Saturday, February 17, 2018

SHEEP AND THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 50

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

 

For thousands of years sheep have fed on these grasses in the Jordan Rift Valley in Israel. Again and again the Bible likens us to sheep. I think I’ve found a sheep that represents me in this picture. Pick one out that may represent you! Where is the shepherd?

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 50:6

My people have been lost sheep.

Their shepherds have led them astray;

They have turned them away on the mountains.

They have gone from mountain to hill;

They have forgotten their resting place.

 

Chapters 50 (today) and 51 (tomorrow) are the longest pronouncements of judgment against a people. The Chaldeans, with their capital city of Babylon (located about 80 km south of modern Bagdad, Iraq), were defeated by the Persians (Iran), and much of the city was destroyed. Sadam Hussein, former President of Iraq, was in the process of beginning to rebuild Babylon when he was removed from power. The rebuilding stopped. The prophecy of Jeremiah remains true to this day (50:39b)…”It shall be inhabited no more forever, nor shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation.”

Three times in today’s reading the Babylonians are referred to as “proud.” The images of their god, Bel Merodac (or Marduk, creator and sun god), were “broken in pieces” as verse two says. “Pride” can be traced to its source; Lucifer, the Archangel, was lifted up in “pride,” sought to be worshipped, and, as a result, was exiled from Heaven and banished to the earth. He has, by inspiring idolatry, sought to receive the worship that he was denied in Heaven. When Jesus came to us through the gateway of the Virgin’s womb, He modelled the opposite to this pride. For a New Testament reading, consider Philippians 2:5-11.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, Your Word tells me, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). Also, You tell me that “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). I pray for Your grace so that I may humble myself before You. As I’ve just read in Philippians, Jesus is my Example of humility, and I pray this in His Name. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I’ve just been looking at the sheep in Reynold’s photograph. I identify with the one near the back of the flock that has its head up looking at the familiar paths. I can see those paths on the right. They are worn into the hillside by generations of sheep ascending and descending the slope. Perhaps the sheep with the raised head wants to head back home to the safety of the cave where the shepherd personally stands guard between the sheep and any approaching enemy. I’ve just read, as I’ve done hundreds of times before, John 10:1-18. I have total confidence in Jesus, the One Who said, “I am the Good Shepherd.” In contrast to our “Shepherd,” the people of God in Jeremiah’s prophecy had become as “lost sheep” because of shepherds who had led them astray. I’m singing just now Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Here’s the song I’ve found online by Keith Green, my son Ron’s musical hero when he was a teenager (click here).

Yours because the “Good Shepherd” takes “Good” care of His own sheep,

David

P.S. When we travel with our friends in Israel I often have a little fun by taking the microphone on the bus and pointing out the worn paths on the hillsides, as in today’s picture. Then I’ll say that the forces of evolution over thousands of years have caused the legs of the sheep and goats to be shorter on one side than the other, because they are always on a hillside. I pause to let that sink in, and then I say, with a grin on my face, this gives the sheep trouble when they turn around and start for home (laugh here). This is an example of a warped sense of humour. With all the doom and gloom in our readings, it occurred to me that we could use a laugh. If you don’t find my story funny, please forgive me, like Norma-Jean does several times a day!

Friday, February 16, 2018

WINGS

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 49

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

 

The Obelisk Tomb and Bab As-Siq Triclinium are directly across from the Djinn Blocks at the entrance to the siq, the narrow easily defended rock-hewn corridor which leads into the city of Petra. The four Obelisks of the Tomb (top monument in the photo) were clearly built under an Egyptian influence. The Bab As-Siq Triclinium (bottom monument in the photo) is a chamber with three benches (Tri-clinium) and may have served as a location for sacred feasts honouring the dead. This area of modern Jordan was once the capital city of Edom, mentioned in today’s reading.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 49:16a, 22

Your fierceness has deceived you,

The pride of your heart,

O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock,

Who hold the height of the hill!

…Behold He [The Lord] shall come up and fly like the eagle,

And spread His wings over Bozrah;

The heart of the mighty men of Edom in that day shall be

Like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.

