promessa” (The Pavilion of Promise). During the months of the Expo, over 53,000 people made first-time decisions to receive Jesus, not as a religion, but as personal Saviour and Lord! The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Seville wept as he said, “My people, my people need this message!” However, my memory backs up 500 years to the Spanish Inquisition, the persecution and martyrdom of many, not by the common people, but by religious and political leaders, as it was at the time of Christ. Two Seville priests had made their way to England where they translated the Bible into Spanish for the first time. In Seville, each morning as I walked from our apartment to the Expo grounds, I would walk through the square where at least 1,500 were burnt at the stake for their contention that the only Words of salvation were in the Bible, which they had recently acquired from those two priests. Crossroads had run out of money to pay our bills and human reason said, “Pack it in, stop construction, and head home.” However, I believe I heard that still small Voice saying to me, “Look down at the ancient dust packed beneath and around the cobblestones under your feet. There are minute particles of the ashes left from the bodies of those who simply wanted to cherish the Scriptures and its message of eternal life, and their blood cries out to Me from the ashes of their sacrifice!” These priests and people believed that salvation was theirs, not by a religious ceremony, but by faith through grace according to the Scriptures (Ephesians 2:1-9). I think it was 1959 when Pope John XXIII proclaimed that all Roman Catholics were to get a Bible of their own and read it!!!

Yours for being molded in the hands of the Divine Potter according to the Scriptures,

David

P.S. For a fuller story of Expo ’92 and Crossroads’ mission, please get my book, find the pictures of our pavilions in four World Expos, and then turn to page 138. Click here to order your own copy of This Far By Faith!

A close-up view of the ancient pottery on display at the Archaeological Museum. They come in all sizes and shapes, just like us, and there is a special purpose for each vessel!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

THE HUMAN HEART

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 16-17

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

 

The Arch of Titus in Rome was constructed in 82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian shortly after the death of his older brother Titus to commemorate Titus’ victory in the Sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD (note the extra photo below of the inside of the Arch). The Arch of Titus has provided the general model for many of the triumphal arches erected since the 16th century, including the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. In the P.S. today is the description of the destruction of Jerusalem according to the Jewish historian, Josephus. The Roman historian, Tacitus, also covers this massacre of Jewish people and the rape of the Temple. It’s not unlike what must have happened to Jerusalem when it was destroyed by the Babylonians hundreds of years earlier as prophesied by Jeremiah.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 17:9, 14

The heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately wicked;

Who can know it?

…Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved, for You are my praise!

 

Heart disease is our #1 killer physically. Same thing spiritually! Many of us have done “The Daniel Plan,” which will help heal and strengthen that blood pump inside (click here for information), and for spiritual healing there is this blog! “He sent His Word and healed them” (Psalm 107:20a). There’s healing both for the body as well as the soul and spirit in daily, daily, daily reading and meditating on God’s Word!!! For potential new 100words.ca readers, you can start any time and finish in two years (compared to one-year plans, there are shorter readings and extra time for meditating). Soak in God’s Word and experience physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing!!!

Jeremiah diagnosed the human heart as deceitful and desperately wicked. Is there a guaranteed healing prescription? Can this terminal heart condition be healed?

The ultimate heart healing treatment is this…Romans 10:8-10. The word “heart” is repeated three times in that passage. It’s an oral medication. You take it by mouth! Speak these words out loud or even whisper them. That gets God’s Word down into our hearts. Healing and wholeness follows. Now, having ingested God’s healing medicine, let’s do as the last words of our key verses instruct us: “You [Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ] are my [our] praise!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your Word declares that You “inhabit the praises of [Your people!] Israel!” (Psalm 22:3b). I pray that I will learn more and more to use Scripture in my praise of You! As I do this, I know that I am inhabiting the realm of Your Presence! I’m singing now the glorious hymn of praise, “I Will Praise Him!” (click here for the Messianic Jewish family — believers in Jesus — The Isaacs singing this hymn). Let us praise God together!!! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

It can be discouraging to read Jeremiah because of his prophecies of woe. I heard a preacher on the local Christian radio station say, “When God says, ‘Woe,’ it means, Whoa!” That’s horse language for STOP!!!” Good advice?

