Monday, October 23, 2017

BLESS THE LORD!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 103

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

 

Heading south in the Kidron Valley you come to the Pillar of Absalom or Absolom’s Monument. 2 Samuel 18:18 tells us that, “Absalom in his life time set up a pillar for himself…..he called the pillar after his own name, and to this day it is called Absalom’s monument.” The Kidron Valley, also known as the King’s Valley, is located between the eastern walls of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 103:15-16

As for man, his days are like grass;

As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,

And its place remembers it no more.

 

We remember Prince Absalom, son of King David, who committed treason in trying to overthrow his father’s reign in Israel. Absolom’s untimely and violent death may have been in David’s mind when he penned the words of today’s reading. David grieved so very deeply over the death of his son (read 2 Samuel 18:9-33). Paul preached in the Antioch synagogue telling all that God said, “I have found David, the son of Jessie, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.” The Apostle went on to say, “From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Saviour – Jesus!” (Acts 13:22-23).

David had reason to grieve, but he ordered his soul to “BLESS THE LORD!” Six times in today’s reading these words appear. What does it mean to “BLESS”? It means that we are to make someone joyful! Let us ask ourselves this question: Does the smile of God’s approval rest upon our lives? My father often prayed at our family altar, “May the smile of Your approval be on our lives this day and always.” If we don’t have the assurance that God is blessed by our lives, we need to repent, ask forgiveness, and then look up again. Look for His joy to be revealed. Our souls will know when God is blessed!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, may the smile of Your approval be upon our lives this day and always. I pray that my soul will BLESS YOU, LORD GOD! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Bob Code, a man whom my mother led to Christ, along with his wife and daughter, would often say, “Bless the Lord!” I was about 13 years old then and I questioned how Mr. Code could bless God. I thought, “God is the One who does the blessing.” And God does bless us in awesome ways, but I’ve learned that blessing is a two-way street. God blesses us and we bless Him! Amen!

I’ve often read our key verses while standing at a graveside. I’ve just read again the verses just before, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear [respect, awe, worship] Him. For He knows our frame; that we are dust” (Psalm 103:12-14).

Yours for being blessed and for blessing God and all with whom we come into contact!

David

The view from behind Absalom’s Monument. His pillar is sculpted out of the bedrock in the valley below the city walls. Tourists don’t usually see the sculpture from this angle. Our photographer, my son, David Reynold, was determined to get the best pictures for these blogs. Thank you, my son!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

HOLY VISUALS!

Today’s Reading: Psalms 101-102

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

 

The Church of the Holy Apostles in Athens, Greece, is often covered with birds that fly over the ruins of the ancient agora (close-up photo below). Today’s reading tells us of “A sparrow alone on the housetop.” These Athenian pigeons are not lonely birds.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalms 101:3a, 102:27

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes…

But You are the same and Your years will have no end.

 

It seems impossible to avoid seeing vile images. We do, however, have a choice of what we view. When we watch some TV programs, we are just asking for trouble. Whatever we feed our minds, particularly through the eyegate, if it is not positive and good, will inevitably pollute our thoughts and sometimes our actions in a way displeasing to our holy God! The opposite, good thoughts and actions, can happen from watching 100 Huntley Street and other productions which please God! Psalm 101 was written by King David. It’s possible that Bathsheba knew exactly what she was doing when she took a bath on her rooftop in full view of David’s balcony, which was located just up the hill above her home. David, when he wrote the words of this Psalm, may have been thinking of the great damage he caused because he gave in to visual temptation and committed adultery (2 Samuel 11). We must repent of our carelessness, guarding our hearts and minds, keeping our eyes and minds on the Lord and His Word to us.

In Psalm 102 we find a writer who feels very much alone, as is evident from the metaphors of the birds. The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews quotes from this Psalm and refers to Jesus (Hebrews 1:10-12). We can be encouraged because Hebrews 13:8 tells us that “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!” I find myself singing softly, so as to not wake up Norma-Jean, the beautiful prayer hymn, “Abide With Me.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, thank You that the words of the hymn are true: “Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changes not, abide with me” (click here for a rendition of “Abide With Me”). This is my prayer, O Lord! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I find that the sight of a bird all alone is sad. Two birds together (many kinds mate for life) or a flock of birds is a joyful scene, like the birds on the church roof in today’s photos. Norma-Jean and I watch for people who appear lonely and try to include them in our lives in some way. I’ve often heard my wife say something like, “She looks lonely, let’s invite her for a coffee.” Sometimes through the years, she has brought people home for a meal and for fellowship. The 100 Huntley Street television ministry gives the amazing opportunity of visiting right there in the homes of our viewers. It really is the next best thing to a personal visit!

