Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A SPIRITUAL GIFT

Suggested Reading: 1 Timothy 3-4

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

 

The building on the left is known as the Mamertine Prison. Tradition tells us that Paul and Peter were both held in this prison before they were martyred. From here the letters to Timothy and Titus were written during the final imprisonment of Paul. In Paul's first incarceration he was allowed to stay in a private house. Upon entering the city of Rome, "Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment" (Acts 27:1), handed Paul over to the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard (the commanding officer). The official duty of the Prefect was to keep in custody all accused persons who were to be tried before the Emperor. "Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him" (Acts 28:16). The church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami, built in the 16th century, now stands above the Mamertine.

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

 

Key Verse: 1 Timothy 4:14a

Do not neglect the gift that is in you…

Chapter three gives practical instructions for those who carry the responsibilities of leadership in the church. The word “Bishop” is used interchangeably with “Pastor” in the churches of the first century. The role of a “Deacon” was defined in the first church in Jerusalem (read Acts 6:1-8). Stephen, the Jerusalem Deacon and first martyr, is a powerful example of someone who “served well” (1 Timothy 3:13b). Stephen most certainly had “great boldness in the faith, which is in Christ Jesus.”

Chapter four gives us a solemn warning concerning false teachers. We need to remember that Satan went into the religion business at the beginning of the human family (Genesis 3). Here are instructions for Timothy and all his helpers: (1) Instruct (2) Be a good minister (3) Follow carefully good doctrine (4) Reject fables (5) Exercise…to godliness (6) Bodily exercise profits a little – keep in good physical shape (7) Godliness is profitable in all things (8) Let no one despise your youth (9) Be an example (10) Give attention to reading (how about this blog) (11) Our key verse – exercise the gifts God has given (12) Meditate on these things (13) Take heed to yourself and the doctrine.This is good counsel for all of us too!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will not neglect the gift that is in me. May I faithfully recognize the gifts that are in my brothers and sisters in the faith. Help me to listen more carefully to the teaching of others who are called by You to teach, preach, witness, and serve. In Jesus’ Name I ask these requests, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

When I look at the pictures my son has taken and freely shared with us, I recognize that obedience to the call of God requires, if necessary, death to my own plans and ambitions. While still a teenager, I took great delight in following Jesus. I realized that as I “Delight [myself] in the Lord, He will give [me] the desires of [my] heart.” I’ve just taken time to read from King David Psalm 37:1-8, which teaches me that I should seek to know what delights the heart of God, and then line my desires up with His. When my desires are the same as His desires, “He shall give you [me] the desires of your [my] heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Rev. Keith Running, now of Medicine Hat, Alberta, once planted a new congregation in Brighton, Ontario. I followed him as Pastor there in the Fall of 1958. He had developed a marvellous document called a “Local Church Constitution.” The roles of Pastor and Deacons were outlined carefully, as well as other organizational matters. I learned a great deal from Keith. Because of such a wise document, even the church business meetings were enjoyable.

Yours for learning and applying the practical teachings of ministry in the local church,

David

In the lower level of the Mamertine Prison there is only one entrance and exit from the prison...you can see the hole in the stone ceiling through which Paul and Peter would have been lowered. It is said that Paul was chained to the pole at the back of the room.

Here you can see Peter and Paul depicted in these statues which are in the main room above the prison.

25 thoughts on “Wednesday, September 4, 2013

  1. History and it’s revelations never cease to amaze me! Just look at these marvelous pictures taken by Reynold, you could well imagine that Paul and Peter spent time in this very place! This is one of the reasons why I love scripture … God’s Word is alive! It not only speaks to every heart and soul over the eons, but it speaks as a living history to every generation! The world wants to denounce the Scriptures as fable and myth, but nothing speaks truth greater than the Bible. It’s more than history, it’s more than an instruction manual, it’s more than a book of prose, it’s more than a teacher in righteousness. The Holy Bible is the most unique and precious item that one could own, for it points to God who created all, who created us, and to whom we will live with and dwell for all eternity. Amen.

