Thursday, March 31, 2016

HEALING AND LOVE

Today’s Reading: Hosea 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).

 

This olive tree may be 2,000 years old. It is located near the vicinity of the ancient capital of Israel, Samaria, in the West Bank. This photo was taken in the Palestinian village of Sebastia, which today has a population of almost 5,000. This was the heartland of the northern tribes to which the prophet, Hosea, delivered God’s messages. Throughout the Bible, the olive tree is the symbol of the spiritual life of Israel. It is said that once rooted, the olive tree never dies. It may be cut down when it is not producing fruit anymore, but it grows again from the roots.

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

 

Key Verses: Hosea 14:4, 9

“I will heal their backsliding,

I will love them freely,

For My anger has turned away from him.”

…”Who is wise?

Let him understand these things.

Who is prudent?

Let him know them.

For the ways of the Lord are right;

The righteous walk in them,

But transgressors stumble in them.”

 

It’s amazing!!! After being rejected, and after God’s great heart has been broken by the sins of His people, the words “ransom,” “redeem,” “return,” “heal,” “love,” “grow,” “beauty,” “help,” and “revived,” stand out in today’s reading. Yes, we bring judgment upon ourselves, and in this life we reap what we have sown for good or evil. And yes, we may need reminding that the most often-repeated sentence in the Bible is “His mercy endures forever!!!” God always responds to our sincere prayers. His answers may be “Wait,” (circumstances must change first) “Grow,” (He has a work to do in us first) “No,” (it’s not best for us), or “Yes.” Here’s one prayer to which He always says “Yes.” This prayer is taken from Dr. John Hull’s book on prayer, Pivotal Praying (page 217, the closing words in his book). Let’s pray this together, “Lord Jesus, I know I have sinned and cannot save myself. Please forgive me. I believe You died on the cross for my sins. I thank You for that. And I believe that You rose from the dead and that You live forever. I truly desire that You come into my life. Right now I open the door of my life and ask You to come and live in me. I receive You now, Jesus, as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You for answering my prayer. Help me to live for You. Make me the person You want me to be. Amen.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that by Your grace I will be “on fire” for You! May I burn with a passion to do Your will on earth as it is done in Heaven. May I give light in dark places, illuminating Your loving eternal purposes for having created me. In the Name of “The Light of the World,” Jesus Christ, I ask these blessings. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

From the olive tree, oil is produced which fed the flames rising from the menorah, a seven-branched candelabra, which provided the only light in the Holy Place in the Tabernacle of Moses, and later in the Temple. The fires burning from the oil-drenched wicks and the offering of the smoke of the incense symbolized the prayers of the people. I’ve read a great book on prayer, and I’m challenged as never before to consistently spend quality time in prayer. The book is called, Pivotal Praying! The subtitle is, Connecting with God in Times of Great Need. Be prepared to have your prayer life and God’s answers to your prayers become all that God would desire. Amen!!! (click here for John Hull’s book).

Yours for listening to God (reading His Word) and then having confidence that God listens to us as we pray!!!

David

Rev. Rick Heibert, portraying the High Priest, prays in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. He stands between the Golden Lampstand and the Altar of Incense. Olive oil feeds the flames which symbolize prayer which ascends to God and light which comes from God.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ROAR

Today’s Reading: Hosea 11-12

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

 

The “Lion’s Fountain” in the Peoples Square in Piazza Del Populo, Rome. Jesus Christ, known as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water!” (John 7:37-38). The “roar like a lion” statement in today’s reading symbolizes the power of God’s Word to communicate God’s desires for His people.

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

 

Key Verses: Hosea 11:8, 10

“How can I give you up, Ephraim?

How can I hand you over, Israel?

How can I make you like Admah?

How can I set you like Zeboiim?

My heart churns within Me;

My sympathy is stirred”…

“They shall walk after the Lord.

He will roar like a lion.