I debated whether or not to quote the Jewish historian Josephus in his description of the next destruction of Jerusalem after the one prophesied by Jeremiah. There are probably similarities in both destructions of the city which the religious and political leaders brought on themselves. When God is not wanted and when He withdraws as a result, all hell breaks loose. This quote is from 70 A.D., after thousands of Christian Jews had left Jerusalem, as they were warned in a prophecy to escape. In case you don’t want to read of such horror, I’ll put it in a post script.

Yours for ingesting God’s Word and inhabiting, as God does, the PRAISE SPACE!!!

David

P.S. Josephus, a Jew, was in Jerusalem under the protection of the future Roman Emperor Titus when he wrote, “You would have thought the hill on which the Temple stood was boiling from the bottom upwards, that everywhere was a mass of flames, that here lay a sea of blood deeper than the fire, that there were more killed than killers. You could not see a single piece of ground anywhere because it was so thickly covered with bodies, forcing the soldiers to climb over them in order to reach further victims.”

Inside the Arch of Titus in Rome, one side depicts the Roman soldiers removing the menorah, table of showbread and silver trumpets from the Temple as it was destroyed in AD 70.

Friday, January 29, 2016

TERRIBLE

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 14-15

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 a modern building in the Old City of Jerusalem made with the same type of stone that the ancients used to build Jerusalem. This is the Aish Hatorah World Centre, built by the Dan family of Canada. On top of this building, encased in glass, is a replica model of the Temple that once sat upon the Temple Mount. The history of Jerusalem is “terrible.” It has been destroyed and rebuilt more times than any other city on earth.

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

 

Key Verse: Jeremiah 15:21b

I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.

 

The word “terrible” refers to that which causes TERROR! We’re all familiar with that word and with the Satan-inspired evil of terrorism. Jerusalem suffered from lack of rain and from attacks by its enemies in the years prior to its total destruction by the Babylonian (Iraq) army. The people were terrorized and yet they did not turn with all their hearts to the true and living God. Jeremiah refused to cease his prayers of intercession for his people. He prayed, “Are You not He, O Lord our God? Therefore, we will wait for You!” In spite of what Jeremiah calls, “the grip of the terrible,” he adamantly refuses to give up on God!

Chapter 14 tells us of those claiming to be prophets who speak lies using God’s Name. Contrast this with Jeremiah, God’s true spokesperson. God’s person, when God’s Word is read, “eats the book!” (Jeremiah 15:16). The man or woman of God inwardly digests God’s book! We are doing this daily here in this blog. The result is as Jeremiah experienced, “Joy and rejoicing of my heart!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, just as Jeremiah refused to give up his preaching of Your Word, so may I pray that I will never give up sharing Your Word in every possible way. Teach me, O Lord, to be more effective in intercessory prayer, waiting in faith for Your deliverance from “the grip of the terrible!” I pray this in the Name of the greatest Intercessor, Jesus Christ, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve just read the intercessory prayer of Jesus (John 17:1-26). Jesus, in His life and death on the Cross, experienced the greatest and most “terrible” disaster possible, and He accomplished redemption. The word “mortgage” means “death” (mort) “grip” (gage). According to the dictionary, the word “redemption” means “the act of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment.” The word “redemption” comes to us in the English language from Latin and literally means “buy back.” Ever heard of Ivan the Terrible, Czar of Russia? He built St. Bazil’s Cathedral to celebrate his victory over the Muslim Tartars (picture below). He made England’s Henry VIII look good. Ivan was excommunicated by the Orthodox Church, but he was so “religious” (like many in Jeremiah’s day) that he made a hole in the wall of the church and would stand outside in below zero weather for two hours each Sunday morning, so he could still observe the service inside. His wife and children were only allowed to sit in the balcony.

Yours for God’s deliverance from dead, religious observance and for the reality of the experience described by Jeremiah, “Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16b),

David

St. Bazil’s Cathedral, Moscow, in the winter.

An artist’s depiction of Ivan the Terrible.

 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

MY PEOPLE

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 11-13

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

 

Here in Nazareth Village an actor holds up a scroll in the synagogue. During Jeremiah’s time, a lost scroll, probably the book of Deuteronomy, the Covenant, was discovered and read to the people on the instructions of good King Josiah. A short-lived spiritual revival resulted.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 11:3-5

“…Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant which I commanded your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your God, that I may establish the oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.’ Then I answered and said, ‘So be it Lord [Amen].'”