 

To a young bird, a shadow cast by approaching wings can mean two completely different things. One shadow, which baby birds know well, means that their mother or father is returning to the nest with food and protection. But another shadow, which may look exactly the same to an untrained human eye, signals danger, the attack of a predator, and the chicks cower in fear.

Throughout the Bible, the image of “the wings of God” frequently appears. People welcome God as Provider and Protector or in the opposite way, as Someone who brings fear and judgment. In today’s reading, judgment is pronounced on Rabbah (present day Amman in Jordan). The people of Edom are reminded of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-29). Damascus, Syria, is in a time of destruction again today. Kedar (Saudi Arabia, and the other Arab states) was also devastated by the marauding armies of Egypt and Babylon. In spite of all this, chapter 49 ends with “hope,” as did chapter 48. As believers in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we need not fear. Yes we have reverence and awe, but never terror! Under His wings there is safety, nourishment, and all we need to grow into all that God has planned for each one of us. Amen!!! (Read Psalm 63:1-7). “In the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I take refuge 24/7 as Psalm 91:4 says, under the covering of Your “feathers,” and under Your “wings.” I pray that I will never separate myself from Your presence by allowing unconfessed sin to remain. I pray daily the sinner’s prayer, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13-14). Lord Jesus, You said that the man who prayed that prayer most sincerely was justified before God. Thank You, Lord, for Your deliverance from sin, Your protection, Your provision, and for my very life! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

For some reason my son David Reynold typed in the word, “Djinn” in his caption to his photograph. “Djinn” are mentioned in the Koran. They are depicted as beings with godlike powers. They were said to feed on fear. I have “NO FEAR!” Why? Because of the guaranteed protection of Almighty God through His Son and my Saviour, Jesus Christ (Messiah). In contrast to this fear-producing figment of a fevered imagination, the “Djinn,” when God or one of His angels (ministering spirits to God’s children – Hebrews 1:13-14) shows up, their first words are usually, “FEAR NOT!!!” I have not made this count myself, but those who have tell me that there are 365 repetitions of “FEAR NOT” in the Bible, one for every day of the year! How’s that for producing a sense of well being in all of us who believe. Evil systems of human government feed on fear. When Karl Wojtowa, Pope John Paul II, returned home to his native Poland, ruled by atheistic communism, he said to his people, “Do not fear!” Not long after this, the totalitarian communist government fell and was replaced by a freely elected government.

Yours with total confidence in the God Who declares to us with no uncertainty whatsoever, “FEAR NOT!”,

David

P.S. Today’s reading mentions those who dwell in the “clefts of the rock.” Below are more pictures of one-time dwellings in homes carved out of the rock cliffs of Petra, Jordan.

Homes carved into the solid rock are quite comfortable, warm in winter and cool in summer. Petra was considered to be an impregnable city.

 

 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

HOPE

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 48

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

 

The view that Moses had on Mount Nebo as he looked westward to the Promised Land. The green seen in the centre of the photo is the oasis of Jericho. On the far horizon is Jerusalem, approximately 25 miles (40 kilometres) beyond Jericho. The Judean wilderness lies between Jericho and Jerusalem. The territory of Moab begins just south of this point. Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David, was from Moab. To travel from Moab to Bethlehem, where she married Boaz, she would have had to travel through this wilderness. God cares about individuals and countries too.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 48:10a, 29

“Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully.”

“We have heard the pride of Moab (He is exceedingly proud),

Of his loftiness and arrogance and pride,

And of the haughtiness of his heart.”

 

Like Philistia, Moab was caught in the middle between the warring super powers of the day, Egypt and Babylon (Iraq), and was suffering the horrors of genocidal destruction. God was seen as in charge overall, but let us remember that God has given humans a free will. He refuses to turn us into robots and puppets. We bring judgment on ourselves! “Moab” is mentioned 25 times in this chapter. This is evidence of God’s deep concern, not just for Israel, but for the people of Moab also. This was like a hell on earth for them. Jesus taught of an eternal Hell (10 times in the 4 Gospels) in order to warn us. He provided through His cross, suffering hell’s worst agony, the way of escape and eternal salvation for all who are willing to accept by free will His saving grace.