When He roars,

Then His sons shall come trembling from the west.”

 

A prophet represents God to people. A priest represents people to God. In today’s reading Hosea reveals God to us as One whose great heart “churns” because of His love! God is moved to action and He roars like a lion, thus getting attention for His call to return. About 6,000,000 of the children of Israel, who were scattered throughout the world, have come to the land of their ancestors. Israel is now a nation state once again. God has not given up on His ancient people.

But what about the rest of the human family? He has not given up on us either. The Apostle Matthew, a Jew, quotes his prophet, Hosea, referring to the fact that, as a Child, Jesus was taken to Egypt to protect Him from the murderous rage of King Herod. “Out of Egypt I called My Son!” (Hosea 11:1). Let’s read Matthew 2:1-15. Jesus Christ, as no other, revealed the compassionate, longing heart of God for all people. He roars with the Words that come from His mouth. God’s final Words in the Bible through John, who ministered as the final Bible prophet, says to the entire human race, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel [messenger named John] to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” John goes on to proclaim, “And the Spirit and the bride say ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires, let him come and drink of the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:16,17).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Yes, Lord, I tremble at Your Word, and I do come to You every morning! You roared from the cross the most powerful communication ever, and You have gotten the attention of at least 2 billion people currently on earth. You did not give up on the human race, and You continue to call to us to come to You! I thank You that I heard You and responded the day I received You as Saviour, and I remain in Your holy presence. I pray that Your “Roar” will be heard around the world today. May many more come to You! In the Name of the One who has gotten the attention of more people throughout the centuries than any other person, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Yes, I know that God also speaks in a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13). Whatever it takes for God to communicate to me, bring it on! I need to hear from God daily. I do so by consistently, without fail, listening to God as I read His Word. I must confirm anything I’ve heard, or think I’ve heard, by checking it out in the written Word!

I may have mentioned this before, but I’ll never forget hearing a Vancouver pastor of Chinese extraction “Roar!” (he made a noise like a lion). I said to Gideon Chu, “What are you doing?” He answered, “The serpent has had my Chinese people for far too long. The ‘Lion of Judah’ roars against the serpent!” It was a prophetic gesture. We have many examples in Scripture of the prophets making various gestures to illustrate their points. Pastor Gideon is so on fire for God, that I know I need to stoke the fires of my fervency more and more.

Yours for making ourselves available daily for God’s communication to His human family through His written Word!!! Whether it’s a “Roar” or a still small voice, are we listening?

David

P.S.

I came across some pictures of lions roaring (one is below). When a lion roars, we’d better listen!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

PLOUGHING/SOWING/REAPING

Today’s Reading: Hosea 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).

 

A Farmer at Nazareth Village in Nazareth uses a sickle. Reaping before modern farm implements was a very labour intensive task. Over and over again, the Scriptures make the point that what we sow in our lifetimes, we will inevitably reap as a harvest, as in our key verse, either “mercy” or “iniquity.”

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

 

Key Verses: Hosea 10:12-13a

Sow for yourselves righteousness;

Reap in mercy;

Break up your fallow ground,

For it is time to seek the Lord,

Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

You have plowed wickedness;

You have reaped iniquity.

 

In Hosea 9 & 10 the message is clear. A Holy God and sin cannot co-exist. Therefore, sin must be dealt with. The sacrificial offerings were a way of covering sin by the picture they presented of the final sacrifice for sin by Jesus Christ (Messiah) on the cross. We can learn from Hosea. We must determine to live holy lives in order to please God. Every day we are sowing by our actions and we reap in our lives, and in our families, the consequences of sin. Breaking up fallow ground (ploughing) is hard work, requiring firm discipline. “IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD!” Sin almost totally destroyed God’s chosen people. They sowed sin and reaped a crop of destruction and pain. While our sins are forgiven and we have the assurance of eternal life because of the cross of Christ, as long as we are in this life, we hurt ourselves and our loved ones as a result of sin.