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

  2. Your family is very fortunate to be your family and you are very fortunate to be your dad’s son. Have a nice day and may God bless you even more than he has already.

  3. It is unimaginable to be placed in a prison holding, such as the one shown in today’s picture. Although, in the 70’s I worked part time as a guard in the old Don Jail with similar, barbaric holding cells (except they had steel doors). No toilets, only a pail or a hole in the ground. To think of the stamina Paul had in order to write and convey his thoughts to Stephen and the church, is nothing short of amazing and of tremendous inspiration. It sounds like he was given respect by some of the soldiers. We can be thankful we are not in similar circumstances, either being falsely accused or prisoners because of our beliefs. Encouraging words today about aligning our intensions with God. Have a great day to all!

  4. When I read Peter calling himself a prisoner of Babylon, I thought of the Jews in Babylon. They could walk around yet they were prisoners. Even Jews in Israel were prisoners because they had babylonian occupiers. Likewise, when Hitler invaded Poland, there was a market called the jewish ghetto. The Jews were a prisoner in that market. I saw a documentary about it last week: babies dying of starvation; dead people laying in the street. Now, the whole world is Rome. Though things are not like Nazi occupied Poland was for the Jews, it is the same king and he is the antichrist. We in Canada can walk around but christians are in this world, not of it. We are foreigners, whatever race we are in this world, waiting for our champion to return. As scripture says, we are sojournors. It will get worse. Peter might have been actually in the dungeon when he called himself a prisoner in Babylon but he was also saying a powerful and prophetic thing and he knew it.

  5. I agree with you Scott and thank you Renold for all the pictures you take
    they bring the bible to us . As they say a picture is worth a thousand words
    and yours are.
    God bless you David and all our blog sisters and brothers in Christ
    Lianne

  6. Thank you David for your wise counsel and teaching from the Word and for your great contribution through photos, Reynold. Help us Lord to put the Apostle Paul’s writings into practice which was born out of great sacrifice and inspired by God. Have a great day everyone!

  7. Wow!! It is amazing to read the strength and fortitude Paul had in continuing to work for Jesus….that only comes from a deep faith and the hand of a mighty God. Paul kept his eyes on the things to come…..heaven with Jesus.
    May we all keep our focus strong and use the gifts God has given us.

    Wonderful pictures once again Reynold…thank you.

    Thank you again Pastor David for your faithfulness in bringing our blog each day, may The Lord give you renewed strength and healing each day. We love you and your family.

    Blessings to all today and a special dose for our ailing saints.

  8. How wonderful to see Pastor Keith’s name in today’s blog! He continues to be an inspiration to many Christians and Christian leaders, from many different denominations, here in Medicine Hat! I thank God for Pastor Keith, and for all those who seek the wisdom of God and walk in it!

  9. Thank you and your awesome family, I guess that inclodes all that believe in Christ God the Father and the Holy Spirit amen!!!!! God bless you always and forever!!!!!!!!

  10. The photos of the Mamertine Prison are amazing–thank you Reynold! It really brings it to life actually seeing where Peter and Paul were lowered into the stone dungeon–just to picture Paul writing his letters of instruction for the church and wisdom about God, to Timothy, there. To think of Paul’s faith in God is mind-blowing. As Saul, he was a schooled Jewish head-hunter of Christians–violent in his wrath to persecute them. He heard the Lord speak to him directly, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Blinded for three days by the glory of God’s light, he was 100% completely faith-filled in conversion as a servant of God–the Apostle Paul. (Acts 9) It reminds me of Moses in the Old Testament–it really hits deeply.

    Scott has pointed to the most perfect scripture to fit the feeling in Hebrews 4:12. Paul’s heart was pierced by the truth of God’s Word. He never looked back from that point, only forward to serving his Lord. His words to Timothy about the church were strong and powerful and inspiring–his mind was solid and clear–above the pain and despair and misery of his physical situation in that daunting dungeon. We are all so inspired by the same words. No matter what our physical situation, our hearts and minds and souls are connected with the Spirit and Truth of God.

    Praise God and bless you, fellow saints. May the love of our Lord pierce your hearts and lift you up–for we are all so worthy–just like Paul!

