Saturday, April 18, 2015

CHANGE

Today’s┬áReading: 2 Samuel 20-21

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

 

Israeli army recruits stand atop an old tank that was used in a previous armed conflict. There are hundreds of tanks on display at the Armoured Corps Memorial at Latrun, Israel.

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

 

Key Verses: 2 Samuel 21:1, 14b

Now there was famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, “It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites.”…So they performed all that the king had commanded. And after that God heeded the prayer for the land.

 

As the above photo illustrates, not much has changed in the human condition. Yes, there were no battle tanks mentioned in today’s reading, just swords and spears, but people are people … except for the night and day change that happens in the human heart when Jesus comes in to dwell. We may well have been discouraged after today’s reading. Just in case that is the case, our key verses point out to us that God answered prayer for people 3,000 years ago. He still answers prayer today. Samuel was dead. Nathan the prophet did not show up with a Word from God. It appears that the political and military leaders did their own thing. It’s important that we don’t blame God for the mess Israel was in. Even so today, it’s our fault that the world is so badly messed up. It’s the story of fallen humanity. A humanity given free will by God needs to turn around, repent, and find God’s will.

2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us that if we humble ourselves and pray, God will forgive our sins and heal our land. For encouragement we may want to read 2 Chronicles 7:12-18.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I humble myself in Your presence. I seek Your face as You told David’s son Solomon to do. I turn away from all wickedness, repenting with deep sorrow. I claim Your promise of forgiveness and healing. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Please forgive me, but I can’t possibly cover what is in my heart and mind in just 100 words- here goes!!!

I recently read a book called, “Rome’s Last Citizen,” the life and legacy of Cato, who is called by the authors the “mortal enemy of Caesar.” The years covered in the book are in the decades prior to the coming of Jesus. It describes a history of even greater evil than that of Israel in King David’s time. I studied the language of Rome, Latin, for four years, doing translations on examination papers and learning about the longest lasting empire ever. Rome, for some time, before the Caesar dynasty, had operated in a hit-and-miss fashion under a constitution. It sounded good on paper, but the reality was that the leaders manipulated the constitution and the people for their own self-centred purposes. In 1968 I made my first visit to the Soviet Union. I read carefully their constitution. It was filled with high ideals which would appear to be the fulfillment of the Words of the Bible, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” I was well aware that under that constitution Lenin and Stalin murdered millions of people. What evil there is in human hearts. My consistent longing, whether reading the history of Rome or the Soviet constitution, or today’s reading about Israel, is “O Jesus, only You can change the human heart. Only Your indwelling presence can enable me to live up to God’s standards of moral behaviour, truly loving my neighbour as myself.” In modern Rome, “Vivere al Cento Per Cento,” our Italian television productions, were released. The way of salvation, by faith in Jesus alone, was clearly presented. This was a first, to my knowledge. In the Soviet Union, the Crossroads Creation series and our children’s series, Kingdom Adventure, were released on state television across all 15 republics. This was another first for the message of Jesus in an officially atheistic state. In Israel, my son-in-law, Nizar Shaheen, who is ordained in the Nazareth Baptist Church, shared the Gospel of Jesus on Channel One in both of his first languages, Arabic and Hebrew. This was state television, and for several years prior to Christmas and Easter, Nizar was asked to explain how Christians understood the Hebrew prophecies concerning the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ. I’m more convinced than ever that “Jesus changes everything” when He lives in the hearts of people.

Yours with an expression of Joy as I heard a new believer say, “Three cheers for Jesus!”

David

P.S. Below are pictures of two of the three mobile TV production trucks that Crossroads supporters provided for Europe. They served in Rome, The Soviet Union, and Israel. They moved around to Belgium, Germany, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Austria and Finland. Our world desperately needs Jesus and His message. The latest report I have received shows that our School of Broadcasting graduates are serving the Lord in TV in at least 90 countries. These are spiritual battle tanks!

 

9 thoughts on “Saturday, April 18, 2015

  1. Dear David
    This article was very timely , thanks .
    As you said you have studied the Roman history , you will note the same religious power has decided to change God’s unchangeable law found in the 10 Commandments . (Exodus 20 ).
    I realize that the majority of Christians today follow the dictates of this Roman religious authority . They even brag about it saying we have the authority to change God’s law . They have done so , as a result , all the world follows after the beast . ( Sunday worship ) .
    I think I have read and heard every conceivable argrument as to why most Christians worship God on Sunday .
    It may not seem like a big deal , but the 4th Commandment is listed with the other 9 , which most Christians wouldn’t dissagree with . Why ? Is worshiping false Idols , stealing , committing adultery etc etc , still binding as to the biblical definition of what sin is ?
    Of course there is no salvation in keeping the law , and the purpose of the law was to drive us to our knees and accept the free gift that Jesus provides .
    This 4th commandment will be more significant in these last days when we Christians will have to choose , who are we going to follow .
    This apostate sabbath day (Sunday) .
    I do realize that there is only one name whereby we can be saved , and those Christians who refuse to surrender their faith in Him , have dearly paid with their lives .
    When this mark of the Beast ( Sunday Worship ) comes into play we will witness those whose faith is resting in Christ and not ourselves or an apostate day of worship .
    We have a front row seat to witness the final drama being played out in the great controversy . Fasten your seat belts ! Blessings

    • Very thought provoking – which is the real Sabbath. Robert, some cannot keep the designated Sabbath due to employment/career choices, i.e. doctors, nurses, firefighters, police. People need help at any time and the assistance must be there. (I was one of them that assisted). I wouldn’t mind celebrating 2 Sabbaths. Jeremiah 33: 3 tells us to ask God and He will answer. I think God’s promise to answer says it all.

  2. Thank you Jesus for Your love…the great Commandment: Jesus said:
    John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. 15:13 Great love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.

    Thank You Jesus for Your Great love for us, thank You that you lead us on paths of righteousness for your Name’s sake!! Amen and Amen!!!

    Thank you Rev. David…I joined with you in prayer.

    Thank you for this blog and your guidance in it!!!!

  3. Your blog has been a real blessing to my husband and I. We followed the first two years. Read through the bible in 2years. We are also reading it again and receive a greater blessing. Thank you

  4. Thank you David for all those good reports today about the spread of the Gospel through Crossroads through western and eastern Europe and elsewhere. God bless you and your team for their faithfulness and for your upcoming award!

  5. I learned the commmandments as follows from Luther’s Small Catechism:
    1.You shall have no other gods…then the meaning
    2. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God…then meaning
    3. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy…then meaning
    4. Honour your father and your molther…then meaning
    5. You shall not murder….then meaning
    6. You shall not commit adultery….then meaning
    7. You shall not steal…then meaning
    8. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor…then meaning
    9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house…then meaning
    10.You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his man-servant, or maidservant,his ox or donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor..then the meaning
    The text of the commandments is from Exodus 20, 3–7-8-12-17

    The Close of the Commandments
    What does God say about all these commandments?
    He says “I, the Lord Your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments” Exodus 20:5-6
    What does this mean?
    God threatens to punish all who break these commandments. Therefore we should fear His wrath and not do anything against them, but He promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. Therefore we should also love and trust in Him and gladly do what He commands.

    Just thought I would share; anyone can buy the small Luther’s Catechism with explanation from any Christian Bookstore, …….blessings to everyone…..

    • John 12:15 is powerful and the Great Comission Matthew 28:18-20
      “And Jesus came and said to them “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age”:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.