What can we learn from Moab? They were materialistic worshippers of a false god, deceitful, deliberate liars, filled with pride, self glory, haughtiness and carelessness. Do any of these descriptions sound familiar in our day? Jeremiah reveals the heart of God for these people by ending the chapter on a note of hope in the final sentence. There are dozens of Bible verses about “hope”! The word “hope” is used twice in one sentence in Romans 15:13. Read Romans 15:10-13 for our reason to have “hope”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Dear God, You desire to save the whole world from death and Hell. Forgive me for going my own way again and again instead of Your way. I’m made in Your image, as is every person, and I have a free will so I can, if I’m not surrendering to You daily, fall into the traps into which the Moabites fell. I repent, asking You to give me power to overcome sin today and every day. Keep me true to You. I pray this in the Name of the only Person who lived 100% of the time in a way which pleased You, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Alexander Pope wrote these familiar words in the early eighteenth century, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” In reading his words further, it’s certain that Pope wanted his readers to be “hopeful” by believing in the gift of eternal life. Meaning or purpose for life, beyond the daily grind of waking, eating, drinking, etc., is so important for human wellbeing. Secularists and atheists face an empty and often horrible future without “hope” for a better world to come where truth, love, comfort, no more pain, no more separation, and no more death is the human experience.

I was 11 years old the first time I heard Billy Graham preach. We went to an Ottawa, Canada, “Youth for Christ” rally. I remember vividly that Billy pictured fame, pleasure, wealth, etc. as soap bubbles… all shiny and bright looking, but then he reached out his hand to grasp the imaginary bubbles he was describing and they were as nothing. They burst the moment he touched them. There is nothing satisfying out there apart from “hope” in God! Paul ends what I consider to be perhaps the most beautiful use of language, perhaps of all time. “And now abides faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). “Hope” is the middle word. Faith is a gift from God. “Hope” is our word of confidence. The result is that “HOPE” surprises me when it springs out of my heart, Pope’s “Human Breast.” What a joy to be alive, facing another day with complete confidence in God.

Yours for eternal “hope”… that’s forever, and ever, and ever, Amen!!!

David

P.S. I’m singing as I close off the blog these words, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Here is a YouTube rendition (click here).

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

TRUE LOVE

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 45-47

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

 

This is the view from atop Mount Carmel looking west toward the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea. It was from here that a “cloud the size of a man’s hand” was reported to Elijah (1 Kings 18:44). God spoke to Elijah as He did to Jeremiah. God’s love will find a way sooner or later to bring people back to Himself, but it must be a decision of human free will. That’s what true love means. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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

 

Key Verse: Jeremiah 46:27

But do not fear, O My servant Jacob,

And do not be dismayed, O Israel!

For behold, I will save you from afar,

And your offspring from the land of their captivity;

Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease;

No one shall make him afraid.

 

Jeremiah 45 is Jeremiah’s word from God for his personal assistant and secretary (scribe), Baruch. Baruch’s prize was “Life.” He went as a guest of honour to Babylon where he was allowed to buy property and to prosper. There is an Apocryphal book called by his name. The Apocrypha is a collection of writings judged by the Jewish scholars as not inspired by God, yet somewhat valuable for study.

Jeremiah 46 tells us of Pharaoh Necho, King of Egypt. Necho had killed good King Josiah of Judah (2 Chronicles 35:20-27). After his return to Egypt, Necho deposed and deported Josiah’s son Jehoahaz, and made Jehoiakim his puppet king in Jerusalem. In 606 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated Necho and world history was forever altered. Egypt would never again be considered a world power (46:13). In the midst of all this, God’s Word to His people is stated in our key verse. Jeremiah 47 tells us of the Philistine cities which were also caught in the midst of the wars between Egypt and Babylon (Iraq).