 

The discovery of the lost book of the Law (probably Deuteronomy) happened on Jeremiah’s watch (read 2 Kings 22:8-13). It taught about the curses for disobedience and the blessings for obedience to the words of the covenant. Many times Israel had said “Amen,” or “So be it Lord!” They would be blessed for a time and then break the covenant and suffer the curses they would bring upon themselves. The Lord’s “green olive tree” (spiritual Israel), which He had planted and which, from time to time, had produced “lovely and good fruit,” would now be broken down and burned. How sad and how unnecessary!

The first 6 verses of Jeremiah 12 are addressed to Anathoth, Jeremiah’s hometown. Jeremiah proclaimed his message from God with a broken heart. In today’s reading, Jeremiah asks 12 questions. Four question words are used: “What,” “Why,” “How,” and “Where.” The “When” question is conditional upon the response of the people. The final words of Jeremiah 13 are, “O Jerusalem! Will you still not be made clean?”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Yes, yes Lord God, I ask to be made clean and to be kept clean through the washing of the blood which Your Son and my Saviour shed on the Cross. I pray for grace to “walk in the light as He is in the light,” and then I experience 24/7 that “the blood of Jesus Christ [Messiah] cleanses us…” (1 John 1:5-10). With my faith in Jesus Christ, the final Sacrifice for sin, I trust You, Lord! AMEN!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

It was a great comfort to me to hear my Father, Rev. Dr. Roy Mainse, preach a message from 1st John on “cleansing.” My father had returned from his mission in Egypt and had taken on the responsibility of pastoring two churches. I moved back home with Dad and attended both churches, where I heard the same message twice. That particular message has stuck with me ever since. He said that the word “cleanseth” (he used old King James english) is in the present perfect tense in the original Greek language. I learned that as I asked God for cleansing (Jeremiah’s question, “Will you still not be made clean?”), I have been made clean and I am being made clean constantly in God’s sight. The Greek verb “cleanseth” means that it has happened and that it continues to happen. I had been struggling with this issue during that first year after I had made my lifetime decision to serve Christ fully. I know that in my eyes and experience I am a sinner, but God sees me through the cleansing blood of Jesus and only in Jesus am I made pure and holy.

Yours for daily shining the light of God’s Word into our personal lives!

David

P.S. I gained so much under my Dad’s ministry that year. Here’s a picture of my father, a truly great man in my eyes.

My father, Rev. Dr. Roy Lake Mainse (1896-1972).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A FOUNTAIN OF TEARS

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 9-10

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

 

The desolation of one of the ancient streets of Laodicea (in present day Turkey). Today’s reading tells us of Jerusalem becoming “A heap of ruins” (Jeremiah 9:11a).

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

 

Key Verse: Jeremiah 9:1

Oh, that my head were waters,

And my eyes a fountain of tears,

That I might weep day and night

For the slain of the daughter of my people!

 

Jeremiah experienced the broken heart of God and he wept! “Jesus wept” (John 11:35), and He also wept over Jerusalem! Jesus said, “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!” (Luke 13:34). The sorrow of Jeremiah is over, but the sorrow of Jesus, because He is alive and He sees all, continues to this very day. Jesus’ compassion continues in His mercy and willingness to forgive us our sins. If we have caused Him to weep over us currently, turn back to Him now. The most often repeated verse in the Bible is, “His mercy endures forever” (the entire 136th Psalm).

According to my son-in-law, Rev. Nizar Shaheen, who reads the Old Testament in the original languages, Jeremiah 10:11 is not in Hebrew but in the universal language of the time, Aramaic. Jeremiah wanted all nations to know that their gods would perish! It was believed that these gods controlled the heavens and the earth, but Jeremiah proclaimed that the Lord God of Israel, the sole Creator of the universe, has sovereign control of it all (read again Jeremiah 10:11-13).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God of Jeremiah, I recognize that You, and You alone, are the great Creator, and that You, and You alone, took upon Yourself my sin and wrong when You suffered on the Cross. I weep over my sin and over the sin of the world. May I, like Jeremiah, proclaim Your Truth and Your Mercy to the world around me in a way that people can understand. I pray in the Name of the Saviour Who wept over the needs of all people, the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I stood in amazement on the street in front of the Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, as I heard a young priest preaching at the top of his voice that the terrible famine which had devastated the country was the result of the people turning away from God. He did this despite the risk in a country with an atheistic, communist government that had seized power and executed all male members of the family of the late Emperor Haile Selassie. This young man was fearless! He also proclaimed that if the people would turn back to God, He would have mercy on them. Crossroads raised, with matching funds from the Canadian Government, over 7 million dollars for the Ethiopian famine relief. I have no doubt that we were a part of the answer to the weeping prayers of the Ethiopian people. In fact, it was the tears of a former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, who was seen to weep on the national Canadian news as he visited Ethiopia on his way home from the funeral of Indira Ghandi of India. There was an immediate initiative to act and give to help save lives. “The Wailing Wall” is pictured below. Here, Jews and some non-Jews pray and sometimes weep and wail because of the destruction of Jerusalem. The word “wailing” is repeated three times in today’s reading. Several times during my life, in times of great crisis, I have experienced “wailing,” but not when anyone could hear me. After the death of loved ones in the Middle East, one can often hear the sound of wailing. The people are not ashamed of expressing their extreme grief. These people say that we who live in the west do not know how to grieve properly in order to express our pain. We do tend to keep it all inside and psychologists tell us that failure to express our deep grief is emotionally harmful.