Jesus taught about sowing and reaping. When our hearts are hardened by sin, the Lord’s efforts to plant good seed are thwarted. Are there stones that need removal from our lives? Or have thorns grown in our lives which hurt ourselves and others? (read Luke 8:4-15).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I repent!!! I pray for Your rain of righteousness to fall on me, soaking me with pure and holy living. I seek You, Lord Jesus! Forgive my sin and change my heart and mind! May I take deliberate actions to move away from the occasion of sinning and from those who would entice me to sin. By repentance I break up the hard ground in my heart, and I ask for the good seed of Your Word to penetrate into my innermost being, producing a harvest of holiness!!! In the Name of Your 100% Holy Son, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Here are some random thoughts. Surely Hosea 9:17 has been fulfilled, “They shall be wanderers among the nations.” Until 1948 God’s ancient people had not had a sovereign state for over 2,000 years. They wandered the world over. They are gathered back to Israel, but a national revival of faith in God and obedience to God is still to take place there.

Hosea 10:3b, “As for a king, what would he do for us,” reminds me of President Kennedy’s statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” It is rather obvious that the people of Israel were refusing to take responsibility for their own lives and wanted big government to do almost everything for them.

The summer I turned eight, my Uncle Harvey Lindsay, on whose farm we lived while my Dad was overseas during the WW2 years, taught me to break up the hard ground with a one-furrow plough behind Mischief, his one and only horse. He reprimanded me whenever I was distracted and took my eyes off the post across the field. By a steady gaze at that post, I was to plough a straight furrow. I’ve never forgotten that lesson. As long as I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, and by focusing on His unchanging holy Person, I can continue to live straight.

Yours for consistently living a holy life by God’s grace given to us as we plough up the hardness in our lives, sowing daily the seed of God’s Word in our hearts and minds, and we surely will reap holiness before our Holy God!

David

Monday, March 28, 2016

WHIRLWIND

Today’s Reading: Hosea 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).

A field on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee is ready for harvest. Galilee is over 600 feet below Sea Level with a bowl-like topography. Strong south-west winds are drawn into this 5 mile by 8 mile rift in the earth’s surface and can create strong whirlwinds which destroy the crops, and as we read in the Gospels, turn the peaceful seascape we see here into violent storms.

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

 

Key Verses: Hosea 7:2 and 8:7a

They do not consider in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness; now their own deeds have surrounded them; they are before my face…They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind.

 

Five times in today’s reading we see the name of the largest tribe in Israel, Ephraim. Ephraim was farthest away geographically from the Temple in Jerusalem, and it seems that they were also furthest away from God during the time of Hosea’s ministry. Ephraim represents all ten northern tribes of Israel. To try to communicate to them their need to repent, Hosea uses word pictures like “band of robbers,” “an oven neglected by a sleeping baker,” “a silly dove caught in a net,” and farmers who “sow to the wind and reap a whirlwind.” In the first verse of our reading, God speaks through Hosea and says, “I would have healed Israel!” God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (read 2 Peter 3:9-11). But just like Hosea preaching in his day that “Israel has forgotten his Maker!” (Hosea 8:14a), God also wants to bring us close to Himself and not reject us, but our sin and our foolish pride create a wall between God and us that stops reconciliation. Jesus broke down that wall for all who repent of their sins and trust in Him. Through another prophet, the Lord says of a future time, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34b).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I repent of my sin. I pray with the man whose prayer has become so well known, “God be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). By Your forgiveness You erase my sin from Your records. According to Your promise, You don’t even remember my past sin. Thank You!!! I ask for Your grace for this new day so that I will be kept pure in thought, word and deed. I ask this through the only One who had no need to repent, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

We have a 21st century Jeremiah (Johnston) who says,

“In an age of acute Biblical illiteracy, the vision of the Christian Thinkers Society is to lead the vanguard of a new movement that will have a notable impact on the shape of contemporary Christianity by providing the essential training to transform and enrich believers, Christian leaders, and Pastors who will be characterized by a thinking faith, capable to communicate confidently, and committed to escape the tendency to offer trite answers to a sceptical world.”