This Valentines Day let’s contrast the message of Jesus with that of Muhammed. The Koran says, “God loves those who love him.” In contrast to this, the Bible says, “God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Let’s take time to read 1 John 4:7-19 as our St. Valentine’s Day meditation. Recently a man from Mecca called in to the Light For All Nations Arabic ministry and received the unconditional love of Jesus by grace through faith.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, I love You because You first loved me! Not as the Koran says, in effect, that You love me because I first loved You! You are the Initiator! You courted and wooed me! You won my heart!!! Increase my capacity to be filled with more of Your love than ever before, I pray. In the Name of the One of Whom it is written, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16a), Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I have asked our son Ron to write the personal words for today. He posts the blog every morning for me at 6 a.m.

Hi Friends! The Bible tells us to “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Dad embedded prayer into the DNA of Crossroads from the very beginning. I know this will take me well over the 100 words Dad asked me to write, but allow me to share a story that illustrates what I’m talking about…

When I was a teenager, I was part of our high school basketball team. I remember having to wake up extremely early one morning in order to attend a practice, which our overly zealous coach had scheduled well before the school day began. My teammates and I were far from enthusiastic about having to get our bodies out of bed that early, but that was the only time the gymnasium was available before our big championship game. So I set my alarm for “dark and early.” When the dreaded beeping noise hit my ears, I reluctantly rolled out of bed, got dressed, and tiptoed my way through the dark hallway and down the stairs, being careful not to wake anyone else in the family. However, when I got to the living room, I was surprised to see the lights on and hear someone speaking. When I looked to my left, I saw my Dad kneeling next to the couch with dozens of pieces of paper spread out all over the furniture. I paused long enough to figure out what was going on. Dad was in prayer, weeping and interceding before God on behalf of the many who had written to him as a result of the recently launched 100 Huntley Street daily TV program. He never saw me as I continued tiptoeing out the door and off to my practice. That experience deeply impacted me. It strongly reinforced to my heart the truth of Dad’s genuine passion for God and passion for people. He wasn’t on television because of any ego trip or because he needed a job. He was called by God to share the love of Jesus to a lost and hurting world. He lived what he believed about the infinite value of a soul. After that, I could think of nothing else I wanted to do with my life than work with my Dad, which I had the privilege of doing from 1985 to 2015.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone,

Ron

 

 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

BABYLON OR EGYPT?

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 42-44

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

 

The temple of Edufu was dedicated to the falcon god Horus and is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt. The walls of the temple are covered in inscriptions that tell many stories. The gods of Egypt are mentioned twice in today’s reading.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 42:6, 42:20-21a

Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God…For you were hypocrites in your hearts when you sent me to the Lord your God, saying, “Pray for us to the Lord our God, and according to all that the Lord your God says, so declare to us and we will do it.” And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God…

 

These people probably did not intend to disobey God. Someone has said that “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” It seemed reasonable to them to ask Jeremiah for direction from God. But their hearts were hypocritical, not reasonable. Fear, a heart condition, won the day. “Egypt” is mentioned 22 times in these 3 chapters. No doubt they still celebrated “Passover” to help them remember that God had delivered Israel from Egypt (Exodus 12:12-14).

It seems that Jeremiah was forced to go with them back to Egypt. When they arrived, Jeremiah again warned them of their folly (43:10-13).

Jeremiah 44:7 is a commentary on the human heart and the foolishness of the human mind that decides to go our own way rather than God’s way. God says, “Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves, to cut off from you man and woman, child and infant, out of Judah, leaving none to remain?” Most of them died in Egypt, never to return. This was not to be the case of the Babylonian captives. They returned to rebuild the Temple and Jerusalem.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will reason, according to the Scriptures, and obey You with both my mind and heart. Deliver me from the hypocrisy of saying one thing and doing another. I ask this through the Person and work of the One Who always said exactly what He intended to say, and then did what He said, the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Babylon or Egypt? Neither place was God’s highest plan for His people. Judah was still there as an option. King Zedekiah and many others were forced into Babylon because of their stubborn resistance to the Word from God, and in today’s reading, and later Johanan and the remnant still in Judah, exercised their own free will (they were called “proud men”) and went to Egypt where they died. Again and again I’ve had to simply obey what I believed God was saying to me through His written Word, the still small Voice within me, or through the counsel of men and women of God!