Yours for genuine sorrow for our sins and for those things that break God’s heart!

David

Our former Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, at the “Wailing Wall” in Jerusalem.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 7-8

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

 

Among the ruins of ancient Ephesus, Turkey, are these larger than usual stone ossuaries, which were used to house people’s skeletal remains. “Bones” are mentioned five times in the first verse of Jeremiah 8.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 7:23

But this is what I commanded them, saying, “Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.”

 

Jeremiah 7 begins what is known as the “Temple Sermon.” God’s instructions to Jeremiah were that he was to stand at the gate of the Temple and deliver this message as the throngs of people were entering for worship. The people of Judah were still very religious outwardly, but Jeremiah’s message was that they were hypocritical. Several times Jeremiah made the point that “They did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward” (7:24). They practiced what is called “syncretism,” the amalgamation of what otherwise would be two or more distinct religions. In their case, it was an attempt to worship the God of Israel and also Molech. Some of them, including King Jehoiakim, who turned away from the reforms of his father, Josiah, had reverted to the practices of his grandfather, Mannaseh (2 Kings 21:3-6).

Chapter 8 predicts the coming judgment as a result of their syncretism. Their bones will bleach in the sun. There’s an old hymn which captures the essence of faithfulness to the One and only true God. “Trust and Obey!” Here’s a musical rendition of this foundational truth! (click here).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God of Israel, through Your Son and my Saviour, I pray for the grace of obedience to You, and to the worship of You and You alone! The Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed in Jeremiah’s day, rebuilt by Ezra and Herod, and then destroyed again. Your temple in this age is my body, and may I keep my body pure and in good shape for You, Lord, and may You alone live in my innermost thoughts, attitudes, intentions and actions. Amen!!! (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My experiences with people practicing syncretism are many. The most common being church Sunday morning and then a variety of practices common to eastern religions during the week. The most dramatic example happened in the summer of 1976. I was in Winnipeg staying in the home of the pro football player Larry Kerychuk when the phone rang. The local Roman Catholic priest was looking for a Holy Spirit-filled minister to accompany him on an exorcism. I agreed, but conditional on the content of the priest’s testimony of his personal journey with Christ. I heard a miraculous story of the power of the Holy Spirit transforming his life. We showed up at a home of recent immigrants from Brazil, where manifestations were reported (we didn’t see any) of objects moving around the rooms mysteriously without human help. We discovered that back in Brazil the husband and father had been in the practice of attending Mass Sunday mornings and voodoo ceremonies Sunday evenings. We discerned that these spirits were not filling the house but the man. He wanted to be free of these, and we took authority in Jesus’ Name, cast out these evil spirits, and he was set free. The whole family received Jesus by faith as Saviour and Lord! The last report is that never again did this occult manifestation occur. That priest joined me on 100 Huntley Street television from 1977 to 1992 as a co-host, and many have blessed memories of Father Bob MacDougall. I believe that there may be as many as 1,000,000 precious souls that moved from just an outward religious observance, like the people of Jeremiah’s day, into a personal encounter with the Living God, as a result of the ministry of my beloved friend (now in Heaven), Robert MacDougall, S.J. When it became evident that denominational walls were rising again, Crossroads helped Bob to begin a Roman Catholic TV ministry called Food for Life. Here is a video in which Father MacDougall conducts two interviews with Father Bob Bedard, who succeeded him as host of Food For Life in 1992. This video was compiled as a tribute to Father Bedard after his passing in 2011. If you would like to watch it, click here and you will find the first interview near the beginning, and then you can fast-forward to the second interview about 15 minutes in. Father Mark Goring continues the Food For Life TV ministry today (here is their website).