Over 500,000,000 tablets and iPads have been sold around the world. That figure would not include laptop computers and smart phones. There are several billion visual devices in use around the world. Think of the potential for seeing vile and evil things! Crossroads is doing its best to fill those screens with the opposite…beautiful words and visuals. Norma-Jean and I do our best to support all the God-given visions of Crossroads, as well as several other ministries. I urge everyone to do the same! Crossroads has a vision to be “Media Missionaries” and provide positive and holy viewing alternatives, in order to “OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD!!! (Romans 12:21b).

Yours for viewing, reading, and hearing good, holy, uplifting things!

David

Birds on the Church of the Holy Apostles in Athens Greece. Because of strong and good teaching, the Greeks did not give in to islamic conversions during approximately 300 years of moslem rule. The church is an integral component in the every day life of the Greek people.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

“100”

Today’s Reading: Psalms 98-100

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

 

Here are some of the beautiful mosaics inside the Church of Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. This church is located in Lower Galilee, Israel, at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, 11 miles (18 km) west of the Sea of Galilee. It is believed by many Christians to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. It is also known as the Mount of Transfiguration.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 100:4-5

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,

And into His courts with praise.

Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 98 is another “NEW” song! The word “NEW” is one of the most powerful words in the English language. We are attracted by that which is “NEW!” What “NEW” insights, “marvelous things” has God done? Our response to Him should be exuberant praise!

Psalm 99 takes us to a most serious consideration. God’s “Justice,” “Equity,” “Righteousness,” and the fact that “He is holy” should cause us to “Exalt the Lord our God.” He answered the prayers of Moses, Aaron and Samuel and forgave their sins, but they still suffered the consequences of their sins. Check out Numbers 20:7-13 and 1 Samuel 8:1-5.

Psalm 100 gives us reasons why we should “Make a joyful shout to the Lord!” (1) “The Lord is good.” (2) “His mercy is everlasting.” (3) “His truth endures to all generations.” This includes the generations alive here in the 21st century! Our key verses sum up why we have every reason to be excited about the Lord and why we must not keep this good news to ourselves. We must find and support every effort to reach “the ends of the earth” with our message that “The Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I have received a new understanding of Your mercy and faithfulness. How can I do less than give You all of me? I do enter Your “gates with thanksgiving.” I come into Your “courts with praise.” I pray for Your continuing grace to worship and serve You as I should. I pray in the Name of the One who always pleased You, the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I believe we were in the perfect will of God when Crossroads moved in 1977 from the weekly telecasts, called Crossroads and Circle Square for children, to the daily 100 Huntley Street telecast, originating from a building in downtown Toronto with that address. On the very first program, as well as on many subsequent live daily telecasts, I proclaimed that Psalm 100 was our official ministry Psalm. In the light of this fact, I encourage the hosts and producers of our present television and internet productions to use Psalm 100 as a template in order to make sure we are continuing the original purpose of God for the ministry.

On several occasions, when decisions were required, the number 100 played an important role in God’s directions for me and for the Crossroads ministry. The picture below represents a most joyous and productive time in Ministry. Without Jesus out front as #1, the world is like zeros…lost in space and time.

Yours so that we may together “SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS!”

David

P.S. As a little girl, our second daughter Ellen would kneel at the altar in church and weep for lost people all over the world. I’m not surprised that she and her husband are reaching via television the Arabic, Urdu (Pakistan), Farsi (Iran), and Turkish speaking peoples. Please check them out at Light for All Nations.

In front of the big “100” at our prayer lines on the set of “100 Huntley Street” in the mid-eighties in downtown Toronto.

Here is the exterior of the Church of Transfiguration on Mount Tabor.

Friday, October 20, 2017

COME

Today’s Reading: Psalms 95-97

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

 

Israelis love their trees…Here in the Jordan Valley, you can see how the bulldozers moved the soil around the precious Acacia trees.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 96:7-8

Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,

Give to the Lord glory and strength.

Give to the Lord the glory due His name;

Bring an offering, and come into His courts.