In yesterday’s blog I mentioned the first ever conference of Christian leaders which gathered in Moscow from all 15 Republics of the Soviet Union. It was obvious that communist rule was an utter failure and that the people would shortly be freed from this curse on the human family. Several pastors who had resisted the cruelties of communism, and like Daniel in Babylon kept the faith, referred to “THE 70 YEARS OF THE DARK RED NIGHT OF COMMUNIST RULE,” boldly proclaiming that their 70 years of captivity (roughly 1917 to 1987) was now over. At the time of this conference, the Communists were still in power. In fact, the Pastor that I referred to yesterday said, gesticulating with his twisted fingers on his right hand, “The communists even called me the other day and offered to break my fingers again to straighten them back, this time in hospital under anesthetic, but I refused. When I preach and lift my hand to make a point (this was said with laughter from himself and the other Pastors at my table), people really pay attention!” Perhaps this will help explain my statement yesterday that I felt totally unworthy to be in this man’s presence and felt like crawling under the table, let alone be the preacher for two nights of the conference. That night I preached with God’s help on “The Church Through the Centuries After Persecution Ceases.” I had studied the history of persecution over the past 2,000 years and came to the conclusion that the Church is the greatest blessing when the Gospel is preached fearlessly, whether under persecution or freedom!!!

Yours for “OBEDIENCE” to God!

David

Monday, February 12, 2018

THE PRIZE

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 39-41

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

 

This statue of Cola Di Rienzo was erected in 1877 near Campidoglio, Italy, where he was killed. Di Rienzo was an Italian medieval politician and popular leader in the mid-14th century. As far as we know, the people of Jerusalem did not make sculptures of their most famous leaders, otherwise there would’ve been statues of David, Solomon, Hezekiah, and Josiah. These men all accomplished great things, unlike the king in today’s reading who was disgraced and executed by the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 39:18

“…For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but your life shall be as a prize to you, because you have put your trust in Me,” says the Lord.

 

Our key verse gives us the eternal perspective of God as He sees the future deliverance of His people. This should help us to realize that when we put our trust in God, regardless of present circumstances, we’ll eventually win the “Gold”.

Chapter 39 – After 18 months of siege, the Babylonians broke through Jerusalem’s walls, burned the city, captured King Zedekiah, killed his sons in front of him, blinded him and took him to Babylon in chains, never to return to Jerusalem. Such was the end of one who had repeatedly heard the Word of God but ignored it. Zedekiah brought this on himself. God had done His best through Jeremiah to warn the King (2 Kings 25:4-7).

Chapters 40 & 41 show us why Jeremiah won God’s prize for his life. The Babylonians released him from Zedekiah’s prison and offered him position, land and freedom in Babylon, but he chose to stay home and minister to those left behind in the ruins of their country, where wicked and violent men such as Ishmael were creating continued havoc. Our choices also should be to stay where we are most needed, serving the Lord faithfully.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will consistently do my very best to win the prize of life, here and now, as well as eternally. Lord, Your Word tells me that my works will be “revealed by fire.” The “wood, hay and straw” will be burned up, but the “gold, silver and precious stones” will remain (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). I’m asking for grace to “strive for the prize.” In the Name of the One Who has gone before me, the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I cannot help but recall the first gathering ever of the leaders of various Christian denominations in the history of communist Russia and the former 14 additional republics of the Soviet Union. Undeservedly, I was invited to be the speaker at two nights of this conference. With the help of a Finnish ministry, we had earlier released across the Soviet Union the first ever Christian-produced TV series in the Russian language on prime time television. I had the privilege on these telecasts of interviewing leading scientists, philosophers, etc. about God’s creation. The USSR was officially atheist, and our goal was to create doubt in the minds of those who believed that God did not exist. As was the case with Jeremiah, pastors had been severely persecuted. One pastor I met had badly twisted fingers on his right hand. I asked him what happened. He said that the local authorities had broken his fingers, one at a time, to try to make him deny his faith in God, but he refused. I felt like crawling under the table at which we were sitting. I was not worthy to be in his presence, let alone be the guest preacher. I weep at the memory.

