Saturday, September 20, 2014

O JERUSALEM

Today’s Reading: Luke 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 on the right-hand side).

 

This is a Somali wild donkey with the signature horizontal black stripes on its legs. This was photographed at Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve in Israel, where you can see a variety of biblically referenced animals. From time to time Jesus used His creatures (today, a hen and her brood) to illustrate His message. James 3:8 says that no man can tame the human "tongue," and it is said that this wild donkey cannot be tamed. In today's reading Jesus refers to the tamed variety of "donkey."

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where Reynold took the photo, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Luke 13:34

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!

 

At the beginning of chapter 13, Jesus repeats for emphasis His call to repentance. Repentance essentially means that we are to turn from our own way and go God’s way. It means a Godly sorrow for sin, sorry enough to quit sinning; sorry enough to ask God’s forgiveness immediately when we sin. God reaches out to us as individuals, and He also reaches out to entire communities. The woman with the spirit of infirmity was ministered to individually. She responded, but Jerusalem, as a whole, did not. The heart of Jesus yearns also for our city, for our country, as well as each precious person. Jesus points out the hypocrisy of many religious leaders in the way they keep the Sabbath. He cares about donkeys and oxen (14:5), and how much more for people? Judgment and justice are inevitable. We need to come to Jesus humbly in repentance.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, You’ve invited me over and over to come to You. I do this now in repentance for my sin. Grant me a constant attitude of repentance. I fervently desire to live this life pleasing to You. I pray these mercies in Your Name. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Fall is in the air. I marvel that God, who put stars in place and arranged the seasons, would care for me individually. The story is told of the astronomer who spent his life studying the stars and who came to the conclusion that a God big enough to create the stars could not possibly care for him as an individual. As a retirement gift, he was given a microscope. As he studied that which was too small for the naked eye, he came to believe that a God who would create the molecule was even bigger than he had thought. He concluded that God cared about the little things, as well as the great big universe, and therefore, God cared about him. He opened his heart to the fact that God became Human in Jesus Christ.

Yours, marvelling at God’s great universe and marvelling even more at His care for me,

David

P.S. Yesterday was the 56th wedding anniversary for Norma-Jean, and me. We celebrated by dining out. Following dinner, we went to a mall where we separated for an hour. She went to a department store and I went to a book store. This has happened often in our marriage. I could not help but notice modern books which sought to trash the reliability of the Bible. There is much evidence from historical writers that the Scriptures give us factual information. For example, Jesus was executed by crucifixion (denied by Muslims). The fact that this happened is stated by the Roman historian Tacitus, who was not a believer. He wrote that this happened during the reign of Emperor Tiberius, and that Pilate was the Governor of Judea at the time. Be assured, the writings chosen for inclusion in the Bible are historically accurate. Islam was established with much violence some 500 years later, and all I can say about modern writers who try to trash the Bible is that there’s a great deal of money to be made by selling a million books, trading on the huge interest in the Bible and Jesus to do so.

 

24 thoughts on “Saturday, September 20, 2014

  1. Amen, David. Our Jesus is alive and well in our hearts and lives. Thank you for sharing your knowledge about the Bible’s accuracy. Thank you, Saints, for holding me in your prayers, today; for strength, focus and for my back; it is moving day, for me. God bless you, all, on this beautiful fall day!

  2. I congratulated you yesterday David & Norma-Jean, stating similarities in our marriage dates & years. NJ and I are the same age & have a special, loving sister each. There was one event that we did not want to twin with you – visiting Juravinsky hospital. My husband, Ross, will be going there soon. Advanced stage, it appears. We pray that the Lord, in His Mercy, will bring him through, like David. “shocked” just now. Blessings to you. He is Worthy.

  3. I love the pic of the wild donkey. What a stalwart-looking little fellow. My husband calls me a goat sometimes when he thinks I’m being stubborn. Donkey’s can be quite stubborn too but it’s all part and parcel of their character.
    We’ll always have opposition to our faith. Atheistic books are just one of many sad afflictions. I feel so sorry for atheists and those who don’t know Jesus and aren’t interested in knowing Jesus. Where do they turn in times of sorrow and loss? Even though it appears futile to pray for some, I know God hears us.
    Great study today and may God bless each of us.

    • Urgent Prayer Request

      All Church-Members & Non Members at Alexandria Covenant Church
      Message from: Cheri Timm
      Alexandria Covenant Church Family

      Sharing an email we received here at church from one of our members.

      On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 11:43 AM, Grace Fellowship wrote:

      We recently received these two emails from missionary friends, one yesterday and one this morning. I pass it on so that people can pray specifically for our brothers and sisters.