 

Psalm 95 is God’s invitation to “COME!” What do we do when we “COME!”?… We “SING!” “SHOUT JOYFULLY!” offer to Him “THANKSGIVING!” “WORSHIP! BOW DOWN! KNEEL!” 95:7b invites us to hear His voice. We hear with our inner ears as we read or we can hear by clicking on the above Scripture link and hear the Words being read out loud.

Psalm 95 was sung as the national anthem of Israel. In Psalm 96 we move beyond Israel to the whole world. All nationalities are invited to “COME” and to “WORSHIP” the Lord in the beauty of holiness! “The Lord reigns!” (96:10-12a). The result will be that even the trees, including those Acacia trees in Reynold’s picture, will “REJOICE!”

Let’s not forget our key verse. When we come, we give the offerings listed above, but we must not miss the exhortation, “BRING AN OFFERING!” Jesus watched as the widow placed her offering in the receptacle, and He announced that she had given more than all the others. When Jesus counts the giving of His people, He counts the level of sacrifice involved (read Mark 12:41-44). Psalm 97 carries on from Psalm 96.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

O Lord God, Your Name and Your message must be communicated more effectively to all the nations. I pray for Crossroads and other Christian ministries who are called by You and work skillfully, and for those who make it all possible by giving offerings sacrificially. Bless and strengthen us all in Jesus’ Name! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My son Reynold and his wife Kathy lead one of those ministries that’s communicating the Word of God to other nations. They live in Uganda, East Africa, and have a unique ministry called World Embrace. This is an apostolic work that seeks to answer Jesus’ prayer in John 17 where Jesus prayed just hours before His crucifixion “…Father, may they be brought to complete unity so that the world will know that You love them and have sent Me…” (John 17:21-23). Their web site is www.worldembrace.org. You will see it is an exciting one-of-a-kind missions outreach. They have no mission society or denomination supporting them, and though they have been full time in various Missions activities for over 15 years, this calling is relatively new. “Unity” is God’s call on their lives…and in reality, according to Scripture, we are all to have a heart for unity with other followers of Jesus. At the foundation of God establishing His kingdom on earth is “Unity” within His church…His church made up of every nation, every tribe, every people, and every language.  And yes, man-made walls are coming down and bridges of relationship are being built. Praise God!!!

Yours for living as Psalms 95, 96, and 97 encourage us to live!!!

David

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A PALM AND A CEDAR

Today’s Reading: Psalms 92-94

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

 

Date Palm trees flourishing in Israel’s arid Jordan Valley.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 92:12-14

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,

He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Those who are planted in the house of the Lord

Shall flourish in the courts of our God.

They shall still bear fruit in old age;

They shall be fresh and flourishing…

 

Flourish! Flourish! Flourishing! We can choose to be like this as we grow into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Like the Date Palm tree, we can produce really good fruit (dates). Mmmm! Are we hungry yet? Like the Cedars of Lebanon, we can be the building materials for the Temple of God here on earth! We are the temples of the Holy Spirit! We are God’s dwelling place on earth (read 1 Corinthians 6:15-20).

Psalm 93 describes God as the eternal King over all creation!

Psalm 94 is an antidote to fear. “If I say, ‘My foot slips,’ Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul!” (94:18-19).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, in my prayer today I want to present before You everything that causes me to be anxious (I’m listing now privately at least three things that concern me deeply). I’m quoting the Apostle Paul now, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). In His Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

The palm tree produces fruit from a young age to old age. I sincerely want to be like that! It’s a reason for this blog! (I want everyone to know that they can start reading with me at any time and, God willing, in two years they will complete the entire Bible). The giant Cedar trees of Lebanon are always green (evergreen). They grow tall and are rooted very deeply, so that they can withstand any storm that comes, without being toppled. I sincerely want to be like that too! These blessings are from God, who grows, strengthens, and makes flourish all who surrender to Him as Saviour and Lord. As Psalm 92:2 tells me “To declare Your lovingkindness every morning” (the blog posted at 6:00 am), and “Your faithfulness every night,” I try to do that also! As I retire at night, I read the Scriptures for the next morning, so they can percolate in my spirit overnight. Then I read the same portion the next morning, praying about what God is saying to me through His Word as I prepare to type these words.

Yours because of God’s lovingkindness and faithfulness!

