Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Suggested Reading: Numbers 15

(click scripture link to read online)



Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall or "Wailing Wall" of the Old City of Jerusalem, which is part of the retaining wall of the ancient Temple Mount.

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


Key Verse: Numbers 15:41

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.

Religion vs. relationship!! There is a very big difference. Jesus brought us into a living and loving connection with God. The Pharisees, one of the denominations within Judaism, is still present. This movement, according to Jesus, practised an intricate observance of a multitude of details. We might do well to read now Matthew 23:1-33. According to Jesus, the Scribes and Pharisees claimed to “sit in Moses’ seat.” Today’s reading from Moses would’ve made them feel so “holier than thou.” Moses wrote of the man who died from stoning. Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone” (John 8:7). James, first Pastor of the Jerusalem church, wrote, in James 1:26-27, what true religion is.



I’m ever so thankful, Lord Jesus, for the “great exchange” as Martin Luther put it. I have given You my sin in confession and repentance, and You have put Your holiness, Your righteousness, on my account with God. Please give me Your grace so that I may live in a constant state of repentance and, as a result, a consistent assurance of my salvation. You’ve given me peace and joy. I’m eternally grateful. Amen!



I don’t mean to put down “religion.” The word comes from the same root word as “ligament.” Those are essential in order to keep our body together. I sought to identify what “religion” is in a presentation I made to the Radio and Television Commission a number of years ago. That hearing resulted in Crossroads being granted licenses for TV stations. “One’s religion,” I said, “is what a person holds as their highest value in life.” If that is true, James, who was also known as “the brother of our Lord,” nailed it right on. Perhaps we could sum it up with the WWJD campaign, What Would Jesus Do? What would He say and do with the man picking up sticks on the Sabbath in today’s reading? I’m thinking about it. I think He would probably lend him a hand. Jesus changes everything!

Yours for rejoicing in the fact that Jesus came to live as One of us,


P.S. Below is a photo from yesterday where I was speaking to our tour group at the place on the shore of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus, after His resurrection, asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Each time Peter affirmed his love, and Jesus followed up with “Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17).


20 thoughts on “Tuesday, November 13, 2012

  1. Numbers 15:32-36 tells us the story of the man who was picking up sticks on the Sabbath and in verse 35 it states that the Lord said “The man must surely be put to death, all the congregation must stone him … ”

    I was somewhat shocked upon coming upon this scripture, I had to read it two or three times. Now, I know what the law states about stoning and punishment etc. in the Old Testament, but to see it written that the Lord stated that he must be stoned, when we all know what Jesus would have done.

    Not to spoil a party or raise a red herring but … is this not the same Lord or God through the trinity? If so, and I for one believe it is, how could God come to such a different conclusion or a differing result to essentially a very similar situation which crops up time and time again in the New Testament? Not to sound off the cuff, but did God change his mind? Is this a contradiction? I don’t mean to offend, I am just exploring what seems to me to be a perplexing problem. Unless, it was the Priests (religious order) who stated what they believed God had said, which is a very different matter indeed.

    • I’m with you on this one Scott … it’s absurd and cruel and certainly not Father, Son and Holy Spirit-like. There must be some explaination, aside from picking up sticks of dynamite to place under tents! We’ll find out someday.

    • My two cents Scott; maybe this is another way of showing us just how great His act of sending His Son to die on the cross is. Like night and day etc. From impossibility and certain death to unending life. Maybe its in the contradiction. Just as He did not take down the veil and fold it up and lay it aside…He ripped it in two, He destroyed it, it was a precise act. I can’t think of the words to describe it…just that the veil was removed, ripped open, so we could have relationship with our Almighty God. That is the sense I got when I read about the stoning passage.

    • I agree also.

      I was shocked and very puzzled but I know that God is good and there has to be a reason.
      The Lord God Almighty will explain all one day.

      I was shocked to with how Jesus spoke to the Pharisees. Yet Saul who became Paul was called out by Jesus to serve as an apostle. He was a jew, a pharisee from the tribe of Benjamin yet He considered that all for nothing except to know Christ.

      I like that it is about relationship not religion anymore.
      That we can all know Jesus and that we have our precious comforter and counsellor – our Precious Holy Spirit.

      Jesus does not have much time for religious people and empty promises or hearts.
      It seems like Jesus is after our/my hearts not outward actions but inward actions.

      Today on 100 Huntley Street they had a bible written in the Canadian Arctic language.
      It took 34 years to transcribe and publish.
      The Bishop stated that 90 percent called themselves Christian in our newest territory up North and they have more people going to church on Sunday than any other province or territory in Canada.

      I was glad to hear such news b/c like Moira and Jerry stated the bible must be preached to the ends of the earth and then the Lord will come.