I’m asking my blog readers to pray for Jeremiah and share Jeremiah’s vision with others. Check out his website HERE. I like Jeremiah’s slogan, “Teaching Pastors and Christians to Become Thinkers, and Thinkers to Become Christians”…and a big “AMEN” to that!!!

Yours for a greater understanding of the heart and mind of our “Maker!”

David

Sunday, March 27, 2016

THE THIRD DAY

Today’s Reading: Hosea 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).

 

The Convent of Pater Noster is on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. It is located at the site of the ruins of the “Eleona” Basilica, built in the 4th Century by Constantine over a cave where, according to tradition, Jesus taught the “Our Father” (“Pater Noster” in Latin). The walls of this convent are decorated with 140 large ceramic tiles, each one inscribed with the Lord’s Prayer in a different language (Matthew 6:9-13).

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

 

Key Verses: Hosea 6:1-2

“Come and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind is up. After two days, He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.”

 

The prophets of God were given insight into the judgment for sin that God would place on His Son, Jesus, Son of God and Son of man. Jesus was torn and stricken in our place. But through Him, God heals us and binds up our wounds, and then there is the resurrection of Jesus “on the third day” (HAPPY EASTER!). Hosea was a contemporary of Isaiah. Hosea preached his message to the northern tribes of Israel and Isaiah to the southern tribes. Let’s take the time to read again from Isaiah 53. We can never read often enough Isaiah’s revelation of Jesus, the suffering Saviour.

God sent Hosea when Israel was at its lowest point morally and spiritually. Hosea’s message is that God promises to forgive, heal, restore, revive and establish God’s Kingdom, if only they will call upon Him. The northern ten tribes failed to return to God. The result was that they were scattered all over the world by their Assyrian overlords. The history of Israel is in our Bibles so that we may learn and not repeat the same mistakes and thus bring judgment on ourselves. Jesus gave us the “Our Father” prayer which calls out to God these words, “YOUR KINGDOM COME!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will learn the lessons You are teaching me. Grant grace so that I may put what I’m learning into practice daily. I desire to please You and to live righteously before You! Continue to draw me ever closer to Yourself!! I pray this in the Name of the One who always loved and served You at 100%, my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

There is only one city on earth for which the Bible specifically tells me to pray. That’s Jerusalem! (read Psalm 122). I’ve been praying for Jerusalem fervently over the past few days. More than 1,000,000 Jews and Arabs live in that great city today. The clearly-spoken threats of annihilation by Iran (formerly Persia) hang like a sword over their heads.  A few years ago, when Iraq (Babylon) was about to complete their nuclear facilities, Israel bombed their reactor in what they considered a preemptive strike. Iran is about to complete their development of nuclear weapons in spite of the recent agreement with the U.S.A. I wonder and I pray. On “THE THIRD DAY,” Jesus arose from the dead and lives forever to, as Hebrews 7:25 says, pray for “those who have come to God through Him.” That includes me! Hallelujah!!! Have a wonderful Easter celebration today!

Yours for encouraging prayer for “the peace of Jerusalem!!!”

David

Norma-Jean and I with our son Ron and his wife Ann at the empty Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. ‘HE IS RISEN!!!” “HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!”

Saturday, March 26, 2016

HOSEA AND GOMER

Today’s Reading: Hosea 1-4

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. In King David’s time, all 12 tribes of Israel were united under his rule. They divided under David’s grandson, north and south. Hosea ministered to the north at the same time Isaiah ministered to the south.

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

 

Key Verses: Hosea 2:23

I will plant her for myself in the land;
I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’;
and they will say, ‘You are my God.’