Yours for striving for the “gold” that will remain through the fire,

David

P.S. Prior to the invasion of Iraq (Chaldea/Babylon) by the American coalition of nations, billboards were everywhere which pictured the brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein, with his hero, Nebuchadnezzar.

Saddam Hussein and King Nebuchadnezzar on a billboard in Iraq. This modern would-be emperor tortured and murdered tens of thousands of his people. He allowed his sons to have “rape rooms” to which they took any woman that they wanted. This was evil personified!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

“LIFE”

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 37-38

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

 

The ruins of the School of Aristotle is a short distance from contemporary Naoussa, Greece. This is the place believed to be where the renowned philosopher of antiquity taught classical Greek thought and the ideals of Platonic philosophy. His students included the son of the King of Macedonia Phillip II, Alexander the Great, and the other nobles of the Macedonian court. The encounter of these two most prominent personalities of the ancient world, Aristotle, the scientist, with the great military commander, Alexander, would definitely affect the future of mankind.

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

 

Key Verse: Jeremiah 38:20b

Please obey the voice of the Lord which I speak to you. So it shall be well with you and your soul shall live.

 

Today’s reading tells of Jeremiah’s ministry during the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans/Babylonians. It seems that the reason King Zedekiah did not do as the Lord said through Jeremiah was that he was a weak leader who could not stand up to the strong, ruthless and ungodly leaders around him. They believed that an alliance with Egypt would save them, preserving the sovereignty of Judah and Benjamin. The Babylonians left their siege of Jerusalem to go and fight the approaching Egyptian army and the people thought they were safe. This was not to be the case. Jeremiah was imprisoned, released and imprisoned again because of his message. Our key verse is Jeremiah’s final call to King Zedekiah. Zedekiah feared men more than God, and the final result was disaster. All Jeremiah’s prophecies came to fulfillment.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for strength to obey Your Word rather than the words of those opposed to You. I ask for grace so that it will be well with me, with my family, and with those for whom I bear the responsibility to communicate Your Word. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

My photographer son chose a picture for today which speaks to me of the rising of another great world empire, Macedonia/Greece. Israel/Judah and Jerusalem are located on the land bridge between Europe (Greece, Rome), Asia (Assyria, Babylon, Persia), and Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia). The armies of these nations crossed back and forth again and again through Israel. This is why the British began referring to the region as the “Middle East.” This small piece of our planet is still the focus of world news and the attention of the world’s great powers. God’s original creation of the human family happened in this area, and people then spread out to all points of the compass. The same was true for the Message of Jesus in the first centuries of the Church of Jesus Christ. The Greek language of that time was like the English language of today. English is everywhere as a result of the former British Empire and of the world’s super power of today, the United States. Because of this, our online content at 100huntley.com could potentially be accessed by far more people outside Canada, U.S.A., and other places where English is the majority language, than inside these countries. The teachings of the philosophers, as highlighted by today’s photo, have had great influence, but the teachings of Jesus, His life, death and resurrection, has brought life to billions of people (read John 1:1-18).

Yours for communicating the message as to how, as Jeremiah said, “It shall be well with you and your soul shall live!” (click here for Crossroads presents, “THE LIFE!”),

David

Saturday, February 10, 2018

ANOTHER SCROLL

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 35-36

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

 

Sometimes hard to spot, Bedouin tents can be seen as you drive through the wilderness around the Jordan Valley. Jeremiah 35:7 tells us that, like some Bedouins, the Rechabites lived in isolated places.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 35:13; 36:28

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, ‘Will you not receive instruction to obey My words?’ says the Lord…Take yet another scroll, and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned…”

 