  11. Thank you David for the good blogs. I had heard before about that notorious prison. Wasn’t it even over water? Must have been so dank and awful.Poor Peter and Paul.
    Anne

  12. Dear Rev. David M .
    Once more todays scripture and precious comments from you and fellow bloggers brings me to tears of joy and gratefullness . What an Amazing God we serve with a book that comes alive with Reynolds fabulous pictures and your daily preaching . I would like to add a big THANK YOU to Ron and all the rest of your family which of course includes the team of 100 Huntley street that are pretty much the cherry on the cake .
    Have a blessed day everyone.
    PS. Lets keep our eyes focused on THE ONE AND ONLY JESUS CHRIST. Amen and Amen.
    xxxx Carole and Asha.

  13. Good morning fellow saints. I come to you this morning in need of your prayers.
    Not for my self but for those who are lost and do not know Christ Jesus .

    Last evening my son asked me if I would come out to what’s called open mic. This is were any one can show case their talent.
    There were many young people there . The talent was comprised of mostly young people playing music. All juandras. Some of the talent was exceptional.
    My son was the reason for my being there other wise I would not have been there.
    What I witnessed troubled my heart. I saw and heard many purvers things. Some of the young people there are so lost my heart is acheing for them this morning. Two acts in particular stood out and grieve me.

    If I may I feel the need to share this with you as this needs heavy prayer.

    The two acts were two young men attempting to be funny, attempting comedy.
    I say attempting because they were anything but funny. We all know Satan’s style
    so I don’t need to ilaborate how ever the first young man’s hummor was based on totally cutting him self up. He was explicet and you could tell what he was saying was the truth that he was abusedat home and bullied in school.
    His so called humor was largely comprised of verbly visual sexual perversion. It made me so sad. At one point he even shocked the entire audience a difficult thing to do in this place. They didn’t laugh there was a dead silence.
    The young man quickly tried to lighten the somber atmosepher. It was pathetic
    my heart when out to him.

    I was so glad my son was out in the hall talking to a musician. He never heard the so called comeadians. I only planned to listen to my son play but he asked me to stay a little while longer to encourage the others.

    The second attempt at humor was not quite so pervers , but was pathetic and not funny at all. This young mans humor was centured around religion. He said and I quote to the best of my recollection. ” Did you ever notice how religions people go around saying ……Oh we love people we love all people …uummmm BUT not you …….uummmm…… or umm you ……! You know they only love you if your like them or if you think like them or if you act like them believe what they believe.
    He didn’t stop there he continued to bash religion.Freedom of speech is wonderful…. but that young man is a lost soul. God help him!

    It broke my heart and I realized Satan is hard at work spreading his lies to the young people. I have desided to go back there again. I want to be a light in that dark place. My son has shared his faith with a couple of young musicans in there . Both responded in a possative way. Baby steps.
    I am praying God will lead my son into Christian music but when I hear the good things his influence has had on some of the musicans there I’m greatful for my sons strong moral stance. Going into a place like that is like going into the lions den. You must have strong faith and know that as a child of God Satan can not touch you.

    Please pray for our young people. It is as plain as the nose on your face that
    in most cases these places are full of discontented, low self esteemed, lonely young people.They have a void in their lives. They are searching for acceptance and love . The subject of teen and young adult suicide has become the focus at 100 Huntley again . We must reach out to these young people . This is a tough one . As most of you know a well known pastors son took his own life not so long ago.

    Please pray that God will show me what I can do to help these young people
    in my area.

    Another concern I have in particular is the young woman in this place .
    Two in particular were so high and carried away with each other it made Myle Syrus look like a chior girl. I felt sorry for them and their parents.

    Many other woman were also putting them selves on display , to the point that, most of the men don’t seem to even notice. It is ovious that leaving nothing to the imajination ( dress wise) is not what men really want. These young woman parade by and most of the men weren’t even looking. These young woman just don’t get it . Even a half decent young man is not going to want to introduce a girl like that to his mother. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of those young woman left home dressed more conservative and then changed their clothes and make up before they came to this place.

