Tuesday, March 19, 2013

GREAT THINGS

Suggested Reading: 1 Samuel 11-12

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

 

The Tomb of Samuel is the traditional burial site of the Biblical Hebrew prophet Samuel, atop a steep hill at an elevation of 908 metres above sea level. It is situated to the north of the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ramot. On the site is a building containing a mosque, built in the 18th century, that was formerly a church (photo below). The tomb itself is located in an underground chamber where a small synagogue is located.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Samuel 12:23-24

Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.

Israel now has a king. Samuel is still very much present as the spiritual leader of the people. Prayer “without ceasing” is the most important leadership quality if we want God’s will to be done. David will be king over the united tribes in about 10 years. A Psalm of David indicates his daily preparation to lead as he writes, “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up” (Psalm 5:3). Psalm 55:17 tells us that David prayed at “evening, morning and at noon.” There is no record of Saul praying like Samuel and David did. Saul’s reign could’ve been so different.

As a New Testament meditation, let us consider 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18: “Pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks.” This praying continuously is not as difficult as it sounds. It’s based on the knowledge that I am in Christ and He is in me. We are never apart. Therefore, we are to be ever aware of His presence.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, Your servant Paul wrote, “We do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26b). I pray that Your Spirit will constantly pray within me when my conscious mind is occupied in other necessary matters. I believe this happens continuously as Your promise states. In Your Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

For the last three Sunday evenings, I’ve been watching “The Bible” miniseries on The History Channel. For a small budget, compared to other Hollywood efforts, and limited to filming in Morocco, the producers have done very well. I know something of the challenges they faced, because of our participation in several World Expos with our Crossroads’ sponsored “Pavilions of Promise.” Some people could say nothing good about us, because we had to employ what is called “artistic license” in communicating the message on such a world stage. For example, we had male and female ballet dancers play the part of Adam and Eve in Theatre One. I could give other examples from our production that upset some people. The entertainment values guaranteed that millions of precious souls heard the Gospel in a way they could understand for the first time. In the overall effort at four Expos, we recorded over 100,000 first-time decisions for Christ, with their names, addresses, and telephone numbers. They signed up for the Bible correspondence course and were followed up in their home countries with diligence. One evangelist was very judgemental toward me, because of what he considered a lack of verse by Bible verse approach. He could not find it in his heart to celebrate with me the fact of thousands of people coming to know Christ. The follow-up materials, produced in cooperation with “The Bible” TV series, which thousands of churches and home groups are using, will be used of God for thousands who’ve never read God’s Word. It has been my experience that Christians who are currently successful personal soul winners understand what the producers of “The Bible” mini series are attempting. I think that tomorrow I’ll try to point out that while there are areas of “The Bible” production that we all can criticize, there is much more to praise in this heroic effort.

Yours for praying for “The Bible” series much more than we criticize,

David

P.S. Yesterday I wrote that I would include a video clip of Fr. Bob MacDougall if I was able to locate one. We found a partial interview clip of him from 1980. I’m sorry it’s not longer, but it gives you a good sense of this Jesuit priest’s heart for Jesus…click here.

Ruins surrounding the building that covers the tomb of Samuel.

16 thoughts on “Tuesday, March 19, 2013

  1. David, your last words today were “a heart for Jesus” when referring to Father Bob MacDougall, isn’t this “heart for Jesus” what God wants all of us to have and to reflect to others? If you watch the video link, you’ll see Father Bob’s inner zeal and passion because of His relationship with God. In contrast, our reading today reflected upon a sad story of a people who forgot God and went unto their own way, their hearts drew cold with discontent and they desired a human King. Even today, we need to work on our relationship to keep close to God through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Watch the video see the passion of Father Bob for Jesus; keep a close relationship with Jesus and watch the Holy Spirit do a work in and through your own life as He did in Father Bob’s life and countless others with a similar testimony. I pray that we would all have such a love and a heart for Jesus today. Amen!

  2. The Bible series has been great for my wife and I to watch together. She has often asked me where I am in the bible now in this blog, and how you are doing, David. It has provided many times of sharing for us. The series presents an excellent attempt at realistically portraying the power and nature of God and the resulting cruelty from living a life apart. Thank you for sharing Father Bob MacDougall’s story where it is clear he was sold out for Christ and living the 100 percent, to the best of his ability. Have a great day, everyone!

  3. David, in reading your 100 Personal Words this morning respecting criticisms received at the Expos, I wanted to thank you. I wanted you to know that your spirit for Christ and your desire to lead others to the Cross have been fruitful. There have been countless times that I have laughed and cried while watching 100 Huntley Street. The program and people have lifted my spirits and refocused my attention outward so that I may continue to be of service to the Lord, lift others up, and experience the kind of JOY that only comes from helping others and knowing Christ. THANK YOU! Blessings to you and yours as you ‘fight the good fight’ and remain ‘an example among men’.