Jeremiah 35 reverts back in time at least 11 years before the immediately preceding chapters. King Jehoiakim and his court had turned away from God, but there still were true believers in Jerusalem. The Rechabites (35:2) were a clan that had lived as nomads, living for the most part in tents in the wilderness, something like the Bedouin tent pictured above. They would not allow themselves to be under the influence of the corruption of the city, even though they had moved in for protection. They remained steadfast in their loyalty and obedience to God. They had maintained this for 300 years, ever since their ancestor, Jonadab, had helped King Jehu eradicate the worship of the false god, Baal, from Israel (read 2 Kings 10:15-23). They stayed away from the idolatrous cults in which intoxicating drink played a major role. The Lord used a test of the Rechabites’ obedience as an object lesson to show the rest of Jerusalem’s people how they had sinned. They would be put to shame by this example and hopefully repent! Let’s think about this example for us today.

Jeremiah 36 shows us that, even though the King burnt the first scroll which contained Jeremiah’s message from God, God’s Word will ultimately prevail.

Therefore, let us be loyal to God as were the Rechabites, and let us be determined to make the Word of God known as were Jeremiah and Baruch. Amen!!!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, there were Church of England priests by the names of John and Charles Wesley who, like Jonadab, the son of Rechab, left a legacy. The Wesley brothers’ legacy was known as Methodism. This message, and that of other men and women of God in other movements of revival, has reached down to my generation hundreds of years later and has had a profound influence on me. May I be faithful and wise in passing such a legacy on to future generations. In the Name of the One Who is Faithful and True, the Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah), Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In a way, this blog is something like the efforts of Jeremiah and Baruch who had to do their scroll writings twice to make sure that God’s Word was maintained for current and future generations. I don’t understand much about the technology I’m using in making this blog. Sometimes I’ve made a technical mistake and my blog has been burned up somewhere in the “blogosphere.” I just pray for patience and write it again. Writing on a scroll would be simpler. I could understand that. Here is a way of writing that will last! I’m told that as long as the laws of God’s creation allow this blog to exist in the blogosphere, it will continue to be available all over the world! These words I’m typing will be here for anyone who takes the trouble to Google anything that approximates 100words, Crossroads, 100huntleystreet, etc. Please help share this blog with others. Remember, a person can start any day and in just 24 months complete the reading of the Bible from cover to cover, New Testament to the Old Testament and back to the New, book by book.

Yours for making absolutely sure that God’s Word is faithfully communicated!

David

Friday, February 9, 2018

GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 33-34

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

 

In the lower parts of what was the High Priest Caiaphas’ house is a dungeon. This is the area where Jesus would have spent the night after He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. In today’s reading, we find Jeremiah is “still shut up in the court of the prison” here in Jerusalem. Above the dungeon, the Church of Saint Peter in Gallicantu (“the cock crowing”) now sits.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 33:3

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

 

God spoke the words of our key verse to Jeremiah while he was in prison. Whatever our circumstances, we just need to “call,” then listen and watch! God hears and answers pivotal prayers. The pivotal word, “behold” (33:6), turns our eyes from the judgment we bring upon ourselves to God’s promises of healing, abundance of peace and truth, return, rebuilding, cleansing from sin, joy, praise, honour, goodness and prosperity. It’s no wonder that Jeremiah quotes the often-repeated words of King David, “His mercy endures forever!” The fact is that King Zedekiah is the last of the line of Kings descended from David to reign in Jerusalem until the Roman authority, Governor Pilate, places these words over the head of Jesus as He hung on the cross, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:27-37). Jesus said to Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world; if My Kingdom was of this world then would My servants fight” (John 18:36-38). It is estimated that by the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D., at least half of the people of Jerusalem, and many of the priests, had made Jesus, the Messiah King, their Lord and Saviour.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray for grace sufficient to truly repent, so that I consistently do the right thing, not as the leaders of Jerusalem who seemed to repent but then reneged on their decision to free the slaves (Jeremiah 34:8-16). Lord, I sing the chorus, “Keep me true, Lord Jesus. Keep me true. There’s a race that I must run, there are victories to be won. Give me power every hour to be true.” I pray this in and through the Name of the only 100% consistent One, the Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Jeremiah 34:22 tells me that, “The host of Heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured.” The inspired-by-God Scriptures, while not a scientific document, when it contains a statement concerning natural science, does not contradict truth. Around 200 B.C. the first textbook on astronomy was written by Hyparchus, a Greek. He claimed that he had counted the stars and there were 850 in total. Some claim that Hyparchus counted 1,022 stars. Of course, 1600 years later, Galileo discovered the stars were numberless. At any rate, when even modern texts are different than the clear statement of fact in the Bible, I take my father’s advice on this. When I came home from a grade seven class and reported that I had been embarrassed in front of my science class by a teacher who mocked me for believing that God created all there is, Dad said, “Just wait, David, you’ll find out that the Bible is right when all the facts are in.” I’m pointing this out with several examples during this two-year journey through the Bible. For example, the Babylonian wise men, advisers to Nebuchadnezzar, believed, according to their records, that we humans, animals, etc., were vermin on the hide of a great giant. In spite of 70 years in captivity in Babylon, the Jewish writers of the Bible never wrote such nonsense. They had God’s revelation of Himself, the Holy Scriptures.