 

Hosea’s personal family life is a tragic reflection of God’s dysfunctional family, Israel. Hosea has a three-point message: (1) Sin brings great heartache to God. (2) Because of sin, the people bring inevitable judgment upon themselves. (3) In spite of Israel’s unfaithfulness and spiritual adultery, God’s love is constant.

By calling Israel (northern tribes) “not my people” (key verse), God dissolved His covenant with them. But He also promised to make them His people once again at some future time. Hosea 2:23 quotes God, “You are My people, and they shall say, You are my God!” Ethnic cleansing dispersed the 10 northern tribes all over the world. According to the Apostle Paul (Rabbi Saul of Tarsus), salvation has been achieved through Jesus Christ. Paul quotes Hosea 2:23 and Hosea 1:10 in Romans 9:23-26. We who believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord have been transferred from being “not His people,” to being “His people!” Hallelujah!!! God employs a variety of ways to bring us to Himself once again. He sends us anonymous gifts. He attracts us by “allure” (Hosea 2:14a). The dictionary says “allure” means, “the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating.” Gomer, Hosea’s estranged spouse, ended up for sale on the auction block as a slave. Hosea paid the highest price for her, redeeming her and restoring her by his forgiveness and undying love. God loves us and has paid for us with the death of Jesus. Jesus said, “‘And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He would die” (John 12:32, 33).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I have a very real sense that You are drawing me into greater intimacy with Yourself. Your Word is as the earth’s magnetic force. The compass of Your Word points me to You. I pray that, as I’m consistent in getting to know You through what You say to me in my daily readings, I will be drawn closer and closer to You. Thank You that You loved me first and that, by Your grace, I love You and am committed to being faithful to You! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

While serving as a Pastor in the northern city of Sudbury, Ontario, I performed a wedding in August of 1964. A couple just showed up wanting to be married, and after a counselling session during which they both invited Jesus into their hearts, I joined them in holy matrimony. I may not have done a good job, because I heard that the bride’s parents convinced them to go to a priest and get him to perform another marriage ceremony. I lost touch with them, but approximately four years later, I was told that they had divorced. In the Fall of 1968 I noticed from the pulpit of the church that they began showing up separately at services. At different times they made their way to the altar, recommitting their lives to Jesus Christ. I married them for a second time in December of 1968. In fact, their two weddings were the first and the last weddings I performed in Sudbury. I’ve lost touch now, 48 years later. I trust they are living happily ever after! As the story of Hosea and the love of his life, Gomer, illustrates, God is in the business of restoring lost love. There’s got to be a country & western song about “lost love found,” but I can’t think of one just now. Can a blog partner help me out?

Yours for running into the outstretched arms of Jesus and being held in His nail-pierced hands,

David

Friday, March 25, 2016

GOD IS LOVE

Today’s Reading: 1 John 4-5

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

 

Many believe that Jesus was crucified at this location in Jerusalem just outside the city walls. It is known as Golgotha, The Place of the Skull, or Calvary. This rock is the north face of a rock quarry from which the stones were taken for the construction of the various Temples. It is dug into Mt. Moriah, the mountain where Abraham was about to sacrifice his son Isaac when God intervened and provided the sacrifice. God’s provision of a ram was a symbol of the final sacrifice for sin when God would sacrifice His only begotten Son, Jesus, on Moriah or in this quarry. The Temples were built on Moriah just south of this location.

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

 

Key Verses: 1 John 4:8-9

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

 

The words “love,” “loved” or “loves” appear 28 times in today’s reading, 40 times in all in the book of 1st John! John quoted Jesus in what is probably the most well-known verse in the entire Bible in John 3:16. We may want to read all of Jesus’ message to Nicodemus, a man who was a Jewish leader (John 3:9-21). In John 20:2, John refers to himself, not by his name, but as the “other disciple whom Jesus loved.” No wonder John is known as “the Apostle of love.”