  4. Thankyou again and again for this blog, David and family. Every day I read the input from fellow bloggers and cannot help but say amen and amen.It is so wonderful to be of one mind and spirit with Gods’ family. To see father Bob again just warmed my heart…he was so exhuberant in his love for Jesus and was a great part of your team.
    Thankyou for the video clips and bible references, David; esp Ps.5;3 for today.
    It truly makes a huge difference in my day to look to Him first thing in the morning and aknowledge His very presence in my life.
    Father God , thank you for Jesus and Holy Spirit!!
    Thank you for blessing your people!

  5. Unfortunately, I am unable to open the link to Father Bob MacDougall, but will keep trying; looking forward to seeing it.

    20: “Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart…. 22: For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.” Such power and truth and assurance in Samuel’s words to calm their fears as they must have been terrified. It is so sad to know how lacking the people were and would continue to be without constant reminders. We remain lost without the leadership of our Lord in our lives and cannot afford to fail to pass it on to the next generation. We must keep spreading the Word.

  6. It was great to see father Bob and see how much fire he had for Jesus, and once again it reminded me tht God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. PRAISE HIS NAME.

    May we all begin our day with Jesus and thank you David and helpers for the blog we receive each day.

    We are more than conquerors in our battles because of Jesus!

  7. Thank you for your faithful encouragement to stay focused on what really matters…Kingdom work. May all of our thoughts, words and actions be filtered through that same lens: “Will what I think, say and do today somehow help in bringing the Light into this dark world?”
    May God use “The Bible” mini-series to open the eyes of many who are living in darkness. Bless you!

  8. In Mark 14: 54-55, Peter was not so brave at the time of Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion. Peter claimed that even if everyone else deserted Jesus, he would not. But when it came to the crunch, Peter denied Christ three times in one evening. I have not denied Christ, but there have been times and still are, when my faith was and is not readily accepted by family and friends and I have found myself easing back in verbally showing my walk with Jesus. There are times I opt to being a Peter, and perhaps ‘follow at a distance’ but praying my lifestyle will ‘speak’ for me and will be heard.
    In one of my recent readings that spoke to me on this idea, it stated that to walk closely with Jesus we have to walk daily through God’s Word ~ a sort of tethering our hearts to Scripture, which helps grow our relationship with Jesus ~ He will then become more important to us than others or their opinions of us. The more we learn about God’s character, the more we fall in love with Him and the less likely we’ll be to turn from Him when the crowds tempt to sway us, or when fear of judgment or persecution comes.

    It went on to say that if you have been following Jesus at a distance ~ walking far enough behind that you can still see Him but others don’t see you right next to Him ~ then we need to grab a Bible, open it, and get into God’s Word and get His Word into us. To quit lagging behind Him, or at a distance, and walk right beside the Him, unashamedly, allowing others to see our desire to be associated with Jesus in hopes they will long to get to know Him too. Like the song says: ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…’

    I pray for the Lord to help each of us to not follow ‘from afar’ ~ that we would follow closely beside Him at all times each and every day. This blog helps us do that! Thank you David and to your family, who have commited your time and knowledge to us who follow this blog. We are blessed! 😀

  9. I remember seeing Father Bob on 100 Huntley Street very well. He had a passion for God and for people and his life showed that. What a blessing to hear him once again.
    Thank you David and your team once again for this tremendous blog and for your insight into the scriptures.

  10. As Berverlee was very wisely suggesting we definatly must keep spreading the Word and that by every witch way we can and yes David the Bible series on history channel that we can actually purchase on Crossroads e-store is one fantastic way of introducing the Word to non beleavers. Reynold you have outdone yourself once more with this beatiful picture of the tomb of Samuel. We can all hope and earnesley pray to be filled with that great deep passion ,boldness diplayed by ft Bob MacDougall for JESUS… God bless every one.

  11. Thanks David for the blog, also the clip of Bob MacDougall. His testimony was short but his love for Jesus and his passion to make Jesus known, is so contagious! I too struggled by trying so hard to live the Christian life in my own strength, only to fail so many times. It was only when I finally realized I couldn’t, and asked God to live His life through me, that I was set free from the pressure of “having to perform” to please others. Thanks Raymond for the great pictures – great addition to your dad’s blogs. Thanks to Ron as well for your input – great threesome!

  12. Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own Lord that they stand or fall.- Romans 14:4 (NRSV)

  13. Thanks David. Your thoughts are exactly as I expected and so similar to my own. Love to you as always. Love to read this blog and God keep you close to His heart always.

  14. Having a vision and then acting to make it happen will always bring out the haters or naysayers. They are usually the people that do little or nothing themselves. The Lamb’s book of life has more names in it, in spite of not doing everything perfect to some peoples standards, so that stops them right there. And remember, no one has ever erected a statue of a critic. 🙂

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