Yours for a wait-and-see approach to current “scientific” texts, which are always changing and in many cases the scientists are at odds with each other,

David

 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

PIVOTAL PRAYING!

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 32

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

 

Today’s reading says, “Look, the siege mounds!” None of these mounds remain at the walls of Jerusalem. Here is the mound built for the assault on the fortress of Masada following the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.

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

 

Key Verses: Jeremiah 32:16b-17

I prayed to the Lord, saying: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You…”

 

The statement in today’s reading, “THERE IS NOTHING TOO HARD FOR YOU” (32:17B), and the question, “IS THERE ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR ME?” (32:17), should encourage us to expect God to accomplish, as Ephesians 1:11b says, “the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will!”

The fact is that Jerusalem was, at the time of Jeremiah’s writing of these words, under siege by the army of Nebuchadnezzar. This should have proven to King Zedekiah and his court that Jeremiah was a true prophet of God. Over and over again Jeremiah had foretold that this would happen. Rather than humbling themselves and repenting before God for their sins, they threw Jeremiah into jail. The countryside around Jerusalem, including Jeremiah’s hometown, Anathoth, had been conquered and plundered already. Therefore, land values would have been almost nothing. Yet in an act of faith for the future in obedience to God, Jeremiah purchased land from a relative who had lost all hope. In this way Jeremiah showed that although his prophecy of 70 years of captivity in Babylon would come to pass, God would bring His people back home where they would again occupy the land which He had given to His people. How about all of us saying out loud if possible, “THERE IS NOTHING TOO HARD FOR GOD!”

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m thinking just now of something (a private matter) that is definitely too hard for me, but I’m doing as Jeremiah said he did, “I prayed to God!” I ask You, Lord, to turn it around according to Your purpose. I pray these mercies in the Name of the most pivotal Person in human history, Jesus Christ (Messiah), Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I re-read recently the book book Pivotal Praying, by former Crossroads CEO Dr. John Hull. PRAYER can be the “pivot” on which our lives and the lives of those around us will turn around and go God’s way rather that our own way. In basketball, a team will lose the ball if they move too soon what is called their “pivot foot.” It’s called “travelling.” In order to move from the pivot spot, the player must either pass the ball or begin dribbling (bouncing the ball). I have a picture in my mind of all of us on God’s team. Our pivot foot must not move until we decide to take action. We turn around with that foot firmly planted in one place. If that pivot foot moves before passing or dribbling the ball, the referee blows his whistle and the opposing team takes over. Prayer is like that; we stay put, that pivot foot immovable, until we decide the right way to proceed and then we make our move confident that God will, as Proverbs 3:6b says, “Direct your paths” (straight to the basket). Do this and win!!!

Yours for being as 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord!”

David

When Norma-Jean and I spend time in Florida, I like to watch the Southeastern University basketball games. In this photo, The SEU “Fire” player has the ball. His pivot foot is planted just behind him and he has obviously made a decision to begin dribbling the ball and running around the opposing player.