Yours for bringing men, women, boys and girls into genuine experiences in a saving relationship with Jesus!

David

P.S. If you want a blow-by-blow account of the various destructions of Jerusalem, I recommend a book I’m currently reading by Desmond Seward called, “Jerusalem’s Traitor: Josephus, Masada, and the Fall of Judea” (here is a listing for it on Amazon.com).

Monday, January 25, 2016

RETURNING GOD’S CALLS

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 5-6

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

 

Here is part of an ancient road that is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. An artist depicts what the rest of it might have looked like from the time of Jesus. How tragic that such a beautiful city should be reduced to rubble with its people either killed or taken as slaves.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 6:10

To whom shall I speak and give warning,

That they may hear?

Indeed their ear is uncircumcised,

And they cannot give heed.

Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them;

They have no delight in it.

 

Jeremiah 5:21-25 is God’s attempt to communicate with His people in Jerusalem. He says, “Hear this now!” We bring disaster upon ourselves when we fail to listen to God’s Word! It’s not His fault! It’s ours! Jeremiah and a few others heard God, but the political leadership and the majority would not listen.

In our key verse in Jeremiah 6, God seems to be giving up after many attempts to communicate. The time comes when God resigns Himself to allowing the stubborn free will of people to prevail. He’s not wanted, and He won’t force Himself on them, which would reduce His people, made in His image, to being puppets and robots who are forced to do His will. God knows when He is not wanted and He withdraws. The communications breakdown is never at God’s end of the line. People hang up on Him!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, You promised that You would answer when I call You! You said, and I quote You, “Call to Me and I will answer you!!!” (Jeremiah 33:3). I’ve heard that reference called, “God’s telephone number.” I pray that You will keep me alert to hear You and to answer when You call me! I hear You calling me now and I hear Your voice as I read Your Word to me through Jeremiah. I say, “Yes Lord, I hear You!!!” Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

For the first 15 years of Crossroads television, the Lord sent in enough money to pay all our bills to cover the costs of the 30-minute weekly Crossroads show and the 30-minute Circle Square show for children. Never did I mention money on TV. When we signed the contract for release of the daily 100 Huntley Street telecast, I was shocked to hear what I believe was the voice of God saying to me, “David, you are going to have to ask for people’s support on TV. I don’t have enough people who take the time to hear My voice to raise the necessary funds for this expansion.” I was dumfounded, but said “Yes, Lord.” One way or the other, God made sure that bills were paid and that His Name was honoured by that fact. But that’s a very small thing compared to the failure to listen to God on the part of the people of Jerusalem, who were not only failing to pay attention to God, but who had deliberately disobeyed Him after they had heard His words through Jeremiah!

Yours for listening quietly, carefully and obediently to God’s Word!!!

David

Below is a picture of the big rock in front of the Crossroads Centre. The words on the plaque (see caption) are from Jeremiah 6:16, the New International Version translation. Instead of the word “ways” inferring a crossroads as in the NKJV, it actually uses the word “crossroads” in the NIV. This is an essential message from God to each one of us.

The plaque below the big rock outside the Crossroads Centre in Burlington reads, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).

Sunday, January 24, 2016

MY SOUL! MY SOUL!

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 3-4

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 in 70 AD.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 3:14a, 4:19a

“Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you…”

…O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me…

 

In today’s Bible reading, the word, “BACKSLIDING” is repeated four times, and the word “RETURN” five times. Taking note of significant words repeated over and over lets us know what the writer is trying to emphasize for our benefit! God’s message to the backslider is “RETURN!” Ask ourselves this question and let’s make it personal: “Have I ever loved and served God in the past more than I do today?” If so, “RETURN.”