David

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

THE SECRET PLACE

Today’s Reading: Psalms 90-91

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

 

Goreme is a town in Cappadocia, an historical region of Turkey. The people who settled here built their homes within these unusual, cone-shaped hills. This area was first settled during the Roman period. Christians were persecuted and for protection they dug subterranean dwellings into the rock hillsides. The believers in Christ were literally dwelling in a secret place as our key verse says. When Christians became the majority in the region, many churches were carved out of the solid rock. These amazing structures can still be seen today. Cappadocia is mentioned several times in the New Testament, including Acts 2:9 and 1 Peter 1:1.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 90:1 & 91:14

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom….

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High

Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

 

Psalm 90 is unique in that it is the only one composed by Moses. He probably wrote this during the wanderings in the wilderness for 40 years, when they had no place to call home. They could not fortify themselves against enemy attacks. Moses learned that their only safe dwelling place was in the Lord. Considering the shortness of our days, 70 to 80 years approximately, we need to pack in all the wisdom we can gain so that “the beauty of the Lord will be upon us, and the works of our hands will be established” (90:17).

Psalm 91 teaches us that the secret place with God every day (it could be this blog) is the place of security. The world can be shut out and a sense of belonging to God is ours. We’re at home in the presence of the Lord! This is true protection!!! The warmth of God’s love is here!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, here I am, dwelling in Your secret place. I pray that I will learn more and more to relax and dwell constantly in Your presence. Thank You for this peaceful place of complete security, for now and for eternity! This is only because of Jesus in Whose Name I ask this great mercy. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have personally experienced the fact that God “is my refuge and fortress.” As an evangelist who has shared the message of Jesus on the streets first, and then for decades on television, I’ve had attacks on my personal integrity which had no substance, and attacks on the effectiveness of the ministries which I’ve led. I felt totally unworthy when I received an award in 2008 for “Integrity in Life and Ministry,” along with Billy Graham, who received the same honour that year, presented by the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. I believe the secret of honouring God in honesty and love to all is that consistent “secret place” time with God early every morning. My meditation contained in this daily blog happens in that “secret place.”

Yours because of the Lord’s promise to “establish the work of our hands!”

David

In another part of historic Cappadocia, the city of Kaymakli was created by persecuted Christians who excavated the relatively soft rock deep below the ground with the access opening well hidden. This is one of the below-ground rooms, and the round stone was likely a kitchen table. While this underground city consists of 8 floors below ground, only 4 of them are open to the public today, in which the spaces are organized around ventilation shafts. Archeologists think that there could have been up to 3,500 people living in this city. So far 36 underground cities have been discovered in Cappadocia.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

HOW LONG O LORD?

Today’s Reading: Psalms 89

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

 

This mosaic outside of St. Gabriel’s church in Nazareth (also known as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation) depicts the angel Gabriel announcing to Mary the news that she would bear a Son who would rule over the throne of David forever.

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

 

Key Verses: Psalm 89:1, 15

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;

With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations…

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!

They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance.

 

First of all, how about a spiritual lift? Click here to join in singing “of the mercies of the Lord forever!” After all, the intention of Ethan, the composer of this hymn, is that we should sing the words of our key verse. According to verse 15, we are a blessed people because we “KNOW THE JOYFUL SOUND!” The choir and orchestra may well have been intended to build to a crescendo from verses 1 to 15. Ethan’s faith is strong. He believes that God will keep His promise that the dynasty of King David will continue (read 1 Kings 8:22-26). He believes this in spite of the fact that the last ruling monarch of David’s line had been taken captive into Babylon. The last 15 verses of this Psalm seem to show that it was written prophetically or that Ethan lived and wrote after the events of the destruction of Jerusalem. Ethan, in his emotionally-charged poetry, cries out, “How long, Lord? Will You hide Yourself forever?”

It would be approximately 500 years later that the permanent occupant of David’s throne would be born of the Virgin Mary. Let us read about the “Anointed One.” Those words, “Anointed One,” are the English translation of the Hebrew word “Messiah.” Let us all read from Luke’s Gospel 1:26-33. Luke picks up on the words from Psalm 89:36-37 and quotes from the Angel who appeared to Mary with this message concerning the Child she was about to conceive, “The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David… of His Kingdom there will be no end!” Amen!!! Amen!!! Amen!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You are my King, my forever Sovereign. You rule over my heart and mind. I recommit to this fact every day as I meditate on this blog’s Scripture portion. I pray that I will live today, and every day, as Your ambassador, representing You well! Thank You for grace to do this. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

As a boy in school here in Canada, a former colony of Britain, I would sing heartily, “God save our gracious King” (George VI). On the main street of the village of Brighton, Ontario, back in 1959, while Queen Elizabeth II passed by in an open convertable car, Norma-Jean played the accordion and I led approximately 5,000 people crowding the sidewalks in singing, “God save the Queen.” The difference with the King who sits on David’s throne is that He saves us when we call on Him! The Bible declares that, “Whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved!”