    Again please pray for our youth. Would some one please offer up a prayer.
    Many of you are so gifted with your elequent speach and knowlege of Gods word. This needs your prayers.

    Dear Lord I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful blog and all of these precious souls who contribute to it.
    Thank you and may Gods blessings be upon you all.
    In Jesus name Amen!!!!!!
    M.

    • Dear M….first let me say I can feel your angst in this case and I pray God will give you direction as to what to do, maybe even through your son, to help some of these young people. We can see it in the media , but when it comes into our personal lives we have to act.
      Be assured that tonight, my husband and I will bring this before the Lord.

      Dear gracious and loving Father, our young people are being drawn into darkness by the evil one, and we ask In Jesus’ Name that someone will come along side these young people and introduce them to the One who can make a difference in their lives.
      Help M’s son to be a shining light there and stand firm in his faith and knowledge of who you are. Sometimes we want to run away from these places and situations, but who then will ACT?

      Infuse your power and strength into M’s son that he may share his faith in a loving and gracious way.

      Thank you M for sharing this with us. We are all burdened by what is drawing our young adults in the wrong direction and it should be a point of our daily prayers.

      God bless you and rest in the knowledge HE hears and understand your concerns. Be loved!!!

    • I will add these young people to my intercessory list– the heavy burden you feel on your heart is the Lord’s– He is sharing with you how much it pains Him to see youth being lead down such a dark path. There are probably many ministries that catered to the cause, perhaps you could volunteer your time to one of them. Or maybe the Lord will direct you to a specific person to be a light to. Trust the Holy Spirit and He will lead to where the Lord needs you to be. I add my amen to Catherine’s and Beverlee’s prayer. And bless you for not turning away from the offense in front of you and realizing the Lord was knocking on your heart to see them with compassion.

  14. We pray to you, our heavenly and precious Father, our King and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and to the sanctity of the Holy Spirit. We bring the concern that M & J have brought to attention for the lost tired and abused souls frequenting the bars and comedy clubs, Lord. We know Lord, that you love each and every one of us, as the gift of Your creation. You are with us each and every step of the way on this journey of finding the light peace and joy in life–that is You. Satan has a grip on these individuals, Lord, who have not yet come to know You. Without further description, heavenly Father, You know who they are–every single one. You know them by name, Lord. We need not cast judgement, put forth further description or find fault with anyone, Lord. We simply bring them all before you in prayer, Lord.

    Oh Prince of Peace, we call to you–let the taste of alcohol become poisonous to their lips, and the smoke they inhale taste like rubber, Lord. Let their appetites for the clothes and dance they cling to wither away as they become embraced by Your loving Light, more and more, Lord–every minute of every day. Let your loving Angels sing beautiful music into their hearts and let it penetrate their ears. May they be transformed and redeemed and give their testimonies as they bow down and come to know You, Lord. For You are all powerful. You are all knowing. You are everything. We praise You with complete adoration, Lord. We give thanks for the presence of M and her son in the comedy clubs, Lord. For we know You are there with them. We call in the mighty name of Jesus, for the grip of Satan to be released and for the precious blood of Jesus to pour over the lost souls there, Lord. We give thanks and praise for all Your glory. Amen, amen, and amen!

  15. Heavenly Father I pray for peace for M as he looks to you for guidance in the need of our Young people, especially those he has had an opportunity to bring to your attention. Thank you Father in Jesus Name I pray

  16. God cares much more about our hearts than eloquence. This why we pay so little attention to spelling when commenting here. Pertaining to what you described, God said of Abraham, “he will teach his family and his household my ways.” Few people are teaching their children God’s ways anymore. However, be careful in places such as you described that your son is not trampled as if by swine. It happens. Some people hate Jesus so much that they would plan how to corrupt or hurt His disciples.

  17. Dear M
    I will be using for the coming days Beverlees prayer as I will join you in praying for the salvation of all our children Stay strong for you are not alone you are empowerd by the Holy Spirit covered by the Blood of Jesus so in moments of trial put on the full armour and know that your sisters and brothers are right there for you.
    God bless you and your son in Jesus name Amen.

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