      This is so sad. A friend from Ohio just got a text message from her brother asking her to shower him and his parish in prayer. He is part of a mission team and ISIS has taken over the town they are in today. He said ISIS is systematically going house to house to all the Christians and asking the children to denounce Jesus. He said so far not one child has. And so far all have consequently been killed. But not the parents. The UN has withdrawn and the missionaries on their own. They are determined to stick it out for the sake of the families – even if it means their own deaths. He is very afraid, has no idea how to even begin ministering to these families who have seen their children martyred. Yet he says he knows God has called him for some reason to be his voice and hands at this place at this time. Even so, he is begging prayers for his courage to live out his vocation in such dire circumstances. And like the children accept martyrdom if he is called to do so. She asked me to ask everyone we know to please pray for them. These brave parents instilled such a fervent faith in their children that they chose martyrdom. Please surround them in their loss with your prayers for hope and perseverance. She was able to talk to her brother briefly by phone. She didn’t say it but I believe she believes it will be their last conversation. Pray for her too. She said he just kept asking her to help him know what to do and do it. She told him to tell the families we ARE praying for them and they are not alone or forgotten — no matter what. Her e mail broke my heart. Please keep all in your prayers.Thanks

      This came this morning…
      Just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts.
      “We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food too. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated it’s staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!”
      Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region.
      May I plead with you not to ignore this email. Do not forward it before you have prayed through it. Then send it to as many people as possible. Send it to friends and Christians you may know. Send it to your prayer group. Send it to your pastor and phone him/her to pray on Sunday during the service – making a special time of prayer for this. We need to stand in the gap for our fellow Christians.

      “And what does the Lord require of you?
      To act justly and to love mercifully and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8

      We Pray: Let the One Holy Christian Church cry out to God Almighty this prayer of the Saints and Martyrs from Revelation 6 “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
      Lord, we find this Word from the Lord to be our strength and our salvation because it speaks of God’s final word over and above all evil, hatred, suffering, persecution and death.
      The killing and murder of innocent Christians, whose blood is spilled for Christ’s sake will not be spilled in vain. O Lord, You will indeed avenge the blood of those who are martyred for the sake of Your holy name. And so, indeed we do pray with the whole Church, come quickly Lord Jesus!

      Thank you
      Cheri Timm
      Administrative Secretary
      Alexandria Covenant Church

  4. It is almost impossible to imagine such unspeakable evil. Satan’s true colors revealed. Those children are with Jesus now, and out of Satan’t reach, but I pray feverently for the ones left behind. Lord Jesus, give then strength, Lord Jesus give them hope, provide for them, place an shield of angels around the Christians who are being targeted by the powers of darkness, a heavenly host to surround them. Give them heavenly provision, as you provided Manna in the wildnerness. Most of all give them your peace. May all the Saints in one accord denounce this wickedness and pray for the safety of their brothers and sisters. Amen

  5. I can hardly pray I am so horrified, but have prayed and stand firm in the knowledge Our God hears. Safe in the arms of Jesus now, are these sweet children. May their parents be comforted that they are home with The Lord and perhaps shielded from further suffering.

    Let us join our hearts and minds in much prayer fellow saints.

  6. Oh Lord God, God of Compassion and Mercy, I pray for your Highest and best in all these situations; Lord You are a God of the Impossible, and Your hand is not shortened, I pray for Your intervention on behalf of all concerned. JESUS IN YOUR HOLY NAME I pray, AMEN!! and AMEN!!

    Beverlee wisdom and strength in your move today.

    Doreen comfort and peace of mind for you and your husband in this sad news.

  7. Psalm 91 New King James Version (NKJV)

    Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God
    91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
    Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
    My God, in Him I will trust.”
    3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
    And from the perilous pestilence.
    4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
    And under His wings you shall take refuge;
    His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
    5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
    Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
    6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
    Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
    7 A thousand may fall at your side,
    And ten thousand at your right hand;
    But it shall not come near you.
    8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
    And see the reward of the wicked.
    9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
    Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
    10 No evil shall befall you,
    Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
    11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
    To keep you in all your ways.
    12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
    Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
    13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
    The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
    14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
    I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
    15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will deliver him and honor him.
    16 With long life I will satisfy him,
    And show him My salvation.”
    Footnotes:

    Psalm 91:3 That is, one who catches birds in a trap or snare

  8. Jesus. Take over. Guardian angels of children look unto Your Face. Take the children quicky under Your Wing. Comfort the parents by Your Spirit. Take over Lord and may Your Perfect Will be done. We cry MERCY!

    • Thank you Catherine.
      Lord, I pray that you will show the enemy who you are. I remember hearing of missionaries who were surrounded by an enemy and you opened their eyes to an army defending them. You have caused the enemy in Bible times to hear a rush of warriors that caused the enemy to flee. Lord, please help.

  9. Yes, Lord Jesus send a mighty host of angels to surround these dear people and children and protect them; fight for them dear Lord like in Bible times. Will carry this burden with us as we set out for another mission on Tuesday this week and ask the people to pray. My Lord and my God hear our prayer for these desperate people and send supernatural comfort and help.

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