Yours for the Glory of the King who does not need to be saved, but who Saves!!!

David

Monday, October 16, 2017

O CITY OF GOD

Today’s Reading: Psalms 87-88

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

 

These graves that line the hillside of the Mount of Olives can be seen from the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives, or Mount Olivet, is a mountain ridge east of, and adjacent to, Jerusalem’s Old City. It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes. The southern part of the Mount was the necropolis (large cemetery) of the ancient Judean kingdom. The Mount is central to Jewish tradition since it has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves. Several key events in the life of Jesus, as related in the Gospels, took place on the Mount of Olives, and in the Book of Acts it is described as the place from which Jesus ascended to Heaven.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 88:3-4

For my soul is full of troubles,

And my life draws near to the grave.

I am counted with those who go down to the pit;

I am like a man who has no strength,

 

Psalm 87 may be an expansion of Psalm 86:9, which prophesies a day when “all nations which You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name!” Zion (Jerusalem) is not just a city, the capital of Israel, but the capital city of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Psalm 88 may be a prophetic utterance fulfilled by Jesus when He was put in the pit after His arrest. This Psalm has been printed on a laminated card and placed there on the altar in that pit for all visitors to read who descend into it (below the ancient ruins of the High Priest Caiaphas’ house — see the photo in a previous blog here).

Heman, the composer of this psalm, seems to be without hope. While David wrote songs of deep despair, he always at some point expressed hope and praise to God. In spite of the fact that Heman did not express his confidence in God to deliver him, he did “cry out day and night” to God. Heman must have had faith in God or he would not have called on God to hear his cry.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I am blessed! I may not be able to identify with Heman in his prayer of lamentation for myself, but I can identify with others who are going through deep troubles. I cry to You, Lord, for Your intervention in the lives of hurting people who are being crushed by tragedy. Lord Jesus, just before You descended into the pit, and just before Your death and resurrection, You put Your all-powerful arms under people in deep despair in order to lift them out of their pit. I pray that I will be used of You, Lord, as Your arms to lift others into the experience of Your peace and love. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

[Note: This was originally written October 16th, 2015]

God willing, I will not experience too soon the words of our key verse, at least not today, because my youngest grandson is playing in a high school football game I want to see. Actually, I believe I’m ready any time the Lord says, “Come!”

I have often stood on the Mount of Olives where I have viewed the scene of these graves in the photos. The Jewish people place small stones on top of the graves of those they wish to remember. The bodies are buried with the feet pointing to the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem in expectation that when Messiah comes, they will stand up in the resurrection and will see the Messiah enter. In His prophetic entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, Jesus rode the donkey through these graves and into the city’s Eastern Gate. I’ve just read John’s account of Jesus’ ride (John 12:12-22), and Luke’s record (Luke 19:28-44).

Yours in the great hope of the coming of the Messiah and the resurrection,

David

Here is a view of many Jewish graves from a hole in the wall of a walkway that leads down the Mount of Olives.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

THE MEETING & THE KISS

Today’s Reading: Psalms 84-86

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

 

Golgotha (meaning “skull” in Aramaic) also called Calvary (from Latin calva, meaning “bald head” or “skull”), may be at this skull-shaped hill in Jerusalem. It is an ancient quarry through which a main road passes just outside the Damascus Gate. The prophet Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 1:12, “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which the Lord inflicted on me in the day of His fierce anger.” Thousands of people “pass by” each day here at the Arab East Jerusalem Bus Station. Without exception, the Romans always crucified people beside the most busy roads in order to show an example to as many people as possible.

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 85:10

Mercy and truth have met together;

Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Our key verse found fulfillment at the cross of Christ! God’s mercy to the entire human race was made available at the Cross! God’s Truth and righteousness, for which Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, was satisfied. The Apostle Paul, a Jewish Rabbi, wrote, “Having made peace through the blood of His cross…” (Read Colossians 1:15-22).

Psalm 84 should cause us to ask of ourselves this question: When is the last time we longed to go to church with such an intense desire?