Because John loved with God’s love, he was compelled to write the most serious warnings about sin and its consequences for all who do not repent and turn from sin. In 1 John 1:8-10, he confirms that we are sinners, including himself. We cannot at any time say, “We have no sin” (present tense), nor can we say, “We have not sinned.” Then in his closing words we read, “Whoever is born of God does not sin.” Is John contradicting himself? No! This is an example of a place where we need to remember Peter’s statement warning us against “private” interpretation of Scripture. Church scholars have consistently interpreted the “does not sin” words with an understanding of the Greek language, in which these words were originally written, to mean, “does not sin deliberately without remorse and confession of sin.” It may be well for us to read again 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (the word “cleanse” in Greek is in a grammatical tense which means a constant, ongoing cleansing). Amen!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, You have made provision for forgiveness and for an ongoing washing of my life from sin. I pray for a consistent attitude of repentance and trust in Your promise that, as long as I walk in the light of Your Word, I know that the blood of Jesus Christ, Your Son, cleanses me from all sin (1 John 1:7). In the Person of Jesus Christ, and because of His blood, I have confidence that You hear me and that I am righteous in Your sight. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have struggled over the years with John’s love letter to all believers because of the statement, “There is a sin leading to death” (1 John 5:16). What is this? I’m convinced that the only sin which cannot be forgiven is that of rejecting Jesus right up until and including the moment of death. I’ve met people who think they have committed the “unpardonable sin.” If we have any desire whatsoever for God’s forgiveness, we can be forgiven when we pray the sinner’s prayer, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). I know this because there is no contradiction in Holy Scripture, and Jesus said, “The one who comes to Me I will by NO MEANS cast out” (John 6:37b)! These are the Words of Jesus that led me personally to believe that Jesus received me and saved me when I was a 16 year old. John writes, in the final words of the Bible, these Words, (click here for Revelation 22:17-21) “Whoever desires” may “Come!” The word “COME!” is repeated twice. It is God’s will that all should be saved, but God will not force anyone to believe. He does not turn people into mindless robots or puppets. I decided to believe God’s promise of salvation, and He did not turn me away!!! According to the words of the Apostle Peter, God is “not willing that any should perish but that ‘ALL’ should ‘COME’ to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9b).

Yours with a fervent prayer that anyone reading this who has not “COME,” will do so now and that you might be helped through the Crossroads telephone prayer number 1-866-273-4444 or e-mail address, [email protected] A non-judgmental person, who cares deeply about you as an eternal, precious never-dying person, is waiting for the phone to ring or an e-mail to arrive indicating a desire to COME TO JESUS! YES!!!!!!! God answers prayer, but it’s too late after death. Please, please, make the call on God and also call the prayer lines.

David

P.S. If you’ve come to Jesus today, we have some helpful literature to send you, which will help you have complete assurance that you are right with God for time and for eternity. Just ask when you call or write, and May God bless you in a special way on this Good Friday!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

LIGHT, LOVE, LIFE

Today’s Reading: 1 John 1-3

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

 

One of the ancient roads in Ephesus. John, author of today ‘s reading, would have walked this street as the Apostle serving the church of Ephesus and the other churches, as recorded in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Perhaps on this public place he preached the Gospel of Light, Love, and Life in Jesus Christ.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 John 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

 