Jeremiah, in our key verses, expresses the heart pain that God feels…the pain of a Parent rejected by His children…the pain of a Husband who truly loves His bride and wife but has been rejected in favour of other lovers. Some who read this may have experienced such pain, which is not only crushing emotionally but also produces devastating mental anguish and even has negative physical effects. As a prophet, Jeremiah represents God and is feeling a measure of God’s pain. As a priest, he represents the human family before God in intercession. He identifies with the pain of our separation from God. We are beginning to understand why Jeremiah is called “The Weeping Prophet.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, my eternal loving heavenly Father, I return to You and run into Your loving arms, which are wide open and waiting for me to come closer than ever. Lord God, You have described Yourself as my Lover/Spouse. I do love You with all my heart. Give me grace to be 100% true to You at all times. Forgive me of my backsliding. Thank You for promising Your willingness to forgive and restore. I pray these mercies through Jesus Christ, the One who never backslid and, therefore, never needed to return. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

The person who loves the most is most deeply hurt when rejected by the one they love. The mother who has nursed a child at her breast and then lives to be rejected by a son or daughter knows the pain of which Jeremiah writes. The husband or wife who has given themselves totally in love with their spouse and is then rejected knows such deep inner pain, such that it’s impossible to describe in words. I have never felt that rejection personally, but I’ve put my arms around many whose body is wracked with such immeasurable pain. All I could do was to be there, as there were no words which I could speak that would be adequate. Surely God, Whose very nature is infinitely loving, must feel this pain much more than man. This is the pain Jesus bore when He suffered on the cross…the pain of rejection, separation and loss. I can’t even begin to imagine His pain. All I can do is cry and say, “I’m here Lord. I’ve returned! I’m determined to move closer to You and not backslide!!!”

Yours for loving God faithfully and showing love for Him by our love for others,

David

Saturday, January 23, 2016

“GOD’S CALL”

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 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).

 

A wild donkey (Somali Wild Ass) at a nature reserve in Israel’s Jordan Valley. In Jeremiah 2:24 the people of Jerusalem are likened to this creature at mating time. It is said that the wild donkey cannot under any circumstances be domesticated for service to people as regular donkeys are. Jeremiah uses this animal as an illustration of Jerusalem’s determination to do its own thing in opposition to serving God.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 1:4-5

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

Before you were born I sanctified you;

I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

 

When Moses was called by God, he believed that he was unequipped to do the job. When Isaiah was called, he felt unworthy. When Jeremiah was called, he felt too young to accomplish God’s purposes (Jeremiah 1:6). When God calls us to do a work for Him, He always equips us to fulfill the assigned tasks. Otherwise, why would He bother calling us? All that is required of us is OBEDIENCE to His call! Jeremiah began his ministry when good king Josiah reigned over Judah. Jeremiah served as an advisor in helping Josiah initiate reforms which were in line with God’s revelations to His people as found in the Scriptures. Reforms? Yes! But the hearts of the people needed to be transformed, and that did not happen. Josiah was succeeded by ungodly kings who rejected Josiah’s message and led their people deeper into sin against God, persecuting Jeremiah for his stand for the truth of God.

Jeremiah’s first recorded sermon is in chapter 2. Jeremiah is called, “The Weeping Prophet.” His heart was broken with those things that break the heart of God!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, it could’ve been so different for Your people if only they had followed Your ways. I pray that I will pay attention to those who have genuinely been called by You to preach Your Word. Please grant me grace to obey Your Word! May I not break Your great heart of love by turning my back on You as did Your people in Jeremiah’s time. I pray this in the Name of the One who always obeyed You, Jesus the Messiah (Christ). Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Our message should be one of total support for the Jewish people’s right to have a state, which hopefully will ensure that never again will there be a time of the destruction of Jews, this most persecuted people in all history, as has happened in the past. At the same time, while supporting the Jewish state, we should be pro Arab as well. We are told in Scripture to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). Let’s pray fervently for the leaders of the western world, the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and for President Abbas of Palestine.

Yours for praying for all who are in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2),

David

P.S. Our past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Crossroads Ministries, Don Simmonds, travelled to Israel in 2014 with our then Canadian Prime Minister, along with several Federal Cabinet Members and other leaders from various segments of Canadian life. Below are some pictures that help tell the story of this significant journey.

In Saint Catherine’s Church in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem. Left to right, a security officer, Dr. David Wells, leader of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, James Lunney, Member of Parliament for Nainaimo, former Prime Minister Harper, David Sweet, Member of Parliament, James Moore and John Baird, former Cabinet Ministers. Perhaps the infectious joy of the birth of Christ which happened right next door has touched their hearts. They look like they are thoroughly enjoying their time and no one had to say “cheese.” Well – -maybe someone said, “Say Jesus!”