      I love that hymn “Soon and very soon we are going to see our King”


  2. I am really enjoying the pictures from your trip. Keep them coming! …and of course, I am inspired by your devotions every morning!

  3. As I was reading Numbers 15:32-36, I too thought this to be a strange dichotomy , certainly not characteristic of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Your words today bring light to a relationship with a loving and merciful Christ and our Holy Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Connection found in relationship and not by religious favour or status. Thanks for sharing a wonderful picture again with us today!

  4. I am again amazed at everything Jesus accomplished on the cross
    for us. I have always found these “Books of the Law” almost draining when I
    see what our Holy God requires. He is Holy…I’ve sometimes wondered why He hasn’t just snuffed out the human race when He sees the wickedness.(He almost
    did, re. Noah.) The Law was impossible for men to keep.
    I certainly don’t understand all the stoning…I am so thankful that we are living at
    this time of great Grace…that somehow, in His merciful plan, Jesus Himself
    fulfilled all the requirements of the Law. Our part is to recieve Him and let Him live His life in us. When The Father looks at us He sees Jesus! This is more than
    miraculous! Hallelujah!!
    God Bless you, David, Norma Jean & gang, and blogging family!!

    • You spoke my heart Anne, God bless you.

      And thank you David again for your words of inspiration and wisdom.
      The pictures are great! Thank you. God bless you and Norma Jean, Ron and Ann, I pray for you all. Also for strength and healing for you David every day.

  5. Hi David,
    I wanted to say Thank you! About 35 yrs ago I was a young girl contemplating suicide. I was a Christian and feeling Gods whisper I wrote you a letter. You wrote me back! As a little girl I was in awe that you had taken the time to write me back! It was not a printed letter in was handwritten. You gave me home Mr.Mainse! I reread the letter many times. Years later I wrote you again in despair. I was constantly told by my earthly Father how worthless I was. Again I received a letter from you. You helped me see my worth in my Heavenly Father’s eyes!
    I watched you everyday on T.V . My mom taped it. I pretended you were my earthly Father. I love you! Thank you for taking the time to help a lost little girl. I knew I had worth and that Jesus loved me because of you!
    I have become friends with one of your correspondents Megan Kelly as I try to help her financially with Gift of Grace. I love 100 Huntley Street and though my life has not been easy. You have made it easier!

    Michelle Koziak Maynard

  6. Thank you David for all of your daily messages. I was in Isreal in May with our pastor Henry Schoor from Centre St Church in Calgary, I am enjoying the pictures many are familiar. Thank you and your family and for 100 Huntley Street (how Wonderful) God look after you all.


  7. Your messages, David, are a daily inspiration, and the pictures of
    you looking so good and enjoying every minute of the trip is an answer to all our prayers! Thanks so much or taking your valuable time to think of us back home! Religion or relationship! We want that true relationship that you have!
    Thanks for being such an excellent witness of that relationship!

  8. Thank you to those who felt the same as I about God and the stoning.
    I am going now to research this scripture. We are so blessed to live in the time of Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I just always have to remind myself this is not cheap Grace but Holiness and blessing for us.

  9. Jesus revelation of God to humanity as our loving Father in the new testament carried redemption for each of us individually by God’s grace. With the help of the Spirit of Truth, perfect love casts out all fear by revealing every lie that would try to separate us from the infinite love, peace and joy of our Almighty Creator. We know nothing can separate us. God’s faithful Love abides forever.

  10. Hi Everyone, Yes sometimes the scripture can be very startling! The way understand the severity of the judgement of the man who broke the Sabbath was that it was to be a strong deterrant against deliberately sinning against God. The Israelites were being trained to take the message of God to the rest of the world and the training was very strict because of it. Today we are saved by Grace as Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the law for us his children,however we who call ourselves Christians must live the Christcentred life Jesus died to give us in relationship not religion.

  11. I, too, am disturbed, knowing God gave the orders to stone a man to death in this OT reading; in comparison to love and forgiveness Jesus taught in the NT. However, that is exactly the point. God set out His ten commandments to teach us to follow them with disciplined body, heart, and mind.

    Exodus 31:14: Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.

    It couldn’t be more clear that God used the example of this man to set for others to follow and show them how serious he was about it. Our God gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, on earth, because he knew too many people were going astray and needed more help to be saved from their sins. What a loving God. What would we do without Jesus?

  12. im late today….but David….. i loved your Prayer…about being in a Constant state of repentance…. that is how i try to live my life…. you made me (^_^)
    as we continue to enjoy your Blog and the Pictures… awesome…keep them coming…May the Lord give you extra strength …for the journey ahead…His Strength in our weak bodies….He is God….and the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom…. Blessings on your night and early morning (wed) xo

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