Eight times in the first two chapters, John gives reasons as to his purpose in writing this letter to all of us. (1) Joy (2) Stop sinning (3) Love one another (4) Children (5) Fathers (6) Young men (7) God’s will (8) Truth vs. lies. These are all practical instructions so that “We may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28b). John describes the essence or nature of God’s Being in three ways. Firstly, LIGHT – No darkness in Him (1:5). Secondly, LOVE – “He who does not love does not know God” (4:8). And thirdly, LIFE – “He who has the Son has life” (5:12a).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, thank You for the promise that I “shall be like Him” when I “see Him as He is!” I pray that as I move toward that blessed time, I will grow more and more into Your likeness as I “walk in the light” of Your Word daily! I ask this in the Name of the One Who declared, “I am the Light of the world,” Jesus Christ Himself! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Last evening Norma-Jean and I attended a prayer meeting. We went forward to the altar to pick up prayer cards so that we could join the congregation in praying for those whose names were written down. I believe that my health began to be restored at that church altar on a Sunday evening two years ago last Fall. Now I’m full of energy, and I believe I am healed of the condition that I was told would take my life. So I went up again to the altar to pray for others. God only knows what He accomplished in people’s lives. One thing I do know, Jesus was very present! He promised that “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, there I am in the midst of them.” John’s Gospel and his three letters we have in our Bibles are all about Jesus!!!

Yours with our hearts and minds on the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ!

David

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

TRAVEL AND KNOWLEDGE

Today’s Reading: Daniel 11-12

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 panorama of the entrance to the Acropolis in Greece. This temple for the worship of the goddess Athena was in full use during the period described in Daniel 11, when Alexander the Great’s successors, especially Antiochus Ephiphanes IV, were creating havoc throughout the North, East and South of Israel. He desecrated the Temple with the sacrifice of a pig on the altar, which had been built by Ezra some 300 years earlier, and to which the Babylonian exiles returned.

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

 

Key Verses: Daniel 12:3-4

Those who are wise shall shine

Like the brightness of the firmament,

And those who turn many to righteousness

Like the stars forever and ever.

But you, Daniel, shut up the words,

and seal the book until the time of the end;

many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.

 

Daniel 11 is a prophecy detailing the events which follow the end of the Persian (Iran) empire. Following the death of the Greek conqueror, Alexander the Great, the Empire of Greece is divided up between Alexander’s generals who war against each other for domination.

Daniel 12 leaps ahead centuries of human history to “the time of the end” (Daniel 12:4). How will we know that “the time of the end” is upon us? (1) “Many shall run to and fro” (here and there). It is a fact that more people have travelled more miles over the earth in the last 20 years than in 5,000 years of recorded human history. (2) “Knowledge shall increase.” We are using a computer to write and read this blog. Any of the search engines available to us can connect us at the speed of light to more information than all the libraries of the world combined. If anything, the statements about travel and access to information which Daniel wrote are an understatement. We are living now in “the time of the end!” These developments have never happened before now!

Our key verses should give us joy and confidence in God’s promises. The last sentence Daniel pens is a personal promise he received from the Lord regarding his own resurrection “at the end of days” (12:13).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will make wise decisions as Daniel and his friends did, as recorded at the beginning of Daniel’s book. Then, with Your blessing throughout my life, I too can end my days full of confidence and wisdom. May I shine for You! Grant that I will help “turn many to righteousness!” In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

With websites available worldwide like 100huntley.com and Crossroads 360.com, we are helping to fulfil the prophecy that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). What is “the glory of the Lord”? John answers this question: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). I put the words “knowledge of the glory of the Lord” into just one search engine, “Google.” Up on my screen, came the number of results…35,000,000 in 0.40 seconds. In just this search alone, the whole earth is covered with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord!!!

Back to Daniel and the ruler of the principality of Persia, who was able to hold off Gabriel until Michael arrived to defeat this “Prince of Persia.” Paul teaches us that we fight “against principalities” (Ephesians 6:12). The story is told of a prayer meeting in a home in Los Angeles. They were praying for the first ever major Billy Graham meetings in their city. They reported a loud persistent knock at the door. A woman answered the door to find a huge figure decked with jewels who said, “I am the prince of Los Angeles. You shall not defeat me.” The woman just up from her knees said with authority, “You are defeated by the blood, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” She shut the door in his face, told the prayer warriors inside, and they began to rejoice in the victory Jesus was about to give in Los Angeles. The proof is in the history of the worldwide impact of Billy’s evangelistic crusades, which began right there in L.A.