A happy moment in this church built right next to the cave/stable where Christ was born. Rev. Dr. David Wells, The Honourable Stockwell Day, former Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition Party, Don Simmons, former Chairman of our Crossroads Board, Don Hutchinson, legal counsel to the Centre for Faith and Public Life, and the Honourable John Baird, Canada’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs. I’d like to know what was said that brought those big smiles to their faces.

Friday, January 22, 2016

JAMES, THE WORLD’S PASTOR

Today’s Reading: James 3-5

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

 

Here you can see the ruins of what some consider to be the Pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem. This is the southwest corner of the Temple Mount. It may have been to this height which Satan brought Jesus in the time of Jesus’ temptation. Jesus, the Man, did as James said. He submitted to God, resisted the devil, and the devil fled from Him! According to the Jewish historian, Josephus, James was executed by the authority of Ananus, High Priest, by being thrown off of this pinnacle.

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

 

Key Verses: James 4:7, 5:16

Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you…Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

 

James 3 focuses on that “little member that boasts great things,” the tongue. James has a definition of a “perfect man” as “one who does not stumble in word” (the tongue). It’s encouraging to note that James is human as he says, “We [includes himself] all stumble in many things.” James tells us that “No man can tame the tongue.” So-o-o do we just give up!!! Never!!! Our key verses have the answer as to how not to be “hung by the tongue!” Firstly, “Resist the devil.” Secondly, “Confess.” Thirdly, “Pray!” Fourthly, we should daily present our bodies (that would include our tongues) as living sacrifices, “Holy acceptable to God!” (Romans 12:1).

James 4 exhorts us to “Lament and mourn and weep!” When is the last time we experienced this depth of sorrow over our sins? “Repent” was in the first recorded words of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2) and Jesus (Matthew 4:17), as well as in Peter’s response to the question he was asked on the birthday of the Church! (Acts 2:37-38). Pastor James teaches, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up!”

James 5 will spill over into my PERSONAL WORDS section below.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I ask for Your free gift of grace so I may learn daily to give over to You all the members of my body, in particular, that unruly member, the tongue. Thank You, Jesus, for the gift of Your brother, James, as a Pastor to the Church of all times and all places. I pray for these mercies from Your most gracious hand, in Your Name, Jesus, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

James 5 – I always look for words which are repeated such as “be patient” (twice). This blog is intended to help “establish” our “hearts” (5:8). May it be so for us all! Now I encourage everyone to read again James 5:13-16. The Pastor gives the protocol for a joyful, clean and healthy life. In my years as a Pastor, I put this into practice constantly. Every Sunday the Elders and I would offer to pray over anyone desiring healing. We would place olive oil on those asking for anointing. Many testified to God’s healing power. When I began travelling as an Evangelist in the 1970s, I would insist that Pastors and Elders be involved in praying for the sick. For a period of five years, from about 1972 to 1977, I would ask who in the congregation had a medically documented healing. If so, I asked people to stay behind to tell me about it. I discovered approximately 40 people who had confirmation from their doctors which attested to a miraculous cure. I asked each one, “Who prayed for you and where were you prayed for?” Of course many said that people everywhere were praying for them. Then I would ask them, “Were you prayed for and anointed with oil by your Pastor and the Elders of your local Church?” In 100% of these cases the answer was, “Yes!” For this reason I discourage people from traveling many miles to be prayed for by an evangelist. The evangelist’s job (like Billy Graham) is to get people to believe in Jesus for the salvation of their never-dying souls. The job of the Church is to do as Pastor James instructs us. Amen! Amen! and Amen!!!

Yours, as an Assistant Pastor to James, Jerusalem’s first Pastor,

David

P.S. I’ve personally experienced God’s power to heal when I was a 19-year-old college student. I was prayed for by fellow students, and as the Doctors would not allow me to be moved from my dorm room, two Pastors/Teachers came into my room. They prayed fervently because the medical doctors had told them that I would be “carried out feet first,” or in other words, they expected me to die. I don’t have room here to give the details, but it’s sufficient to say that as they anointed me and laid their hands on my head, my 105+ fever dissipated. I was delirious, but at the same time it was like a beautiful cooling shower was falling on me. I got up, dressed, got in my ’47 Plymouth car, and drove to the hospital Emergency Department. I announced that I was well and that God had healed me. I did elect for surgery which would make it impossible for the same thing to happen again. I benefited from God’s healing power and from the good works of skilled medical practitioners. James is my very, very Senior Pastor! Amen again!!!