Psalm 85 is a cry to God for revival, a hymn to be sung in the house of God! After such a fervent prayer, confidence fills the heart and mind of the writer. “YES, the Lord will give what is good!” (Psalm 85:12a).

In Psalm 86, King David gives reasons why he believes that the Lord will hear his prayer, preserve him, save him, show mercy, teach him, deliver him, strengthen him and give him a sign. When we speak out our confidence in God, our faith is increased.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, You help the helpless. That’s me! I’m confident in Your salvation because You are my God and I trust in You! “You, Lord, are good and ready to forgive” (86:5a). “You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth” (86:15). Therefore, O Lord, I’m filled with faith in You as I kneel in Your presence to call upon You for this new day. I pray in the Name of the One who brought mercy and truth together, and through Whom righteousness and peace have kissed each other, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

The eternal, all-powerful, all-loving, all-wise God has provided a way for His unchangeable “rule of law” to be satisfied. God’s Son, fully God, took upon Himself the punishment which I deserved, so that eternal justice has been satisfied. That “kiss” referred to in our key verse presents a picture of what happened as Jesus, fully God, suffered in my place.

I can do no less than give myself again to God for this new day and for the rest of my life. Again this morning I am quoting my daily confession, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

 

David

Saturday, October 14, 2017

GALILEE OR DEAD SEA

Today’s Reading: Psalms 81-83

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

 

The Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea, borders Jordan to the east and Israel and Palestine to the west. Its surface and shores are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level…Earth’s lowest elevation on land. The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world’s first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics. As the Jordan River flows south, it picks up salts and other chemicals which eventually kill all life by the time the waters reach the Dead Sea. There is no escape from the Sea except by evaporation, which concentrates the deadly chemicals even more. Likewise, throughout the years in the flow of Israel’s history, the people absorbed the sins of the surrounding nations and death spiritually was the result (Psalm 83).

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

 

Key Verse: Psalm 81:13

Oh, that My people would listen to Me,

That Israel would walk in My ways!

 

Psalm 82:5b tells us, “All the foundations of the earth are unstable.” The Bible is not a textbook on natural science, but when a statement is made on the subject, it is correct. The people could not have known about the great tectonic plates that move continents, causing earthquakes and opening up huge chasms such as the Jordan Valley. Geologists have calculated the increase of the salt in the Dead Sea, and a formula has been developed. If the formula is reversed to figure out the decrease of salt, it is possible to guess at the time when no waters flowed down to the lowest place on earth, and no salt was washed into that sea, which has no outward flow. This was not millions of years ago, but in the time from the flood of Noah to the fire and brimstone of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 7:11-24 & Genesis 19:24-29).

Our key verse tells us that God longs for His people to return to Him. If they had maintained their relationship with God consistently, they would have enjoyed the river of constant blessings instead of curses, defeat and death over and over again.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for consistency every day to draw from Your river of life as Your presence and purpose flows through time. Please grant me sufficient grace that I may not pick up the corrosive death-producing culture of this world. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I love the description of the “pure river of water of life,” which the Apostle John shared with us from his vision of the “Throne of God (Revelation 22:1-2). That river flows through Jesus Himself (John 4:7-14) and also John 7:37-39, where I’ve just read that Jesus cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures have said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” There are several places in the Hebrew Scriptures to which Jesus referred. I’ve just looked up one of those and read Isaiah 43:19-21.

The upper Jordan flows from the pure sources at the base of Mount Herman in the north down to the fresh, life-filled Sea of Galilee. Then the water proceeds to descend down through that deep scar in the earth’s surface, known as the Rift Valley, into a place where no life can exist. I’ve tried to swim in the Dead Sea. It was very awkward, given the water’s unusual buoyancy (10 times more salty than the ocean). When I tried to swim, the tendency was for my head to sink under the surface and my feet to rise as I floated. At another time, after a long horseback ride along the upper Jordan, with my muscles aching and sore, my sons, who assist me in this blog, and I plunged into the waters for the most refreshing swim of our lives. The difference between the pure waters flowing from the mountains toward the Sea of Galilee and the eventual destiny of those waters (the Dead Sea) was enormous! Life and death is in those waters. I must stay constantly in the Living Waters, not picking up the death-producing contamination of this world as I travel through it.

Yours for choosing LIFE!!!

David

The shorelines of the Dead Sea are covered in some areas by massive salt deposits, as seen in this photo.