Yours for the foreknowledge of God revealed through His prophets, whose words are preserved for us in the Bible,

David

Again may I say that the numbers of days, etc., found here in Daniel is far too complicated a study for this blog. I urge you to study the works of a Bible scholar such as Dr. Mark Hitchcock (click here for information).

Here you can see a spectacular racing track in ancient Delphi Greece. The “Oracle at Delphi” was a person who claimed to speak for the many Greek gods. The Apostle Peter called the religions of that day, “cunningly devised fables” (2 Peter 1:16a).

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

70 YEARS

Today’s Reading: Daniel 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).

 

On display in the Pella Archaeological Museum in Central Greece is a sleeping baby angel. The imagination of the sculptor here is a long way from Daniel’s description of the Angel who came to him. Read Daniel 10:5-7.

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

 

Key Verses: Daniel 9:2-3

In the first year of his [Cyrus’] reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of years specified by the word of the Lord, given through Jeremiah, the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolation of Jerusalem. Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.

 

Daniel’s prayers were not just the “Now I lay me down to sleep” variety. The content of his prayer was directly from his reading of his Bible. When we understand God’s will “by the Book” and pray God’s Word, we can expect God’s action. Even so, here in this blog, we read from “The Book” and then we pray accordingly. We may be sure that two of the “Books” which Daniel read and understood were Jeremiah and 2 Chronicles (read Jeremiah 25:11-12 and 2 Chronicles 36:18-23). Now we can understand why Daniel prayed as he did. Let us pray the prayer of Daniel as if we were reading from a prayer book. Scripture has one true interpretation but many applications. Let’s apply this prayer to the nations where we live, in my case Canada, and part-time in the United States.

In the space allotted to this blog, we cannot possibly comment thoroughly on the amazing prophecy of the 70 weeks (literally “heptads” or weeks of years – 490 years). Again, as suggested yesterday, check this out with the writings or teachings of Bible prophecy scholars, such as Dr. Mark Hitchcock (click here for another one of Mark’s books). The accuracy of these prophecies is amazing.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, today I pray with fervency the prayer of Daniel. Thank You for the Son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah), Who touches me and strengthens me as the one “having the likeness of a man” did for Daniel. (Daniel 10:19) In His Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Two stories – the first I know personally. Dr. John Wesley White, associate evangelist with Billy Graham, on the live 100 Huntley Street telecast, held up a copy of the Toronto star and pointed out “prophecies” for the new year by psychic Jean Dixon. John said, “If even one of these comes true, I’ll shred this paper one year from now, put it in a bowl, put some milk and sugar on it, and eat it right here on live TV.” One year later I prepared that shredded paper, poured milk on it and added sugar, but when reviewing the year’s events, not one of Ms. Dixon’s predictions had come to pass. John did not have to eat even one spoonful! We had a great laugh, but the deceit practiced by psychics is not funny. God’s true prophets are 100% accurate, no fuzzy generalizations in order to weasel out when it does not happen, as is the case particularly of the practise of astrology.

Tomorrow, God willing, I’ll tell the second story of a prayer meeting where a menacing person who introduced himself as “The Prince of Los Angeles” showed up. Today’s reading tells us of several princes who serve the evil one (remember Ephesians 6:12-13).

Yours for “understanding” and “praying” accordingly,

David

P.S. It’s my understanding that many of those who pray at the retaining wall of the original Temple platform in Jerusalem (known as the Western Wall or Wailing Wall) often pray the prayer of Daniel 9. Below is a recent photo taken at that wall.

The Western Wall or Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Men pray on the left and women in the crowded area on the right. The land behind the wall, the area where the Temple once stood, is under the control of the Muslims. On the horizon is the Mount of Olives. The steeple seen about 3/4 of the way across the top of the picture is the place where tradition says that Jesus ascended into Heaven.